Theme Park Apprentice 8: Chatter Thread (part 2)

June 16, 2016, 5:03 PM

This thread is a continuation of the previous chatter thread as TPI automatically closes threads 30 days after they are started.

As a reminder, this thread is the place to post any general discussion related to Theme Park Apprentice 8, including general questions about the competition, responses to the judges critiques, and comments about other competitors' proposals. This thread is open to anyone participating in the competition in any way, even if you are only a spectator. Do NOT post challenge proposals in this thread or they will not be critiqued and scored by the judges.

Replies (39)

June 17, 2016, 8:53 AM

Two quick questions:

1. Can my proposal for Challenge 2 be less than 3 pages?

2. Will there be a prize for the champion?

June 17, 2016, 9:40 AM

Can images be not computer generated?

June 17, 2016, 11:53 AM

Christopher, all length requirements in challenges are simply guidelines. You are welcome to submit a longer proposal if you need to, and if you are satisfied with a shorter proposal that is perfectly fine as well. That said, it is probably a good idea to not stray too far from the requirements (for example, submitting a 1/2 page proposal is not recommended).

As for a prize, at this time we do not have one. If this changes, we will announce it here.

Karina, you may use any type of image desired. We just ask that you refrain from really rough sketches (such as stick figures and line art) if possible.

June 17, 2016, 4:32 PM

The Prize is the best prize of them all - Bragging rights!

June 17, 2016, 5:50 PM

But you already won that, Chad. Why don't you give someone else a chance?

Oh wait...

June 17, 2016, 5:56 PM

Because I want em back :P

Edited: June 18, 2016, 8:34 AM

 photo Disney Royal Title.png

^^Can I add this to my original proposal? I spent long on it, uploaded it to photobucket, and I still don't know how it didn't wind up in my original proposal haha.

June 18, 2016, 11:40 AM

Karina, unfortunately threads have a life of 30 days on TPI, and after that time expires it is no longer possible to post or edit in old threads. I believe the original entry thread has now closed, but if it is still active you're welcome to go back and add that graphic.

June 19, 2016, 1:03 PM

I am super sad right now. I just spent 2.5 hours on a submission for the flat ride competition, just to realize that I had missed the dark ride competition. Judges, what is your policy for someone who misses one round? After all the time I spent, I don't want to drop out, but if your policy calls for it I can.

June 19, 2016, 1:42 PM

Kenny, not only did you miss the dark ride challenge but you also never submitted a park outline during the three week entry period. Therefore, we unfortunately cannot allow you to participate as an official competitor this season. However, you are welcome to compete unofficially. We will still critique all of your proposals and give you feedback, but you will not be included in the competition rankings and will not be eligible for the title at the end of the season. This competition is typically run at least once per year, so if you have an interest in competing officially in future seasons this would allow you to get some practice.

June 21, 2016, 4:29 AM

The challenges this year are really tough. the only other variation on a flat ride I could come up with wouldn't have fit the park at all. Challenge 3 isn't much easier (don't take my question to mean I have an idea, I don't).

June 21, 2016, 6:53 AM

With our six remaining competitors, we now have...

Two Disney parks.

Two vintage/historical parks.

Two myth/folklore parks.

The next elimination will create a great disturbance in the Force.

June 21, 2016, 7:25 AM

Fair observation Hindley. We shall see who can survive the upcoming judgment.

June 21, 2016, 4:42 PM

Ok, got an idea now. Possibly the craziest idea that I've ever had....

June 22, 2016, 3:16 AM

I was gonna do an upscale Six Flags park but school caught up to me. Maybe next year.

Edited: June 22, 2016, 4:54 AM

I want to express a concern I have, making it as a former competitor, Water Park Apprentice and Tournament of Champions Champion, and judge, and go ahead and say it- an "elder statesman" of TPA. This is aimed at the judges, and I hope none of you take this personally- you all know me and I hope you are confident that anything I say is meant respectfully and only for the best for the competition. The questions raised and decisions made about the restaurant challenge have me a bit worried. I'm seeing flashbacks (no relationship to Chad's excellent proposals- which bear a striking resemblance to a British version of Americana 1900 ;+) of the problems we created in TPA7 with too many rules and rulings. In that competition, we were so worried about saying what you can't do that we forgot to encourage the competitors to show us what they COULD do. Douglas Hindley says that there is a precedent in Russian culture of having dinners or banquets or feasts (something like that) where people could watch without dining. The English also have a tradition of that, especially with Royal Coronation Banquets of the past. If he can cite Russian historical precedent, and he is doing a Russian feast in a Russian park, then why not? What works in a park in one country doesn't necessarily work in another country (example: Duffy). Let the competitors take the risk if they want, but if they do, make sure they can prove that what they're doing can be justified. Focus less on "Thou Shalt NOT..." and more on "Thou Shalt CREATE..."

I will now use my walker and get off my soapbox.

June 22, 2016, 3:19 PM

James, for now I will say this: When the challenge was initially wrote, we were going for a dinner theater type experience. We do not want to encourage competitors to treat this solely as a show challenge or solely as a restaurant challenge, but instead as a hybrid where the two elements mesh with each other. In a dinner theater, it is generally not possible to view the show without purchasing the meal, and while theme parks are a bit of a different environment we could not determine a benefit to a theme park allowing non-diners to spectate the show.

Now, I cannot speak for the other judges, but I will say that when judging I consider what is in the initial proposal as a rule and what we later state as judges to be strong recommendations, but not hard and fast rules. For this particular challenge, nothing in the official challenge proposal states anything regarding non-diners, only that the experience must tie together the show component and the meal component and that it should be a top tier experience. Therefore, if a competitor can be convincing that a group of non-diners need to be present during the show as they are a necessary part of that specific production, I welcome them to do so. If, however, it appears that non-diners are present solely to increase viewers and their presence or absence makes little difference in the performance itself, I may choose to consider that a failure to adequately integrate the show and meal components together and rate the proposal accordingly.

June 22, 2016, 5:50 PM

But AJ, you said: "We have also decided that you may not use this as solely a show and therefore non-diners should not be able to participate." This is an example of my concern about establishing too many restrictive rules. You can't say the competitors cannot allow non-diners to watch the show then say they can allow non-diners to use the show. This is just plain contradictory and confusing to the competitors, and that is the thing that got us into problems in the last competition. If the original challenge proposal didn't mention non-diners, then don't add "recommendations" that competitors are going to interpret as rules. Just tell them to reread the original challenge, decide what they want to do and present the best proposal to the original challenge, not the original challenge with amendments, recommendations, suggestions, opinions, or anything else that can add confusion and stifle creativity and innovation. If they go overboard with outrageous ideas, it will show and will be detrimental to their proposal, but if they have a solid idea that they can defend in their proposal, it will strengthen their proposal.

June 22, 2016, 6:31 PM

James, you're right, and I probably should have been more specific with my statements as we only discussed spectators and never brought up participants. My thinking was that non-diners could be used if they were actually a part of the show, since it would be difficult for someone to both eat and participate simultaneously. However, I can see that the previously issued statements can cause confusion, so it is probably best to just say no non-diners.

One of the things we try to do immediately before each challenge is to figure out the obvious questions and agree on rulings. Unfortunately, that did not happen prior to this challenge as both Blake and DPCC were out of town with limited internet access. There are currently no known schedule conflicts for the remainder of the competition, so we will be certain to do this before all future challenges.

June 23, 2016, 4:48 AM

Being a judge is tough- I've been there, and this week must have been especially tough with your fellow judges not being available. I hope you understand and realize that I was just worried that you were heading down that same slippery slope we all went down last time, and I didn't want that to happen. I apologize for injecting myself as an uninvited "conscience" - having worked on TPA from the inside for so long, it's hard to sit on the sidelines and keep my mouth shut! Didn't Walt Disney say something like "Don't tell me why I can't do something- tell me how I can do it." Don't tie the hands of the competitors- encourage them to let their imaginations fly and create. If they get out of control, it will hurt their proposal, and it will be their own fault. But over the years we've seen some drop-dead amazing ideas, and those ideas were inspired by letting the competitors fly with their creativity. I've learned that being a judge in TPA involves more than judging- it involves inspiring, and mentoring, and encouraging, something that all of you are very good at.

June 23, 2016, 8:14 AM

James, I agree with you. I think open ended challenges are necessary for creativity. Look at the season I created. But with this specific challenge, it's very important that the two elements are almost inseparable, to me anyways. That's what makes it a difficult and interesting challenge. It should be one experience. To separate the two is to undermine what the purpose of the challenge is.

June 23, 2016, 1:22 PM

No worries, James. Like I've said before, your input is always welcome. After least season, we are definitely trying to keep challenges as open-ended as possible, we just want to make sure there is a focus to them. Yes, judging is difficult and far more involved than some people probably realize. I'm still impressed Tim W managed to keep this thing together working solo for so long, as it really has become a team effort to maintain a high level of quality in TPA competitions. I'm really curious to see how this challenge plays out and what competitors continue to come up with this season...we've definitely got a lot of diversity and some outstanding competitors right now.

Edited: June 23, 2016, 3:12 PM

>>>>Chad's excellent proposals- which bear a striking resemblance to a British version of Americana 1900

I cannot deny it has an influence in the pitch, and the "goal" of not using anything modern.

I have no issues with the challenge. The need to mix a show with the dinner element is what makes it tricky, and it is trickyness that inspires creative solutions.

(The "not modern" goal was a restriction I put on myself for that very reason!)

June 23, 2016, 5:22 PM

Just as a precaution, if I do not post a proposal in time this week I'd like to use my real life pass. While I'm currently working on an exciting dinner show, I'll be at a conference over the weekend and am unsure about the wifi situation. Hopefully I can still submit! Thanks for the understanding.

June 23, 2016, 8:34 PM

Andy, thanks for letting us know. If we don't receive a proposal from you, we'll count it as the use of your real life pass. If you are able to submit, your pass will be saved for later use if needed.

July 2, 2016, 3:47 PM

This weeks was a bit of a last minute idea. I got inspired by Saw, the show building for Derryn Brown's ghost train, and the SBNO log flume at Thorpe Park at the last minute... I was expecting to give you a roller coaster this week, but I think this is much better.

As for last week, I just wanted to say to the judges on Octopuses garden, you got it exactly right, that should have been "left off the plate" as the idea clearly didn't work.

July 2, 2016, 5:14 PM

Chad, I'm not sure what you did, but something about your post is playing havoc with the Thread. You need to take a look at it if you haven't done so already.

July 2, 2016, 6:52 PM

Whatever it did broke the edit button so I can't.
I think it's something in the second image HTML

July 2, 2016, 6:59 PM

Good work, Chad- we leave you alone for five minutes and you break the website! This is why we can't have nice things ;+)

Edited: July 2, 2016, 7:04 PM

Chad, can you edit your first post? If so, try changing the number at the end of the URL to access the editor for your other comments (it should increase for each comment so just cycle through and see if you hit it).

July 2, 2016, 9:19 PM

Should we wait to post our proposals in the thread until it's fixed?

July 2, 2016, 11:17 PM


Due to issues with the Challenge 4 thread, please refrain from posting in that thread at this time. We are working to fix the issue and will let you know as soon as everything has been returned to normal. As of now, the challenge deadline has been extended to noon on Sunday, July 3rd, and will be extended further if necessary. In the event that you are unable to wait to post, you may post your proposal in this thread and we will move it once everything is back to normal.

We apologize for any inconvenience and hope to fix this problem as soon as possible.

July 3, 2016, 2:26 AM

That should be it fixed now. The edit button is working okay, and as you've already seen with the mulitple pages, the reply button was always working.

July 3, 2016, 3:07 AM

Thanks, Chad. Everything seems to be working now. Karina and Andy, please submit your proposals by noon or they will be considered late.

Edited: July 3, 2016, 3:39 PM

Some unofficial critiques for the unofficial entries - For those who haven't read my rapp sheet I judged the last couple of games, I won the one before that, and came second in the one before that.

Unofficial Critique - Space Adventures - JRTSumner2000

Thanks for writing an unofficial submission. Its always good to see new ideas, and its great practice for next year.

I have concerns about the g-Force. An underlying principle of magic-kingdom parks is that the family should be able to experience the ride together, and I’m concerned with a 5g that older and younger guests will be, like walt when he got his burst of inspiration, sitting on a bench waiting for someone else to finish. Whilst I acknowledge Disney has been up there before with the Rock and Roll coaster, that was in Hollywood Studios and I think with its particular theming stands as the exception that proves the rule.

10 Inversions is also a lot. You’re in the top 5 there internationally, I’ve ridden Colossus with its 10. Colossus does its 10 in less than half the track, and at almost half of your top speed. It manages a lot of reduction with 0 g rolls, but even it peaks at 4.5g - I think the idea that you’re not going to get over 2 outside of the launch isn’t realistic.

Your structure appears to be a bit out all over the pace. You have a good intro with the NASA story and have done a fantastic job of painting the picture with words; then you take me into part of the track, and then stop to go back to the ambiance before telling me some stats from the track (but it suggests that a lot of the track part has been left out), then you go back to ambiance and theming of the ride.

I’d suggest taking a structure that is more like what someone experiencing the ride will see. First outside impressions, what does the show building look like? Then the queue - what do I experience in the queue and any pre-shows? Now I’m at the head of the queue, what does the station look like? What do the cars look like? Then go into the main show, tell me about the track and inversions.

If you want to call out anything specific about the ride, put that in a “concept” or “elevator pitch” section up the top. “Space Adventures is a new take spin on Space Mountain that jointly holds the all-americas record for total inversions. It uses NASA as its inspiration, with the guests/astronauts helping NASA solve a technical issue with one of their recent missions”

The final suggestion I’d make is when using an IP or brand, like NASA, put yourself into their shoes for a moment. If I was the head of NASA Commercial operations (or whatever that persons title is), if you were pitching me an idea where the is a malfunction with a NASA mission, I’m probably going to turn you down right there because I don’t want the public to think NASA=Malfunctions R Us. Instead I want people to think NASA=Amazing Engineers and Scientists.

In that end, I’d suggest a few changes to the story - rather than a malfunction the ship should be faced with an unexpected and unpredictable scientific phenomenon - perhaps there is an unexpected meteor shower, or a solar flare which affects the on board equipment, and in the best NASA tradition you’re going to fix it.

I know from my previous judging sometimes I can seem a bit negative, but I hope you’ll see this all as constructive criticism, you do have a base of a really good idea here, and I hope to see you compete in the future.

Kenny Cook - Demolition Day

I’m put off immediately by your choice of language in “Ghetto District”. Firstly, for a certain segment of the population, that’s a word that evokes some of the worst things ever to happen in modern human history. Second, if we ignore the WW2 connotation, its still a very “negative” way to put it. I’d suggest maybe give it a place name, or a mix of place names (South Central Downtown or something like that.)

I’m not sure if a Free Fall ride meeds the requirements of the challenge, or whether it counts as a flat ride (I do remember it being mentioned in that round). If this was an official submission, I would be conferring with my fellow judges, and the challenge writer in particular to see what they intended. But its an unofficial submission, so that doesn’t matter too much.

I’m a bit wary of the theming being a hotel, given the similarities to Tower of Terror at Disneyworld. You will have to be careful to make sure what you’re offering is different. Yours is being demolished which I guess is a point of difference, but both have the creepy, run down, thing going for them.

I think however you missed an opportunity for a bigger ending. What about:

>>>Once you hit the ground, the station is pitch black. Suddenly the voice comes back on and says, “good... you made it... there was just a small explosion on that floor due to a fualt with the wire... lets get out of here before…” the voice is cut off as the elevator flies back up at a rapid pace, with only gravity to slow it and bring it back down to the ground, at the base of the decent the vehicle is again brought to a stop by the rides brakes.

You could then decide if you want the voice to come back, or if you want the dark this time to be joined with silence, suggesting perhaps the voice didn’t make it.

Your structure is great. Top marks for that.

I hope to see you compete in the future too.

Edited: July 3, 2016, 4:07 PM

Oh, I am so sorry. I had no knowledge of the WW2 connection. I truthfully apologize to anyone who was offended.

July 3, 2016, 3:59 PM

I just changed the name of the area to Chad's suggestion of South Central District. Again, I am very sorry

July 3, 2016, 4:07 PM

Its okay, I doubt anyone here was offended (I don't think TPI attracts those who are likely to be), its just sometimes when you use words you have to be aware of the history behind them.

July 4, 2016, 6:09 AM

Happy 4th of July from Buyan Park and Mother Russia!

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