July 16, 2017, 7:59 AM

Welcome, competitors. As a reminder, there will be NO eliminations from Challenge 1, so even while we’re still fine-tuning our critiques, you’re welcome to start thinking on Challenge 2. Which is…


Even the greatest theme park has room for improvement. Often there’s that one lousy roller coaster which just isn’t up to par. Maybe it’s a Vekoma Boomerang, or a crumbling woodie, or Mind Eraser, or something else.

For this week’s “Theme Park Apprentice: Extreme Park Makeover” challenge, you are to select a low-quality roller coaster from any park, and either replace it or restore it. Using the same footprint, remove a poor experience and create one that will be a park highlight. And since this is Theme Park Apprentice, theme the new ride appropriately for your park. Show creativity. If you’re topping a wooden coaster, don’t simply re-track it. Think of Magic Mountain’s Twisted Colossus as the bare minimum. For a total replacement, make us forget the older ride ever existed, like Kings Island’s Banshee did to Son of Beast.

If you are unsure of a particular roller coaster, of if you even need a coaster recommendation, the judges are always here to help.

All proposals are due on Saturday, July 22nd, at midnight site time. Late proposals without an acceptable excuse will see their point totals reduced.

Judges will be scoring by the following criteria:

Overall proposal quality: 40%
Writing: 15%
Reality check: 20%
Met challenge: 25%

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Replies (9)

Edited: July 22, 2017, 9:36 PM

Velociraptor's Revenge

Coming to Dorney Park in 2018 is an all new, state of the art, totally immersive new GCI Wooden Coaster that will thrill riders with an 116ft drop, and speeds of up to 56mph. Guests will feel the G-Force as they experience 12 Airtime moments on this thrilling rollercoaster replacing Stinger. Get ready to scream on Velociraptor’s Revenge.

Why I chose to replace Stinger is not just the fact that it’s rough, and has slow operations, but I mainly chose it due to its extremely excessive downtime. Even if it was a good ride (which it isn’t), it would be much wiser to use that space for sometime that didn’t bleed money for the maintenance department, and that guests could enjoy.

Entrance: As you walk pass Possessed, you’ll feel an intimidating spirit flowing through the air, as the sounds of guest’s hearts pumping starts to grow. The dense shaded trees now scorched provide an eerie feeling. A small clearing in the newly planted woods show a grand sign reading Velociraptor’s Revenge, that is placed next to a channel of wooden fences that are the queue of this ride. Just across, you see a Ghostbusters looking futuristic Jeep that has been all mashed and mangled, apparently from smashing into the adjacent tree. A little radio static buzz with a small voice saying “Sara? Are you there? Come in. Come in.” is frequently heard, and small pockets of mist and faux smoke pop out of the radiator occasionally.

Queue: The Queue is heavily themed around DPDRI Inc. or Dorney Park Dino Research Institute, and heavily relies on landscaping to tell the story. As you enter the queue, you’ll instantly be immersed in a forest environment full of the smells and sights of the great outdoors. Boulders and shrubs fill the rocky trail surrounding the queue’s concrete paths as trees tower above. Artificial scents and smells create a peaceful environment, even if humans disturbed it. Scattered throughout are various high-tech and futuristic airlock gates, caution lock boxes, and concrete/chain link barriers to make you feel like you’re almost in a Forest version of Jurassic Park. The occasional sound of a Dinosaurs’ lonely cry can be heard in the distance. As you reach the end of the queue, the Preshow Sectioning grouper counts out groups of 24, and leads them into the preshow room. When entering into the preshow area, the 24 guests are assigned a row, there is choice of available rows, but no waiting for the next train to get a specific seat

Preshow #1: As you enter the spacious and highly futuristic looking tech lab, you’ll see vivid LEDs, mechanical robots, colorful buttons, and other various things scattered about. As the metal palates on the wall reflect off the industrial floor, your eyes are drawn to a lab table full of various chemical solutions and glasses full of colorful materials, standing elevated on a platform overlooking the room. Suddenly, a frazzled young scientist lady (Live Actor, not Animatronic) is studying her test tubes and looking at a chalkboard with various symbols, when she pauses for a moment. She then looks up, realizes that you’re here, and welcomes you Dorney Park’s Dinosaur Medical Research and Development Lab, and introduces herself as Allison Healy. She starts doing some general small talk when suddenly her radio bursts to life, jutting out, “Human Evac, Level 6.” She immediately, and quickly explains that they’ve been on a Level 3 Aggression Alert for the past couple hours, after a Dinosaur picked up a Facilities and Maintenance Jeep and whipped it into a tree, but a Velociraptor has just escaped it’s containment habitat, and it has been upgraded into a Level 6 Human Evac Alert, and everyone is going to be evacuated immediately. Crash!! A giant hole is ripped into the wall, and using projections with screens, a large T-Rex appears!! “Hold On!!” Allison yells, as she runs over to a large cannon looking device, “Get Down” she screams as a small billow of blue stage smoke bursts out at the Trex, causing the Trex on the screen to stumble away. She yells for you to run to the Military Evacuation Sector, as the high tech, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis style doors, swing open. The Station Loading Side employee runs in pulls everyone, going from Row 12-1, into the station

Station: The “Station Loading Side” Employee makes sure each pair is quickly put in the correct loading stall, and the air gates open to let you board your high tech Military Evacuation vehicle. The panic inducing flashing red lights stream throughout the extreme modern light blue lockdown Evac room. A metal sliding gate stands ahead of the train, as the musky floors absorb the vibrations of the roaring Dinosaurs outside. As you board the white armored cars striped at the bottom with yellow/dark grey caution tape, employees assist you in getting any luggage that might be with you into the extremely large pouches on the front of your oversized Millennium Flyer car. After a quick lapbar check, the metal grate slides open and you roll out of the station into the pitch black building ahead. The Metal Grate closes, and even with the Flashing Sirens and Roars of the Dinosaur, you deep down know that there’s no escaping now.

Ride: Your GCI Flyer trains, equipped with on-board audio, start climbing up the enclosed, and extremely military looking escape tunnel (aka the lifthill). The sirens softly sound out, and little smoke machines blast tiny bits of stage fog at you, adding to the sensory overload. A small fizzle sound is heard from the speakers, when suddenly Allison’s voice bursts to life and yells, “Watch out!! It’s coming right for you!!” And using screens and projections, you look up to see the roof of the Evacuation Tunnel being ripped off by a Giant Velociraptor (done through screens and projections)!! “Run!!” she yells. The trains break free from the enclosed lifthill, and dive down a 59* drop, before shallowing out into a very small double down, providing some epic airtime. The ride then whips into a hard right, up banking twist, before rapidly switching directions and diving down in a spiraling left drop. The ride then hits an ejector airtime pop before heading into a large, left hand, slightly beyond 90* overbank while you can hear the Velociraptor’s screeching ahead. Everyone screams again as the ride flies under a faux bridge, with a giant animatronic dinosaur on top that leans down in an attempt to snatch up your vehicle, which gives a really cool handchopper moment. After an insanely quick triple S turn, the ride whips up in a left hand turn before quickly diving into a triple down followed by a triple up. The ride is about to make one final move, and an insane element that is. After the final triple up, the ride dives into an almost 60* drop, which is sure to provide one of the best airtime moments in amusement park history, before hitting an extremely hard 180* left turn, which then leads into a final hill up where you literally proceed to smash into a flat section of track, and quickly roll into a futuristic, Transformers inspired, ride building. It is extremely modern and looks exactly like what Allison’s Lab looked like, futuristic, lots of test tubes with bright chemicals, colorful buttons on the walls, robots moving in various positions on walls, etc. The lab seems quiet, too quiet, and then suddenly, an animatronic Velociraptor bursts through the wall in a blaze of smoke. It gets right up in front of the car and starts screeching and moving its head, and then that faint buzz from the speakers appears again. “Hey Everyone, you might want to get down. Activate Diversion Tatics!!” Allison’s voice commands. Suddenly, a smoke machine blows a puff of fog at the riders, at the same time a small tube pops out with a ball of fire (which is a safe distance from the track so we don’t have Lightning Rod 2.0). Suddenly, the air is filled with the sounds of glass breaking, alarms sounding, the Velociraptor roaring, at the same time the smoke, fire, and air blasts are firing, as this moment is really meant to be a complete sensory overload. “Hold on tight!!” Allison screams as suddenly there is a large jolting sound, and the ride freefalls into complete darkness. After a quick 21ft fall, the compressed air brakes kick in, and the track is slowly lowered to the ground with a thud. Still in complete darkness, a faint voice buzzes out, “You guys okay? I can’t believe it, but we actually defeated the Rouge Dinosuar!! Lets get outta here before any more attack, our evacuation team will help!! Feel free to stop by Dorney Park’s Dino Research Institute anytime!!” Dim blue lights suddenly rise as the restraints release, and riders exit. This room has piles of worn wooden crates, and twisted metal all around with a flickering light or two, and is really meant to make the riders feel like they just fell down two stories into an unused basement.

Ending: Rider’s then exit out of a run-down, but still high-tech looking pathway and into the official “Dorney Park Dino Research Institute Gift Shop” where they can buy various Dinosaur paraphernalia to remember their extremely special ride on this unique GCI!!

Overall, this will be a fantastic addition to Dorney Park, mixing a destination coaster with world class theming, and would honestly be one of the top rated wooden coasters in the world. This would definitely be something special to put Dorney Park on the map. One last, super quick thing, since I know this is probably a question you have, the lady who is hired to play Allison will be cast based largely in part due to her voice similarities to the on-board audio. I understand it’d be completely weird if Allison (Live Actor) had a completely different sounding voice than Allison (On Board Audio). Thank you everyone for reading my insanely long proposal, and I’d love to answer any questions you might have!! Hope you enjoyed!!

Edited: July 17, 2017, 9:28 PM

*If time allowed, I may expand on this throughout the week, but wanted to get the core idea out there. Unfortunately it just seems like the time bug will follow me like a shadow throughout the next few weeks, with a new full time job and also being involved in another imagineering competition (at least that being team based).

Might just not be my time this season, but nevertheless I don't like quitting things, so here is my presentation! Hope you enjoy!

A Window to the Past

Coming to Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, FL is a thrilling refurbishment to the leftover Dueling Dragons/Dragon Challenge roller coaster in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade section of the park.

Originally designed by Walt Disney Imagineers for the never realized Beastly Kingdomme land, then transferred to Universal when those plans fell through, Dueling Dragons has seen better days and in the very well themed WWoHP land, sticks out like a poorly themed sore thumb.

Reasons for being a "Lousy Coaster"and for its replacement:

1 - Eyesore
2 - Land Usage
3 - Universal's most successful theme park franchise
4 - Competition for WDW's 50th Anniversary
5 - It's just a rough coaster...

1 - Eyesore
With a simple retheme to the Dragon Challenge First Task in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the Dueling Dragons attraction is mainly untouched from its original incarnation. Many, including myself, believe it to not only be an underwhelming counterpart to a masterful Forbidden Journey attraction, but also an eyesore from the rest of the land themed to the larger Hogwarts grounds.

2 - Land Usage
Dragon Challenge encompasses a vast amount of the WWoHP land, plenty of space to construct an attraction to delve into the unrealized potential that the Harry Potter franchise has to offer. For the amount of space it takes up, and the quality of the content it provides, it is currently wasting so much opportunity for the land to improve.

3 - Universal's most successful theme park franchise
It is without question that Harry Potter is Universal's most successful theme park franchise. Since 2010, Harry Potter has put Universal on the map and put its main competition in The Walt Disney Company, on notice, with the opening of 4 Harry Potter lands in 4 different parks since the original land. While there have been rumors of a 3rd land (Ministry of Magic) in Universal Studios Orlando, next to Diagon Alley, going back and 'plussing' its original Harry Potter land with a stellar E-ticket caliber attraction, is also a lucrative solution.

4 - Competition for WDW's 50th Anniversary
With the recent D23 conference in Anaheim this past weekend, Disney has certainly added a lot to the discussion and on their docket for the next few years. While Universal has plans for a Nintendo land, that is still years away from completion. A sizable announcement for a Harry Potter attraction is an IP that will grab people's attention, and possibly bring the conversation back to Universal and fizzle the buzz from Disney's progress over the next few years.

5 - It's just a rough coaster...
I am by no means a roller coaster expert. From reading various TPA proposals from past years, and following along with the Tournament of Champions, there are people with an eclectic variety of theme park coaster experience that greatly outweighs my own. Nevertheless, having been on coasters such as El Toro in Six Flags Great Adventure, SkyRush in Hershey Park, as well as a variety of Disney and Universal Roller Coasters, Dragon Challenge is up there with my least favorite. It contains tight loops and spins that whips its riders around in a way that makes the experience simply not pleasant, and therefore, in the category of 'lousy'


With careful consideration, Universal Creative is proud to announce 'A Window to the Past' opening in 2020 - the newest exhilarating dark ride roller coaster experience that will take guests deep within the dark forest on a completely original Harry Potter adventure, with action, magic, and more!

In pursuit of Voldemort's Horcruxes, Professor Albus Dumbledore tasks you with a secret mission to the Forbidden Forest in order to gain information on the whereabouts of one of the pieces of Voldemort's soul. Taking place between the 5th and 6th Harry Potter novels, the plot of this adventure places you with the sole responsibility of continuing the Harry Potter storyline, and giving Dumbledore the information on 'The Cave' - which he and Harry venture to in the next installment. Within the Dark Forest are Centaurs which you are instructed to befriend and learn from them Voldemort's hiding place. Dumbledore thinks that Voldemort spent many years in the forest after he failed to kill Harry Potter and the creatures in there may have a clue to his hiding places.

In the unfortunate circumstance that you fail in your mission, you are rising 6th years and learning the ability to Apparate, which may come in handy on this adventure.

What Will Happen to Dragon Challenge?
Dragon Challenge will be completely demolished and backstage areas rerouted/organized in order to allow for a complete forestation of the main queue area, and a large show building covered by the forest, which houses the new hybrid roller coaster attraction.

Branching off of Hogsmeade Village, you will enter into a variety of switchbacks through the thick forest on the outskirts of Hogwarts. It is here where you will see a large, ominous looking building in front of you. It is the Shrieking Shack. Slanted, disfigured, and slightly moving in the wind, you wind up the decrepit staircases of the Shrieking Shack as foreboding music plays in the background. You hear a howl of a werewolf in the background, and a creepy vibe falls over everyone. You see debris left over from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, such as a broken bed set, rat and dog prints on the ground, as well as dust everywhere. During Hallowing Horror Nights, this part of the queue will be a walk-through Haunted House, and the standby queue will be rerouted around the forest area instead. Continuing on, a hint of fog can be seen in the distance with a light and footsteps roaming around, possibly of the centaurs. Passing by the queue for Flight of the Hippogriff, you roundabout Hagrid's Hut where you see large footprints denoting that Hagrid is somewhere in the forest, possibly waiting for you, or escorting students who have detention.

Breezing through another set of tall trees, you come to a seamless transition where you walk through a large tree trunk and into the show building. Now dark and mysterious, crickets chirp in the distance, the moon can be seen on high, and you continue down the dimly lit path until you reach a large animatronic figure.

Hagrid greets the riders and explains that Dumbledore sent him as a guide on this journey where he's given him specific instructions to them board magical carriages pulled by Thestrals deep within the forest to where the Centaurs lie. He advises to follow the spiders, but given how well that advice worked in the Chamber of Secrets, it might not be the best option. Thestrals are magical winged creatures that can only be seen by people in the Harry Potter universe that have witnessed a death. In this attraction, in order to keep it relatively family friendly, the Thestrals will be invisible, and it will look as if the carriages are magic and being pulled by themselves. Lastly, before entering into the loading area around the corner of Hagrid, he reassures you that Apparating is simple, and attempts to demonstrate by Apparating himself. Using a bit of magic, with a puff of smoke and a flick of the wand, Hagrid disappears from the location he was in and the line progresses into the loading area. He reappears shortly after to begin the next 'pre-show'.

Ride Vehicles and Specifics
As depicted before, the ride vehicles will be carriages pulled by Thestrals. The carriages themselves will be similar in design to the ones that bring the returning Hogwarts students from the Hogwarts Express to the Castle, which is fitting considering this attraction is being placed in between those two locations within the land. The carriages will be magically enhanced and elongated to fit the members on the journey, fitting roughly 12 riders per 'train' - 3 per row, and 4 rows.

The restraint will be a lap bar, as this will be more of a family coaster and less of an intense, looping thrill attraction that Dragon Challenge was. While Universal is known for its thrills, it lacks family thrill attractions that don't include screens, and especially for a family IP such as Harry Potter - an attraction that fits this category is needed. For this adventure, approximately 90% of the experience will be set and animatronic based, with supporting visuals and effects compatible with the sets taking up the additional 10%.

Your carriage takes off at a slow pace and meanders around a large tree trunk as eerie music swells as you can see a hooded figure lurking in the distance. You then hear large, stomping footprints and approaching from the left side of the carriage is a 15 foot animatronic of Grawp, reaching out and trying to pick up your carriage. Hagrid can be heard telling Grawp to stop interfering, and to the right hand side you can see an army of spiders traveling straight ahead. Hargid says you have to follow the spiders deep into the forest and the invisible Thestrals take off going from 0-35 mph in 2.2 seconds, for a sudden jolt of energy. Your carriages then make a banked right turn in the dark around a large tree trunk and avoid a pack of galloping centaurs next to you. You feel a breeze of an arrow fly across as the centaurs clearly don't want to talk with you right now, and the Thestrals begin to sprint away, winding around the trees and the mist as the howl of a wolf can be heard along with growls. The Thestrals stop suddenly and out from the right side, a large werewolf (possibly Professor Lupin) launches towards the carriage. The Thestrals take off just time and slope down a brief drop, collecting themselves and continuing on until you approach the leader of the Centaurs, standing on top of a rock.

"Dumbledore sent you" he proclaims boldly "The Cave is what you seek, tell him he will find the cave on an island and that he must contact RAB" A flash of green light interrupts the conversation between you and the Centaur, as Death Eaters begin to descend upon the Dark Forest. "Go quickly!" the Centaur begs, as the carriages take off, dodging special effect killing curses. If you have your own wand, at this time in the attraction you can take it out, and interactive elements surrounding the attraction will shoot out curses such as 'expelliarmus' 'reducto' and 'stupefy' with lasers projected into the environment from the tips of the wands. Animatronic Death Eaters surrounding the vehicles react to the curses as well as you continue to try and avoid being captured. Suddenly, the Thestrals take matters into their own hands and launch upwards towards the tips of the treetops. You can see Hogwarts in the distance, and the Black Lake shining with the moonlight, as the battle takes to the skies. You fly around for your life as you try to get back to safety with the information. Where is Hagrid one might be asking. As soon as the thought pops into your mind, Fawkes the Phoenix arrives and attacks the Death Eaters, as well as the Order of the Phoenix, following close behind on Dumbledore's orders. Amidst this giant aerial battlefield (akin to the battle of the seven potters) you dive down back towards the forest to avoid capture, swing around a few trees, and then are guided back by Fawkes the Phoenix to Hagrid's Hut through apparation, which is a vortex special effect that makes you feel as if you're going at breakneck speed, but really you are coasting along towards a break section.

The finale of the attraction plays the Fawkes theme song, as you peacefully retreat back to Hagrid's Hut with the wonderful John Williams score playing in the background, having retrieved the information for Dumbledore's quest, and placing your mark on the Harry Potter franchise.

Attraction Facts and Figures
Ticket - E-Ticket
Type - Dark Ride Hybrid Roller Coaster (Steel - Launched)
Manufacturer - Intamin
Height Minimum - 40 inches
Top Speed - 35 mph
Time - 4 min 45 sec
Length - 2,500 ft
Number of Inversions - 0
Number of Drops - 3
Tallest Drop - 32 ft
Highest Degree of Banking - 41 degrees
Express Pass - Yes
Attraction Capacity - 1,800 riders per hour

Ultimately, A Window to the Past will offer Universal guests and Harry Potter fans alike a brand new experience ripe with original stories that invite the riders to become a part of Harry potter lore, rather than simply be a passive observer which occurs on both of the main Harry Potter attractions (Forbidden Journey and Escape From Gringotts). In this attraction, guests will get to explore the Dark Forest, walk through the Shrieking Shack, cast spells and battle Death Eaters on their own, and venture to places never seen before in Harry Potter theme park lands.

Edited: July 22, 2017, 12:01 PM

Verizon presents
How To Train Your Dragon:
Dragon’s Den

Hello everyone! Your favorite pool-guy is back for the next round of this TPA contest. I microwaved up a special batch of chimichangas for this one.

This week, we get the very special privilege of taking a wrecking ball to a bad and much-beleaguered roller coaster on the Universal lot. Rip Ride Rocket is a bad and rough coaster with a single trick to it - like a perfume called Enema. Once you get over the vertical lift and vertical drop, the rest of the coaster is like Michael Flatly Lord-of-the-Dancing his way across your bed at 2 in the morning. It’s rough, it’s bumpy, and it’s more than a little annoying.

So…we’re blowing it up.

Well, actually we’re going to very carefully take it down piece by piece and recycle the steel into playground equipment for homeless third-world handicapped circus performers or something. And we wouldn’t want to damage the Blue Man Group Theater next door. Those guys are the best when it comes to a “Not It” contest to figure out who buys the next round. I wouldn’t want to go upsetting them.

One of the best things about Rip Ride Rocket was that you could choose your own music from a selection of horribly outdated songs that were incredibly bad choices even in 2009 when this thing opened. Since we have all heard of cell phones and streaming music players, we are going to call in some experts in these matters to deliver us a couple of solutions for our new coaster. First of all, Verizon is going to sponsor the lockers that you must put all of your gear in before you ride, but the upside is that with this sponsor, these lockers will be free and come with adapters so you can plug your phone in and let it recharge while you are waiting in line. The lockers will be double-sided so that you can load your items in from near the loading station and pull your items out of the same lockers from the other side as you get off the coaster. Hitting the small touchpad shortly after getting locked into the roller coaster, you can then enter your locker number and your secret locker code to fire up your own personal phone from the coaster and use your own music application to entertain you during the ride. This will also mute all of the regular audible story elements in favor of only your own music. This will help with re-rideability and make angsty teenagers feel more at home on what appears to be a kid’s ride with their own personal musical playlist of self-loathing to sooth their delicate natures.

I hear you say, all of that is really nice, DP, but what I really want to hear about is the specs of this ride.

And I say, patience, I’m getting there. There needs to be some buildup before we pop the cork to build up the anticipation.

So, let’s talk about hardware. Intamin is building this beauty. The track is going to be all in black to attempt to hide it from view. The length is going to be roughly twice the length of Rip Ride Rocket, since we are going from the old station all of the way down to the turnaround twice. While riders will think that the ride is a terrain hugger type, we are actually going to be stacking the track through most of the ride since there is not a whole lot of room to work with. There will be two magnetic launches and a mag boost, since without the vertical lift hill, there is not enough room for a traditional lift hill. The coaster cars will be designed after the most popular dragons in the How To Train Your Dragons movie. The first two seats will be configured moto-coaster style and the two seats behind them will be upright in the traditional seating position of most coasters. This will help to open up the view, scenery, and action to all of the riders, similar to the coasters that have a riff on stadium seating.

The entire ride is enclosed…since we have some serious storytelling to get done here. While the ride is enclosed by the same building, the different paths of the roller coaster will be separated by walls, floors, and separated levels so that even if the coaster is run with the lights on, you will never see more track than the one you are currently on. This will allow for the trains to dispatch much quicker as with 9 blocks on this ride (loading station 1, loading station 2, pre-launch, launch and section 1, boost and section 2, launch and section 3, break run 1, unload station 1, unload station 2), you can have a ton of trains on the track with no danger of any of the trains getting close to each other, much less actually see each other. With the onboard audio, you won’t be able to hear the other trains as well.

Well, I hear you say, Intamin doesn’t know anything about MotoCoasters, Wade, that is all Zamperla. To which I reply, yes, I understand, but we’re sure that Intamin can come up with something really clever, and if not, we can go to Zamperla and rent some of their patent designs. Cold hard cash has a way of opening doors and lubricating situations. I prefer guns and serrated steel, but since this is a business deal, lawyers would be able to draw much more blood than I ever could.

So now, with all of the pre-show behind the scenes stuff out of the way, we can talk about the guest experience.

As was previously stated, the entire ride is enclosed, mostly by nondescript soundstage style buildings that have oversized movie posters on them, but where the buildings can be seen by other attractions, like Dr. Suess land and the concert venue, attempts will be made to fit the buildings outward artwork into the theme that it is intruding upon.

The entrance to the ride will be moved over to the other side of Minion Mayhem and run down the side of the Minion Mayhem building until it gets behind it. Along this part of the queue will be travel posters for the Island of Berk. Once we get behind the Minion Ride, the queue opens up onto a village and we find ourselves on the Island of Berk. From this point, the ride attendants all are dressed as Vikings is a manner similar to the townspeople of the How To Train Your Dragon movies. The queue is shooting for a wide open feel like the E.T. ride has once you get to the forest, but without any views of the actual coaster. The plot of the story will be started by listening in at certain huts along the queue, there will be shadow plays of people to show actions of the characters as the plot is introduced. The continuity place of this ride is between the second and yet to be released but in production third film where Hiccup is still coming to grips with being the chieftain of the village. Some of the townspeople think that Hiccup is doing a pretty decent job as chieftain, but is spending far too much time away from the village to no-one-knows-where on Toothless. Halfway through the queue, we find out that Hiccup is missing. A bit further on, we find out that all of his friends are missing as well, but mysteriously all of their dragons have returned to the village and are in the Dragons Sheds. The queue winds its way to the Dragon Sheds where the guests board the roller coaster.

Motion sensors along the track are designed to track the speed and position of the coaster train on its course. This allows projection systems to project a movie around the riders, on the screens that are painted as scenery and projected with movement to make it feel alive. In the sky, flying next to the guests are other dragons that are going on the journey with you. This part of the roller coaster will be on the highest level so the ceiling can also be the highest to attempt to provide enough space to convince you that you are flying outside. From the initial launch, this first section will recreate a scene out of the movies where Hiccup and Toothless are dodging rock formations as they are skimming above a body of water. The rock formations will be real, but the water will all be projection effects.

The dragons/roller coaster takes us to a large and wide cliff face, this will take place in the area around the Rip Ride Rocket’s turnaround. The dragons/roller coaster will dive into one of the caves, where things get pretty murky and dark. Some light is provided, but just enough for the riders to see large objects that just barely miss them. The return trip back toward the loading station is a trip through the cave, dodging and ducking through various caves and caverns on a dragon that appears to be going much too fast for as little as can be seen. Right before we hit the turnaround near the entrance, we hear sounds of Hiccup and his friends, at that point, the dragons/roller coaster makes a hard turn to head back seemingly in the direction we just came from. We get a speed boost, but seem to lose where Hiccup and his friends were, and different sounds appear to be coming from different caverns, so we really have no idea where Hiccup is at due to the echo effect of the caverns. After a disorienting plunge through more caves, we finally come across Hiccup and the roller coaster stops. Hiccup and his friends are nervously peering around a corner and whispering urgently that it is dangerous to go any further. The dragons/roller coaster that we are on start inching forward, slowly at first and then picking up speed, we cruise right past Hiccup and out into the area that they didn’t want to go.

At this point, we are at the turnaround but hidden behind the wall of the cliffs that we had previously entered. The room is roundish, but in an uneven cave-ish type of roundness. There are arches around that the track goes through. The track is this section just goes around in a circle, picking up speed and getting closer and further down into a dark pit that we are unable to see into. Suddenly, there is a gout of flame...straight up into the middle of the cavern. A big burst of flame, made by something that would have to be massive. We hear Hiccup yell at us to get ourselves and our dragons out of there. This seems to enliven whatever is in the dark hole. There is a low rumbling of a dragon growl and another burst of flames. Suddenly a massive audio-animatronic lunges out of the darkness and snaps its jaws near the coaster. This thing is so massive it looks like it could pick its teeth with the Eifel Tower. The sound of its roar is near deafening...or whatever the park can get away with. About then, the coaster ducks into a cave.

Right after ducking into the cave, there is a burst of speed from the dragon/roller coaster. For the final leg back it appears that the massive dragon is trying to tear apart the mountain and breathe fire down every cave in order to crispy the riders. There are several times that a decision to go down a particular cave is thwarted by a gout of fire and a quick turn is required. We can hear what sounds like Hiccup and his friends finding other dragons to ride and are following close behind, urgently pressing us onward to get out of the caves before everyone is killed by falling rocks and fire. We finally break out of the caves where the dragons do a couple of spirals before settling back down and flying into the Dragon Sheds and the unloading station.

After disembarking off of the dragon/roller coaster, the queue quickly makes the transition back to reality, allowing people to pick up their stuff from their lockers before the inevitable gift shop to purchase your full video ride experience or merely an on-ride photo. There is Toothless plush as well as a number of other dragons in addition to the regular inventory of pins, toys, gadgets, t-shirts, costumes, games, pajamas, and other items.

Hi, this is Blind Al. Since Jerk-Pool fell asleep a couple of hours ago and delegated the last of this to me, I really don't know how to recap this whole thing other than to say it will be an amazing and fun ride for the whole family. I hope that is what was needed. Good luck everyone!

July 22, 2017, 7:59 PM



On February 1st, 2015 the classic wooden roller coaster, Gwazi, permanently closed to the public. The following years led to the Gwazi sitting out in the Florida weather left to rot, and for its wood to be repurposed at other attractions nearby namely Cobra's Curse at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Mako at Seaworld Orlando. One would think that after two years SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment would have plans for replacing the classic, but this is not the case. Now Busch Gardens has been left with a large coaster taking up plenty of space in the park, and thus causing it to be the lousiest coaster at the park.

Flight of the Phoenix

Coming to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in 2019 is Flight of the Phoenix. Flight of the Phoenix will be part of a phase one for a new land connecting Morocco to Stanleyville. Phase 1 includes Flight of the Phoenix, a rollercoaster set during World War 2, and Pilot's Pitstop, a gift shop. Phase 2 will open in 2021, and will include: a family dark ride, a quick service restaurant, a gift shop and a new flat ride. However since this challenge asks for a rollercoaster, the focus will be on Flight of the Phoenix.


Flight of the Phoenix

Backstory -

World War 2 has reached Africa, and the USA has decided the troops, guests, should go out there to defend the nations of Africa. Guests will become part of the Red Phoenix Squadron, and will be "piloting" Curtiss P-40 Warhawks. The design of the warhawks will be different as instead of a shark decorating the shark it'll be the phoenix rumored to live near these very grounds.


Vehicle -

This ride will utilize inverted roller coaster cars similar to that of Montu's. However there is one key difference. Each harness will have a VR headset that guests can decide to wear or not. After each vehicle gets back to the station the employees with sanitize the headsets for the next guests. If someone who is handicapped wishes to ride, the next incoming vehicle will be taken onto a separate track allowing for plenty of time for that person to get on while also allowing the ride to continue running without an interruption. Once the handicapped is seated guests will be led from the standard queue, and fill up that train. The train goes back on track, and the ride continues.


Ride Stats & Info -

Attraction Type : Inverted VR Roller Coaster
Vehicle : Curtiss P-40 Warhawks
Theme : WW2 and Mythology
Amount of Trains : 3
Amount of People per Train : 32
Duration : 2 Minutes
Riders per Hour : 2,880
Riders per Day : 20,160 - 37,440
Virtual Queue : Yes
Quick Queue : Yes
Height Restriction : Yes


Queue -

As guests leave Morocco they will enter a garden featuring exotic flowers and plants found throughout Northern Africa. A WW2 large hangar lies in front of guests, from the sides of the hangar guests can see the Flight of the Phoenix enter and exit the hangar along with portions of the track. In front of the entrance guests will find a real Curtiss P-40 Warhawk on display, but during the off season is under refurbishment to keep it looking new.

Curtiss P-40E

When guests approach the entrance to the queue they will be given a code to scan into the newly improved Busch Gardens App on the complimentary high speed internet, or on that very same app get a time from anywhere in the park. In the meantime guests can continue walking throughout the park enjoying other attractions as they wait for the notification of their ride's time slot. Guests return to the queue entrance, and into the lobby.

At the lobby guests will be given a colored boarding pass signifying their plane. After receiving the boarding pass guests enter a museum based around the history of aviation, and were aviation is heading. Over the PA system, and on monitors throughout the room guests will be called based on their boarding passes, to well board. Guests are escorted down a hallway, and into the hangar. Here they can decide if they choose to wear goggles (VR Headsets), and then they are given a safety spiel right before boarding the ride.


The Experience -

The moment guests equip their goggles they're taken back to WW2 as all around them planes and soldiers are preparing for the flight. Suddenly in front of them the propeller starts going, and their plane begins to move. The marshall directs the newly recruited pilots outside of the of the hangar, and soon the plane begins to pick up altitude. Eventually the plane passes the clouds on its rise, and all is calm and serene. Looking all around, the pilot can see endless blue sky with the sun shining bright. However the peace is interrupted as the Red Phoenix leader calls in, and announces its time to go, go, go.

The plane takes a dive into the war zone, and narrowingly misses enemy flyers. Soon the battle breaks out between the two sides with the pilt right in the middle. Gunfire is coming from all around, and the pilots maneuver out of range through helixes and twists while firing some shots of their own. Suddenly an enemy plane is flying straight at the pilot, but luckily the pilot manages an inside loop allowing for shooting from the behind. With that all the enemy flyers were taken down, and Red Phoenix leader congratulates the rookie pilot along with confirming that it is time to go.

The planes rise once more, and as the leader begins to talk static begins to interfere. Suddenly an engine flares up, and the plane takes a dive spinning all the way down. The fire mysteriously goes out right before hitting the ground, and an elegant phoenix flies from out of the engine. The pilot follows the fiery trail left behind in the air of the phoenix as the plane and the phoenix fly together through a desert oasis creating a truly breath taking moment. The planes continue to follow the phoenix as it eads guests back to the hangar, and flys away.


With the Flight of the Phoenix guests will be thrilled by the amazing visuals, thrills, and score of this experience. It will certainly give Busch Gardens fire power as it continues to draw tourists from Orlando to its gates. In fact the entire new land will really give Busch Gardens a bit of leverage for guests to come while they visit Star Wars : Galaxy's Edge in 2019, and the 50th Anniversary at Walt Disney World in 2021.

Edited: July 22, 2017, 9:37 PM

With all of the great roller coasters out there, inevitably, there are a few who fall short on design, rider enjoyment, and/or thrills. As I am not a great roller coaster enthusiast, a lot of research was needed in this and imagine my surprise to find a junker right in my own backyard. I am of course talking about the Ninja at Six Flags St. Louis. Not only is it the worst of the threes Ninjas found at varying Six Flags across the country, but it was also on several peoples’ lists and websites (including TPI) as one of the top 10 worst roller coasters still in operation.

Originally, this coaster was built by Arrow Dynamics and finished by Vekoma for Expo ’86 in Vancouver and was moved in its entirety to Six Flags St. Louis and renamed the Ninja. This means this steel coaster is over thirty years old, making it the third oldest in the park, and it has not aged well in that time. Complaints of rough rides, jerky motions, head banging turns, and a just plain boring ride experience plague the Ninja and not even a new code of paint and the introduction of VR headsets (featuring jet planes) in 2016 could bring riders back. A simple re-paint or re-theme will simply not cut it as most of the problems are in the track design, so Six Flags has decided on a completely new coaster and will utilize the same space, after the current structure is demolished.

The New Backstory
The Studio Backlot of Six Flags St. Louis is themed to Hollywood, it’s stars, and some of the most recognizable movie sets including Batman and is the location of the newest movie starring ninjas. Riders will act as stunt men and women in the scene filming that day which just happens to be a fight squence between the two warring ninja clans: the Iga (white ninjas) and the Koga (black ninjas). This new dueling coaster will act as the battle with the riders twisting around each other in simulated attacks.

New Statistics
Type: Dueling Steel
Track layout: custom
Height: 122ft
Drop: 109ft
Length: 3,838 ft
Speed: 53
Duration: 2:45
Height restriction: 140 cm
Trains: 2 trains with 7 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 28 riders per train.
Flash Pass Available

The entrance to the ride is a small scale recreation of a Shogun’s palace flanked by a ninja in white holding a katana and a black ninja with two small daggers, both ready to attack the other. Just behind the building, riders can see two distinct tracks, a black track and a white track that twist and twine together.

Overhead, the new Ninja sign hangs on the entrance gate.
Clever eyed riders should be able to spot several more ninjas, weapons at the ready, dotted along top of the gateway and roof.

Just before entering the doors, a sign declaring: Live Filming Today! Stunt Actors Still Needed! can be seen. Below will be the standard safety guidelines such as height requirements and such, and if riders meet them, they will become the newest actors in the hottest ninja movie.


In the queue, riders will enter into the back stage with ninja themed props lining the sides. The message boards indicate that a fight scene between the Iga (white ninjas) and the Koga (black ninjas) is scheduled today and actors are needed on set ASAP! At the next turn, the queue separates in two directions with a sign over each doorway pointing to the either the white ninja side or the black ninja side. After riders choose which side they want to represent, they enter into the set which is a dojo for both sides. The dojos are very similar, both showing the white and black ninjas of the Iga and Koga clans respectively, fighting each other in several different battles. It’s obvious both clans have been fighting each other for a very long time. Just as riders reach the loading docks, a bright red sign is illuminated requesting all actors to the set!

This side by side loading shows how very similar the trains are to each other while highlighting the differences in color. The Iga train is white although the steel track is black in color. On the other side is the black Koga train sitting on a white track. Each train has seven cars with riders arranged two across in two rows for a total of 28 riders per train. The restraints have thankfully been upgraded from the bulky orange restraints to the sleeker vests to help prevent head banging and sore ears.
Ride operators will check the safety harnesses one last time before attempting a simultaneous send off. If both trains are ready to leave, the overhead sign will flash: Quiet On The Set! and both trains will be dispatched from the station.

The Ride Experience
Both trains enter onto the lift hill, rising side by side high into the air while speakers near the headrests let riders hear the director call for quiet on the set, speed, and marker. Just before the trains crest the hill, the director shouts Action! and the trains take off. After the steep drop, the trains immediately head into the high five section where both trains tilt towards each other close enough that riders feel as if they could high five the riders of the other train.
Each time the trains meet each other, the clanging of weapons and other sound effects echo in the riders’ ears furthering the illusion the trains are attacking each other. The trains immediately separate into corkscrews before circling around again and heading into the dive loops with the Iga train passing through the middle of the other track while the Koga train passes over head.
After the dive loops the trains enter into the sidewinder and then a reverse sidewinder, before separating again. Several smaller hills force the trains to come together again in a near sea serpent roll with one last corkscrew as the director yells: cut!
Both trains slow to a stop, much more gently than the previous incarnation, which will definitely smooth out the jerkiness, and head back to the loading station. As riders take in the amazing new experience, the director congratulates the riders on a job well done with a final exclamation: That’s a wrap!

Riders will exit through the gate and back into the Studio Backlot. A final notice states that paychecks will be sent out at the end of the week. Don’t call us, we’ll call you!

Six Flags St. Louis has always had the potential to be one of the best parks in the Six Flags line up with a near perfect blend of new and classic rides, but the lack of a signature steel coaster kept the park from elevating itself. The new incarnation of the Ninja has addressed the complaints of the riders by not only replacing the hard, outdated shoulder restraints with a newer, softer version but also by making sure that one company builds the entire coaster so the same track design issues won’t occur again. Slower stops, especially at the end, not only solve the jerkiness of the ride, but riders will now be able to leave this roller coaster without the normal headache caused by head banging turns. Truly, the Ninja has added something new and different that this park lacked, a dueling steel coaster that is not duplicated anywhere at Six Flags St. Louis.

Edited: July 23, 2017, 11:30 AM

Kenny Cook - Velociraptor's Revenge

I really like your preshow. Is it a bit contrived? Maybe. But by throwing a little fear in there your guests are encouraged to hussle, hopefully helping to improve load times.

Usually, its great to try and preempt things that we're going to bring into the critque, but it is at the risk that if you thought of something we didn't, and the solution doesn't work, then we have something new to "ding" you with. I'm not convinced by your solution to the Alison voice problem. I think either an animatronic Alison, or perhaps simply having the live actor lip sync would be a better solution (and easier to cast).

Although I love woodies, I'm not sure if a wooden coaster matches the futuristic theme that the backstory suggests. However, the theming is brilliant, continuing the story and giving a reason for the manouvers the guests will experience.

You've done very well this week. The only thing I would suggest looking into is adding a few frills to your proposal - you're dropping them very early, maybe mock up a logo, or give us a very rought map of the track (it doesn't have to be brilliantly done, just a rough mock up would help.



If this is what you can deliver when you're pushed for time... well, I can only imagine what you can deliver when you've got plenty of time to spare.

I've always wanted to go on Dueling dragons, and its on my must-do for my first sojourn to Florida in September... so it kinda hurts to see that you want to kill it... but your reasoning seems sound.

The story of your attraction is sound, and will certainly become a pilgramage destination for Potter fans. I am concerned that trading down the thrill level might be a mistake though.... its almost a 5 min ride and there are only 3 drops. Seems maybe just a bit too tame.



I mentioned the professionalism element of your proposals last week, so I won't dwell on that further.

I'm not sure Comcast would be too keen with Verizon as a sponsor given their overlapping markets... I'm also a little spooked about giving them access to the data in my phone. Yes, allowing it to access your music is an interesting addition that will win fans amongst the less security concious, but I can see legal issues rising from that. Additionally if a ride is going to have on board music, it should be because the music is timed with the on board elements... If I'm riding to "The song that goes like this" from Spamalot, I doubt the coaster is going to be reacting as the song changes.

Okay, lets say something positive.

The IP you've selected is fine, and seperating the track seems like a solid idea (X:\ at Thorpe Park these days is basically a coaster in a shed, a depressing letdown), and projecting the story onto the walls allows for quick and easy changes if the IP becomes stale or the rights are no longer available. I'm not sure how convicing it will be, but if its not it can easily be changed to something a bit more psychadellic where realism isn't important.

The ride itself is sold, and the real regret I walk away with is that this isn't a real ride. Good job.



Use of Formatting and images also helps your entry read well.

Although your proposal in general reads very well, there's a few things that trip me up eg - "The design of the warhawks will be different as instead of a shark decorating the shark it'll be the phoenix rumored to live near these very grounds." What shark?
Also the use of the word "Handicapped" - Mobility Impared or special needs are the prefered term.

You've pitched a great attraction, but I don't think you've quite met the challenge requirements for my money. When I read about the ride experience you only seemed to have pitched the VR side, the experience you sell seems to be one that could equally be done in a Simulator or 3D movie rather than an experience that makes a great coaster.

I think had you focused more on the track elements (maybe more strongly pointing out how the VR visuals are enhabnced by this in a way only a coaster can produce) then I could have given this more marks... Its a great attraction, but I can't see a great coaster here. Maybe there's one buried here but it neesd to be brought out and allowed to shine.



Didn't someone do this coaster last week?

I love the idea of Dueling coasters. Not sure if its exactly fair to pitch two coasters when only one is required, but I suppose thats twice as many things I can complain about :p.

It sounds like you've really put a lot of work in fixing a concept that doesn't make sense. Its a ninja ride, in a hollywood zone, featuring Jet Aircraft... The mind boggles at how anyone could have thought this was a good idea. Your new story makes sense; it explains why the rider is there, and fits in with the area.

The ride experience seems solid, with the sound effects adding to the "Dueling" of the coasters. Although I hate VR I think this is perhaps a ride where some element of Augmented Reality could be added to the ride, maybe some Hong kong kung fu style exagerated effects/explosions/etc).

The only question I have is, when does the ride open?

July 23, 2017, 10:50 AM

Kenny Cook – Velociraptor’s Revenge
This is a really well-written proposal, Kenny! Seriously, it’s your best work to date! While reading, I felt immersed in your dino rampage at all times. Great evocative stuff. One minor writing nitpick I’ll highlight just because it was amusing: a “Rouge Dinosuar!” You meant “rogue dinosaur?”

I really adore the outdoor queue. You’re using sounds, scents, even humidity to paint the scene. This is inexpensive-yet-effective theming which is fully within Dorney Park’s capabilities. The theming gets more elaborate indoors and on-ride, but it’s still generally within reach. If Dorney Park could pull it all off, it would be a regional theming coup akin to Six Flags’ Justice League rides!

Your preshow would need to be timed carefully so it doesn’t reduce ride capacity. Matching a live actor with the on-ride vocals will be tricky. And there’s the risk of quality control and continual salary cost. As an alternate, perhaps your preshow could be a screen-based video feed of Allison elsewhere in the labs contending with the dino outbreak and prepping our evac.

The ride itself feels like Mystic Timbers, yet better. The drop track finale is what I honestly thought would be “in the shed,” not just an elaborate Rick Roll. Clearly you thought so too. Great element! You’ve described your GCI coaster nicely, and with lots of specifics. I’m picturing a wooden coaster in a lush jungle setting, which is unique and effective. I love the use of onboard SFX to suggest pursuing raptors. The giant animatronic dinosaur is possibly beyond Dorney’s abilities, if it’s like the Everest yeti (which was beyond even Disney’s abilities). Or it could simply be a repurposed Dinosaurs Alive AA, which would actually be incredibly budget-friendly.

Honestly, no major critiques here. Very solid work. Build from here, fine-tune your style further – e.g., break up ride descriptions into smaller paragraphs, add specs, add pics. Pretty much a perfect proposal for this challenge!

spacemt354 – A Window to the Past
No need to apologize for lost time. Use the chatter thread for that, and let your nonetheless strong proposal stand on its own.

You’ve systematically sold us on the lousiness of Dragon Challenge, which I agree with given the IOA context. Universal has upped their theming game since first building this ride, making Universal an ideal candidate for themed coaster replacement (as Deadpool also thought). The choice to do a more family-friendly coaster is wise, and you’ve presented a good case for practical sets over screens. I was curious how you’d do Harry Potter level theming on a coaster – a ride type that’s tricky to theme. Enclosing the ride is the simplest approach, and it works. The Forbidden Forest is the perfect setting.

The ride is like a tamer Revenge of the Mummy; not revolutionary, but a smart hybrid with dark ride elements. I’m not the world’s foremost Potter expert (who is Grawp?), but still I understand the story – an important bar to clear, since many riders will share my partial knowledge. The visuals seem distinct from Forbidden Journey, and less random too.

The biggest issue is using the Olivander’s wands during the ride. This is the ride’s big selling point, yes, more guest interaction and involvement. But wielding loose sticks on a roller coaster sounds like…well, have you seen Final Destination 3? And since Dueling Dragons stopped dueling due to riders’ possessions hitting the other trains, let’s not conjure up any memories. An interactive coaster is an awesome concept, still! With a safer approach, it’d be a game-changer. Good work regardless, especially with a time crunch.

Wade Wilson – How to Train Your Dragon: Dragon’s Den
Rip Ride Rocket is lousy for very specific reasons due to its shoehorned location. Your replacement recognizes these limitations, and responds appropriately. Enclosing a coaster removes the visual intrusions, and the facades you describe benefit all surrounding lands. Increased length, magnetic launches instead of a lift hill, all are good fits for this site.

So this is a fully immersive How to Train Your Dragon coaster with a concrete premise (find Hiccup) and careful place-making…where riders listen to their own iPhone songs? I understand playing homage to Rip Ride Rocket’s song gimmick, but it’s at the expense of the new ride. HTTYD’s score is Oscar nominated! Synch the coaster to that – surely it won’t synched well to my phone’s Weird Al music. And the tech behind streaming from a locker-bound phone, plus the complexity of secret codes and all…seems a bit complex. I do like phone chargers in the lockers! A judge suggested this to me in Tournament of Champions, and I see you liked his idea as well!

The projections you describe throughout the ride would be difficult to do perfectly. In a tunnel setting, there’d be weird shape distortions. I fear it’d exacerbate the motion sickness some get from simulators, all for a ride experience which could be more easily achieved via VR. Granted, Universal was similarly told “it can’t be done” when designing Spider-Man, so I’ll grant that if they can crack this one, it’d be streets ahead of the simulator stuff on Gringott’s.

tcool – Flight of the Phoenix
So you’re proposing an inverted coaster themed to WWII fighter planes using VR headsets. That’s cool. Let’s nitpick!

Busch Gardens Tampa already has an inverted coaster, Montu. Creating another seems redundant, and your distinguishing factor – the VR – is most often used to spice up good-but-aging coasters…like Montu. How about a coaster type BGT doesn’t have yet, like a wing coaster? That would certainly be in keeping with the fighter plane theme.

It’s good to provide coaster stats, but there’s a lot of missing info. Who’s the manufacturer? (B&M, I’d assume.) You write “Height restriction: Yes,” but don’t say what it is. Details like this weren’t specified in the challenge, but they really strengthen a proposal and show attention to detail.

Some of your unique ideas are quite good. I like your use of a virtual queue, somewhat like Jimmy Fallon. Allowing handicapped guests to board on a side track keeps the ride moving. I’d love to see similar care in how the VR headsets are employed. Usually, VR coasters have severely reduced capacity (I’ve read of 4 minute dispatches at SeaWorld’s Kraken, another Busch Gardens park). How do you propose Flight of the Phoenix will resolve that problem? And how are you getting 2,880 riders an hour? Inverts like Montu and Banshee get around 1,650 an hour, and without VR. Isn’t this the same sort of ride?

Lastly the WWII theme and proposed land, while neat, feel slightly different from Busch Gardens’ existing theme. The park is based on 19th century Africa, with a focus on live animals and African cultures. As proposed, Flight of the Phoenix feels unrelated to its park, while with a few tweaks it could fit very well.

FigmentPigments - Ninja
For someone who’s not a coaster enthusiast, you sure did your research! Ninja is exactly the sort of ride I had in mind. And your answer to it is a more thoughtful replacement than I could’ve imagined. Your all-new ride keeps the name, the theme, basically everything except for what made the original Ninja so lousy. This is a very pragmatic, professional proposal.

Normally in parks like Disney and Universal, the studio theme seems like a cop out, a cheap way to save money. In a Six Flags, I can’t object. Ninja is already (for some reason) in a Hollywood area, and Six Flags won’t be detailing at Animal Kingdom quality anyway, so the soundstage shogun castle is a fun, cheeky setting.

A dueling coaster is great choice. They’re unique. They have double capacity. And visually, they’re a blast, both on-ride and off. I really like the idea of white trains on a black track battling black trains on a white track. That detail aside, Ninja’s on-ride seems just a tad underthemed (for the purposes of TPA). It’s Six Flags, I know. Keeping that in mind, I think some a few additional soundstage facades like Cedar Fair’s Backlot Stunt Coaster would be a very realistic additional detail. But that’s minor.

The coaster itself is super fun! You provided the most detail of anyone regarding pure coaster elements – the high five, the sidewinder, corkscrew, etc. (Kenny is a very, very close second here.) And your coaster is smooth, you take pains to point out, quite unlike the old Ninja. A great response to this challenge!

July 23, 2017, 12:00 PM

Being the first one to submit has its pluses and minuses. You definitely maximized the pluses. You took a generic idea - essentially a Jurassic Park spinoff - and made it into a unique experience. Separate from Dinosaur! and the river rapids (the latter of which I surprisingly have not ridden).

As both of the other judges have mentioned, the live actor in the pre-show and on ride is a huge risk, which in the end, could be replaced with a video screen, animatronic, or lip-syncing.

Overall, the coaster was phenomenal! It was realistic, eel-themed, and skillfully executed. Great work!

Hi space! First off, as huge Harry Potter fan I think that this addition is needed! I mean, Dragon Challenge is definitely the sole coaster that has got to go from that park. Obviously enclosing the coaster would solve that eyesore of a problem, and the forbidden forest is the perfect place to do that!

Also, I think that Universal would definitely be on board with this, considering they want to constantly upstage Disney. With all of the upcoming renovations, they need a way to compete!

Overall, your proposal left me craving for more! I can’t wait to see what you do when you actually have time! :)

I just want to let you know that I write this review while I have never seen HTTYD, so bear with me.

The locker idea seems nice, until you mention that all of your songs are going to be pulled from your charging so you can listen to them on the ride. Not only is this a security concern and expensive wiring, but it ruins the theming of a fantasy ride.

The projections seem really cool… and expensive to the point of impossibility. If it became possible then, I question whether a popular attraction is the best place to implement it. This ride seems to always have a 30 + min wait, and it may not be the best example of a lousy coaster.

However, the story seems really fun and enjoyable! Great work!

I have only experienced a VR tour of University of Nebraska (which wasn’t the best). However, I imagine if they can sync up the Spiderman ride perfectly with vehicle motion, they can accomplish this!

I love the backstory, but Busch Gardens will have to change directions if they were to adapt to it. I’m not saying that it couldn’t happen (after all studios parks became IP parks), but it would probably be a larger than two phase project.

The cool thing about these VR rides is that they are essentially two rides in one! You can ride it once for the classic coaster experience, and another for the story! Overall, great proposal and I have always been a fan of the way you present your statically data. I think that it makes the proposal more realistic!


Hi my fellow Pixar studio exec! I’ve seen the work you’ve done there, and I find it so impressive that you had time to work on this! Now, onto the review.

When I was at Six Flags St. Louis during a band trip, I was forced onto this lousy ride, and got a massive migraine afterwards. So yeah, it needs improvements.

I thought your approach fixed everything in a realistic way. I think your presentation was outstanding, and your description of the coaster was fantastic! It really made the ride so much more enjoyable and fitting for a Six Flag Park! Great work!

July 23, 2017, 4:25 PM

Thank you players, thank you fellow judges! The points are in for this round, as follows:

FigmentPigments - 96
Kenny Cook - 89
spacemt354 - 84
tcool - 79
Deadpool - 77

And here are the overall standings, two weeks in:

FigmentPigments - 191
tcool - 169
Kenny Cook - 158
Deadpool - 158
spacemt354 - 154

Congrats to FigmentPigments for another top finish! And to all players, we have a tight competition for second place - and once the top three reach the finals, all cumulative scores go bye-bye.

So it really is anyone's game, with write-ups getting even stronger this week, and no potential eliminations in sight. I look forward to seeing your ideas for challenge 3!

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