Theme Park Apprentice: Tournament of Champions II

Edited: May 14, 2017, 6:28 AM


In 2010, a Theme Park Insider known only by the cryptic name Tim W. created a competition called Theme Park Apprentice, and invited to participate all who dreamed, imagined or pretended to someday build their own theme park. Loosely based on the television program “The Apprentice”, Theme Park Apprentice has grown, evolved, matured and endured through eight complete competitions, three spin-off competitions and one Tournament of Champions. In the first TOC, the Champions of the first three seasons, along with the Champions from the officially sanctioned spin-offs “The Next Walt Disney” and “Water Park Apprentice”, battled for the virtual crown, and I had the honor of narrowly winning.

It is now time for another Tournament of Champions. Five Champions have emerged victorious through six competitions. Why only five? One Champion was victorious in two consecutive competitions, so the judges decided to invite previous competitors who had narrowly been eliminated from competition to play in a special Play-off competition, to find the fifth Champion. We now have our five competitors, and now, as the winner of the first Tournament of Champions, it is my honor to:


OK, a bit dramatic, but it’s my honor to announce the competitors who will be creating it out (not battling, since everyone in here are really great guys and great sports who understand that this is strictly for fun). Here, in order of their victory, are the five competitors in the Tournament of Champions II:

AJ Hummel The winner of TPA4, AJ is an engineer with an incredible knowledge of all things coaster.
Chad H The winner of TPA5, Chad is a law student in Glasgow, Scotland and the first international champion in TPA. He is rich in theme park knowledge from around the world, from Blackpool to the Gold Coast.
Blake Meredith The winner of TPA6.1, Blake travels the country involved in the special events industry. He is a computer gaming expert.
Douglas Hindley The winner of TPA7&8, Douglas has been a firefighter, architect and at this time an entrepreneur. He is the first repeat champion in TPA.
DPCC Inc. The winner of the TPA Play-off, DPCC is the youngest competitor, a high school student with an astounding imagination and strong theatrical credentials.

The rules of the competition have already been sent to the competitors, and if anyone is interested in them I’d be happy to post them on the Discussion Page. For the general public, let me give you just a brief overview of them:

1. There will be five (5) challenges presented. They have been created by the three judges for the competition, Jeff Elliott, Scott E. and myself (James Koehl).
2. Each competitor will be sent the same challenge two weeks before it is due to be presented. Once the competition begins, which is now, the next challenge will be sent to the competitors one week later, so each competitor will have the opportunity to be working on two challenges at a time. These challenges are designed to be difficult, to push the limits of these champions.
3. There will not be a public sight vote due to problems in past competitions. The three judges will be using a point system that Jeff Elliott has created that is extremely flexible and extremely fair, and each competitor has been informed about this system. After all competitors have submitted their proposal for the week, the judges will both post publicly constructive critiques of each proposal and will score privately the competitors. The rankings of each competitor will be posted publicly after each challenge, but the points will not be posted and the cumulative points will not be posted publicly. The judges and the competitors can work together privately if they request more information.
4. This is a non-elimination competition. Each competitor will be playing to the end, and the winner will be determined by the total cumulative score as determined by the scoring system. The judges have assured the competitors that we will not read the critiques of the other judges or their scores before we post ours.

The first challenge will be publicly posted next weekend. By that time each competitor will have had the first challenge in their possession for one week, and they can post their proposal any time between when it is publicly posted and the following Saturday night at midnight site time. The final challenge will be due on June 24th, and the winner of TOCII will be announced soon after.
There are three regular judges and one alternate judge. They are:

James Koehl The winner of Water Park Apprentice and the first TOC, and runner-up in multiple other TPA competitions. In real life, he’s a pharmacist.
Jeff Elliott The winner of TPA3 and judge of multiple competitions, Jeff is a computer coding expert, father of two toddlers and roller coaster aficionado.
Scott E The only non-competitor judge, Scott has a strong background in the visual and performing arts as a photographer, graphic artist, musician and performer.
Andy Milito An experienced competitor and judge, Andy will be serving as a substitute judge and special judge when available and needed.

Next weekend you will discover what the first challenge in the Theme Park Apprentice Tournament of Champions is. We also plan on posting a Chat Thread, so that the “official” challenge thread can be kept reserved for proposals and critiques. Please feel free to post your thoughts, questions and even your own proposals on the Chat Thread. I’m sure my fellow judges agree with me that I hope you find the challenges we have created for our champions unusual, entertaining and, yes, challenging. These five outstanding competitors are the “best of the best”, but let’s see just how good they really are!

Replies (20)

May 14, 2017, 8:18 AM

Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY!!!!!

May 14, 2017, 12:41 PM

Excited to have been informed of this game. Imagineering and theme park design have been some of my most passionate hobbies of the last few years. I look forward to following along with Theme Park Apprentice and good luck to all the 'champions' in the competition!

May 14, 2017, 1:32 PM

You forgot which address we should be sending the Paypal contributions too....

Oops, did I post that here, I ment to send that by supersecretemail.....

May 14, 2017, 2:19 PM

Personally I'd prefer "contributions" to be in Euros or Bitcoins. The £ isn't very strong right now. And for those relatively new to TPA, this kind of playful banter is not only normal, it's expected.

May 14, 2017, 2:22 PM

spacemt354, welcome to the TPA family! I understand that shortly after the TOC2 is finished, TPA9 will be starting. Watch for it!

May 14, 2017, 6:03 PM

Oh, I thought on a site like this we dealt exclusively in Disney Dollars....

May 15, 2017, 5:11 AM

TPA 9....already? geeeeez, where did the year go?

May 15, 2017, 8:35 AM

Just for a little clarification, TPA9 has not yet been formally announced. We're hoping to host it this summer after TPA TOCII has ended, likely starting in early July and ending before September gets too school-y.

TPA9 will be open to all, and accessible to all, so don't hesitate to join when it happens!

May 15, 2017, 12:56 PM

Let battle be joined! I got a lot of stuff on my plate but I look forward to competing! This will be one for the ages!

May 15, 2017, 3:55 PM

Yes! I was worried that you wouldn't have time, but I should have known that the competitor in you would take over!

May 15, 2017, 8:20 PM

I thought we had canceled this whole thing. Who approved this to be posted?

May 16, 2017, 1:38 AM

Jeff, did your attendant wander off and leave you to play on the keyboard again? Everybody, ignore him. It's just time for his medication again.

May 16, 2017, 11:21 AM

I just like seeing Jim sweat! :))

May 16, 2017, 12:30 PM

After helping to run this competition for several years, it's time for me to step back into the competitors' ring. I haven't written a TPA proposal in some time, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how I stack up against more recent competitors. Okay, let's do this thing!

May 16, 2017, 1:35 PM

Jeff, the only reason I'm sweating is that it's 88 degrees in Ohio today.

May 17, 2017, 6:06 AM

forget Pandora, toy story land, star wars land, volcano bay, THIS is the theme park event of the year!

Edited: May 19, 2017, 1:33 PM

Tick Tock, Tick Tock….your time is running out….

((It’s strange…I feel like a supervillain when I say stuff like that…now I’m going to leave the room because I’m certain my overly complex device will kill the hero…hahahahaHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!))

So…since the rest of us are standing around and, much like our computers, contemplating the meaning of life and why people look strange when they don’t have belly buttons, I figured we would whet your appetite for what to expect in the coming weeks.

Week 1: Build the greatest Churo stand ever.
Week 2: Create the next greatest theme park drink/treat. Recipes will be tested.
Week 3: Take a bad theme park attraction and change only one small thing to make it awesome.
Week 4: The Big Middle Finger – Take an iconic ride, then rebuild it at the competitor’s park in such a way that the ride is much better while openly mocking the original.
Final Week 5: Delegate like a true professional. Pick a friend or group of friends to build you a new theme park from scratch.

So as you can see, we will need some audience participation on the last week’s challenge, so don’t go away.

May 19, 2017, 4:14 PM

Jeff, first of all, you do realize that nobody can post their proposals until after the first challenge is officially posted, which you should be doing sometime around tomorrow evening. They still have a full week after that to post. Second, you just confused every TPA reader and half of the judges. There is NO WAY we'd challenge our competitors, even though they're Champions, with challenges as easy at those.

May 19, 2017, 7:32 PM

Wait, James, wait! Now you're saying Jeff's list up there was simply a big joke?!

I guess there's no harm in posting this early then, after all my hard work...

 photo 51A_zpsizbno21i.jpg

May 19, 2017, 8:11 PM

That's it- you're disqualified. Jumped the gun...oh, wait. Jeff DID post that bogus challenge list. OK, you're still in...for now.

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