Shhhhhh....It's a secret.....

January 23, 2017, 9:54 PM

Is anybody watching you?


In the next couple of weeks, Jim Koehl and I are going to start a four-week Theme Park Apprentice round. I don't think this is going to count as a regular numbered session, but more as a play-in for a Tournament of Champions.

Jim thinks this should only be open to people who have finished in the top 3 in any previous tournament but not won. While I'm good with that in principle, I also think that a shortened schedule of 4 weeks including the final might make it easier for people to participate...and doing the tournament when people are not trying to massively increase their coaster count may help participation as well.

So, let's put it this way, if you were in the final three of any TPA and didn't win, you are in, just reply below saying that you want to play.

But, since we have 12 slots open, any slot that is not claimed is either going to stay open or, if enough people are interested, we could do an open play-in round to fill up the last slots. You let us know.

With a 4-week session (not including a possible play-in round), everyone will play the first 3 rounds and the top three scores will compete in the final. We are going to score things like school grades this time so the difference between first and last on a scale of 100 might only be a couple of points instead of the sequential rating system that destroyed someone who got off to a slow start.

We are looking at starting around February 19th with the first challenge due on February 25th. This will then be followed a short time later by TPA Tournament of Champions vol 2 (Electric Boogaloo).

We are going to do an "official" announcement soon, so stay tuned.

Also, if someone is really interested (and qualified) to be a judge, let us know. We have three judges lined up, but I'm willing to entertain options as well.

So far now.....shhhhhh.....its a secret....

Replies (23)

January 24, 2017, 4:46 AM

Just to explain a little bit further why this is happening, we want to have five competitors in the Tournament of Champions II, and we have had five competitions since TOCI, BUT Douglas Hindley won the last two competitions and we want there to be five different competitors (just for the record, the four past winners who are automatically in the next TOC are AJ Hummel, Chad H, Blake Meredith and Douglas Hindley, so you guys can't compete in this). For the rest of you, post your interest in here asap, or if you have questions contact Jeff Elliott or myself ( .

January 24, 2017, 7:06 AM

Let me know if I can assist in any way.

January 24, 2017, 9:05 AM

I'm in. Thank you!

January 24, 2017, 8:11 PM

Count me in

Edited: January 25, 2017, 4:45 AM

Just for the record, here are the names that we've come up with who are automatically eligible to compete in the Tournament of Champions Play-Off. We have some of their emails but not all, so if anyone knows these people in real life and think they might not see this post, contact them ASAP!

Bryce McGibney TPA4
Jay R. TPA5
Andy Teoh TPA 7 & 8
DPCC TPA 7 & 8
realdonaldduck TPA8
Anthony Murphy TPA1
Eric S Next Walt Disney
Mike Kinshella TPA5
Alan Hiscutt TPA6.1 judge
Andy Milito TPA6

Keith Schneider (TPA7) has already committed. Oscar Marquez is not on the automatic list but will compete assuming there is room in the competition. There is always the chance (probably a good one) that I missed someone, so if you feel you should have an automatic place in this play-off, then my apologies for missing you- you're in! Just tell us!! GET THE WORD OUT!!!

January 25, 2017, 7:58 AM

James, I just sent you an email, I've gotten emails for everyone except Andy Teoh, Realdonaldduck, Eric S and Next Walt Disney and I've forwarded them to you to make contact.

January 25, 2017, 9:49 AM

Great! Eric S. was in Next Walt Disney competition a long time ago. I hope he still reads in here. I think we can get the others easily. Thanks!

January 25, 2017, 3:26 PM

Hey Jeff & James!

Count me in :-)

January 25, 2017, 4:40 PM

Wow, the last time I was only a spectator for one of these was the original Tournament of Champions back in early 2012. I'm looking forward to seeing what the competitors come up with this time, as many of the finalists are just as good as the champions. Jeff & Jim, let me know if you need any assistance, and I'll be sure to keep my spring free for the Tournament of Champions.

In case anyone wants to check records or study up on their competition, here's a direct link to the Theme Park Apprentice Archive created last summer.

January 25, 2017, 10:03 PM

I'd love to join if you have space!!!!

January 26, 2017, 5:14 AM

If you still have a space I'll do it this year!

Edited: January 26, 2017, 12:53 PM

Here's an idea I'm going to throw out there and see if it sticks.

I have absolutely no problems running two tournaments in parallel at the same time.

One will be the play in for the Tournament of Champions II (Back in the Habit).

The other will be a warm-up / tune-up session for those who want to play for fun and some bragging rights. This would be open to anyone who wanted to play.

For the "play-in" event we will keep Jim, Scott, and me as the judges.

For the "for fun" event if AJ Hummel, Chad H, and maybe a third wanted to judge the event, we could then share the challenges between the two events. It sounds like we have a handful of people who want to play even before we announce this sucker...

Just a thought...

January 26, 2017, 5:27 PM

While I'm too busy at the moment to put together an entire competition, I'd be able to judge a mini-season for those who want to play but don't qualify for the Tournament of Champions. I have no problem with opening up the TOC play-off beyond top three finishers (space permitting, of course), but given the nature of the tournament I do think there should be some qualification requirements (my suggestion: If you didn't make top three, you must have won a challenge or competed in two seasons in order to be eligible). For everyone else, a low-stakes practice competition might be fun, especially for those who intend to compete in the next full season (whenever that ends up being).

January 26, 2017, 6:05 PM

I would like to enter the "for fun" event.

January 26, 2017, 7:00 PM

@AJ....I was thinking that you could be one of the judges for the "for fun" side of the event, and the "for fun" would use the same challenges at the same time, so your part would just be to judge. Most of the other stuff has been assembled already or will be by the end of the weekend. I'm hoping to get some buy in one way or another if we are going to do the in parallel "for fun" event so we can do a formal announcement Sunday night.

January 26, 2017, 7:09 PM

I'm in for the one with people who have finished Top 3. What are the start and end dates? I'm definitely interested, but don't want to commit and then find an issue.

January 26, 2017, 7:54 PM

We are looking at starting around February 19th with the first challenge due on February 25th. and running the following 4 - 5 would depend if we give an extra week for the final, which we have typically done in the past.

January 26, 2017, 9:37 PM

Jeff, that sounds like a good plan, and I should definitely be able to judge on those dates.

January 27, 2017, 8:22 PM

In that case, count me in!

January 28, 2017, 9:39 AM

Sign me up! It's been too long, I'd love to take another crack at it!

January 29, 2017, 7:37 AM

Sure! I will do it!

February 12, 2017, 7:02 PM

What excatly is TPA and is it online, or? How would one do it?

February 12, 2017, 11:25 PM

Theme Park Apprentice is a more or less annual competition held on the message boards of Theme Park Insider.

Each week you will be given a challenge and have to design something that is better than the other people playing.

An oversimplified example would be "Design a dark ride for the Marvel/Pixar Franchise Big Hero 6" or "Design a restaurant that would be located in the new Star Wars Land" or "Design the next expansion of Harry Potter Land".

This competition is designed to test your knowledge of the theme park industry, particularly about what works and what doesn't, test your creativity, and test your ability to convey your thoughts in such a way that you can paint a picture with your words. Typically, descriptions of rides will talk about the facade, the queue, the ride mechanics, a walkthrough of the ride, and other facts about it.

You will submit your entry via the chat boards and then be judged by people who are highly experienced in these competitions. Typically a single person is eliminated per week, but we are doing a shortened version this time, so no one will be eliminated this time around. The final will only be completed by 2-3 people.

If you need further information, do a search on this site for TPA and Theme Park Apprentice and you will see many competitions to peruse. Reading over some of the older competitions will give you a really good idea of what is expected this time around.

If you want to play, post in one of the threads we have going saying that you are interested. And more importantly, once the first challenge is posted, but together a proposal and submit it.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

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