Theme Park Apprentice 5: Auditions

From Tim W
Posted May 12, 2013 at 4:31 AM
Welcome to Audition Round of Theme Park Apprentice 5! This audition round will serve in place of our previous signup thread. The judges will be assessing creativity, as well as double checking everyone’s spelling and grammar. Be as original as possible in this conception for a theme park. While we will not have a specific rule against it, we may look favorably upon those contestants who develop ideas different than a Disney, Universal, or Sea World park. We will then decide upon the contestants that will be invited into the competition.

For this round, your task is to design a preliminary theme and overview for a theme park, which will be used again within the final challenge. Keep it short and sweet, explaining your theme, while also providing a few details of what we can expect out of the theme park. Included in this overview should be the location of the theme park. This challenge will serve as a general basis and guideline for the rest of the competition. As ideas develop and grow during the season, you may find that you need to tweak your theming slightly. However, you will need to be extremely careful and detail oriented, making sure that all of your proposed ideas will still fit into one final theme park.

Please post all auditions in the discussion thread by May 22nd. The judges will then have until May 25th to finalize the challenges and contestants for this season.

From Tyler Harris
Posted May 12, 2013 at 4:53 AM
The theme of my theme park is a sunken city (diffrent from Atlantis). The location is in Key West, Florida. You can expect out of the park:
.Ancient artifacts
.Plenty of roller coasters (I wont give a spoiler).
.Interactive experinces with sea life (possibly owned by Sea World).
.A shoot e'm up ride.
.And more
PS: I know this might sound simular to a Sea World park but Sea World doesnt have the features I will mention during the challenges! So if you want a true adventure, vote for me!
PPS: I forget to mention this earlier, but A, it isnt all the sunken city. And B, this is set during the Roman/Greek empires.

From Chad H
Posted May 12, 2013 at 3:14 PM
Great to have this back...

Is there any more detail on what you can give as to what you expect for this format... I take it its not the usual "design a whole theme park" final entry...

(ie, is this enough? More? Less?)

A green and pleasant land.

This park tells (a sanitised version of) the story of the people of the British Isles. Worlds will be based around times, people, and places with a range of attractions themed to match, including a range of entertaining, yet informative rides, as well as thrill rides.

A green and plesant land is located in Corsham, England. The exact location I'm holding back for now to prevent spoilers as there is a facility in the area I'm hoping to include...

Possible world concepts
Porthampton Harbour - Based around the Royal Navy/Empire’s naval power
CODENAME: WINSTON - WW2 and the Cold War
Albaness - Scotland
Jubillee Dock - Hub/dining area with the tastes of the empire, themed as an empire-ear seaport
Elizabethia - Elizabethan/Shakesperian London
Albion Faire Britan of Myth and Legend (King Arthur, Robin Hood, etc)
The Isle of Sodor - For Thomas the Tank Engine/younger children

Possible Attractions
The Trafalgar Experience (Porthampton Harbour) – its October 1805, by cape Trafalgar in Spain and you are there. In this Omni-mover experience you will experience the battle of Trafalgar from multiple points of view; Join Admiral Nelson in his cabin as the plan is set; join the gunnery deck as HMS Victory engages her foes, see the battle from the quarterdeck, before joining the Admiral again for his last moments… England expects every man shall do his duty.
The Battle of Britain (CODENAME: WINSTON) – Join the RAF in your Spitfire or Hurricane as you defend London against “The Gerrys” in this personal simulator experience.
BlackBeast (Albaness) – Head “doon the mine” in this thrilling coaster experience. Will you discover what lurks in the dark?
Taste of Punjab (Jubilee Dock) – The authentic taste of India in a theme park.
The Tower (London) – Perhaps the worlds best haunted-house experience, based around the Tower of London (and its inhabitants)
• Ride Guinievere’s Gallopers, watch a joust, or dine on a traditional English roast at Albion Faire.
Sir Topam Hatt (the Fat Controler) invites you to meet Thomas, Percy, and the gang and take a trip around the Isle of Sodor
Doctor Who Weekends (The whole park) - You never quite know where (or to be more prescise, when) {Note, this is just a bit of puffery... There are schedled Doctor encounters, along with a few surpise ones} the Doctor may show up. This combines a few photo opportunities with improvised encounters between the Doctor and various monsters from the series, and other Doctor-related expereinces (think Sonic Screwdriver training) as well as a closing show where he takes on his oldest and deadliest foe - the Daleks.

A green and plesant land - Fun since 1066

From Alan Hiscutt
Posted May 12, 2013 at 3:42 PM
With Star Wars once again set to be the hottest property in hollywood, Disney have decided to throw more dollars the Theme Park game. With plans for numerous parks around the Globe, The first has been given the Green Light in the UK, with parksto follow in Orlando, Hong Kong, Australia and even the Germans want a slice of this pie.

Lucasfilm Studios, in partnership with Disney have agreed to build in the UK, a deal that was concluded when Disney was in town to broker the deal for the upcoming Star Wars movie that is being filmed and produced in the UK.

Lucasfilm Studios has a wealth of Movies to call on for its new park, confirmed are attractions based on Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Labyrinth, Willow and Red Tails.

Although Disney have bought Star Wars and the rights recently, they felt that there was too much to try and fit into an existing park and perhaps not enough for a stand alone Park, so a Brand new Theme park was the best way to move forward. It is understand that George Lucas has given the project his greenlight and has agreed to help as much (or as little) as he is needed.

The UK Park is likely to be built In the Kings Wood area just outside Maidstone. Close to London and Dover, just over an hours drive away from the Docks in Southampton. An ideal location for the park which also proposes 2 hotels on site.

Lucasfilm Studios coming to the UK, you heard it here first folks!

From Dominick D
Posted May 12, 2013 at 3:45 PM
Disney has gotten back the Florida theme park rights to Marvel, and their building a 5th gate called Marvel Universe! Located across Epcot, Marvel Universe will feature high-tec dark rides, thrill rides, entertainment, and more! The park will be separated into different lands:

New York: The Main Street of Marvel Universe is also the largest land and is split into two portions, the shop area and the ride area. Stark Tower is in this land, and is also the icon if the park. Some rides that will be featured here include The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman, Captain America Coaster, and Avengers Assemble (inside Stark Tower), a ride where you can join one of 5 Avengers for different ride experiences! There will also be a shawarma restaurant similar to the one seen in The Avengers.

Asgard: Thor's home world will be turned into a land! Featuring beautiful architecture, the land's signature ride will be Bilrost (the rainbow bridge), a coaster that will launch you to 85 MPH! There will be a table service restaurant that will have you dining in the halls of Asgard.

The Galaxy: Space is home to several popular Marvel characters, so why not have a whole land dedicated to the galaxy? Rides included here will be a ride based around Galactus and a Guardians of the Galaxy shooter ride.

Science Labs: Similar to The Land at Epcot, this is a land dedicated to the scientists of Marvel. Rides here will include a Hulk coaster and a Doctor Strange ride.

X-Men Mansion: Another pavillion style land, this land will feature solo rides for Wolverine and Cyclops, and a ride with all of them together. The land also includes a presentation on mutants by Professor X.

There will also be another land, but Disney has decided not to announce it yet.

To end your day, "Marvelous Fireworks presented by Stark Industries" will launch on top of Stark Tower.

If I make it to the finals, there will be ALOT more. I just had to show the highlights for the audition.

From Noah Vinik
Posted May 12, 2013 at 5:40 PM
I would create a park that mainly focuses on thrill rides. It may not sound like a good plan but if I could sell a combo pass with Universal or the other parks I think it would work very well.
Some of my ideas.....
A car themed rollercoaster.
A really fast dark ride themed in a cursed castle with a trackless ride system and some cool 3D effects.
If I'm selected I would put a lot of work into creating the best balance of family fun and quality with as much thrill as possible.
It would be located near all of the Orlando parks but just far enough away to be on its own.

From Bryce McGibeny
Posted May 12, 2013 at 11:27 AM
Uncharted Adventures Theme Park

Set off on an adventure that immerses guests into a park that explores different aspects of our planet and beyond that remain unknown to us, in terms of time and place.

- Philosophy Island - A land themed to 17th century Europe which sets the tone for the park, by showcasing early technology, astrology, and philosophical ideas that reflect on the ocean, space, the past and the future
- Space - Explore a land themed to the vastly unknown heavens. The land is a blend of what we currently perceive space as, and what we perceive space as in the future.
- Ancient Empires - Experience cities such as Rome and Athens, but how they were thousands of years ago.
- Deep Sea - A land that transports guests to one of the most unknown places on our planet... the Deep Sea.
- Early Earth - Something that humans have never, and will never see, is Earth in it's earliest days. This land relies heavily on pure theory to immerse guests into the time that started it all.

The park will provide many family attractions, shows, and thrilling attractions. The park will be owned and operated by The McGib Co., which has chosen to tease future guests by "giving away" three future attractions;

- Quest through the Stars - An slow moving dark-ride that takes guests on a tour beyond our planet and into the unknown.
- DeepVenture Inc. - Join DeepVenture Inc. on their mission to explore what truly happens on the ocean floor on this thrilling indoor roller coaster ride.
- The Forum - A comedy show that places guests in the daily lives of the residents living in Athens thousands of years ago.

The park will be located off of U.S. Route 101 in Southern California, just north of Los Angeles. It will be within the city limits of Thousand Oaks.

From Christopher Sturniolo
Posted May 12, 2013 at 8:27 PM
Disney's Once Upon a Park

Fairy tales have played a significant role in the history of the Walt Disney Company from Snow White being the first full-length animated film to the original Magic Kingdom being built around a castle. What better way to pay tribute to these stories than with a park in the birthplace of most classic tales, the Black Forests of Germany (have not decided on a city). This will be Disney's first Magic Kingdom completely devoted to these tales as well as some of the other stories that have influenced Disney culture.

Possible Once Upon a Park exclusive experiences:

Face the power of Maleficent on Disney's first B&M inverted roller coaster.

Scale Jack's beanstalk (HUSS Topple Tower)

Help Robin Hood and his merry men on an interactive dark ride adventure.

Journey through the dark with Hansel and Gretel and escape the grasp of the Witch (think Snow White's Scary Adventures)

Are you afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? If not, take on our Intamin launched coaster through the Black Forest. (Verbolten+Cheetah Hunt+Big Bad Wolf)

Also features classic Magic Kingdom favorites such as:

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Enchanted Tales with Belle
Peter Pan's Flight
Alice in Wonderland

Note: While not inspired by Once Upon a Time, this park will feature some homages to the show especially in the stories portrayed.

From Matt R
Posted May 13, 2013 at 1:30 PM
(Please note- I am not just pitching a theme park idea here, but a full experience.)


The year is 2020. The world as we know it has ended. The guests play the part of survivors, scrounging around the nuclear-wasteland of the United States, or what's left of it.

The park is divided into the following areas (with the possibility of more being other parts of the world):

1. The Federation of the Eastern Coast
This encompasses all that remains of the East Coast of the US. Extremely totalitarian.

2. Southern Confederation of States:
The south, which was mostly nuked due to the heavy amount of oil, combined with the large number of military bases. Controlled by Mexicans.

3. Wild Mid-West
The last frontier. Lawless due to the fact that everybody and their mother came here for food. Well, they started killing each other. This was the result.

4. Western Empire
Final area. Controlled by Chinese. This is the big one, the toughest battle to reunite America. Consequently, it's the most well kept, but riddled with gangs, and the ruling Chinese, who are pushing East.

Possible rides:

-Before the war: A film made up of "footage" explaining the history before the war/ Hosted in the enerty land, Everytown USA.

Battle for LA: The big attraction. A mix of roller coaster and no-track dark ride, it tells the story of the battles for LA.

Silo exploration: exploring, as a walking tour, the horrors of a abandoned nuclear silo, once used by some survivalists.

State of the union: A live-action, multi-million dollar ride and show, which shows the event that started World War 3: the attack on the State of the Union address, which killed over 10,000 people.

A note: This isn't just any theme park. It is designed as an experience. The "citizens" (cast members) act in character. The guests are treated as if they are in this depressing, and sometimes exciting world along with them. They'll grab a gun and kill invaders, and learn history that "happened", and even more. The hotel is inside the park, and themed, as are all the restaurants. Immersion in the first priority.

Hope you like it!


From Jay R.
Posted May 13, 2013 at 6:01 PM
Theme: An elaborate theme park based on classic & current literary works. Non traditional in theme, this park answers the question of what would happen if we combined historical, timeless tales with cutting edge technology.

The park will be divided into lands based on genres, these lands will be known throughout the park as "Chapters". Park maps will resemble books.

The center of the park is Literary Village. The "library" is the central building here, & guest can explore & learn about various, authors, novels, etc.

Chapter 1 - Adventure on the High Seas & Land - This land will be comprised attractions based on novels such as "Moby Dick", "Call of the Wild", "Treasure Island" etc.

Chapter 2 - Whodunnit? - This land contains ALL interactive attractions based on works by Agatha Christie, Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, etc.

Chapter 3 - Things That Go Bump in the Night - This land contains scary attractions based on stories from Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, etc.

Chapter 4 - The Great American Dream - A pavilion that transports guest to the past & recreates walk through houses & town squares from "Grapes of Wrath" "To Kill a Mockingbird" & "Catcher in the Rye", etc. Higher end dining will be located here

Chapter 5 - When I Was A Child - This land is for younger guest & contains franchise such as C.S. Lewis "Lion" franchise & Sendak's "Where the Wild thing Are", etc.

Chapter 6 - To Be or Not to Be - The stages here will house live performances by playwrights Tennessee Williams, TS Elliott, & Aurthur Miller. The summer season will include Shakespeare.

From James Koehl
Posted May 13, 2013 at 7:06 PM
As a judge, I am getting really excited to see where these concepts are going to go as TPA5 competition starts. This is going to be a GREAT competition! If you want to compete, get your ideas organized and your audition proposal posted. Remember, this is just the audition phase, and I know that the judges understand that your original idea for a theme park will probably morph a bit (or a lot) as you progress through the competition. Come up with a good workable concept, but use it to let your imagination run.

From Joseph Catlett
Posted May 14, 2013 at 4:38 PM

All is well, tho' faith and form
Be sunder'd in the night of fear.


The darker side of our psyches and things that go bump in the night will reign supreme at the world's newest theme park....

SCREAM! (working title)

As of 2012, Halloween has become the second highest consumer spending holiday in the United States. The fact of the matter is people love to get scared. Pretty much every theme park in the country can attest to the fact that scares sell, with ever more profits being wrenched annually from fright attractions.

This park will feature highly themed thrill rides and coasters based on everything from classic horror stories like Dracula and the Weird Sisters from Macbeth to original adventures designed by current scare-meisters like John Carpenter and Rob Zombie. This park will also have a dark sense of humor featuring more tongue in cheek concepts based on properties like the Munsters and the Addams Family.

This park will also feature year round haunt style mazes that will regularly be swapped out to keep the concepts fresh and take into account changing tastes in horror genres

SCREAM, while family friendly during the daylight hours, will take a dark turn when the sun sets and dozen of scare-actors take to the park's streets. After dusk guests will be made aware that their visit may be too intense for the very young...however, the park will still offer a kid friendly area in the night time hours that will be explored later in this game.

This theme park will be located in perhaps the most frightening place on earth...across the street from the IRS building in Washington DC!
(I kid, I kid. Don't audit me!) Actually the park will be owned by the Merlin Group and located just off International Drive in Florida.

From Sandra Sims
Posted May 15, 2013 at 2:53 PM
The Sports Metropolis
The Sports Metropolis is a unique all American Sports Theme Park. The potential location is Houston, Texas the home of four large professional sports venues and the 4th largest city in the country.
The focus is to highlight twelve favorite American Sports as Attractions:
• The Slam Dunk (Basketball)
• The Kick Off (Football)
• The Home Run (Baseball)
• The Goalie (Hockey)
• Sock it to Me (Soccer)
• The Swimming Hole (Swimming)
• Just Tracking (Track & Field)
• The Raceway (Car Racing)
• The Figure 8 (Ice Skating)
• Tee Off (Golf)
• The Knock Out (Boxing)
• Racket & Balls (Tennis )
The Twelve (12) Attractions listed are virtual experiences, rides and effects that are compatible to the featured theme.
The Sports Metropolis will also feature:
• The “Big Game” Hotel & Resort (a twelve floor hotel with a sport theme per floor)
• The ESPN Theater (a venue that will feature twelve large movie screens)
• Great Balls of Fire Concessions (hotdogs, burgers, peanuts, popcorn, ice cream, soda pop, etc.)
• The Olympics Quarters (Restaurants featuring foods from around the World)
• Guest Services and Restrooms
• Sports Shops & Gifts (Favorite sports teams, memorabilia and more)
• Sports Museum (Exhibiting famous sports and celebrities)
• Let’s Rodeo - Horse & Pony riding, Cow roping, Merry-go-round, etc.)

From Tim W
Posted May 16, 2013 at 8:35 AM
There have been some extremely diverse and interesting concepts so far! The judges have some comments and suggestions that we will be posting before the competition begins.

Remember, you still have time to audition! The audition phase ends May 22nd at 11:59 pm, website time.

From Karly Tenney
Posted May 16, 2013 at 1:46 PM
Halloween Horror Nights: The Park
Universal Orlando has finally decided to make their famous Halloween event year round with the construction of this theme park!

Theme: HHN: The Park will feature 15 rides, 4 shows, and 3 restaurants. Here is an example of the lands.

Zombie Apocalypse Land: Zombie Apocalypse Land will feature
Apocalypse: The Ride is a Sally Corp. dark ride, Apocalypse shows guests what it would be like to live in the United States when zombies take over. It walks them through survival skills such as using weapons, eating etc.

Zombie Drop: You may think that Zombie Drop is just your every day drop tower but it's not! You will go up 200 ft. and drop, but when you come to the end zombies surround the car you're sitting in! To save you they raise you back up and after awhile the zombies clear and you are safe!

The Zombie Cafe: The Zombie Cafe features "blood" soaked walls and great gore decor!
They serve "Blood Icees" (cherry icee with some black food coloring to make the red look darker.), Intestine Soup(spaghetti with chunky tomato soup.) etc.

Vampire Land: Vampire Land will feature

Blood Rush: A Bolliger and Mabillard Flying Coaster (painted blood red!)

Vampy Swing: A daunting S&S Power Screamin Swing!

Teeth Sinker: Teeth Sinker Restaurant will feature
A Blood Burger (A burger with tomato sauce on top followed by normal burger toppings!), Gravedigger Milkshake (chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks!) etc.

There will be many more rides, shows and restaurants where that came from ladies and gentleman but if I need to add more right now let me know! Thank you and good day my friends!

From Matt Babiak
Posted May 17, 2013 at 4:15 AM
Are there going to be heavy cuts in the audition phase? I want to know how much detail I need. I don't want to be cut first second because I wasn't sure of the requirements. Also, will this season all have challenges revolving around 1 park idea, and the ride, hotel, etc. we design are all cumulative?

Asked question 4 days ago in rules thread but with no answer. I really need to know before I submit ann audition.

From Tim W
Posted May 17, 2013 at 4:41 AM
We aren't really sure how many cuts there will be. It will all be based off of how many people audition and if there are any noticeable issues, such as grammar and spelling.

The length is simply at your own discretion. Obviously do not post an overly detailed proposal as was mentioned, but do not be too vague. Most contestants have done outstanding with meeting this requirement.

And yes all ideas will be cumulative.

From James Koehl
Posted May 17, 2013 at 6:05 AM
Matt, and everyone, I just want to put my thought in here about the cumulative component. Don't think that everything you mention in your audition proposal must be stuck to exactly. As the competition proceeds, as you "flesh out" out your proposals and see how they will interact with each other in the complete park concept, you will of course be allowed to make alterations to your concepts. They can't be major changes- example, a park based on Brazilian History can't suddenly morph into a Pretty Princess park, but I feel that you must be allowed flexibility in your creativity. I know that my fellow judges feel the same as I do, that we want to do everything we can to encourage all competitors to develop their creativity.

From Alan Hiscutt
Posted May 18, 2013 at 3:05 AM
See, I was purposely Vague in my info because I wanted to give myself some wiggle room, now im starting to wonder if i was too vague and I am at risk of facing the cut. I'd like to think that previous history in the competition will stand me in some good stead, actually really looking forward to the start now!

From Matt Babiak
Posted May 18, 2013 at 6:04 AM
I'm in Alan's thought process. I don't want to be too vague and get cut before competition starts, but I don't want to be too specific and lock myself in. What would consist of a major change? Say I have a music theme park concept and I want to change a land to something different but still music based. Is that allowed under current rules?

From Andy Milito
Posted May 18, 2013 at 6:11 AM
A major change would be changing themes ENTIRELY. Like Jim said, "a park based on Brazilian History can't suddenly morph into a Pretty Princess park."

Your music park's theme could be changed around as long as music is still a major part of the park.

From Tim W
Posted May 18, 2013 at 4:03 PM
As I said before, most of the contestants have done a good job in not being too vague or too specific. Stating I want to make a Park based on some sort of movies is not going to cut it. But listing off 3 attractions per land, along with restaurants and other things that will be found in the park would be way too specific. This contest can be viewed as writing a paper for school. This audition should serve as an outline of what you want to see happen. Each of the challenges will serve as paragraphs. In the end, you will have to revise to create a final park.

There is no need to be overly nervous, and I don't believe anyone will be cut in the audition round unless there is a significant amount of writing problems. Yes, we may have some double eliminations or have to add challenges within the season. However, it is still just a game, as I have always said. People are more than welcome to continue sharing their ideas even if they are eliminated. I understand that you do not want to be eliminated first or second on account of developing an idea, but you will never know how much you may succeed if you do not try to compete. We cannot ensure or guarantee anything until ideas are posted in the challenges.

From James Koehl
Posted May 18, 2013 at 6:51 PM
Please, if you have ever wanted to try and compete in Theme Park Apprentice, this is the time to try. I agree with Tim that I don't foresee anyone being rejected in this audition round. Some "newbies" need a chance to see how fun and challenging coming up with ideas can be; some past competitors need to get the creative gears oiled up again. I love Tim's idea of having the entire competition aimed at creating a unified park constructed around the proceeding challenges. Please, give it a chance. The judges are ready and already writing up our critiques of the audition proposals; Tim has come up with a list of great challenges that will let you create a world-class theme park based on a theme of your own choosing.

If you have never competed before, don't worry. Most of the past TPA's were won by first-timers, including myself (Water Park Apprentice- a long time ago ;+) But don't get cocky! There are several experienced competitors in here who want to win it all and will bring their "A" game to each challenge. This is a great experience, lots of fun and you might be surprised how creative you can be when there is a deadline.

From Johnathan Ramey
Posted May 19, 2013 at 10:07 AM
Hello all! Complete Newb stepping into the ring for the first time. Let’s see how long I will last!

My simple idea has festered in my head for years and I would like to see if I can make it happen (at least here)

So here it goes….
Light vs. Dark Presented by Disney

Concept: Ying and yang .The world we live in consist of two sides. One that basks in the glory of the light and one that plots in the darkness of the night. But through proper storytelling show that everything might not be as it seems.

Goal of this park: to not only give a permanent home to so many of the lost Disney villains we have come to love but also push to create more of a highly themed adult/teenager park on Disney property.

Possible “lands”
•What if? : What if…the villain won!
•The lairs of the Mad Scientists
•The real Toon Town
• Ever after: going beyond the end of the story.
•VS: The two sides collide

Location: Austin, Texas –Disney’s first mid us park

with luck i hope this is enough to get things rolling

From Mike Kinshella
Posted May 20, 2013 at 1:29 PM
Experience the chilling horrors, thrilling adventure and fantastic mystery of classic pulp fiction brought to life at Weird World Theme Park!

Theme: Based on tales and characters from the infamous pulp magazines popular from the 1930s to the 1950s, the park’s main inspiration comes from classic pulp Weird Tales but also mines other prominent magazines and comic books of the era including iconic characters such as Doc Savage, The Shadow and The Sandman. These characters and stories have endured the many years since their heyday and remain mainstays of popular culture even today! Conan and the works of Robert Howard as well as the horrors of H.P. Lovecraft are just as relevant and marketable today as they were when they were created over 80 years ago as evidenced by countless films, comic books, novels, stories and video games. Now it’s time for these timeless characters and stories to transcend the printed page and movie screen - coming to life as living breathing heart pounding adventures that you can experience yourself in this groundbreaking park, located in Northern California.

The park will feature six distinct and meticulously themed areas or “regions” based on fantastic realms from Weird Tales and other pulps and comics of the era. Each region will feature multiple state of the art attractions as well as fully immersive dining and shopping experiences, all with an unprecedented attention to detail that puts even Disney and Universal’s best offerings to shame. What follows is a taste of the marvels one can expect to encounter in each region:

The Secret Citadel
Serving as the entrance to the park and direct gateway to three of its five themed regions, the mysterious Citadel stands as a stately yet ominous monument to adventure and those who seek it. The seemingly ancient fortress is home and headquarters to the Astonishing Men of Action, a secret fraternity of Heroes and adventurers that has existed in shadow since prehistoric times.
Filled with relics, research materials, maps and charts of the different themed areas as well as the Men of Action that inhabit and explore them including Conan the Cimmerian, Doc Savage, Kent Allard, Wesley Dodds, Herbert West and Solomon Kane, The Citadel serves as the perfect primer to the Weird Worlds guests are about to explore themselves as well as the history of the pulp magazines that inspired them.

Travel back to “an age undreamed of” in the mythical realm of Hyboria! Set “between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas” this is the dominion of Conan the Cimmerian, of “dark-haired women and towers of spider-haunted mystery”, of high adventure itself!
The largest of the parks themed areas, Hyboria spans several fantastical regions from the works of Robert E. Howard and Clark Ashton Smith from mysterious Zamora and Hyberborea with its impending ice age to shadowy Stygia with its serpent cults and proud Aquilonia, “reigning supreme in the dreaming west.”

Wild Wilderness
The brutal, romantic, thrilling wild west of the pulps comes to life in this rough and rugged frontier outpost. Home to fearless heroes, dastardly villains, ravishing beauties and explosive exploits in danger and daring, Wild Wilderness puts you knee deep in quicksand and dynamite. Join highway men, banditos, grizzled gunslingers and even the infamous drifting slayer of evil Solomon Kane, heading down the owl hoot road past skull creek to the mouth of the mighty Wild Western River and attempt to tame the unmolested badlands beyond.

The seemingly idyllic New England town of Arkham is rife with deep dark secrets, lurking horrors and skeletons in seemingly every closet – some more literal than others. Here, the timeless terror of H.P. Lovecraft’s weird tales comes to chilling life. From the arcane mysteries of the Arkham Historical Society to the moldering halls of the sanitarium, from the hallowed passages of Miskatonic University (home to America’s most prolific collection of occult tomes) to the crumbling cemetery on hangman’s hill, Arkham dares you to explore the shadows and come face to slimy face with that which goes bump in the night.
More than a simple “haunt” style area, Arkham is designed to prey on all the senses of those brave (or foolish) enough to traverse its streets and institutions. What was that otherworldly sound emanating from that shady threshold? Was that something grotesque and horrible that you just caught out of the corner of your eye or is your mind playing tricks on you? Designed to Lovecraft’s specifications, Arkham is every fan of classic horror’s nightmare come frighteningly true.

Savage Country
In the steamy mysterious jungles of South America, classic pulp hero Doc Savage and his cohorts the “Fabulous Five” have set up a base camp in order to keep tabs on Savage’s mine and flout the evil intentions of the Black Knights – a secret society of villains who seek to harness the untapped mystic potential of the region (built upon the ruins of a long lost civilization) in order to take over the world. Set against the backdrop of the 1930s and 1940s, WWII and the last hurrah of the pulps, Savage Country mixes history with fantasy as Doc works with a secret arm of the American military to flout the Black Knights as they try to siphon the power of ancient gods and tame the prehistoric monsters that stalk the overgrown detritus.

City of Shadows
The dark metropolis, baring an almost uncanny resemblance to a stylized New York City circa 1920s/1930s, is a city dripping with glamour and class where murder, mystery and skullduggery beyond imagination lurk in every shifting shadow and darkened alleyway. Shrouded in darkness and choked with fog, the labyrinthine boulevards are home to pulps darkest detectives and anti-heroes – The Sandman, The Shadow, Dr. Jules de Grandin: occult investigator, even Doc Savage calls the 86th floor of the L. Dent Building home base. Of course, those same thoroughfares are also the domain of villainous rogues, murderous goons and all manner of creeping supernatural weirdness.
Designed so that even during the day most of the streets are bathed in eerie shadow, the City really comes alive after dark as fog fills the streets and the flickering lights create the perfect atmosphere of pulpy noir and mystery unfathomed.

Enter WEIRD WORLD and experience thrilling realms of fantasy and adventure in times gone by and times that never were!

From Zombie Jeff
Posted May 21, 2013 at 9:19 PM

I think that in "polite" culture, zombies get a bad rap. My theme park is designed to show the symbiotic nature between humans and zombies, educating people on what real zombies are like, mixed with a little bit of fun, excitement, and, of course, eating brains.

Brains Land (Eating)
Eating brains is very important to zombie life. In this land, there are several restaurants that specialize in the different types of brains that a coinsurer would love to have including human, monkey, cat, and the ever elusive snake brains. There are how to classes designed to show the proper way of getting to brains without the messy splatter of just shattering a skull, much like a culinary class, but since us zombies don’t cook brains, it is more of a clinical preparation guide with audience participation. There are some spinning attractions and roller coasters in this land that are designed to help separate the brain from the skull.

Brains Land (Chasing)
Chasing after the thing that contains the brain is very important to zombie life. This land is designed to teach zombies how to fly aircraft in training simulators and how to simulate parachute jumping into areas that contain large amounts of walking brain containers.

Brains Land (Capturing)
Capturing the thing that contains the brain is very important to zombie life. With live demonstrations showing the proper way to capture brains, zombies get up close and personal with the latest techniques to take the edge off of your appetite. This land contains 3D movies and rides that show how to set traps and the best way to call in your zombie friends to flush out brain containers.

Brains Land (Expert Course)
Sometimes the thing with the brain is very good at evasive maneuvering, so being able to get past a direct assault from the brain container is very important to zombie life. This land has many rides that teach as well as entertain and are very instructive toward higher level zombie strikes, how to overcome a seemingly endless supply of ammunition, and tips on how to sew body parts back on. The area is dominated by a large sporting goods store. But the good news is that this is no simulation and any brains you capture you get to eat yourself.

Brains Land (Solo Mission)
Brains are very important to zombie life, and not sharing your brains with other zombies means that you need to be very good at brain container hunting on your own. There is a large wooded area on the northwest side of the park that allows zombies to hone their skill on one-on-one encounters. Like in Brains Land, you get to keep and eat whatever you capture here.

ZombiePalooza, it makes me hungry just thinking about it.

From AJ Hummel
Posted May 22, 2013 at 1:43 AM
I meant to do this over the weekend, but school caught up with me. Hopefully last minute entries doesn't become a running theme for me again this year. Anyway, here we go...

Note: The following concept is based on a series of stories I've written over the past several years. Although the park will be done in such a way that knowledge of the stories is not required to understand it, some background information will be included with each proposal for completeness. The stories carry a hybrid fantasy/sci-fi theme that will be reflected throughout the park.

Note 2: All names subject to change.

The Dragon Realm

Backstory: Dragons are mythological beings which play a role in many fictional stories but are not believed to exist in the real world, at least not in modern times. However, this belief was found to be incorrect. Recently, the dragons have emerged from a number of colonies hidden from the human world through magical means. They have agreed to an alliance between their world and that of the humans, as the time has come that it would be of mutual benefit. The main character of the stories is a human who was transformed into a bipedal dragon due to an accidental experiment and now goes by the name Smaug (no relation to the Lord of the Rings character). Other characters will be introduced as they are used.

Theme: To allow for the general public to become accustomed to the idea of another intelligent species sharing their world, the dragons have built a facility in which humans can learn about their world in an enjoyable and non-intimidating manner. In order to ensure that the attraction is compatible, Smaug has been put in charge of the project.

Location: The park is located in western Pennsylvania, putting it within a day's drive of most of the East Coast and Mid-West United States, although the park primarily draws from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and to a lesser extent New York. It is said that the park is near a border of the Pennsylvania dragon colony, but nobody is sure. At this location, the park's primary competition comes from Kennywood in West Mifflin, PA. Cedar Point and Darien Lake are the other two significant parks that draw from the same market, and Hersheypark could potentially have an influence as well.

Park: The park itself is approximately a hundred and fifty acres and features seven themed areas (not including the entrance area). Each area is based on a location in the dragon world, with attractions that explore the events of the region. Areas include:

The Colony: The largest area of the park, a semi-mountainous area where many dragons live. This section will include attractions hosted by various characters, as well as the park's meet and greet locations.

Argetine Industries: A massive industrial complex run by Auric Argetine, a human scientist and former enemy of Smaug who now serves as his technology advisor. This section of the park includes the most high-tech attractions in the park.

The Forest: A dense evergreen forest that seems to sprawl forever. Attractions in this area are nature themed, but with a twist.

Magic Island: Located in the middle of a lake, Magic Island is only accessible by watercraft. It is a mysterious place where the laws of physics don't behave as they should and is overseen by a solitary guardian older than even the trees of the land.

Mythrrium: The original home of the dragons before they migrated to Earth. The city-state exists in a parallel universe and would be described as steampunk inspired, but different than anything that ever existed...or could exist...on Earth.

Fortress Peak: A flat expanse of land at the base of a large, steeply sloped hillside. Towering over the region is a tall stone castle built into the hillside itself, the residence of the Dragon King.

Battleground: The site of a massive battle that still shows scars to this day. As this region is war themed, it features the most intense attractions in the park.

Attractions: The park features approximately thirty attractions spread over the seven themed areas. Each area features at least one dark ride style attraction and one gravity based attraction. Although there are attractions involving water elements, the park does not have a designated flume ride, and the park also has very few spinner attractions as those are too generic. All areas have a mixture of thrill rides and family friendly rides to keep the entire family entertained. In addition, the park features a large number of walk through attractions.

The Dragon Realm...Coming Soon!

From Mike Kinshella
Posted May 22, 2013 at 11:19 AM
I'd like to take a quick moment to say hello and good luck to all the competitors! I am new to this competition but have recently become a fan, catching up on previous seasons. I am excited to be a part (hopefully) of this year's comp and look forward to the challenges on the horizon.
Some of these park proposals are great! I honestly can't wait to see the evolution of parks like A Green and Pleasant Land, Uncharted Adventures, Scream! and the fabulous Literary Park. There are some others that I am very curious about as well such as the wild Post Apacolypse experience, Lucasfilm Park and the Marvel Park (which, although I would have personally gone in several different directions could be really awesome). I can't tell if Zombiepalooza is for real or just a joke but it is definitely strange and the proposal made me laugh. Lastly, the semi-infamous Karly's Horror Nights Park is actually a concept I considered developing before reading the audition proposals. I think it could be a really cool theme park but the proposal is strangely devoid of any references to the rich mythoogy and Icon characters that USO has built over the 20+ years of their event. The classic Universal monsters and modern properties that Horror Nights uses (Saw, F13, Nightmare on Elm Street, TCM, etc) are also nowhere to be found. It would be a shame to not use the wealth of original and licenced properties associated with the HHN brand. Perhaps Karly is saving the good stuff for the actual competition, eh?
At any rate, I am honored and stoked to compete with all of you and let my wannabe theme park designer nerd flag fly! Good luck to all!

From Tyler Harris
Posted May 22, 2013 at 12:05 PM
Im changing my idea to a horor movie based park. It will be located in San Diego, Californa. Here are the lands.

Space- The science fiction rides are in this large pavillion like ALIENS ATTACK, a simulator. Also inculded is a THE THING based wooden coaster in the "padio" of the building. More rides to come

Camp Nightmare- A mostly Friday the 13th based land with rides like an intense coaster: The Wrath of Jason, a hardcore steel coaster. A 5 star restraut here too with Swan Lake- an outdoor moblie water eatry. I will explain when it comes for it. More to come eventually.

The Manor- A light manor with dance music in the hub. This land has a 30's-50's horrror theme.
Rides include- Frankenstien, a dark ride, The Wolfman's Teroror, a 3-D simulator, etc.

123 Horror Road- This creepey neighborhood includes rides like- The Exorist, a SCARY, DISTURBING ride, Escape from Elm Street- a Freddey based river rapiads ride,etc.

Chucky's Playland- The final non- hub land has a toy store building that's quite disturbing. Rides include- Chucky's Nightmare- a inverted coaster with speeds up to 65 MPH, Barny the Devil Dinosaur, a freefall ridee, etc. I just had to include a annoying preschool charecter in the park. More to come.

The main hub is just a road leading to the lands, nothing to speacial.

GO TO HORROR NIGHTMARE, where the worst fears awiat you!!
I hope im not too late, as this is my real audition.. I cut the greek idea.

From Matt Babiak
Posted May 22, 2013 at 12:51 PM
What is website time in comparison to eastern time? I really want to do this but I'm not sure I can get it off in a few hours.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted May 22, 2013 at 2:00 PM

The website is currently Pacific time.

That gives you until 3am Eastern Time to get it in.

From Karly Tenney
Posted May 22, 2013 at 2:12 PM
Perhaps Karly is saving the good stuff for the actual competition, eh? That's what I'm doing, I know I went to far with the proposal but I liked it so much I didn't want to change it!

From Jay R.
Posted May 22, 2013 at 2:47 PM
Oh no!

I forgot to include the name & location of my Literary park. It's located in northern California (near San Francisco Bay area)

The (temp) name of the park is....

Exposition Summit: A Literary Park

From Matt Babiak
Posted May 23, 2013 at 4:18 AM
Alright, so yes this is 3 hours late, but I also believe that over the course of a multi month competition, 3 hours means nothing. I was up late writing this and fell asleep at my desk. Without further ado, I present...

Music City Theme Park
Annoyed by the music industry's inability to get a solid amusement park operating, Shawn Carter elects to sell a part of his stake in the Brooklyn Nets to bring a music themed park to his backyard.

Location-The park will be placed in Central Connecticut, just east of New Haven. Only 90 minutes away from the country's biggest city, expect the locals filling in to be in huge numbers.

Layout-The park will feature a rather unique layout. Instead of a traditional hub and spokes concept, each of the park's 3 lands will occupy a column of the park, giving the left side, right side, and middle all a distinctive theme. The lands will NOT be named Trailblazers, Old School, and the New Age, but until I find names that don't stink as much, that's what I have to go with. The park will give entertainment, but it will also teach about music and its history. One land will be themed to old times (60s-70s), and feature attractions based on the music of the time period. Another will give a look at the world of tomorrow, playing current and future music to match. The third land will consist of the men who changed the way that music was made, and had a huge influence on not just the industry but the world (think Elvis, or for our younger fans, Eminem). The park will contain numerous rides, and establish the first powerhouse park in the Northeast.

From Joseph M
Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:06 AM
Hello all. Looks like fun, I'll bite;

Positron Park

Positron Park is a destination amusement park themed to fascinating theories and characters from the world of physics and astronomy. The mission of the park is to captivate, then educate, and for guests to leave the park with an appreciation of the physical laws which govern our universe and wonder of the unknown. The tone is similar to a Sea World park; thrill rides and exciting shows make for a fun vacation spot, but one would have to try hard to spend a day in the park and not learn anything. In addition to the rides and shows, exhibits and demonstrations give families the chance to learn and play in a more intimate setting. There is something for everyone, and a bright middle schooler should be able follow all the storylines and exhibits (about the level of your typical natural history museum). However, more obscure winks and nods scattered throughout the park should bring a smile to students of science of all ages.

The park is located in the San Francisco Bay area, in the shadow of legendary laboratories such as the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as well as the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute and the famed Silicon Valley. Positron Park is initially constructed within a footprint befitting a niche attraction, but adjacent land holdings are acquired for possible future expansion. The park is divided into five lands in a classic hub-and-spoke layout in the crude form (somewhat stylized on park maps) of a spiral galaxy.

The Lands:

Electric Fields
The entrance plaza to Positron Park is themed to 19th century England in celebration of the contributions of physicists James Clerk Maxwell and Michael Faraday to the theories of electricity and magnetism and literally establishes an electric atmosphere as guests file into the park. This land is small and highlighted by an indoor electrical show and a large outdoor Tesla coil that shoots sparks through the air on the hour and throughout a nighttime show (atmospheric conditions permitting).

Nano Valley
Architecturally more colorful and abstract than the other lands, Nano Valley brings guests into the bizarre and oftentimes counter-intuitive world of quantum mechanics. The headliner here is a dark ride where guests experience the chaotic life of an electron.

Einstein’s Bern
Of course Albert Einstein gets a land of his own themed to Bern, Switzerland during the famous physicist’s Annus Mirabilis year of 1905. The wide-ranging and revolutionary theories of Einstein are displayed here, highlighted by a Test Track-like ride exploring the theory of special relativity and what would happen if we lowered the cosmic speed limit.

Sagittarius A*
In this part of the galaxy (read Sagittarius A-star) we learn about astronomy and astrophysics. The scenery is clean and modern, but the show building for a trip to the super-massive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy looms over it.

The Frontier
Quite different from that other Frontierland, this section of the park points out the limits of our current understanding of the universe and emphasizes the contemporary efforts to answer the biggest questions of all. The theming is to that of a modern-day lab; generic enough that minor, inexpensive changes to the exhibits should keep the land cutting-edge. The E-ticket of the land, and perhaps the park, is an inverted launch coaster that sends riders through a particle accelerator from the point of view of a hapless proton.

From Dominick D
Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:07 AM
Matt, you forgot to end the bold code LOL.

From Tim W
Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:59 AM
Deadlines are so very important to me and the history of this competition. We place high value on meeting deadlines, which was set for May 22nd. Over the past few years, I have become a stickler for meeting deadlines unless there is a very serious reason that is given (power outage, storm, family tragedy).

Unfortunately, we will not be accepting the latter two proposals that were submitted past the deadline. However, I am proposing an alternative. We will begin the competition with week 1 as usual, where our 16 current contestants will post. I am inviting you both to post ideas without being in the competition, and to continue as long as you would like to share your ideas. However, if one or more of the contestants do not post within the span of the 1st challenge, you may be invited to become a substitution.

From Matt Babiak
Posted May 23, 2013 at 11:52 AM
Well in case you haven't noticed the NYC area has been crushed by storms recently... Lost power between 11 and 6 and then 8 until 2:30 ove the past day.

From Tyler Harris
Posted May 23, 2013 at 12:03 PM
I hope i'm not too late, Horror Park was my final audition.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted May 23, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Hopefully this will turn off the Bold...

From Matt Babiak
Posted May 23, 2013 at 1:17 PM
Haha that worked for sure. @Joesph M don't worry about not getting to play. The sad but true fact about all these competitions is that there's no chance that everybody ends up posting. I speak from watching 4 seasons.

From Johnathan Ramey
Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:11 PM
I can't wait to see where this goes.

From Tim W
Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:50 PM

You initial reason for posting late was on account of falling asleep, not on account of a storm. I do not live in New York City, and had no prior knowledge of any power outages. However, there was ample time to still post on time and you knew of the deadline days in advance. I'm sorry if you feel this decision is unjust, but I have to keep some type of order in this competition.

From Tim W
Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:55 PM
Chad H: The park ideas sound great. The name is horrendous. I would suggest changing the name to something much catchier than “A green and pleasant land”. The one thing I fear is making a park about England within England. It didn’t work out so great for the initial conception of California Adventure. To avoid what happened in California, I would continue to heighten some of the myths as you have included in the ride concepts, like The Tower. Create exciting backstories, which I know you are fantastic with creating. Don’t indulge the safe and ordinary, let the English see the exciting side of England that used to exist or never has existed.

Alan Hiscutt: It’s great that you are going out of the ordinary and placing this park in the UK to coincide with the Star Wars filming. I will warn you not to heavily utilize current Disney ride concepts for Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Also consider the other Lucasfilm properties. They are as of much importance as Star Wars and Indiana Jones, so don’t make these movies get an inferior treatment. This Lucas Park is a very popular theme, of which I’m sure other contestants might have wanted to develop. Prove to them why you can serve this theme best!

Dominick D: This one is another touchy and sensitive theme in relation to Alan’s. You need to bring you a-game, showing others that you can create a Marvel Universe better than anything Universal has ever come up with. Although, it is inevitable to not think of Universal’s Marvel Superhero Island, try to use this solely as inspiration only. Diverge away from the proven classics such as a Spiderman 3-D simulator or a Hulk Coaster, and make the park marvelous!

Noah Vinik: The park could use some more descriptions, but I like the track you are on. Be sure to make a decision in the direction you go, whether to bill this as a well-known branded theme park or have it as a separate entity. Since you have some development of your theme, I would suggest considering high octane thrills as your central theme. Develop areas around extreme sports, fast cars, and stunts. The park would easily make for a guys’ wonderland!

Bryce McGibeny: This type of adventure or Discovery Park is something I have always longed for Disney to create. I think it is great that you are putting your own spin on it. You mentioned that in Philosophy Island that ideas would reflect on ocean, space, the past, and the future. You may want to think of making this the entrance to your park, if you haven’t already. I would also suggest considering the “future” concept and how this could possibly fit in as a potential land. This park could easily become a better developed version of Epcot’s Future World.

Christopher Sturniolo: The Park, essentially a massive Fantasyland, expands Disney’s greatest venture to new heights. I am question why this has this never been thought of to take one of the most pivotal points in Disney history and create a whole theme park, rather than a land. Be sure to not solely rely on a majority of previously created Fantasyland rides. Accessing lesser known properties, such as Robin Hood, will be a great addition to the park making it stand out from the current Fantasylands. I will caution you to carefully devise a plan for distinctive lands in your theme park so that the park is just not a huge mush of fairytales.

Matt R: I’m not sure I got the sense of how a theme park would mesh with this post-apocalyptic experience. The name of the park immediately made me think that there would be millions of teenage girls wondering where the vampires are. You may want to rethink this. The project itself seems rather ambitious, and I fear it may be overwhelming and confusing for visitors without prior knowledge of the theme park. Give them as much detail as possible to thoroughly describe your objectives for the theme park. The theme park could come out extremely successful, if executed in the right way.

Jay R: Be sure to identify a name for your theme park within the coming weeks. The park based on classic literature sounds like a great topic theme that has surprisingly not been done to death. The genres are very fitting for the park, but you may wish to consider the sci-fi genre as an option for a “chapter”. I would suggest looking to a few more authors such as Mark Twain, Jane Austen, and Homer. Be sure to investigate some best book lists or classic book lists for more inspiration!

Joseph Catlett
The park has so much potential to be a year round Halloween in theme park form. You’ve covered a lot of the bases with classic monster movies to current scares. I have a strong feeling that you will do a wonderful job adapting your concepts to the given challenges. I don’t have any other suggestions rather than just to continue on the dark and narrow path you are headed on with SCREAM.

Sandra Sims
The idea for a sports park is an interesting idea for a theme park to be based around. You may face some challenges when designing some specific rides based off of this theme. Unfortunately, everything cannot be a virtual sports experience, as what I understood was going to be the basis for your theme park. I would suggest keeping an open mind when there are challenges that include shows, roller coasters, or even dark rides. You may want to group your sports into categories that will ultimately form into certain lands. For example, consider forming groups such as ice sports, contact sports, or recreational sports.

Karly Tenney
The overall theme is really interesting and would be extremely marketable to Universal. However, my first suggestion would not be to be too specific too fast. Already envisioning a park with exactly 15 rides, and 4 shows may be difficult to plan on in this early planning phase. Be sure to get a good layout of the lands however to give us enough information to understand what the themes of the park will be.

Jonathan Ramey
The proposal sounds good, but I wish I understood some of the themeing better. From what I understood, the park sounds like a villains and heroes park. You may want to look through some of the classic Disney battles and extensively research villains for this park. I can only think how great this idea would be if it came in conjunction with the release of the Maleficent movie. Some of the lands you have proposed sound interesting, but don’t be afraid to be a little bit simplistic in the theme of each. You may find some difficulties in the conceptual lands, such as “What if” or “Ever After”. However, if you feel you can create a strong enough story, go for it!

Mike Kinshella
What a crazy idea for a theme park; just so crazy it works splendidly! You have some great proposals here, ranging from various topics of the weird and mysterious. The park sounds like a retrograde back in time to the early 1900’s America where there was a sense of adventure and mystery present in American literature and film. The park seems to make use of the time where mob bosses, high risk criminals, wild adventurers, and more were present making the park extremely identifiable with the specific time frame. I’m enticed to see your expertise in storytelling flourish in each of the coming attractions for this park!

Zombie Jeff
There is obviously an element of hilarity and sarcasm in your work, which I enjoyed. The park sounds like a very interesting experience, which would attract fans of Walking Dead. It may even be beneficial, for theming purposes, to keep that show in mind when designing other aspects of your park. One thing I found myself a little confused on was the use of Brains Land for each land with a subtitle in parentheses. You may want to consider differentiating these areas a little better. Other than that, I’m excited to see the direction you go with this theme.

AJ Hummel
After your victory last year, I was afraid that you were going to retire from the competition. The park idea certainly rivals your Wilderness Park from TPA 4. You have continued to showcase your expertise in storytelling, organization, and attention to detail that was present last year. The theming seems to be extremely original, allowing you to have expansive and unique ideas. The stories will surely develop over the course of the weeks to an impeccable level that will be present in this theme park.

Tyler Harris: Changing your idea midweek, seemed a bit odd to me. It was a slight inconvenience to all the judges who had to rewrite their critique. While you dramatically improved in the conception of this piece, the theme seemed to copy fellow contestants. You, as well as a few other people, have a lot of ground to work with in the horror genre. Make sure you differentiate yours in some way by using different movies. Also, be careful with some of the spelling. We have a very strict policy on spelling and grammar of which you were in violation a few times. We have tips for this, which you should take a look at in the rules that we have posted.

From Johnathan Ramey
Posted May 23, 2013 at 9:10 PM
yeah my attempt to be vague enough to keep myself out of a "writers/designer" block early on left things a bit jumbled idea wise. in the weeks to come i hope to show a clearer view of my park.

the ever after and what if sections are the two i didn't really go into detail a lot in my own head and will most like will go through many a tweak before final project. (le-RCT2 boots up)

From James Koehl
Posted May 23, 2013 at 10:44 PM

Tyler Harris- You changed your proposal from an original idea in a unique location to a theme already being used by other competitors. Nothing says that two or more competitors can't use the same theme, but intentionally changing yours to a theme already posted gives me two impressions: 1) you lack confidence in your proposals. You might think that your idea is the worst one ever conceived, but you have to convince both the judges and the voters that it is the best idea EVER! You will have lots of rebuilding to do to convince me of that, and 2) you showed a lack of originality. If you had written this proposal independently and decided to post it, even after the other horror park proposals, this could have been forgiven. It was obvious that you didn't do that. You must show that you can write well, spell correctly and use proper grammar or your proposals will be dismissed. I am sorry to be so blunt, but if you hope to succeed in a competition of this caliber against competitors as talented as this group it, you will have to write like a pro. Use the tools available to you, and if you need help in finding them, all you have to do is ask one of the judges. We all want you to succeed, to improve and to have fun, but in this case, the fun will require lots of work on your part.

Chad H. - I commend you for choosing a park location that you know. The first thing about writing is to write about what you know. The challenge for this choice, though, is to educate a predominately American audience/voting base about what to you is common knowledge, but to many of us is a foreign world- AND to keep them entertained. Me? I love Britain. Been there twice. My wife has been there five times. I am looking forward to your creation. Well organized proposal, with great and very inventive teasers of the potential lands/worlds, but get the name of the park nailed down.

Alan Hiscutt- Lucasfilm Studios. I wondered who was going to grab this concept, and I applaud your doing so and placing it someplace that you are familiar with. Your proposal is a bit thin on details, but as this is the first time we have attempted to design a competition in this manner this is not a serious concern. I hope that you are working on more detailed plans based on past competitions, focusing on both the winning proposals and the runners-up, but don't forget to make your park your own, original and unique.

Dominick D.- Marvel Universe! is a wise choice, one you obviously know well. Your proposal demonstrates your enthusiasm for this concept, and you have chosen a good variety of attractions that have the potential of keeping everyone in the family entertained. You have shown good organization, and that you have looked at both the big picture and the details. Be sure that you don't write too fast, letting little writing flaws slip through that can make or break a close competition. Your writing has improved dramatically over the past competitions that you have participated in, but where we might overlook flaws in an inexperienced competitor, the judges will be less inclined to do so in one with your experience.

Noah Vinik- Your proposal has great potential, but is very thin in even general concepts other than that it is thrill- ride based. Being a Cedar Point guy myself, I love the idea of a thrill-ride park in Orlando. You need to look at the big picture, the organization of your concept, and get your ideas in order. Whatever you do, don't start out any proposal by demeaning it with statements like, "It may not sound like a good plan..." You must convince your readers and voters that your plan is the best one in the competition, and you do that with being organized, thinking through the details carefully, and showing your enthusiasm for your concept.

Bryce McGibeny- Uncharted Adventures Theme Park is an extremely ambitious concept, very cerebral and one that will be a challenge to make accessible to the general public. This is a challenge that, based on your past performance, I am confident that you are up to. You have proposed lands and attractions that I never would have thought of. I love The McGib Co. reference! Very inventive! One note- the Forum is Roman, the Agora is Greek. With challengers of your caliber, errors like that jump off of the page.

Christopher Sturniolo - Disney's Once Upon a Park. I am hopelessly addicted to the ABC show, and was thrilled to see you mentioning it in your park proposal. That being said, you have chosen a park concept that might tie your hands a bit. This competition is geared at original concepts for attractions, and many of the ones you mentioned already exist at Disney parks. You must work hard to create these original ideas and not appear that you are just redressing one that already exists at a Disney park, esp. one as close as your park would be to Disneyland Paris. Your writing style shows great potential- be sure to use it to create an original park, making it your own unique creation. Disneyland Shanghai looks to be a major departure from the traditional Disney layout- your park must also be a departure, or it will look like a copy, a variation on a theme park. Make it your own.

Matt R. - Twilight. Uh, wow. I'm not sure exactly what to say. The challenge was to create a general theme park proposal, which you sort of did and sort of didn't. I'm not sure if you took a wrong turn or took this idea beyond what we as judges thought of as the goal. At any rate, I am intrigued as to where you are taking this. You might find it extremely challenging to convince the voters to come along with you on what has the potential to be a really wild experience, dark and disturbing, but certainly unique. I do commend you on proposing an experience totally different from what I ( and I suspect my fellow judges) expected. This uniqueness could be a blessing or a curse, but whatever develops, it should not be boring!

Jay R. - Exposition Summit: A Literary Park. When you said nontraditional theme park, you certainly meant it! I liked the choice of literary genres, especially how they are all classic enough that you won't run into a situation where an entire land becomes irrelevant over time. The challenge you face is to make a park that could look to the "unwashed masses" as a trip to the library into a fun, exciting, entertaining experience while still being true to its inherent literary theme. Your writing skills might need to be up the level of some of the writers you will be paying homage to if you hope to convince the voters to come along with you on this journey. Are you up to it? I suspect that you are, with careful planning on keeping your park both entertaining and informative.

Joseph Catlett- Scream! is a terrific idea for a theme park, a permanent HHN/Halloweekends/FrightFest . Based on your past proposals, you have the ability to bring fun, entertaining experiences and wickedly dark humor to a theme park. You might find it a challenge to keep this park attractive to guests who want to be entertained with a little bit of scare as well as those who want their pants scared off. I am looking forward to see how you develop this concept.

Sandra Sims- The Sports Metropolis is a great idea for a theme park, one that I am surprised nobody grabbed earlier. Your proposal is very ambitious- it is obviously one that you have thought about carefully. Be careful that your park doesn't have so many details that it loses a cohesive feel. Keep your ideas focused- we aren't expecting you to design every single detail of the park, but as judges we will be looking for unity of theme, a clear writing style, organization and a professional presentation. I commend you on choosing this theme, one that many will be interested in and be able to relate to. It affords you many opportunities for great proposals in this competition.

Karly Tenney- Halloween Horror Nights: The Park. You have definitely shown improvement in both your writing skills and your planning since TPA4. You proposal is much more complete than your earlier attempts, with enough details presented to show that you have put thought into the entire concept. It seems logical that a park themed exclusively to Halloween/horror/scare me stuff will eventually be created- you must make HHN:TP a unique park, not an exact copy of HHN at USF, using it's ideas and concepts but making them your own. You have chosen a theme quite similar to another competitor's theme, and there is NOTHING wrong with that, but that competitor is an experienced competitor with excellent writing abilities, and you will have to bring your "A" game with you every week to succeed in this competition. Hard work, careful planning and continuing to improve and develop your writing skills will be your best weapon to have a successful competition.
One thing to remember- in TPA4 the judges were inundated with zombies in one challenge- remember that your theme is Halloween Horror, NOT Zombie Horror. Don't get yourself locked into an "all zombies all the time" mindset or this could backfire on you. Expand your horror horizon.

Johnathan Ramey- Light vs. Dark Presented by Disney This idea is an interesting variation on the long-rumored Disney Villains Park. Good choice to put it somewhere other than Califlorida. I liked how you specified the Concept and Goals of the park. Very original ideas for lands- rather thin on specifics, more like a vague teaser, but certainly enough to show that you have some good ideas quite different from other Disney parks. I commend you for taking an idea that you have been subconsciously working on for years and bringing it here to share.

Mike Kinshella- Weird World Theme Park. By far the most extensively detailed audition proposal, dripping with originality and obviously carefully thought-through and organized. It is obvious that you have a deep love for the theme material. It is important to write about something that you are passionate about, but you will have a major challenge in sharing that enthusiasm with your readers and potential park visitors. Much of your material is quite unknown to most of our readers (I suspect) but that is not a reason to avoid it. You just have to work that much harder to show them why your proposals are the best. I found your writing style professional, well organized and shows that you understand how important such things as punctuation and grammar are. You have the potential to be a major contender in this competition if you can win over an audience unfamiliar with your theme material.

AJ Hummel- The Dragon Realm. This was an exceptionally well-crafted proposal, with a well-chosen original location. Your description of the various lands showed a good awareness of integration of the various themes. The background story provides a unity of theme that can be worked throughout the entire park, and the various areas are unique enough to allow a good variety of attractions. The Argetine Industries section seemed a bit incongruous to me, and it would be a challenge to explain how this land fits into the other, more natural lands.

Zombie Jeff- ZombiePalooza. I have to admit that there were parts of it that I found slightly amusing, but mostly I had trouble wrapping my brain around much of it. Perhaps you could put more thought into it- you know, "pick your brain" and do something to stimulate your gray matter. I must say that, if we have a restaurant challenge, I will be interested in seeing what's on the menu, or actually how it is cooked- we all know what the main dish will be.

From Andy Milito
Posted May 24, 2013 at 4:07 AM
My critiques will come later today!

From Matt Babiak
Posted May 24, 2013 at 4:15 AM
@Tim Not saying it's an excuse, and i agree that there's been more than enough time to get the submission in. Just trying to say that I tried and couldn't pull it off in the end. As for the alternate thing, should I be posting the day after competition is over and we round up how many people posted?

From Blake Meredith
Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:24 AM
Dangit! I was out of town and missed the deadline for this! I'm so bummed! Oh well! Better luck next year! I had very similar ideas to Weird World and Jay R's Literary theme park so i'll be rooting for you two! Best of luck to all the contestants! I look forward to it!.

From Tyler Harris
Posted May 24, 2013 at 11:54 AM
I'm sorry if I copied. Is it okay if I just use my Greek theme now that I realize I should have just edited it. Bryce might have copied a bit of my original idea.

PS I'm not going to use Scream in my park since its more of a comedy.

From Dan Babbitt
Posted May 24, 2013 at 12:35 PM
Darn I thought I had to the 25th!

From Christopher Sturniolo
Posted May 24, 2013 at 2:01 PM
Thanks for the feedback Tim and James! The reason I decided to clone certain rides was because I saw Dominic do the same with his park. I might sprinkle in a ride that isn't found in Paris every once and a while. However, I may take existing ride concepts and redo them on a larger scale (eg new Peter Pan or Alice ride instead of the one everyone knows). In terms of lands, I might classify them by country of origin (German, French, British) and I'll probably be sticking to stories that were featured on OUAT.

From Bryce McGibeny
Posted May 24, 2013 at 2:36 PM
I didn't copy anything...?

From James Koehl
Posted May 24, 2013 at 2:45 PM
No, Bryce, you didn't. You have nothing to worry about.

From Andy Milito
Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:00 PM
Tyler Harris: Changing your theme randomly in the middle of the audition phase was a strange decision, ESPECIALLY considering you chose a theme that had been done at least twice before. The choice of franchises was nice, but may have problems due to licensing and such. Your entry certainly wasn't bad, but I just feel that the other horror themed entries felt more fresh, considering this entry was the third or fourth horror park.

Chad H: I would say that your park concept was easily one of the more unique entries, and I applaud you for that. British history isn't something I'm well aware of, and I'm sure many other people don't either. Your park successfully mixed education with common theme park elements, although it differentiated from EPCOT and similar parks. The land and attraction concepts felt creative and fresh (especially Doctor Who, I know a few people who'd love that!). Overall, your entry was one of my favorites for using such an intriguing and unique theme, with a good slew of attractions and lands as icing on the cake.

Alan Hiscutt: With Disney buying up Lucasfilm from George Lucas, your choice of theme isn't a risky one, but is a good choice nonetheless. Locating the park in the UK is an interesting choice as well. Lucasfilm is actually based in California rather than England, but the fact that Star Wars Episode VII will film in a British studio gives this choice more credit. Attraction wise, the park is torn. On one hand, Star Wars and Indiana Jones are easily two of the most recognized movie franchises ever, and offer up a wide variety of attraction ideas (each could easily fill its own themed land). On the other side of the spectrum, however, there are issues. Labyrinth and Red Tails were ultimately box office failures, and all three just aren't recognized enough to be popular in a theme park. Lucasfilm just hasn't put out enough variety to fill up an entire park. Two franchises, no matter how popular they are, just isn't enough to sell the Lucasfilm name.

Dominick D: Like Lucasfilm, Marvel is a safe choice, but another interesting one. With Phase 2 of the Cinematic Universe in full force, Marvel is one of the hottest brands around. Marvel has a wide range of franchises that seem parfectly suited for a theme park. Your proposal accounted for most of these ideas, such as the Avengers and Spider-Man, even Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor. Your ride types felt limited though. Coaster here, 3D simulator ride there, and rinse and repeat. I feel that a little more variety would've been nice to establish this as a truly unique park experience. I know you want to sell us with the big name rides, but a few smaller rides scattered in would provide some variety for all ages.

Noah Vinik: Your park concept was a little generic and lacking overall. Thrill parks like Six Flags aren't nearly as popular as Disney or Universal parks, so placing one in Orlando is going to cause some issues for it. Examples of a few more attractions, or even a theme for your "theme park" would've been nice as well.

Bryce McGibney: Your park felt a lot like EPCOT... in a good way, of course. Mixing educational elements with the thrills of amusement parks has always been a cool combination. Putting your park in California, away from the aforementioned EPCOT, was a good choice too. Theme aside, your attractions and lands were varied and intriguing. Ranging from ancient history to the near future to beyond, I feel that it covered a lot of historical aspects of the world, something you were going for in your idea.

Christopher Sturniolo: Disney is obviously the right organization to partner with when it comes to whimsical stories and fantasies. With dozens of great animated tales under their belt, Disney has proved themselves well. The stories you picked are all classics, and are good fits for a park of this theme. However, I can't help but feel that it just feels like another Fantasyland expansion. I feel like the inclusion of classic rides isn't totally necessary, especially if the park is located in Orlando or Anaheim. There's plenty of stories out there, but I don't know if it's enough to account for an entire park.

Matt R: Your park was rather... dark. But that's why it's so fascinating! The theme of a nuclear fallout is kind of a risky choice, but I feel you pulled off pretty well. The theme was very immersive throughout the park, and I can agree with it being more of an "interactive experience" than an "amusement park." I can't even imagine how terrifying it would be at night! The only nitpicks I have with this proposal is how it all feels a little too political. The whole idea of factions guarding each territory is realistic, but obviously there's going to be "those people" that won't agree with the politics of the experience, maybe even viewing it as "racist." It wasn't a problem for me, but you know it can be to some people.

Jay R: Literary works offer a lot for a theme park, and you covered a good number of them in your concept (quick trivia: a lot of Islands of Adventure is based around reading and literature in some way or form!). Your park included diverse lands that had attractions fitting the literary works they were assigned to. Everything from horror to fantasy to poetry were all covered throughout in a nice fashion. I wish that a few more current, well-known franchises had bigger roles in the park though.

Joseph Catlett: It's interesting that Halloween in the second most consumer-heavy holiday each year, and that certainly gives your park some credibility. Although I'm still not entirely sold on people traveling year-round for thrills (when they can just watch a horror movie or such), your entry was very well put-together. I loved the mix of franchises throughout, mixing old and new scares together is a great idea. I also appreciated how the park accounted for families and children, while still keeping the theme.

Sandra Sims: A sports themed park is really a cool idea, and you covered some interesting aspects in your entry. Having the attractions all revolve around various sports was a very neat idea, but I thought that a little more description in your attractions would've been nice. I also wish the park had been organized a little better, with maybe lands based on certain types of sports. The inclusion of the park in Houston was a nice touch, but I felt like this could've been suited well near the World Wide of Sports in Orlando too.

Karly Tenney: I see a lot of similarities in your theme and Joseph's, as they both deal with Halloween and scares. Having your park be based upon Halloween Horror Nights was a good idea, and the collaboration with Universal was credible. But with the HHN theme, I was disappointed in the lack of franchises your park offered. HHN is known for its use of popular horror franchises, and it was saddening to see how you didn't account for them. Zombies and vampires are indeed popular, but what about the others? The Universal Monsters (Frankenstein, Mummy, Dracula)? Silent Hill? The Walking Dead? As a Universal Studios park, it seems logical to include well known franchises to sell your park.

Johnathan Ramey: I think that your park could be a worthy replacement for the villain park that was always rumored to come to Walt Disney World. There's plenty of franchises that could fit this theme, but I feel like you didn't really account for them. A few examples of rides would've been cool. I liked how the park was in the mid-west U.S. though. I've always felt that Disney needs a park or two inbetween.

Mike Kinshella: Your park was really unique, and the concept overall was very well done. Pulp fiction is a great theme for an amusement park, and your lands are themed perfectly. There were a good number of attractions that felt interesting, and not generic or cheesy. Excluding the park from Disney and Universal makes it good competition, and your park certainly has the potential to be a competitor. One of my favorite entries, you're bringing some heat!

Zombie Jeff: I absolutely love how your park is a mix of satire and humor with a serious theme! The theme of teaching guests about zombies was really unique and creative, and the idea is just amazing. I thought your lands were a little hard to distinguish due to the common name, but I think the theme is enough to overcome this minor detail. Very good job.

AJ Hummell: Having a theme of dragons has a lot of material to cover, and you did a pretty good job. With the huge history and mythology of dragons, there's a lot to work with, and I can successfully say you did very well with your theming. The mixture of thrill rides and family friendly attractions makes your park appeal to any dragon fanatics. I think including the lack of water rides may be interesting down the road...

From Karly Tenney
Posted May 24, 2013 at 3:50 PM
Andy, I didn't include those things because it was a first time proposal. I am going to be including those things later.

From Tim W
Posted May 24, 2013 at 4:04 PM
I'd like to hear some feedback from you all about the audition phase. Being the first time using the mechanism, we were very uncertain how it would go. There were two main purposes that I intended for this phase. 1.To have a manageable group of committed contestants, so that I would not have 30 people just put their name down for a signup. 2.To eliminate any potential concerns for contestants with theming, grammar, and spelling. We ended up attracting 16 contestants, not eliminating anyone.

I do have a few questions pertaining to the audition round for future competitions:

1. Do you think it would be unfair if we eliminated people in the auditions?

2. Was one and a half weeks to short of a period for the audition phase?

3. Did you feel that the audition phase contributed to the overall competition this season?

4. Did you like the audition phase?

5. Is there anything you would change about the audition phase?

From Tim W
Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:52 PM
Matt Babiak and Joseph M,

Please post as normal during the next week according to the challenge deadline.

From James Koehl
Posted May 24, 2013 at 4:51 PM
Matt Babiak- Music City Theme Park. The name sounds like it belongs in Nashville. Your proposal was well conceived as far as the general theme and overall concept goes, but was quite thin on even teaser-type of details. It seemed more like a rough first draft than a carefully-crafted foundation blueprint for a major theme park. I liked the three music themes chosen, but it sounded like they stand totally independent from each other, and all music evolves and interacts from all other styles. It appeared to be more like three small music parks rather than one theme park with three themes. A unifying concept is needed.

Joseph M - Positron Park. Challenging concept, making a science-based theme park that attempts to educate and entertain at the same time. I was very impressed with your writing style and organization. The various lands you conceived were wonderfully original and imaginative, and you presented a nice mix of thrill rides and dark rides with plenty of science overtones, enough to be entertaining yet educational.

From Tim W
Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:02 PM
Matt Babiak: I agree with the statement that it has been difficult to get a solid music theme park operating. However, the plan you suggested does not rectify the situation. I think the placement of the park needs to be in some city where music has prominence. I would hardly identify New Haven as a music capital of the world. The 60’s and 70’s could and should be easily divided into two separate eras of music. Also the third land might confuse some with the combination of people from Elvis to Eminem. I would suggest when developing your park to identify a few more concrete musical genres that will serve as lands, therefore allowing you to develop more concrete attractions.

Joseph M: You have a perfect placement for your theme park, where science is of abundance. The park follows in the science related footsteps of Epcot, but delves a physics theme that explores magnetics, electricity, and astronomy. I think you did a fantastic job differentiating this from Epcot, while displaying science in a fun and exciting way.

From Tyler Harris
Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:57 PM
Alright, I'm guilty. I'm not doing it this year due to complaints. I can sort of be a 4th judge though.

From Johnathan Ramey
Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:15 PM
1. Do you think it would be unfair if we eliminated people in the auditions?---no, it would depend on the number of people that you would have face the challenge. keep any others that didn't make the cut in a stand by for the first two weeks.

2. Was one and a half weeks to short of a period for the audition phase?---i think that is a perfect amount of time, but i would however advertise it more. i only found it by chance after the blog post by Jeff

3. Did you feel that the audition phase contributed to the overall competition this season?---No comment on this as i have never tried before.

4. Did you like the audition phase?---i like it..but i am also just a theme park geek who would kill for the chance to do something like this more often

5. Is there anything you would change about the audition phase?---keep it simple. ask for just a general park idea and a intro pitch to give a taste

From Dominick D
Posted May 24, 2013 at 6:23 PM
1. Do you think it would be unfair if we eliminated people in the auditions?

Depends. If someone had bad grammar and used little details, yes, or if there weren't enough spots.

2. Was one and a half weeks to short of a period for the audition phase?

Nope, it was enough time.

3. Did you feel that the audition phase contributed to the overall competition this season?

It certainly had an impact since we'll be revolving our attractions around a park, plus it shiws the talent we'll be seeing.

4. Did you like the audition phase?

Yup, had a lot of fun doing it.

5. Is there anything you would change about the audition phase?

Not that I can think of.

From Andy Milito
Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:15 PM
Matt Babiak: Music City was a good entry, although it has a few flaws. The park layout was a neat change, but may be a little more annoying to navigate that the hub and spokes design. A little more detail about the lands and attractions would've been nice too.

Joseph M: Another EPCOT-style entry, but still a great one. The park molded education, very complex information I might add, with thrills and the atmosphere of a fun amusement park. The lands were designed well and the placement of the park was a nice touch. Very good proposal.

From AJ Hummel
Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:19 PM
Replies to Tim's audition phase questions:

1. If there's a valid reason to eliminate someone during an audition, such as unacceptable spelling/grammar or to keep the contestant numbers reasonable, then I don't see anything wrong with it. I don't think someone should be eliminated solely due to a poor audition proposal, however.

2. It was just about right. I would maybe extend it to two weeks to match the length of the challenges, but no more. If someone can't get an audition proposal in on time given a proper time span, they probably shouldn't be playing this game.

3. I think it was a good idea so everyone can get a sense of what their opponents are capable of and know if they need to significantly adjust their gameplay strategy or not. It also helps to avoid having competitors who are not seriously committed to the game.

4. I liked the audition phase.

5. The only thing I would say is never make it a full blown challenge. Something like what was done this time...presenting a concept outline for a final park but not the actual about perfect to see what everyone can do.

From Joseph M
Posted May 24, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Ok, it's good to be officially in the game!

I won't answer all of Tim's questions about the audition as this is the first time I've done this. However I will say, as someone who had been content with occasionally lurking here, that after seeing the prompt I thought about it for a few days, then had to write my ideas down and finally signed up and submitted my proposal. Had it just been a sign-up sheet for a future challenge I honestly wouldn't have bothered.

Looking forward to the competition and seeing everyone's ideas.

From Alan Hiscutt
Posted May 25, 2013 at 2:04 AM
Replies to Tims questions:

1- Not at all. X-Factor, American idol, Master Chef, they all have prelims and people expect to go home if they dont cut it. Why should this be different?

2- Id say it was half a week too long. The contests usually gives you a week, so why mix up the entrance phase for what was essentially A brain storm session for applicants. A bit harsh? Maybe.

3- Its hard to say, It may prove to be very helpful, but my idea for example, after reading some of the comments, I am starting to wonder if i made a bad call with my theme. Might however turn out to be the best call I made as I know the subject matter well.

4- As always I love getting involved and like I said, this was like a brainstorm session, I had a dozen ideas I could have thrown out but now im locked in, I can start focusing, regardless of the challenge itself, I know what my theme is and gives me a head start

5- Again, with hindsight this will be easier to answer, right now, I think it does its job, It was a way to get things rolling and until later on, we wont know the effects of having people declare their theme parks and whether this was a good or bad idea.

From James Koehl
Posted May 25, 2013 at 6:28 AM

A few thoughts from one judge:

As you have probably noticed from reading the judges' critiques, the three of us write our opinions on the proposals completely independent of each other. We purposefully do not discuss them ahead of time, and will not read each other's critiques until ours are written and posted. We might all agree 100% on a proposal, then again we might each have totally different opinions on it, from "That was the BEST idea I have ever read!" to "What the devil were you thinking?!" I guarantee that we will always give you our honest opinions, and hopefully do so in a constructive manner.

If during the course of this competition anything comes up that will cause you trouble in posting on time, be it a personal tragedy, natural disaster or illness, LET US KNOW! Contact any of the judges privately and inform us what is going on and what we can do to help keep you in the competition. We will do all we can to help you. Through the course of past competitions we have had family members die,severe ice storms cut power for several days and a visit to the emergency room, and that is just among the judges! Honestly, keep us informed. We want this to be both fun and fair to everyone.

Now you have chosen your theme. You are committed to creating your park. I hope you are happy with your decision and your choice, but if not, whatever you do, DON"T LET ANYONE KNOW THAT YOU DON'T LIKE IT!! Your job now is to convince the readers and the judges that your park is the best idea anyone has ever had. Each challenge that is thrown at you, be it something like "design a hot dog stand for one of your lands" to "create a swim-through dark ride" must inspire you to show your readers that you idea is by far the best one ever conceived. BTW, those are NOT actual least in this competition. There is a lot to think about, a lot that the judges will take into consideration. Tim has mentioned this many times, and I know that all of the judges agree, that such things as spelling, grammar and accuracy are the little things that can make or break a great proposal. Once you have written your proposal, proofread it like your 6th grade English teacher would if she/he was grading it. Don't let stupid stuff like using the wrong to/too/two make your proposal look sloppy. Personally, I get annoyed by proposals that are unrealistic. If you are going to present an idea for a dark ride that requires the use of antigravity sleds, then you sure as heck better explain the physics of the antigravity devices powering the sleds. This is Theme Park Insider, not Sci Fi Insider. Keep it real, but use your imagination.

Once in a blue moon this site gets finicky about posting long proposals. If you find you are having any problems with getting it to take your proposals, let us know immediately! We do have some tricks to help you post if you have problems. Hopefully all of those bugs have been exterminated, but just in case we are ready to help you.

Now is the time to start getting your creative juices flowing. Tim will be sending you the first challenge soon. You should be thinking about possible ideas for your park. Go back to past competitions and see what sort of challenges were given to the competitors. While the challenges for this competition might not be exactly the same, past competitions should give you a good ideas of what to expect.

I am sure that Tim and Andy (our newest judge who I think is doing a great job so far!) share your excitement about the next several months of competition. This is meant to be fun- there is NO other reward to be taken home other than bragging rights, and those still won't buy you a Dole Whip at Disneyland. If you are not having fun, YOU ARE NOT DOING IT RIGHT! Have fun! Be creative! Learn to spell! (sorry, but we judges are a bit obsessed with that one- and don't get me started on punctuation!).

This is going to be GREAT!!

From Matt Babiak
Posted May 25, 2013 at 7:14 AM
In my defense, I had mentioned going in that I was very unsure about the details necessary in this phase. I agree it was thin, but you don't need to have any major worries about my lack of fleshing out my proposals in the future. As for Tim's questions...
1)Definately not for first timers. They might not know how much is out into it and it wouldn't be fair to cut them before they even started. An experienced player with a week showing... I don't know
2)Ill neglect to answer for obvious reasons
3)Forcing one theme to be used will have an impact for sure. I don't think anybody can tell if it will be positive or negative, but it will make a difference to have everybody know more or less what you'll be posting every week.
4)I have some concerns about a couple of things, which ill explain below
5)I wouldn't force a theme lock in from the audition phase. I, for example, received some criticism that is making me rethink my entire park design. In a normal season I'd be able to make changes freely on the fly. In this season, I'm more or less going to have to just add more details to what I already have.
Also, I see a potential boredom/lack of replay factor with everybody posting within a set topic every single week. Unlike previous years where we could vary it to fit the challenge, Karly, for example, is going to have to enjoy writing about HHN for maybe two months, and the general reading/voting public might get tired if hearing her talk about horror themed rides and restaurants.

From Matt R
Posted May 25, 2013 at 7:03 AM
Here's my answers:

2. Do you think it would be unfair if we eliminated people in the auditions?

Not at all. Unless it was me. :)

2. Was one and a half weeks to short of a period for the audition phase?

Not at all. I actually thought it was a little long-a simple week would have been fine.

3. Did you feel that the audition phase contributed to the overall competition this season?

It certainly did. I got what, exactly, might be called "information" on my competition, AND i didn't have to wait to get my proposal out there.

4. Did you like the audition phase?

I did. It helped me get my idea pretty much in order, something I hadn't done until then.

5. Is there anything you would change about the audition phase?

Not really. Besides the time being a little long, for my taste.

From Chad H
Posted May 25, 2013 at 8:28 AM
1. Do you think it would be unfair if we eliminated people in the auditions?

No. At the end of the day you need to mange the contest so it doesnt get too big, and trim some of the fat. There's no point in having a contest where there's one group of contestants who are excelling, and another group who are struggling.

2. Was one and a half weeks to short of a period for the audition phase?

Given that this is about the same time for a regular entry, and that mine was done in a very short period, I'd say it was fine

3. Did you feel that the audition phase contributed to the overall competition this season?

The whole single park development I think is a great concept. I like it

4. Did you like the audition phase?


5. Is there anything you would change about the audition phase?

The only thing I would change about it is to scale it up. Rather than the short teasers bump up the requirements to something along the lines of a full entry. This might seem a bit harsh for the new folks, but it lets them know exactly what to expect before they're committed, and helps to avoid the shock of what comes next....

From Christopher Sturniolo
Posted May 25, 2013 at 11:43 AM
1. Do you think it would be unfair if we eliminated people in the auditions?

Yes, if they wrote a poor proposal. Accept only those who came up with a decent proposal and watch their progress from there. (You may want to have multiple eliminations during a weekly competition.)

2. Was one and a half weeks to short of a period for the audition phase?


3. Did you feel that the audition phase contributed to the overall competition this season?

It gave me a chance to compare myself to the other contestants and prepared me for future weeks.

4. Did you like the audition phase?

Yes, gave me pointers on how to be successful in the competition

5. Is there anything you would change about the audition phase?

Not that I can think of.

From Tim W
Posted May 26, 2013 at 10:13 AM
Please be sure to check your emails for the 1st challenge and some other directions. Thanks.

From Joseph Catlett
Posted May 26, 2013 at 10:47 AM
Tim, am I correct in assuming that all the challenges presented will be set in our theme park audition proposals?

From AJ Hummel
Posted May 26, 2013 at 11:15 AM
Is there going to be a challenge list posted this year? It's not essential, but might be helpful for planning purposes.

From James Koehl
Posted May 26, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Joseph, I know you aimed this at Tim, but this one I can handle. Yes, all challenges are to be designed for your personal them park concept. The goal of this competition is to eventually have a complete park designed, created for your unique park concept. Judges and voter must consider both the quality of your proposal and how it fits into your overall concept.

From James Koehl
Posted May 26, 2013 at 11:45 AM
AJ, we haven't talked about that. I'll have to refer that to Tim when I hear from him.

From Tim W
Posted May 27, 2013 at 11:10 AM
I will post a list of challenges after the 1st challenge. I'm still finalizing some themes and they may change due to if people do not post in the first round.

I'm still waiting for email addresses from Mike Kinshella, Matt R, Jonathan Ramey, Sandra Sims, Matt Babiak, and Noah Vinik. If you can please email me your name as soon as possible, I would greatly appreciate it.

From Tyler Harris
Posted May 27, 2013 at 12:55 PM
I'm not participating this year, but I will post challenge rides but not actually participating. I got a great idea for next year.

From Oak A
Posted May 28, 2013 at 9:36 AM
If possible, I would like to post submissions to challenges, although not as a contestant. Is this possible?

From Tyler Harris
Posted May 28, 2013 at 11:49 AM
I think Andy did it in a way somehow last year when he was kicked off.

From Matt Babiak
Posted May 28, 2013 at 12:02 PM
There's no one stopping you from posting guys. In years past, anyone was welcome to write up their ideas. They just won't be judged if you're not a part of the competition (or at least that's how last season went)

From Andy Milito
Posted May 28, 2013 at 12:45 PM
Even in the first seasons of TPA, we had contestants posting without actually being "judged," so I personally don't see it as a problem.

From Tim W
Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:35 PM
It is certainly not a problem to post ideas, but not be a contestant. Everyone else who responded is right, unfortunately we cannot judge the other ideas.

PS: I'm still waiting on email responses from Sandra Sims, Noah Vinik, and Matt Babiak. Please email me as soon as possible so that I may email you the future challenges.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:47 PM
Maybe there is a middle ground previous seasons we have opened up a TPA discussion thread (about now) and all of the chatter and unofficial attraction postings took place there.

It helps to separate them like that, because then the contestants have a bit of a cleaner area to work in, and then the chatter thread can have an anything goes attitude...

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