Theme Park Apprentice 8: Redemption Challenge

Edited: July 6, 2016, 10:50 AM

Special Challenge: Redemption

Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes can be quite costly. However, just because someone makes a mistake does not mean they are a failure. It is more important that an individual can learn from their mistakes and improve on it than that everything is perfect the first time. For this challenge, you must do exactly that...learn from past mistakes.

The Challenge:

For this challenge, you are to repeat the challenge in which you were eliminated and submit an improvement of your original proposal. You must stick within the requirements of the original challenge and should pay attention to feedback presented by judges when improving your design. While you must stick with the same basic concept, you are free to make any other adjustments you like. For clarification:

-realdonaldduck, you were eliminated for Yosemite Valley Fire Patrol. If you wish to compete for redemption, you must submit some type of interactive dark ride themed to fire fighting in Yosemite Valley.
-Andrew_G, you were eliminated for Astro Boy's Flyers. If you wish to compete for redemption, you must submit any type of spinner flat ride themed to Astro Boy.
-Christopher Sturniolo, you were eliminated for Ink and Plate Club. If you wish to compete for redemption, you must submit a nightclub style dining experience themed to Disney animation.
-Keith Schneider, you were eliminated for Hurricane. If you wish to compete for redemption, you must submit a storm themed wooden coaster.

How will this challenge be judged? Since everyone will be doing a different type of attraction, we will compare your design with both your original design and the other submissions in the original challenge by re-ranking with your new design included. Whoever has shown the most improvement from their original pitch will be readmitted to Theme Park Apprentice 8. To be fair, we will scale scores based on the number of entries in the original challenge (ex: improving 3 positions with 5 entries will be scored higher than improving 4 positions with 8 entries).

What if I am still in the competition? If you have not been eliminated, you have this week off to plan for future challenges and/or catch up on real life activity. You are welcome to submit an entry for a critique if desired, but it is not required and will not get you any bonus points. If you do submit an entry, you may select any attraction previously presented and your new proposal will replace your original proposal in your final park.

The Proposal:

For this challenge, your proposal should follow the same guidelines as the original challenge. Additionally, while you may reuse sections of your original proposal it should be obvious that you’ve put significant work into it. If the proposal appears to be the original with only minor edits you will be disqualified. To refer back to the original challenge, use these links:

Challenge 1: Dark Ride (realdonaldduck)
Challenge 2: Flat Ride (Andrew_G)
Challenge 3: Dining Experience (Christopher Sturniolo)
Challenge 4: Thrill Ride (Keith Schneider)

The Deadline:

If you have been eliminated and want a second shot at winning the competition, your proposal must be submitted by Saturday, July 9th at midnight. Not participating in this challenge will not affect your eligibility for future seasons of Theme Park Apprentice, but this will be your one and only shot at returning to the current season of the competition.

Replies (14)

July 3, 2016, 10:46 PM

I'm sad that I won't be able to find the time this week to submit . I had a lot of fun in this competiton, and I wish every one else participating the very best! Your ideas are all awesome, and I'm sure whatever we see in this round will be great!!

July 6, 2016, 10:48 AM

Andrew, thanks for participating in Theme Park Apprentice 8, and I'm glad you enjoyed the competition. You had some great ideas for your park, I just think you tried to include a little too much in your attractions, causing a detrimental effect on the overall quality. I hope you continue spectating the competition and will consider competing again in a future season of Theme Park Apprentice.

July 9, 2016, 5:25 AM

Yosemite Valley Fire Patrol

Yosemite Valley Fire Patrol will be placed in the Yosemite portion of the West Coast area. This will be a screen based shooter-type attraction giving guests a simulated experience of fighting fires in the yosemite valley.


This ride is entered through the door of a fire station. Outside the door is a sign reading “Yosemite Valley Fire Department. Help Wanted” From this entrance, the queue is themed as hallways winding around, passing doors labeled “Chief’s Office” and “Employee Lounge”. Behind windows near these doors, silhouettes show scenes of firefighters in action. For example, the “Chief” may be frantically pacing, showing that he is stressed about something. The other firefighters may be preparing for a new mission, putting on gear, taking care of equipment, etc. Eventually, we are led into the “Yosemite Firefighting Hall Of Fame” where guests can see photos and equipment from real fires in the area. At the end of this hall, guests are sent to a marked waiting area to enter the pre-show. Here, guests may have a hands-on experience with real firefighting equipment. They can try on hats, aim hoses, and wear real jackets.


The pre-show room is themed to where firefighters get ready for a mission. There are doors across from where the guests entered. Equipment hangs on the walls, and there are three screens on the left wall. of the room. Once the doors close, they go static for a second before a man appears on them. “Hello! This is Chief Davidson, director of our firefighting program here in the Yosemite Valley. First off, I want to thank you for volunteering at our department in this time of need. You see, we have a bit of an issue in quadrant five. We need you to go down there and join the rest of our fleet in putting out the fire of the century. All of our modern trucks are already there, so you’ll be using the old fleet. Oh, and if you’re smoking out there, you’d better be on fire. And you should be far too busy for flash pictures. It’s already pretty bad, so we need everyone we can get.” The doors on the left open, and guests exit the room.


Upon exiting the pre-show, guests find that they have entered another garage, where the guests board “old-fashioned” fire trucks, seating two columns of three facing outward.

Each seat also has a hose with an attachment causing it to fire like a pistol.

The Ride

The vehicles begin moving forward, and a garage door opens in front of us, leading us out into the forest. Nothing is on fire, so guests will not be shooting yet. The scent of pine can be detected. The trucks seem to accelerate, although it is really just projections moving past rapidly. This is joined by siren noises. Guests pass trees and large cliffs. After the initial “acceleration” guests simply move forward, until they take a sharp left. Whilst speeding through the forest another transmission comes through. “It’s me again. The fire is not far off. Each of you has a hose near your positions, just put out the fire by pulling the trigger to release a stream of water.”

While guests are firing, screens in front of them show a score. This score is calculated by finding the seconds guests are actually putting out fires(on target), times the accuracy of their shots (accuracy found by calculating time on target/time shooting). This product is then multiplied by 1000 to give guests a sense of fulfillment. This formula should give the average guest a score between 5000 and 8000. The formula would be written as Tot x (Tot/time), where Tot stands for time on target, and time stands for the total time firing.

Guests now exit Tunnel View, and get a wonderful view view of the valley, except on fire. This view of the park includes El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridal Veil Falls. The valley is laid out in front of you, and guests can see where they need to go to continue fighting the fire. Here, guests can experience the scent of smoke, and heat from the flames.

Soon the guests are in the dead center of the flames. As guests pull their triggers, water (on screen) appears to be firing out of the hoses at the fires. When “water” hits a fire, the flame goes out temporarily. Guests wind around and through the forest, seeing some on Yosemite’s greatest landmarks such as El Capitan, Half Dome, and later Yosemite Falls throughout this portion of the ride.

After a few minutes of firefighting, another transmission begins. “Come in! Can you hear me? We began evacuations of the valley before you were sent out.” The chief sounds incredibly frantic. “One village still has a family in it! We need you to find them and get them out of there now!” Another speed simulation starts, flashing screens and sirens. Guests pass other firefighters, but the guests are not in full attempt to put out fires now.

Guests take a fast right, nearly making a full circle before swerving left. Guests seem to be lost, and even go through burning trees. To do this, the screens on all sides will close in on the vehicles in a tube shape, with the screens showing the inside of a burning Giant sequoia. They take a right and see a herd of deer bounding away. Another hard left and a tree seems to crash down in front of the truck, and guests make a quick right to dodge it.

The vehicles continue speeding until they reach the village. Many of the houses are on fire, and the vehicles have slowed down, allowing for more firefighting.

Guests can now ramp up their scores by fighting more fires. As vehicles move up and down the streets, they can fire at the houses and fences, and put out the fires.The intense heat has returned, as has the smell of smoke. Another transmission comes in. “Ahh. I see you’ve made it to the town. Now, just find the family and get them to safety.” Guests’ vehicles move up and down the streets until they see a lone house. A large hole in the wall is where our truck enters.

Once stopped in the house, guests realize their hoses no longer fire water. Guests on either side will be seeing the same video, so that all may see. Out of a corner, underneath a table we see a family of three crawl out and into view. “Are you with the fire department? Can you get us out of here?” one of them asks. Via radio, we hear the chief answer.

Chief-Yes, we’ve sent this special team to come get you.

Family member- Oh, so (to family) let’s go! They’re here to get us!

Chief-Just grab hold in the back, and be prepared to hold on tight!

The family moves closer to the back of the vehicle and get on. The chief cuts in, “Get out of there now! The whole house is unstable! Just GET OUT!” The vehicle launches forward, and once they reach the opposite wall, they seem to break through it and a wall of fire. This effect is achieved by the wall sliding down into the floor, much like many automatic doors slide into the wall. The wall of fire is created by large amounts of steam being released from all sides with orange and red lights shining on them.

Guests go back into a speed simulation, making “rapid” turns. Left, around the village, then straight to the fire station. The vehicles pull back into a garage, where the chief is waiting for us with a team of medics. The medics take the family (who appear to be fine) into a separate room. The chief then congratulates the guests. “Welcome back. The board has decided to promote you all to to Senior Firemen! You have all saved the forest, and several lives. Thank you.” The vehicles move forward into an unloading bay, that is where the guests got into their vehicles.

Overall, Yosemite Valley Fire Patrol will be a great new attraction in America the Beautiful Guests of all heights and ages can enjoy this fully immersive attraction.

Yosemite Valley Fire Patrol

Join the team. Stop the fire. Save the forest.

July 9, 2016, 11:09 AM

+Kolbeck Mine Ride+ (Unofficial Submission)

Hi Everyone, I joined this competition late so I never submitted in this round. My submission is a Sally Corp interactive dark ride with Oceaneering Vehicles. It also includes projection screens. This ride is located in the Redwood Forest themed area and is themed to an old mine.

Capacity: This ride has a maximum capacity of 2,160. The cars travel through the scenes in groups of 2.

Exterior: The exterior looks like a mine. There are faux trees and rockwork covering the building. There is a sign on the rockwork that says Tours Today!

Queue Room 1: After you enter the mine, there is a small room with switchbacks. It looks like the storage and planning room for the mine. There are switchbacks in the middle of room with theming on all sides. There are some barrels, boxes, maps, desks, and other related things. You enter a “tunnel” that goes deeper into the mine.

Queue 1-2: The tunnel is really just a narrow passageway that leads to the next room.

Queue Room 2: This room is very large (30 ft. tall) and grand and looks like one of the caves in the mine, and is covered in theming. The switchbacks are the same style as the room before. There are mine carts, mining equipment, and even a huge waterfall off to the side (this is just a large screen with rushing water projections and sounds). This is a very beautiful room. You enter the next room through large metal doors

Preshow: After going through the large metal doors, you’re in the preshow room. An employee dressed as mine worker will let you into the room in groups. This room looks like the dynamite storage room, and there are no switchbacks in this room, it is just an open standing room. A TV sitting on a box suddenly bursts to life and a mineworker is on the screen. The mineworker on the screen explains that its Kolbeck Mine’s 100th birthday, and so to celebrate they are opening the mine today only for tours. The doors open and he wishes you fun on your adventure.

Pre-Loading: This room looks like the place where mine carts come to load and unload. There are boxes of gems and other theming to support this idea. Once you exit the preshow, and employee will assign you a row. The “exploration viechles” pull up, and you get into them.

Room 1: The cart pulls through a hole in the rock into a large room. There are many animatronic miners chipping at the rock in addition to mine carts moving along their tracks. The voice from the preshow explains that this is the gem-mining cave. The cart moves slowly through the scene, turning slowly in 360* circles so you can see everything. The voice tells you that we are now heading into Whirlpool Caverns. The car whips right and heads into the next room

Room 2: This room is not as big as the previous one but it is quite beautiful. As you travel through the room, the car tilts down to show colorful whirlpools swirling around below you. There are colorful lights lighting up the walls as well. The voice comes back on and tells you that the next place we’re going is the Loeman Cave. The car turns and enters a large tunnel.

Room 3: The large tunnel is long, but narrow, and not that tall. The walls have colorful gems that light the room in various colors. The car moves slowly through the room, turning to show the entire tunnel.

Room 4: This room is large and colorful and and has waterfalls and hot springs all around. It also has the same style lighting as Room 2. But there is a problem, the room is covered in dynamite sticks and sparkling wires. The car slows to almost a halt, but still keeps turning. The voice comes on and explains that they made a wrong turn, and that they are going to go back. Suddenly, the car starts violently bouncing, the lights flicker, and the water starts sloshing. It was a small explosion! Once the shaking is done, the car turns back to the tunnel, only to realize that its covered in rocks! (This effect is done by a screen with rocks on it quickly sliding down). The voice explains that they have no choice but to go on.

Room 5: This large tunnel is long, but narrow, and not that tall. The car moves through this room at a faster pace than normal and doesn’t turn very much. The tunnel is covered in dynamite. The voice says that they think they found a way out and to hold on.

Room 6: This room is large and has many waterfalls and mine carts filled with gems. There is also a lot of dynamite and sparkling wires. The car moves through the room at a brisk pace, turning to see if there is an escape. The voice suddenly bursts to life, yelling to hold on, the cave’s going to blow. Large booming sounds and flashing lights start and smoke starts to fill the room. The car starts to tilt and bump rapidly as it stealthily moves to the next room. All the lights and noises stop, and the screen that divides the 2 rooms slides down.

Room 7: This room looks like the cave after the explosion. The lights dimly come up and you can see broken mine carts, fallen rocks, and other mining equipment littering the floor. The car slowly moves throughout the room, slowly turning so you can see everything. The voice suddenly appears again and explains that some of the dynamite went off prematurely and that they’re getting us out now. The car slides into the unloading room.

Unloading: This room looks like a storage room for mining equipment. There is a screen and wall keeping the loading and unloading room separate. After unloading you walk through a short, but large tunnel to the outside. To enhance the theme, there is no gift shop.

Please Note: There is no actual water in the ride, all the waterfalls and whirlpools are projected images with water sounds. And by screens, I mean the sliding thing you see when leaving the station on the ride Cannibal at Lagoon. Sorry I didn’t put photos, I don’t know how. Hope you enjoyed.

July 10, 2016, 12:24 AM

The deadline for this challenge has now passed. Realdonaldduck, as you were the only competitor to submit an official proposal for this challenge, the judges will vote whether you have improved your attraction enough to earn Redemption. We will have a decision for you, as well as critiques for all submitted proposals, at some point tomorrow.

July 10, 2016, 8:27 AM

Sorry, but I'd like to see when I should expect to know if I'm going through. When you write "Tomorrow", do you mean the 11th, or the 10th. (Confusion made by posting at 12:24 am.)

Sorry for the inconvenience.

July 10, 2016, 8:43 AM

I'm so sorry! Me and DPCC inc. share a computer and we both forgot to sign out of his account. Now I really apologize for the inconvenience.

July 10, 2016, 10:59 AM

Sorry for any confusion, realdonaldduck. Tomorrow was intended to mean Sunday, as in July 10th, and hopefully by mid-afternoon. Once all the judges have read your proposal we will vote via e-mail and announce the decision. Even though you are the only one who posted, we unfortunately can't readmit someone due to a win by default.

I'm also going to suggest that both you and DPCC start logging out of your account after posting instead of leaving it constantly logged in, at least for the duration of the competition. As incorrect posting has happened twice, please be extra mindful to prevent it from happening again as it can cause confusion.

July 10, 2016, 2:40 PM

Critique time!

Realdonaldduck (Yosemite Valley Fire Patrol): Without giving away numbers, I will say that I liked your original proposal the best out of the three judges. I'm glad that you've taken an opportunity to improve your work and create a more fleshed out attraction that works as a really nice family dark ride. The queue and pre-show of your attraction appear to be mostly unchanged, but they were fine before and they are still fine. I do like that you've given the facade a more "national park" look than just a typical fire station appearance, and I do like the hands-on elements in the pre-show waiting in particular will really enjoy this. I'm glad to see you took my suggestion on the seating arrangement and I think that makes a lot more sense for your attraction given that screens will be to the side of the vehicle instead of in front. Using simulated speed via projections (and perhaps fans...not mentioned) is an improvement and will probably feel more real than actually accelerating the vehicle. Your scoring system works, but it does have the problem of score decreasing if guests spend too much time shooting at nothing. Instead of multiplying them together, I'd suggest giving guests a base score for Tot and bonus points for accuracy, such as this: score = (Tot x 1000) + ((Tot/time) x bonus), where bonus points are calculated either scene by scene or for the overall ride. There are more scenes in this version of your attraction and I feel it gives your ride better flow. The burning sequoia is one section of your ride that would benefit from being a practical set, particularly if guests are not shooting at anything here. I know I said keep it one way or the other before, but this was intended as a warning to not have too many practical pieces where guests are supposed to be shooting at screens. The finale of your attraction is improved as well, with the house presumably burning and collapsing around the vehicle just as they escape. Overall, I think you've improved your attraction significantly from the original incarnation. Instead of just fighting fires in a forest, you've got a clear progression of various scenes that showcase some of the landmarks of Yosemite Valley. The only thing I might suggest is adding a little more reason for driving between scenes (ex: As you finish one area, a distress call goes out elsewhere and you go to assist), but even without that it is a solid interactive dark ride that will appeal to all audiences.

Kenny (Kolbeck Mine Ride): Even though there are numerous versions of a mine ride out there, the theme is a good fit for your park. Sally Corp is definitely becoming a leading dark ride manufacturer among regional parks so they are a great choice for your ride. Assuming you are using the same 6 person vehicles found on Justice League, your capacity is way high. Even with two cars at a time and efficient operations, best case scenario will be in the neighborhood of 1,400 riders per hour. The exterior of your attraction fits with the theme and your queue is an excellent atmospheric queue. The preshow feels a bit unnecessary here as the information provided could easily be conveyed in other ways during the queue. The opening scenes of your attraction are great and remind me a lot of the Calico Mine Ride at Knott's Berry Farm. I do suggest rerouting the vehicles so that they turn to view the scene rather than spinning around while passing through. Once the explosion happens, the ride should change from a tour to an escape. However, I feel that the latter half of your ride is a bit of a disappointment in this regard. I was hoping you would have the trapped riders frantically searching for a way out and crossing dangerous paths (such as narrow ledges and swift currents) to do so, then stumbling upon something impressive before returning to the main path. Unfortunately, it instead feels like you're merely racing to get out while the mine blows up around you, which does work for thrills but has very little story payoff. It also makes it feel like either the mine has been sabotaged or the mine is just completely unsafe when over half the ride is devoted to escaping blasting. Overall, this is an attraction that starts strong but unfortunately finishes weak. Up until Room 4, everything is quite good, but after that point things start to fall apart. You've definitely got potential with the ride system and theme, so if you retool the attraction with a satisfying story and better use of the motion base you'd have one of the better regional park dark rides.

Kenny, for doing images your best option is to upload them to an image hosting site (I use Flickr, but any should work). Once they are uploaded, you should be able to get a HTML code that links to the image. Make sure you select a display option that is less than 560 pixels wide, then just copy the HTML code into the appropriate part of your post.

Edited: July 10, 2016, 3:08 PM

Just on the image thing I find for some reason that I can only use images that I upload to Flickr on this site. If I find an image elsewhere on the internet using regular HTML code doesn't work.

I don't think its unique to Flickr, as I usually strip out everything from its suggested code but the IMG tag from Flickr... but if I cut/copy a different image source in, it goes wonky - either not displaying, or well, you saw what happened last week (ultimately I decided a shot of the SAW queue at Thorpe Park didn't add anything to the proposal that wasn't in text).

I hate having to put other people's pics up there temporarily as they're not my work, but I can't figure out a way around the problem.

Anyone else seeing something similar?

July 10, 2016, 6:07 PM

Chad, that's interesting. I never knew about that and have never run into that problem, though I almost always use Flickr. If I get time, I'll do a little investigation and see if there is a simple way to work around it.

Realdonadduck, by a unanimous decision we have decided that you have earned redemption and are hereby readmitted to Theme Park Apprentice 8. Challenge 5 has already begun, so take a look at the challenge and get to work. Remaining critiques should be posted later this evening.

July 10, 2016, 6:16 PM

Real Donald Duck - Yosemite Valley Fire Patrol

First, I want to say that you've made incredible progress since your original proposal. Your concept is almost the same, but the writing has improved greatly. Your queue and perhaps seem nearly identical, but the change of your facade will be a much better blend with its surroundings. The alterations of what's happening behind the doors in the queue makes a big difference and is much better at setting the scene. Your vehicle set up makes much more sense, but I don't see how leading and unloading could happen in the same place, as you suggest, as it appears people would have to load the car from both sides. The story of the family is more present this time than in the original, without detracting from the game aspect. In the original one, it felt like it was just leaving the game too early and not giving it it's run. This makes the family saving just as fun and intense, whereas before it was a bit boring. The way the family speaks in the dialogue is far too casual for having their lives saved though. You've done a much better job giving us one scene at a time, and it makes the proposal a much better one overall.

Kenny, I'll posts your critique as soon as possible.

July 10, 2016, 9:55 PM


I'm glad to see that you've decided to give a shot at redemption. You have learned a lot from your initial proposals. The first thing which sticks out to me is the improved grammar and focus, something which is very important to writing in general and something which separates great entries from good entries. It's still not perfect, but it is leaps and bounds above your initial proposals. My main critique of your original proposal was the lack of innovation. While the core of the ride has remained the same, you've added enough unique elements to make it a noteworthy dark ride. Your inclusion and description of the dark ride elements is appropriate and welcome. The large sets which riders would go through, coupled with the projection effects, really push the ride from a standard shooter into an intense immersive experience. The revised queue and pre-show add a great touch to the storyline and set the stage for an intense ride. The finale is surely the highlight of the ride and adds an emotionally satisfying experience.

Going forward, be sure to keep improving your grammar and details. You've come a long way but could still improve. Also, don't be afraid to break out of the mold. Your original proposal was a very run of the mill shooter. The revisions you've made in this round prove to me, however, that you have the potential and ability to expand your imagination and present innovative and competitive entries.

July 19, 2016, 7:36 PM

Thank you AJ for your crituques. The main reason I had a preshow was becuase I was worried that if people were on thier phones, they would miss the concept, and then the story would make no sense. Thank you again, and I will be posting in the themed area challenge!

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