Theme Park Apprentice 6.1 Chatter Thread

Edited: February 9, 2015, 12:31 PM

Hello everyone,

In order to keep the challenge threads from becoming cluttered, please use this thread for general discussion regarding the competition. Do not post proposals in this thread, as they will not be judged and will not count. More specifically...

Post this in the chatter thread:

-General discussion about the competition
-Questions about the competition
-Comments for the judges or other competitors
-Complaints about a poor score (note: this will not raise your score)

Post this in the appropriate challenge threads:

-Final proposals
-Official judging critiques
-Specific questions relating to the challenge

Do not post this in either thread:

-Anything completely unrelated to Theme Park Apprentice 6.1
-Anything that will provoke a fight among competitors

Thank you.

Replies (129)

February 9, 2015, 8:06 AM

AJ- good idea. I remember seeing in some of the old TPAs that so many comments were made that the thread filled up and had to be reposted. This will make it easier to sort out the proposals from the comments. Thanks!

...and I'm still not going first this time!

February 9, 2015, 10:19 AM

Good call! Question for the judges... what's the policy re:adding additional themed lands? I'm assuming it's cool as the final round is like a full park walkthrough, but wanted to check in. Many have astutely observed I may have left some pocket monsters out in the cold.

February 9, 2015, 11:19 AM

Travis, Going by previous rounds... What you've pitched to us at the moment is just that - an early pitch. Ideas develop and change over time - your pitch isn't your final entry after all .

Whilst obviously you can't metamorph into something radically different, there is no generally no problem with adding/deleting/merging zones/attractions, etc.

February 9, 2015, 11:39 AM

Not to sound like a rip-off, but I am also designing a dark ride inspired by Greek mythology. I just want to bring this up so that I won't be accused of ripping off the first proposal. There are some major differences (my ride is a water ride) and I am not using the posted proposal as a model.

February 9, 2015, 12:18 PM

Christopher, don't worry about designing something similar to another competitor. As everybody is designing exclusively for their own park, you're not really ripping off another design. As long as the attraction is not a near duplicate there won't be any issues.

Travis, think of your audition as a rough draft or outline. Any part of it can be modified between now and the end of the competition, but the whole needs to remain consistent. Feel free to add, remove, substitute, and/or merge lands as you feel necessary, but whatever changes you make still need to fit the overall theme of your park and it needs to resemble what was pitched in the audition.

February 9, 2015, 12:30 PM

I'm just going to jump in here quick- as someone who has either competed against or judged proposals from every one of the judges (except DPCC) I can assure you that they are intelligent, honorable guys who will give you the benefit of the doubt. They will know if you have "borrowed" ideas from another proposal, but I suspect that that situation will absolutely not be a problem with this bunch of competitors. I haven't seen this much talent since- well- since I competed against Anthony Murphy! (Hi, Anthony!) It's a good idea that AJ put this thread up to give people a chance to express their concerns. Good luck to you all!

February 9, 2015, 1:21 PM

AJ and the other judges: This is NOT aimed at Keith's proposal, which I really like a lot! At the end of it he put in information about the rest of his land that was not directly connected to his proposal. Does putting things like that affect how our proposals will be judged? Will it help, hurt, or will you ignore it when you write your reviews?

Edited: February 9, 2015, 1:58 PM

The thought to add more than what is expected is to address some questions and concerns from my audition round. Being that I have more than one dark ride in my park, I also felt that listing the others was justified and could better my chances of a memorable dark ride round. Listing more was better in the audition round so I did more this round.

February 9, 2015, 2:04 PM

Keith, I understand completely- I hope you didn't take my question as a criticism. It was not meant that way at all! My audition proposal was very light-weight with specifics and I feel it hurt me in the standings- the risk of going first. I was just trying to find out if adding more details about the surrounding land would have any effect on the judging of the specific proposal, good or bad.

February 9, 2015, 2:07 PM

And Scott...your park sounds really great! Run with it. Please build me a resort hotel as well so we can stay overnight and go again for a 2nd day!

February 9, 2015, 2:10 PM

No harm, I understand. In the end, we both want to do our best with what we love.

February 9, 2015, 2:20 PM

Keith, I have an idea for a hotel, but it depends on if we get to design a hotel and if I make it far enough into the competition to do the proposal. If we do, and I do, I'll reserve the Mayor's Suite for you!

February 9, 2015, 3:08 PM

Scott, to answer your question, I'm guessing that will be up to each judge. For me, I will be judging this round (as well as other attraction based rounds) solely on the attraction that is proposed. If you want to list other attractions,I will neither give you bonus points for it or take points away. However, if you mention an attraction here and it doesn't appear in your final park, you will lose points. Think of it like this: the audition round was an outline, and now each proposal is the final draft of one aspect of your park. Once a challenge is complete, whatever you posted must be present in your final park regardless of how you are judged.

Keith (and other competitors), for future reference more is better as long as it relates to the challenge, but adding information that doesn't support your proposal isn't that valuable and can get you into trouble. When writing these proposals, keep in mind the four Cs of technical writing: Clear, Complete, Concise, and Correct. Often, a well-written 2-3 page proposal is better than a 5+ page proposal full of extraneous details, especially when you're only writing about a single attraction. For anyone who wants some examples, I suggest looking up previous TPA competitions and reading winning proposals, losing proposals, and proposals written by this season's judges as well as the corresponding feedback.

Lastly, don't worry too much about your standings in the cumulative scores. Once a round is over, your performance in that round will not help or hurt you in future rounds. When I competed in TPA 4, I had a mix of top 3 and bottom 3 finishes (as well as some in between), but I still ended up winning. Each of your proposals needs to stand on its own merit and not rely on the rest of your work in order to win.

February 9, 2015, 4:11 PM

Is there a restriction on a certain ride system used in one of our parks? For example, can a Disney proposal use the KUKA arm even though Universal owns the rights to it?

February 9, 2015, 5:51 PM

The other judges can overrule me if necessary, but I would say this:

-If a ride system is proprietary to a theme park chain, then it cannot be used at parks outside of the chain.
-If a ride system only exists in one park chain but is not proprietary, it may be used in any park.
-If it's an older system (say older than 1990), feel free to use it as patents have likely expired and anyone could then use the technology.

If you're not sure, see if you can find a manufacturer advertising the system. If so, it's fair game. If not, you may want to reconsider.

February 9, 2015, 6:08 PM

AJ, sounds good. Info on other lands, will be ignored by myself as well. It won't affect your score. I'll try to focus a bit more on how well-written the proposal is, rather than the creativity and concept as I did last time. That's why my scores differed so greatly from some of the other judges.

February 11, 2015, 3:10 AM

My entry may be coming a little later than last week considering my second child was born this week. So far, the proposals look great!

February 11, 2015, 3:21 AM

Congratulations, Blake!

February 11, 2015, 4:21 AM

Congratulations! So? What are the details? (of the baby, not the proposal!)

Edited: February 11, 2015, 6:15 AM

Mentioning another attraction for me too will neither benefit not hinder you unless the attractions are designed to interact. Ie- if you have some battling roller coasters and it works with the theme and significantly improves the experience, I'll likely smile on it (note, I said significant - don't just throw in a frivolous "duel" for the sake of it)

On the flip side, if an attraction like that were to go missing later, inhibiting the experience, I'll probably ask WTF during the finale.

February 11, 2015, 6:31 AM

As a competitor, I would not mind allowing Blake a couple of extra days on his proposal. Congratulations, Blake!

February 11, 2015, 6:42 AM

Congrats Blake! Give this man a cigar... and another few days on his dark ride proposal. Seems like a pretty legit cause, my good dudes.
Hammering mine out now. It's been simmering in the ol' brain pan for the past couple of days. Good luck to the other competitors and thanks again to our judges.

February 11, 2015, 11:49 AM

Congratulations Blake!!!! That's awesome :-)

February 11, 2015, 2:58 PM

i am here to say I can't continue with the TPA. Because of family reasons i will have to leave city and that means i won't have internet. I will enter the the next TPA. I am sorry but this was unexpected and no one saw this coming. I am so sorry and sad.
- Luca

February 11, 2015, 4:00 PM

Congratulations, Blake! If you need an extension, please let the judges know.

Luca, I'm sorry you're being forced to resign, but thank you for notifying everyone and not just disappearing spontaneously like some do. I look forward to seeing what you can do in the next season of TPA (assuming it happens).

February 11, 2015, 4:21 PM

That's really too bad Luca. We hope to see you in the next season!

Edited: February 13, 2015, 3:36 PM

I went ahead and posted just to make sure I didn't forget. It's still technically a work in progress as I might flesh out more detail, though the general ride concept and mechanics are set. (And I may add pictures if I have the time and I figure out how.)

Oh, and both congrats to Blake, and sorry to hear that, Luca.

February 13, 2015, 4:05 PM

For anyone who wishes to post pictures and doesn't know how, here's what I posted in the rules thread:

Posting Photos

The easiest way to post photos would be using a photo sharing website (I use Flickr, but Photobucket has also been popular in the past). After uploading your photos, there should be a HTML code you can just paste into your message at the appropriate location (you many need to click share to get it). Be sure that you limit the width of images to 500 pixels.

February 14, 2015, 1:04 AM

Thank you for all the congratulations everyone! She is truly a blessing. I am on track to have my entry finished though it may be close to the final hour. The entries so far look great.

February 14, 2015, 6:31 AM

Do you post videos the same way? I know Scott E. did, so it would be helpful if he could enlighten us.

February 14, 2015, 8:44 PM

Sorry- I just saw this from DPCC about posting the videos. To be honest I'm pretty crappy with the high-tech stuff. Maybe that's why my park is set in 1900!? There might be a better way to do it, but I found the YouTube video I wanted to use, hit "Share", then "Embed" then highlighted the embed code and copied it, then pasted it into the proposal. I did it after I had posted by using the edit button. I don't know how long you can fix stuff in your proposal because about a day after I posted I saw a typo that I wanted to fix but there was no edit button anymore. If you want to fix something don't wait too long to do it. I hope this works for you if you want to put a YouTube video in your proposal. No promises.

February 14, 2015, 10:29 PM


I hate to do this but I don't think I'll make the deadline tonight. As has been discussed above, i had a new beautiful baby girl this week and haven't had a chance to finish my entry. Any understanding would be greatly appreciated. A single day extension should be sufficient. Thanks in advance and so sorry for the late notice!

February 14, 2015, 11:45 PM

Scott, I'm pretty sure that's the easiest way to post a video. You just have to make sure the width doesn't exceed 500. Also, I believe editing is only available for 24 hours after posting, though it may have changed with one of the board revisions. I recommend writing proposals in Microsoft Word (or another similar program) and copying it over with any necessary HTML code inserted as appropriate. If you post an incomplete proposal and get locked out it will be judged as your final proposal.

Blake, DPCC will have to confirm but I don't think that will be an issue. You have more than enough justification for an extension. If for whatever reason you will not be able to get your proposal complete tomorrow, please advise the judges of a date you can commit to so we can plan around the delay.

February 15, 2015, 12:32 AM

Looks like I made it! Didn't think I would but I'm glad I did. Thanks for the understanding judges!

February 15, 2015, 5:51 PM

AJ, why did you say that there will be an elimination this week? The next challenge, the themed roller coaster, calls for 9 contestants and with Luca withdrawing we still have nine contestants. I'd like to see all of us move on, especially since so many of us are still new at this and learning what works and what doesn't. I hope you and the other judges give us all another week.

February 15, 2015, 6:08 PM

Scott, it is up to DPCC to set the elimination schedule. As of right now, the plan is to keep an elimination this round and have a floating non-elimination round to be used when it is truly too close to call. DPCC is busy today so we'll see what he has to say tomorrow, as I'll leave it up to him to announce eliminations.

February 15, 2015, 6:26 PM

OK. I guess we'll just wait until we hear the results. Thanks for the quick response to my question!

February 16, 2015, 2:30 AM

Sorry for the delay for me, I'll be judging right now. My Girlfriend just started the trip back to Canada in the last 30 mins, so time has been a bit precious this week.

February 16, 2015, 2:49 PM

Chad, I appreciate your honesty- not necessarily your ranking, but your honesty. One thing I'm discovering with my theme park concept is that I have to find a way to provide the historic info I've discovered in my research into the proposal without turning it into a history lesson. How to make history fun- could be harder than coming up with an idea! I guess I didn't think about it being a French film, considering it was being shown all over America by 1904, mostly from bootleg copies. Even Thomas Edison made illegal copies of it and distributed it through Vitagraph. It got so bad that Melies set up an American branch of his Star Film Company to both distribute the original version and bring legal action against the many illegal copies being made and shown. I wonder- if you consider it a French film because it was filmed in France, do you consider Star Wars a British film because it was filmed mostly in Great Britain? LOTR a New Zealand film? Please don't take this wrong (I know, don't antagonize the judges)but America in the late 1890s-1900s was an international melting pot. If you want strictly American attractions in my park, I'll have to transform it into a Native Americana park. America, then and now, is not a pure cultural place- most of us are ethnically mutts, and our culture pulls what I think is the best from everywhere in the world.

I will now step off of my soapbox, hoping that Chad takes this as it is meant to be- a friendly defense of my work. I fully understand your concerns and will definitely take them into account in the next round, and hopefully a future round or two. I'm just doing this for the fun of it, and so far I am having a lot of fun!

Edited: February 16, 2015, 3:23 PM

No Problem Scott.... There wasn't anything "Wrong" with the actual ride as I said, just that I didn't get how it all seemed to fit together with your park, and how accessble it would be to the average guest.

I dont think the SW or LOTR comparisons are valid... In the case of "Le Voyage dans la Lune", from what I can tell the creative force behind the film was a Frenchman, It was first released in France, and it was shot in France, with French Actors, by a French company. The Film invokes imagery of Jules' Vernes' "De la terre à la lune", one of the most famous stories by perhaps the most famous French Author ever.

Star Wars was shot in many places, including the UK, the driving creative force was American, produced by an American company, with an American Audience in mind. LOTR is a bit "Tricker" in that the book's Author is British, the Director a New Zealander, and it being shot in New Zealand, but I'm not sure if I'd put either of those into a park trying to sell an "Americana" experience.

If the initial pitch was for a park based on the golden age of Cinema, or the works of Jules Verne, then this would be a different kettle of fish, but in an a park labeled "Americana", I'm expecting tales on the American Experience.

I wouldn't worry too much about it, it seems I'm a bit out of step on this one. Might be better to treat my ranking as an outlier.

February 16, 2015, 3:34 PM

Glad you took my "rant" well...I don't hold grudges, do you? Did I ever tell you that you're my favorite judge? :+)

February 16, 2015, 4:09 PM

Nah, it fine, I was thinking about posting something anyway since I noticed my rankings for yourself were very different... Sometimes people are on the same page, sometimes not; one of those "Can't please everyone" things I guess.

I dont think we did individual judges rankings in the past when I played, but I do remember a few of my entries where it seemed like one judge really liked my idea and might have thought it was best, followed by another who didn't get it, so it happens.

February 16, 2015, 4:15 PM

Wow, Scott! I'm hurt!

February 16, 2015, 4:21 PM

Well, geez, "DPCC inc.", if you would trust us with your real name (big smiley face here)! It's weird to call someone "Hey, DPCC inc.!"

Edited: February 16, 2015, 4:35 PM

I just don't need to be internet-stalked. There are lots of advantages to being anonymous. :+)

February 16, 2015, 4:51 PM

Good point. How about just calling you "DP" for short?

February 16, 2015, 4:55 PM

Please, by all means, call me whatever shortened-version you want.

February 16, 2015, 7:18 PM

Yes, tell us your real name. Being eliminated this week has nothing to do with my interest in this. ; )

February 17, 2015, 5:04 AM

Scott, I'm really digging your park so far, just thought I'd bring up that a ride interpretation of the Méliès film did exist at Disneyland Paris. For it's first 10 years, Space Mountain was a tribute to the film complete with being shot out of a cannon, etc. I've only been able to experience the 'Mission 2' version of the ride, sadly. The original sounded like a much better theme!
Also, can't we at least get a first name, DPCC? A gender? Maybe a hint as to what your avatar is? If you're a hyper intelligent robot from the future, leave no reply. If you're a hyper intelligent robot from the past, then I'd have to imagine we'd have run into each other by now. Us HIRftP run in a pretty tight circle.

February 17, 2015, 5:18 AM

Listen, I understand (sort of) where you guys are coming from, but I really don't feel the need to tell you guys my name. If you're that interested, you can email me.

February 17, 2015, 5:51 AM

Travis, I had no idea that Disneyland Paris stole my idea that many years ago! Oh, well, they say that "everything old is new again". I learned in my research that the film also was possibly inspired by both Jules Verne and by a dark ride at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y., a ride which was later moved to NYC and was the centerpiece of Coney Island's Luna Park. I'm glad you like my park concept so far- I hope I get to share much more with you and the judges/readers. While I'm here- before going to work- I'll throw out another teaser for my themed coaster: "The Great Pacific Northwest Scenic Railway".

And I do know DPCC inc.'s real name- it's (deleted by order of the National Security Administration). Sorry, DP, I just thought it was right for everyone to know.

February 17, 2015, 8:37 AM

A judge by any other name, would still judge just the same.

February 17, 2015, 1:04 PM

Travis and Scott, if you want to get extremely technical Space Mountain - De la terre à la lune was not directly based on Méliès's film but rather Jules Verne's novels De la Terre à la Lune (From the Earth to the Moon) and Autour de la Lune (Around the Moon). Le Voyage dans la Lune is, in part, an adaptation of these novels, hence why Space Mountain seems very similar to it. As for me, I have ridden Space Mountain: Mission 2, and it was a good ride, but I hope the rumors about it being restored to the original version are true as that looked like it was the best Space Mountain.

For everyone who is interested in DPCC's name, I suggest you send him an email (his address is in the judge recruiting thread...can't remember if it was posted elsewhere or not). I do know his name (well, at least his first name), but I respect his wish to remain anonymous and will not share it here. I don't see how knowing it will affect the competition, but if you absolutely must know then email him. Let's refrain from continued discussion of the topic here.

February 17, 2015, 6:23 PM

Can my coaster be indoors and then come outside near the end?

Edited: February 17, 2015, 6:41 PM

Your roller coaster may be completely enclosed inside a structure, completely outdoors, or feature both inside and outside portions. As long as the ride is realistic, there is very little restriction on what you choose to do with it other than that specified in the challenge guidelines.

February 17, 2015, 8:00 PM

Thank you.

February 18, 2015, 5:01 AM

I was totally kidding about the name thing, dudes. But not the hyper intelligent robot thing- that's dead serious. If ANY of our judges are robots, I feel it should be disclosed.
And AJ, yeah, I'd be tempted for a return visit to DLRP if the original Space Mountain were restored. The theme elements around Discoveryland and the Space Mountain attraction itself (Baltimore Gun Club) SCREAM Jules Verne style retro-futurism. Mission 2 seems a little out of place.

February 18, 2015, 3:47 PM

I'd like to apologize to the judges for my late proposal last week. I thought I submitted it before the midnight deadline, but I guess I was late. I'll have my proposal in on time this week.

February 19, 2015, 1:06 AM

Great Coaster, Scott E! You're park is really shaping up to be something special and you're really making the idea of an Americana park not only interesting, but exciting and engaging! Love it!

February 19, 2015, 2:37 AM

Thanks, Blake! I just read "Escape from Bald Mountain"- terrific coaster, great detail on both the ride and the theming. You made a scary coaster experience into a REALLY scary theme experience. I saw what you've been coming up with and realized that I had to get aggressive or I would be left out in the parking lot! BTW, how's the baby doing?

February 19, 2015, 9:32 PM

Baby is doing well! Thanks for asking! Me and the wife are adjusting to life as parents of multiple children and while I can't say it's been easy, it's been awesome! 2 kids under 2 is quite a challenge!

February 20, 2015, 7:01 AM

This one was a toughie. I didn't realize how deep coaster nerdery went until I started researching for this. I dunno, I'm hoping I've covered any gaps in which I've had to guess by guessing confidently.
Blake, dude, you're my spirit animal. Braver than I, sir. My wife and I are panicked at the idea of one baby. Glad to hear it's going well!

February 21, 2015, 9:39 PM

Christopher, I'm sorry to hear you are dropping out. You had an excellent idea, and it could have gone places. But, of course, I understand the need to focus on your school work. I hope to see you next time!

Edited: February 23, 2015, 10:25 AM

Yeah, I was pressed for time this week, plus I don't have a lot of background on the technical side of rollercoasters, so I can totally see the issues many of you had with the "thinness" of this week's entry. To address one point - yes, the majority of elements would be static, given that you will be going past them anyway, and moving parts would be mostly pointless as a result - a small number of effects would be dynamic, such as audio/visual effects to simulate spells from the wizards and using a wire system to "shoot" the arrows.

Most of the effects are intended to be enhanced by blocking sight lines to them until they're right on top of the rider, really allowing static effects to not necessarily look so static.

I'm well along with my live show entry, so I want to look ahead to the simulator round, since that's going to require more time. (My survival in the competition willing.) What would be a good definition for the boundaries of "simulator". Would something like DCA's/Epcot's "Soarin'" qualify as a simulator, or is more along the lines of DHS' "Star Tours" shaker-style ride?

February 23, 2015, 10:34 AM

I would describe them both as simulators, as is Back To the Future/The Simpsons Ride.

February 23, 2015, 1:03 PM

Travis, once you get the hang of one kid, it's pretty smooth sailing (well, at least as smooth as raising kids can be). Two, however, is a whole new ball game Haha! Best of luck to you and your wife. The new baby's name is Katelynn. She's beautiful and very quiet (at least for an infant) so we're very lucky.

Judges, for this weeks Live Show round, do the same general length restrictions apply? I don't think I would produce a whole script but I am considering including lengthy portions of the (potential) script in the proposal and I'm worried it might stretch into a slightly longer proposal due to the nature of a live, scripted show as opposed to a regular ride attraction. Thanks.

P.S.-Grats all on the last round. There were some really great ideas and I wish I could ride all of your coasters!

February 23, 2015, 1:24 PM

We missed the whole "second kid" thing, going straight from one to three with twins some eight years ago. Amazing, but a bit rough to switch from double-coverage straight through to zone without getting to do man-to-man first.

February 23, 2015, 1:33 PM

Kevin, I'd consider any static screen-based attraction with significant motion a simulator. Star Tours, Soarin', Simpsons Ride, Despicable Me, Wild Arctic...anything like that. A 4D movie with slightly moving seats, such as Shrek 4-D, would not be a simulator as the motion is not a necessary part of the experience. Also, although a ride like Transformers is essentially a simulator on a track it wouldn't be acceptable for a simulator challenge as it's more commonly considered a dark ride.

Blake, there is no official length restrictions that I'm aware of, I just added that to the last challenge as a guideline. In my experience, I've found that three pages is usually adequate for a solid proposal, but if you feel you need more then use more. When I've done shows, I usually stick with scene descriptions, but if you wish to include portions of the script just make sure it is actually beneficial to your proposal and isn't extraneous content.

February 23, 2015, 2:13 PM

I would say that if there is a part of the script you want to emphasise, do it... but not too much. Key moments or dramatic parts only.

Edited: February 23, 2015, 7:02 PM

Kevin, I just wanted to note as a lurking bystander, I have thoroughly enjoyed your park so far. It is exciting, interactive, and shows incredible promise. I am not trying to slight any of the other competitors as everyone is doing a fine job, but a D&D park (or at least a D&D attraction) is WAY overdue. Keep 'em coming, brother, I for one am digging your entries in this contest.

AJ, I do have one question regarding your review of Scott E.'s scenic coaster: who is to say an RMC coaster of such a length (8300+ feet) could not utilize longer trains? Furthermore, presuming RMC would build an 8300+ ft coaster and partner with some other company to build the 36 passenger train to go with it (and in this imaginary contest, why not?), his capacity calculations seem to be pretty spot on (although a 5th train would be very difficult to envision as most theme park ride ops outside of Disney are simply not that efficient). I hope you did not penalize for him using a train that doesn't currently exist on a ride that probably never will exist.

I freely acknowledge that you are a far superior coaster expert than me, so these comments are just my two cents, and no offense is intended at all.

February 23, 2015, 7:05 PM

Just thought I'd pop in here and say that I really enjoyed the coaster proposals. Keep up the good work contestants.

February 24, 2015, 12:27 AM

James, no offense taken. To date, every RMC coaster has used the exact same train arrangement: a six car train with 2x2 seating, giving 24 riders per train. This is the only train RMC currently offers. While the early rides use a Gerstlauer train, the configuration is exactly the same, and I think I remember Alan Schilke (one of RMC's lead engineers) stating that all future RMCs will use their trains. Scott proposed a train with a 3x2 seating arrangement, a common train type for older out and back wooden coasters. However, this setup does not work very well on twisters, as the longer cars have difficulty negotiating tight turns. Now, there are steel coasters that have twisting elements and use a three row car (Premier and Maurer are the two that come to mind), but the design is uncommon and most manufacturers opt instead for a one or two row car. Furthermore, RMC's steel track is much closer to a wood coaster, so the cars would most likely be closer to three row wood coaster cars than three row steel coaster cars and, under the assumption that Scott's ride will contain similar elements to existing RMC rides (minus the inversions), it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to use a less maneuverable car. Assuming RMC agreed to it, you could have Premier or Maurer (or another company willing to do it) design a three row car for the ride, but it would probably be significantly more expensive than just purchasing RMC trains. While capacity would be higher (Scott's calculation is correct for his train design, mine was for four 24 passenger trains), it's unlikely the extra capacity is needed enough to justify the added cost. Theoretically, you could have a nine car RMC train to get 36 riders, but there are plenty of engineering reasons why roller coasters don't generally use trains of that length (increased rolling resistance, increased weight, different ride dynamics over hills, etc.).

Don't worry, I didn't penalize Scott in any way for his train choice, as it was a realistic idea. I just made a comment that it probably wouldn't work given the nature of his attraction, and as a result the coaster won't have as high of capacity as predicted. I may be a bit more critical than the other judges, especially when it comes to roller coasters and engineering aspects, but I am not a mean judge who is looking for any excuse to mark competitors off.

Edited: February 24, 2015, 4:59 AM

Interesting, from my reading I just imagined a longer train, not a wider train. Something like ThuNderaTion at Silver Dollar City which has six cars per train, seating two riders across three rows per car, for a total of 36 riders per train. In fact, Scott's ride reminds me a lot of ThuNderaTion, but bigger and better. (Oddly enough, looking back at Scott's proposal he actually had four trains of six cars each seating two across in three rows). Anyway, you answered my main question, which is all that's important. Thanks!

February 24, 2015, 7:07 AM

This is kind of weird in a good way. Two people whose opinions I respect talking about my proposal! Kind of cool! Oh well, back to the show proposal. AJ, I hope you're not carrying a dual major in Engineering and're not, are you? James, thanks for your input on this also. I read your article on Disneyland and Kings Island- good stuff.

February 24, 2015, 8:03 AM

Well, he may not be, but I myself am pretty into it. Having seen lots of Broadway shows, and been in many community theatre productions, I have a level of expertise the other judges may not. You have been warned!

February 24, 2015, 10:06 AM

Wel, warned or not, my entry is up. :)

I reserve the right to make minor edits, especially to add details, but it's essentially complete. I've got to say, I had the basic outline of this done from before I submitted my original park proposal - once I decided what I wanted to do for this category, it fairly well wrote itself in large part.

Edited: February 24, 2015, 1:01 PM

James, I think I may have reversed it. I meant to say 2x3 (two across, three rows). Your thinking of Thunderation is right on, as Arrow Mine Trains use the same seating configuration. However, I was thinking more along the lines of PTC's three bench trains, found on coasters such as Racer, Beast, and Cedar Point's Blue Streak. These cars may be slightly wider, but they are definitely longer than those found on a mine train and would have difficulty with tight turns. Next time you happen to see a ride with this train, try sitting in the middle row of a car and, if you pay close attention, you'll notice that they flex and shuffle around turns.

Now, the biggest constraint is not the dimensions of the car itself but the position of the wheels. For a vehicle to be more maneuverable, the wheelbase (distance between the front and back wheels) should be smaller. It also helps a little if the track width is smaller, but it is not as important. Here's a good investigation for you next time you visit Worlds of Fun, James. Take a look at the wheel assembly of Mamba, a steel coaster running 2x3 trains. You'll notice that the wheels are not right at the front and back of the car, but are pulled in a bit. They are also not at the edges, but are a little more toward the center of the car. This shortens the wheelbase and makes the cars more maneuverable, hence how there are some fairly twisted steel coasters with 2x3 cars. Now, compare this to Timber Wolf, a wooden coaster with 2x2 PTC trains. You'll notice that Timber Wolf has the wheels located at the corners of the cars. The three bench PTC trains are essentially the same as Timber Wolf's, just with an extra row in the middle. Due to RMC's track design, Scott's cars would use a wheel arrangement closer to Timber Wolf than to Mamba, and therefore the wheel base would be longer and maneuverability would be affected. If you want one more to look at, check out Spinning Dragons and you'll notice the wheel base is very short, allowing the cars to negotiate hairpin turns.

Scott, don't worry, I've only got a major in Mechanical Engineering, and I doubt I'll be able to use that too much in non-ride challenges. Honestly, I thought you had a very good roller coaster, and if the roller coaster was independent of the park I probably would have ranked yours second. However, in this competition it is necessary to take all factors into consideration and when I've got five A coasters to rank against each other it's not easy. I probably swapped the order of you, Blake, and Brett a dozen times before deciding, and ultimately it came down to "Assuming the respective parks exist, which of these could I most see happening?".

Edited: February 24, 2015, 3:19 PM

AJ, I appreciate your willingness to discuss this in here. I really am no expert in any sense of the word on coaster engineering, and it's been interesting to hear you talking with James Rao about things that I honestly just guessed at. My biggest question for you is this- while I can understand your concerns about "A Trip to the Moon" being a French movie (even though it was shown extensively in America), your comment "while this is an excellent ride, it really doesn't seem to fit the theme of your park too well." has me totally perplexed. It is set in America, in an American state, set in the historical era that my park is themed to. It's built by an American company. How does it not fit the theme of my park? I mentioned how personally I took this attraction, since my family were pioneers in the logging industry in the Pacific Northwest- saying it doesn't fit into the theme of a historic American park is like saying my family doesn't fit into America. I really don't want to take this personally, so I would really like to understand what you mean by saying a historically-themed American coaster doesn't fit into a historically-themed American park.
And as far as the Show challenge coming up, don't worry- DP has already threatened me with his extensive knowledge and experience in theatre.

February 24, 2015, 4:07 PM

I'll of course try not to be too harsh. I try to leave that to AJ ;+)

Edited: February 24, 2015, 5:37 PM

First of all, Scott, please don't take it personally. I am not trying to attack you or any other competitors and am only trying to give an honest opinion based on my personal theme park experience. I do not work in the industry (hopefully one day...) so it is possible some of the things I've said could be slightly off, but especially when it comes to the practical aspects of an attraction I probably take a much more critical look due to my engineering background. It's not just your attractions, either...I did give Blake a hard time about his (most likely) impractical ride system in the dark ride challenge, after all.

In regards to your theming question, I maybe could have worded it a bit better. Let me run through my thoughts on that, and then if you have more specific questions feel free to ask. First off, you chose to place your ride in the Boardwalk section of your park. Given the theme of your park, I assumed this area would be similar to Coney Island or the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, with modernizations of classic amusement rides. Based on the way your proposal started, I was really expecting a modern version of a classic scenic railway, possibly as a GCI wood coaster with an impressive façade that the ride winds in and out of. When the ride turned out to be a runaway train thru the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, I thought it was a pretty odd choice for that area (I don't think I'm the only judge that did either). Most guests aren't going to think about forests and mountains while they're at a boardwalk on a beach, so having a ride that takes them into a highly themed environment vastly different from the one they were in doesn't work too well in my mind.

So, the ride is an odd fit for the Boardwalk, but does it fit elsewhere inside your park? Let's take a look at the other themed areas:

-Maple Grove: You describe this as a small farm town, another place your coaster doesn't seem to fit. In addition, this is the entrance area of your park and generally it is a bad idea to place your park's biggest ride right at the entrance.

-Green Springs: You stated this is a waterpark, so a roller coaster doesn't really fit here no matter what the theme is.

-County Fair: Another area that I would expect to see filled with modernized versions of classic carnival rides. You could have a roller coaster here, but you'd probably want a smaller one as fairs tend to stay in town for a month or less before moving on. Nothing about a fairground suggests Pacific Northwest either.

-Courthouse Square: To me, this area seems like it would be modeled after a Midwest town around the turn of the century. It's not really a western themed area, but it's also not a big city. An attraction themed to a railroad would probably fit in this area, but again, there isn't really anything that goes along with forests and mountains here.

-Morrison Farm: This is a farm themed area, with an actual farm as well. Again, it doesn't seem like a place where your coaster would fit.

Perhaps stating simply that your coaster doesn't fit the theme of your park was a bit too much. It definitely fits a historical America theme, and the logging and mining industries are a very important part of America. What I probably should have said is that none of your areas really suggest an attraction like the Great Pacific Northwest Scenic Railway, as none of them really suggest a mountainous and forested region. Doing a smaller scale ride with the same theme (like the GCI I mentioned) would be an excellent fit for the Boardwalk area, and a train ride from Courthouse Square to the Pacific Northwest and back would work as well, but having a ride that seems to start and end in the region just doesn't seem like a good fit anywhere inside your park despite working with the overall theme.

Now, your park is themed to historical America, so why not have a Pioneer town themed area? In an area like this, the Great Pacific Northwest Scenic Railway would be an absolutely perfect fit. Riders would depart from the town for a scenic tour of the surrounding wilderness. However, once they are underway something happens and they take a runaway train ride ending up at a logging camp. Following a dark ride like trip through the lumber mill, the trains climb the second lift for a gravity powered return to the town. Given the nature of your attraction, this is closer to what I would have expected. Plus, having a pioneer town will also give you a great place for a top notch flume or rapids ride in the later water ride challenge (if you chose to go that route, of course).

I hope this makes sense and sheds some light on why I said what I did. Again, you have still created a top tier roller coaster and I would love to ride it, but I'm not convinced it was the best fit for your park based on the themed areas you chose to include. It was easily the most difficult ride for me to place this round, as almost all the entries this week were A level proposals and the differences between them were pretty small.

If you (or any of the other competitors) have any other questions about my comments, feel free to ask. I'm happy to provide my reasoning for anything I write in a critique. I'm not here to crush the dreams of competitors, I'm just trying to give plenty of things to consider that may cause issues if the attraction was to exist in the real world.

February 24, 2015, 6:56 PM

What I'm seeing The Boardwalk as seems to be different from what others are seeing it. I'm seeing it like what I picture the boardwalk at Coney Island at the turn of the 19th century to be, a mixture of concessions totally unrelated to each other. I appreciate your explanation. I am leaning strongly toward rethinking much of my park, reexamining the theming and redesigning some areas while not altering the general concepts. My concern is 1) how far can I go with a change without "breaking the rules", and 2) is it really necessary? Should I just recreate/redesign a "land" as needed or give the entire park a make-over? In hindsight, I started out at a disadvantage by posting my park so early. I held back too much and didn't take as much time as I possibly should have in creating and describing each land. So what can I do? Remodel the entire park now that I've had some time to live with it? Remodel parts of it as I need to as a challenge presents itself and its requirements? Just deal with it and live with what I have? I don't want to do anything that other competitors would feel was either unfair or forcing them to also redesign their parks to "keep up".

Does any of this make sense? I've been working all day (on my day off) writing my show proposal, so I'm a bit theatrically fried right now. Any suggestions, opinions, etc. from anyone, judge or fellow competitor would be appreciated.

February 24, 2015, 7:48 PM

Scott, I think part of the issue with the Boardwalk could be the scale you're going for. Having a mix of unrelated attractions is what most Boardwalks have, but they usually don't have gigantic fully immersive attractions. At least in my opinion, part of the charm of a boardwalk park comes from the cheese factor.

As for your questions, I won't say what you should do, but here's a few examples of what I would find acceptable and unacceptable:

-Swapping out a land for another land
-Adding a land to the park
-Moving proposed attractions to a different land
-Making slight modifications to attractions that have been proposed

-Adding several lands, significantly increasing the size of the park
-Redoing a majority of the park from what was originally proposed
-Changing the overall theme of the park
-Deleting an attraction that has already been proposed

In short, if you want to redo one or two lands or shuffle stuff around your park, that's probably fine. If you want to dramatically alter the park and change the general theme, that's too far. The other judges may have input on this as well. Is it necessary? That is up to you. I honestly think you've got a pretty good concept for a park, I just think you might be overdoing some things a little.

February 24, 2015, 10:06 PM

I wish real theme park designers worried about the minutia as much as you all do!

February 25, 2015, 2:02 AM

AJ, thanks for your input and clarification. I'll think about what I want or need to do, if anything...or even if I have time to do anything! James, please understand that I've been off of my medication for awhile. I've been battling CDO for a long time- it's like OCD but the letters are in the correct order. I'm going back into therapy soon :+)

February 25, 2015, 10:27 AM

I would agree with AJ. I would also add that changing the name of your park, but not the theme, would be acceptable. I believe this happened in the last TPA.

Edited: February 25, 2015, 11:23 AM

I am sorry to be leaving the compition so early, but I made it farther than I thought I would. This was my first TPA and will be back again next year!
Good luck to all of the other remaining contestants! Can't wait to see who makes it out on top, and who is "voted off the island" and joins me in the ocean! (Not on the island)

February 25, 2015, 1:24 PM

Yes Magna Britania was pitched as "a green and pleasant land".

February 25, 2015, 1:45 PM

That's what I thought! I'm on top of this!

February 26, 2015, 2:02 AM

I have a question about the scoring and who gets eliminated. What is the deciding factor? Is it the score for the most recent challenge or the cumulative score? If it is the cumulative score, in theory, Blake (and buddy, I am NOT picking on you :+) could present a show involving looking at a Viewmaster picture of a box of rocks, come in last place with all the judges and still have such a lead that he would continue on. Of course that would never happen, but what if the two bottom rankings don't agree? What decides who goes home?

Edited: February 26, 2015, 5:13 AM

Unless there is something very unusual, the Cumulative score isn't used to eliminate folks. Anyone and everyone is potentially eliminatable in every round.

We look at the current round score, and number of "Last place ranks this round" primarily.

Edited: February 26, 2015, 5:50 AM

TBH, I wasn't exactly happy with the name "Magna Britania" either, but it came to a point where I had to commit to something.

As a guide for this year's competitors, this is the "Preamble" that I stuck at the top of the final, explaining/declaring the changes applied to the final entry from the previous rounds. Hopefully it helps us all understand whats' ok, and what's not. As you can see changes include from a rename to things being cut, concepts being refused and concepts being split into two.


Following feedback, I've made a lot of changes to the concept to focus on what the judges seem to have enjoyed about the original concept, and rework some things that simply were not going to.

Jubiliee Dock / Albert Dock - I toyed in rounds with renaming this Albert Dock after the Prince Regent of Victoria, Julbilee Dock is now the fixed name. It represents an 1800s London going beyond the original plans of just london's imperial docklands.

CODENAME: Winston - The focus here is more on the cold war era, with the name being more of a reference to Chruchills post-WW2 leadership and coining of the phrase Iron Curtain than World War 2. The area looks at a 1960s/1970s view of the world and near future, becoming retrofuture in parts.

Albaness - This concept is now split into two sections, "The Highlands" represents the scottish wilderness, and offers a quiet corner of the park in rustic surrounds. Cambria takes on the proposed thrill elements of Albaness and is modelled on Wales (Notably absent from the original concept completely)

Sodor - Completely cut. There are already Thomas-lands in several parks, including Britain's Drayton Manor. No need to recreate the wheel. The Kid friendly element moves to….

Albion Faire - Takes on more of a family friendly theme.

Tomorrows World - Cut. The Doctor Who experience is now themed within the classic Doctor Who presentation of UNIT (1970's), and Aquae Sulius is retimed to be retrofuture; both now taking place within Codename WINSTON.

Porthampton Harbour - Cut. Juiblee Dock is expanded to cover the whole 1800s and offers a Nelson/Trafalgar experience.

Elizabethia - Unscaved.

Any previous attractions that still make the cut will be mentioned in the rundown. Some which just don't sit right or didn't quite work are out.

I expect what people are proposing to develop and mature as you think about it more and fill it out. Maybe one of the upcoming rounds is going to "hit you for six" (not sure how to translate that into Americanism) and require you to rethink how things fit in, or maybe you'll realise a concept isn't working... As such, I appreciate that what you're working on is a living concept still.

I expect name changes, rethemes, cuts and other changes as a part of what you're working on. Is there a limit? Sure... if Americana (to pick a random example) was to suddenly in the final morph into a sci fi park with none of its existing rides, that wouldn't be valid... But if it was decided a particular land wasn't working, then cutting it or reworking it in my view is absolutely fine.

The Idea of us giving feedback after all is to improve your entries. If you're not going to use that feedback, thats up to you, but you're certainly not prevented from using it. If the near-unanimous Feedback is Concept XYZ stinks, change it or cut it.

I could go on, but hopefully I've said enough to get the general idea over...

February 27, 2015, 10:31 AM

Alrighty... proposal is in! I've really tried to address the concerns the judges gave me last week- specifically with regards to formatting and tone. I'll keeps the dudes and sidebar jokes to the chatter thread.

Also, Scott dude, your proposal is excellent. I'd see that Vaudeville show in a heartbeat! I'm loving the different approaches we're all taking. Just a suggestion to our eliminated buddies, btw- you guys should put up a brief description for the upcoming proposals in the chatter thread or a separate, eliminated players thread. I'm interested to know what you guys had in mind and really wanted to see EVERYONE's parks develop. Only a suggestion, but I'm sure I'm not the only one interested.

Edited: February 27, 2015, 2:30 PM

Just to Scott's question more specifically, the elimination process is as follows. It's a bit confusing, so if I make no sense, let me know.

First, we look at the person with the most last place votes. This person has the potential to be eliminated

Then, we look at the person with the lowest score for that round. This person also has the potential to be eliminated

If the two are the same , that person is eliminated

If the two are different, the person (out of the two) with the lower cumulative score is eliminated.

So, based on that theory, if Blake's show consisted of looking through a view-master and a box of rocks (or standing in a box of rocks, to look through a blank viewmaster slide), he would most certainly be eliminated.

Hope that made some sense and answered your question! We tried to find the fairest way possible to do this, and spent a lot of time figuring it out!

Edited: February 27, 2015, 3:55 PM

Or, even if he proposed The Hall of Presidents: A 20-Minute Air-Conditioned Nap

February 27, 2015, 4:26 PM

Working on mine now. I gotta say, this is the toughest challenge yet!

Edited: February 27, 2015, 4:52 PM

It does tend to be a toughie. It's very different from creating a ride of any type, as you need a more developed story, and cannot rely at all on the "ride" elements. But don't worry. I promise the restaurant is harder.

February 27, 2015, 5:18 PM

I think the "show", and "Parade" rounds are the ones you're either wired up for, or you just hope to survive.

"Restaurant" and "Hotel" rounds can be tough too, especially as I've never been to a hotel in a theme park resort, and I try not to get caught in the overpriced food traps...

I really enjoy the "Renovation" rounds... They're harder to fit in the current format I guess, but they are great to write for.

February 27, 2015, 5:35 PM

I've actually got a pretty good idea of what my restaurant will look like. This live show, however, is really giving me some writers block! I think I've got a handle on it now, though. Time will tell. Good Luck to everyone!

February 27, 2015, 5:48 PM

Blake, I REALLY suggest you try the Viewmaster idea I threw out there :+) Just kidding- I know you're going to present something outstanding. I actually had about four show ideas, but finally settled on Vaudeville! Restaurant, if I get there, has me more challenged.

Chad, what's a Renovation round?

February 27, 2015, 6:06 PM

Travis and Chad, both of your proposals are really great! All totally different but still really entertaining. I agree with Travis that I would like to hear about the proposals from all the competitors including the eliminated ones. They don't have to be fully written up, but I would at least love to hear what the ideas are.

February 27, 2015, 7:03 PM

I believe a renovation round (in the old format) was when a contestant would have to renovate an existing theme park attraction. Is this correct?

Edited: February 27, 2015, 9:47 PM

Well, if we're going to discuss "renovation", I guess this is as good a time as any to reveal the renovation I did to my audition proposal. As I've lived with this concept and learned about writing proposals, I have made some changes, additions and deletions, and hopefully clarified my "vision" of Americana 1900. I hope this helps you share my vision, one I hope to carry to its conclusion over the coming weeks. To my fellow competitors, I have two things to say: 1) I would love to hear how your vision of your park has changed- if at all- since you started this competition. If you want to post something like this, I would encourage you to do so. I know that this exercise helped me a lot- I just hope I can continue to develop my park, and 2) if the rest of you weren't doing such a terrific job at this competition I wouldn't feel so worried that I had to do this to stay in the running! It's been great competing against such a great, talented bunch of guys. So now, here is my proposal for "Americana 1900" (the rebooted edition):

"Americana 1900" : America's Grand New Theme Park

North of Birmingham, Alabama, with easy access via Interstate from many of the largest cities in the beautiful American South stands our nation's newest and most beautiful theme park, "Americana 1900", a place where the elegance of our nation's historic past meets the entertainment demands and capabilities of today and tomorrow. This is a highly-themed amusement park that fuses modern technology with the charm, sophistication and fun of what is romantically remembered as our nation's most elegant era. Six themed "Townships" transport guests back to that bygone era when automobiles were the latest fad, when most of America was rural and most Americans lived on farms, and when the Industrial Revolution was just starting to make our great-grandparents' lives a little bit easier.

"Americana 1900" is not a dry, boring history lesson, but a place of fun, excitement and visual beauty, and is designed for families to explore and experience together. The basic theme is from the era of 1890-1910, but remember that structures from before that time still existed, and if a little bit of the future should intrude, well, most guests are very forgiving. Safety will never be sacrificed for period or political correctness.

The six Townships that can be explored in "Americana 1900" are:

"Maple Grove", the entrance to the park, where the simple, rustic homes and shops of a small farming community provide guest services, shopping and dining opportunities, and transportation to the rest of the park. The Alabama & Gulf Coast Railroad, the train that provides one form of transportation throughout the park, has a station here, providing easy access to other Townships in the park. Also located here are several craft shops where guests can watch a blacksmith, farrier (horseshoeing), baker and other skilled artisans produce goods for purchase at several shops throughout the park.

"The Pike." Named after and inspired by the amusement area of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904, held in St. Louis, Mo., this Township is a collection of rides, attractions, restaurants and shops. Many of these are themed to "exotic" lands, mysterious places and historic events from across our nation and even from around the world. They may seem unrelated but are united in their celebration of fun, excitement and relaxation. This area is laid-out like a long, wide boulevard with a sunken floral garden running down the center of it. The attractions line both sides of The Pike, with the remarkable log "temple" of the Great Pacific Northwest Scenic Railway anchoring the north end and the breathtaking "Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack" simulator experience at the south end. Towering over The Pike in the center of the floral gardens is a recreation of the first Ferris Wheel, 264 feet tall, created for the Midway at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago and rebuilt for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904.

(note: "The Pike" replaces "The Boardwalk" in the original proposal)

"Green Springs", the water park area, is themed to the popular hot springs resorts that many people of that era visited to enjoy the "health benefits of taking the waters". This is an area to both relax and be thrilled by the water slides, wave pools and lazy rivers that our great-grandparents would not have recognized but would undoubtedly have quickly learned to enjoy. The most thrilling attraction in Green Springs is "The Great Johnstown Flood of 1889", a dark ride/water ride combination where riders on rafts experience the thrills and terror of the famous flood that destroyed Johnstown, Pa. in 1889.

"County Fair". The name says it all. Amusement rides, carnival attractions and cotton candy are just a few of the features to be found in this quintessential part of American life. This is not the rather seedy, sometimes rather shabby, temporary carnival atmosphere of a perhaps more realistic county fair of today, but the more idealized image that we have of what a county fair should be. The rides are not temporary, rusty and run by less-than-respectable roustabouts, but permanent, safe and carefully themed attractions that have stood the test of time and are among the favorites of so many theme park visitors. Along with the dozen or so traditional rides found at most county fairs, guests will find one of the signature rides at Americana 1900, "The Steeplechase", a ride once popular throughout the world but hard to find today- but not at Americana 1900's County Fair. A cross between a roller coaster and a merry-go-round, the Steeplechase is the star attraction at this County Fair.

"Courthouse Square" recreates the heart of the prosperous county seat of Americana County, where the Courthouse was the largest and most elegant building in town. The Americana County Courthouse acts as both an attraction in itself and as the iconic structure for the entire park. A magnificent Beaux-Arts structure of three stories surmounted by a soaring clock tower and dome, the Courthouse is home to "The American Journey", a walk-through attraction featuring great moments in American history as seen through the eyes of the common man. Since this park is based on the year 1900, the exhibits only touch on the historic events up to that date, but leave it open to the guest to decide how those events shaped the future of our country. The goal of "The American Journey" is to entertain, educate and inspire guests to look towards the future, a future that they know and a future that they will help to create. The Courthouse stands in the center of the Square, and is surrounded by the shops, businesses and entertainment facilities of this lovely town of 1900. Several theaters, the Orpheum and the Americana, face the Courthouse across the streets that form the Square, and such businesses as an ice cream shop, barber shop and corner drug store bring the past to life. Also here is one of the entrances to the Theodore Roosevelt Hotel, where guests can enjoy the elegance of the past with the full-service comforts and family friendliness of the present. The hotel has its main entrance outside the park, allowing guests the convenience of easy check-in. The hotel rooms occupy the upper floors of the buildings surrounding Courthouse Square, bringing guests right into the fun, excitement and beauty of Americana 1900.

"Morrison Farm" is a working farm with animals to be petted, crops growing in the fields, and rides themed to be appropriate to the rural feeling of this relaxing yet fun place. Morrison Farm is more than a large petting zoo, however. As a working farm, it demonstrates agricultural techniques of the past, techniques being rediscovered by modern society as so many try to eat healthy, organic and eco-friendly. Much of the food supply for the restaurants of Americana 1900 comes from the fields and gardens of Morrison Farm, but it is more than just an "heirloom farm growing heirloom crops". Several carefully themed rides and attractions have been incorporated into this bucolic setting, including "The Barn Cat", a wild mouse-type racing roller coaster where ride vehicles themed as cats and mice race each other through a barn, around the silo, up into the hay loft and throughout some other farm buildings to see who wins, the cat or the mouse. Hungry guests can grab a bite to eat in Grandma's Homestead restaurant and shop at the Farmer's Market for homemade jams and jellies, stone-ground flours milled at the working grist mill and handy kitchen items like Grandma would have used but are hard to find today.

The easiest way to describe the physical layout of Americana 1900 (short of a map which will be created if needed)is to compare it to the widely known layout of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World:
"Maple Grove" occupies the area around Town Square.
"The Pike" covers Adventureland, Frontierland and the half of Liberty Square adjacent to Frontierland.
"County Fair" is the rest of Liberty Square.
"Courthouse Square" corresponds to Fantasyland.
"Green Springs" is where Mickey's Toontown Fair and the upper part of Tomorrowland stands.
"Morrison Farm" fills both the rest of Tomorrowland and the entire Hub.
In the center of Americana 1900, corresponding to the center of the Hub at Magic Kingdom, is the Mill Pond, a large pond with ducks and geese swimming lazily around. On the east bank of the Mill Pond stands the Old Mill, a working grist mill with an undershot water wheel powered by water flowing from the "old mill stream" coming out of Green Springs. The Old Mill Stream flows through part of Morrison Farm, powers the water wheel, then empties into the Mill Pond. The water is carried away from the pond by another part of the Old Mill Stream where it forms the border between Morrison Farm and Maple Grove.

A broad paved road leads north from Maple Grove to encircle the Mill Pond, where it joins other walkways leading to the other Townships. Each Township can be also be entered from the adjacent Township. Where the walkways cross the Old Mill Stream, covered bridges add to the rustic feel. These roads and walkways emanating from the Mill Pond pass through fields of crops, vegetables and even pasture for grazing animals such as cows and sheep. Split rail and occasionally stone fences line the walkways.

"Americana 1900" is the ideal family theme park. It has attractions for the entire family; it is a visual beautiful park, with historically designed structures and magnificent landscaping; it has remarkable thrill rides, heavily themed to the period of the park yet utilizing the most modern technology. Entertainment, dining, shopping and areas for relaxing are all to be found throughout the park. "Americana 1900" is a new destination park for Americans to come to and discover their history, and for guest from around the world to come and discover America.

February 28, 2015, 5:38 AM

I was contacted by a judge that they were still unclear about my layout for Americana 1900, so I sent them this description and they said it helped. I will do a map if needed, but right now time is a bit dear to me- hard to believe I do have a life outside of Theme Park Apprentice 6.1 ! I hope this helps, and please feel free to let me know if anyone still has questions or is confused.

"Pretend the map of Americana 1900 is a clock face (not a digital clock, but the old-fashioned round clock with 12:00 at the top- yea, and "old" clock. The 12:00 mark is north. The Mill Pond is in the center of the clock, with a road going around the pond and walkways radiating away from it towards the various Townships. The Townships form roughly wedge or pie-shaped areas, widest at the outside of the clock and tapering in toward the Mill Pond. "Maple Grove" covers and area roughly from 5:00 to 7:00; "The Pike" from 7:00 to 10:00; "County Fair" from 10:00 to 11:00; "Courthouse Square" from 11:00 to 1:00; "Green Springs" from 1:00 to about 2:30; "Morrison Farm" fills the rest of the clock, from 2:30 to 5:00. "Morrison Farm" actually sticks out a bit into the middle of the clock so that the Mill Pond is surrounded by the fields of Morrison Farm. To go back to the Magic Kingdom analogy, imagine if Tomorrowland reached out and took over the Hub. The main entrance to the park is Maple Grove, right at the 6:00 mark, but there is another entrance, the Hotel Entrance, directly at the 12:00 mark, but this is only for hotel guests. The Hotel sits on the very outside edge of Courthouse Square and actually forms part of the park boundary.

I hope this helps, but let me know if anyone still has questions. I do love talking about this!

February 28, 2015, 6:11 AM

That's right DPCC.

February 28, 2015, 11:41 PM

I've got to say, this weeks challenge was brutal! I thought I had a great idea but scraped it and redid my whole proposal! Here's to hoping I went with the right decision!

Edited: March 1, 2015, 12:06 AM

I'd like to apologize to all the judges, regrettably I have to leave the competition. Unfortunately there's no way for me to get my proposal in before the deadline, and I don't want to post an incomplete proposal (The competition is tough). March kicks off the start up of a busy schedule.

Ironically, this week's challenge is somewhat related to why I won't have time to continue. (Oh the irony!!!)

I've enjoyed this so much and appreciate the time & feedback the judges have given. Furthermore I've been blown away by the other competitors and can easily see these theme parks existing & being popular.
Honestly, it was intimidating, so many strong competitors, but still fun!

Thanks for giving Disney Space a a chance!

March 1, 2015, 7:19 AM

That's too bad. Why are you busy? You just mentioned it, so I'm interested. I liked your park, and I'll hate to see it go

March 2, 2015, 2:43 PM

Well this is quite the turn of events. I'm really enjoying these challenges and would love to see TPA extend a bit further. Nonetheless, I understand the challenges associated with keeping the game stable and still competitive. I look forward to this week's challenge and am interested in seeing what the final challenge may be (here's to hoping a final full proposal!) :-)

March 2, 2015, 2:55 PM

We kept on for as long as we could, but in the end, we would have had to have several non-elimination rounds in order to make up for drop-outs. Enough that the game would have gotten too boring, and we fear the quality of the proposals would have dropped if there was not a chance of elimination.

Edited: March 2, 2015, 3:19 PM

This is just a suggestion so feel free to put it to rest right away but one possible solution to the problem may be to allow one round to be a "salvation" round. Basically, allow all of the eliminated contestants to compete in a one round competition (the non-eliminated contestants would be exempt from this round or otherwise safe from elimination if they are told to compete). Whoever wins the "salvation" round would be allowed back into the competition.

It's just a suggestion in case the judges did want to have an option to extend the competition.

March 2, 2015, 3:29 PM

Blake, I don't think we'll be doing that this time, but that's a potential idea for a future version of the game. Also, no matter what, the final challenge will be a full park proposal. We're still finalizing the penultimate challenge (the semi-final round that will occur following the restaurant provided no more drops occur).

For anyone disappointed with the decision to shorten the competition, know that we wouldn't do this if we had another choice. However, the alternative of having several non-elimination rounds doesn't sound appealing and only increases the chance of additional drops. We're hopeful that the competition will be run again in the near future (possibly as soon as this summer), and hopefully measures will be put in place to minimize the impact of dropped contestants before the next season begins. I've got several ideas of my own for potential tweaks (and I'm guessing the other judges do as well...we'll take competitor input after TPA 6.1 concludes as well), but nothing will be changed until next season.

March 2, 2015, 3:39 PM

Sounds great. Thanks for the info AJ. Also, has there ever been a consideration for a "all-stars" TPA featuring past winners competing? That would be very interesting indeed.

March 2, 2015, 4:04 PM

I'm sorry I had to leave, & want to apologize to all the other contestants.

Now I feel guilty because the contest will be cut short. If I didn't drop out the contest would have remained in tact. I wish I didn't do it & just submitted what I had.

My proposal was only partially finished & I didn't want to submit something sub par. (I was already late with one of my proposals & didn't want that to happen again)

Plus, the competition was so strong, I needed more time to make sure my proposal wasn't a dud. Unfortunately, it was deadline time.

In hindsight, I could have just submitted what I had & took the likely elimination. Again, I apologize to the judges & other contestants. It was never my intention for this to happen. I enjoy TPA.

(DPCC, I'm joining a project that's touring & work just got the best of me toward the end of last week & I ran out of time)

Still looking forward to reading the final challenges.

Edited: March 2, 2015, 4:23 PM

Blake, a few years ago there was the TPA Tournament of Champions, a mini-season featuring the champions of the first few seasons of the game (along with a couple spin-offs). It is possible something like this may be done again in the future, but it would be dependent on how many champions would be interested in competing. I don't see many of the original champions on here much anymore, so I'm guessing it wouldn't happen until there are at least five willing and able champions.

Jay, I'm sorry you had to leave as you had a promising park, but don't feel guilty about the results of your decision on the overall competition. It's possible we would have needed to shorten it anyway, as the challenge schedule was designed for ten competitors with no drops and we already had two. Next time, I'm hopeful there will be a system in place to minimize the impact of drops on the overall progression of the competition. You're welcome to try again next time the competition is run, and hopefully you will have more time to perfect your proposals in the future.

March 2, 2015, 4:13 PM

Gotcha. Sounds like fun.

March 2, 2015, 9:38 PM

Blake and AJ, yes, there was a Tournament of Champions, and I was lucky enough- very lucky- to win one point. It was the winners of the first three seasons of TPA, Water Park Apprentice (that I won) and "The Next Walt Disney" which was a fully approved spin-off of TPA. It was a non-elimination competition where we were given (I think) a series of five challenges- five really hard challenges. The three I can remember were to design a Cirque du Soleil show, design a boutique park (like Discovery Cove) and the finale was to design a theme park based on an unused proprietary brand ( I based mine on Guinness Beer and set it in Dublin, Ireland. That was when we still used the public voting method that caused no end of trouble. It was a lot of fun, a lot of work, but the proposals that came out of it were amazing!

It has been a lot of fun to watch this version of TPA from the outside. Some really good proposals have come out of here- this is probably the strongest set of competitors across the board I have seen. Too bad that there have been some that had to withdraw, but to their credit every one who had to do so did so in a professional manner. I'd love to see the judges invite back those that were eliminated to fill up the competition and keep it going- with so many newbies competing I think they learned a lot and they all improved their proposals every time they posted.

But those are just my thoughts. I hope all the competitors are having fun! If they aren't, then they aren't doing it right.

March 3, 2015, 1:08 PM

Just as a bit of a teaser, the semi-final round will be posted when the restaurant round ends. It is not something mentioned in the list, and will be a bit bigger than the normal challenges. It should be a lot of fun, but if someone drops out, we won't do it.

Edited: March 4, 2015, 12:13 PM

I appreciate the feedback on the Live Show - I can see what several of the judges were saying about making it semi-scripted. I think that would probably be one of the things to iron out in rehearsal and soft openings - how much scripting to do vs. the amount of improvisation, trying to strike a balance between the quality of each show and the amount of novelty between different performances.

As to the restaurant round, there's really one dining establishment this D&D setting absolutely requires, so I doubt I'm tipping my hand at all here . It is, of course, the canonical (possible even de rigueur) tavern. At least guests won't be asked to go into the basement to kill rats.


I know I've been less talkative than usual - been putting in some OT for the last week or so plus been sick (by the way, a bad combination) - but I should have something up for this round, but it probably won't show up until late.

Edited: March 4, 2015, 8:47 PM

Great post on the Harvey House Restaurants, Scott. Just terrific. If you ever come to KC, MO, let me know cause we have a restaurant in Union Station called Harvey's that you might enjoy. It's not affiliated with the Fred Harvey Company, of course, but it does hearken back to those classic restaurants of the past. Anyway, I really like your restaurant entry...especially because it seems quite doable and a natural fit in your theme park. I wish Silver Dollar City would do something similar to your idea. Great stuff...give me some of that half milk-fed chicken any day of the week!

March 5, 2015, 2:33 AM

Thanks! I really didn't make that up. We joked about "nursing chickens". I know there are Harvey House cookbooks out there- I need to see if I can find a recipe for milk-fed chicken with bacon.
Glad you liked my restaurant. I'll take you up on the Harvey's in KC.

March 7, 2015, 11:56 PM

I ran out of time this week so my proposal isn't exactly where I want it to be. I still think you'll be able to get a good idea of what the experience would be like, however.

March 8, 2015, 3:47 AM

Blake and Brent, I could tell you both had lots of fun creating the names for your restaurant dishes! Harvey House didn't have as much fun with their names. You both did great! Kevin, buddy, I know you said you've been sick and working lots of OT (both of which is awful, together really is AWFUL!) but we need you! I hope you can still post what you have. I've been to some restaurants where going to the basement to kill rats is the only way to know that the meat was fresh!

March 9, 2015, 4:34 AM

Sorry I've been incommunicado, I've had a hectic last week. Thanks again for letting me play, everybody! Good luck to the remaining competitors- I'm sure I'll see you guys around the community boards.

March 9, 2015, 5:16 AM

Good to hear from you Travis! I hope that this week is less hectic. I'm also glad to hear that the judges are going to give Kevin an extension to stay in the game. I do wonder how that extension is going to affect the rest of the competition. If we do go on to the next challenge, whatever it is, will it still be due on Saturday night?

March 9, 2015, 5:37 AM

AJ, I understand what you meant about a few of the dishes being rather "uncommon"- I'm not sure what anchovy paste even is?! I did mention some of the strange entrees that I didn't put on the menu (buttered spaghetti with chicken giblets) but there are a lot of really weird things from their old menus that I didn't mention such as "Smoked beef tongue" and "Goose liver" sandwiches, "pimento cheese sandwich", "milk toast soup", an appetizer of green onions and radishes, poached eggs with liver and mushrooms, and a breakfast entrée of "tenderloin of trout". Some people from some areas of the country still hold onto those old-fashioned dishes from their past, especially their childhood, things like mince meat pie, liver and onions, and shoe fly pie, and sometimes finding a restaurant that still serves these and does a good job of making them makes that restaurant one they will drive all over the country to find.

March 9, 2015, 6:25 AM

Well, I asked AJ to post the next round while I was away, but it seems that because of the chaos, he forgot. We'll decide what to do soon, and tell you then.

March 9, 2015, 9:12 AM

I dont think its he forgot, I think its we're not sure which round to go to.

March 9, 2015, 9:54 AM

Yes, that would make more sense. Sorry AJ!

March 9, 2015, 11:02 AM

Chad is correct. I chose not to post the next round as I didn't want to confuse competitors in the event we decided to cancel it. I just sent you an email about it, DPCC. Don't worry, I didn't forget.

Scott, that is very interesting. You have definitely done your research. I'm glad you didn't go with everything on an original menu, as you'd probably have relatively few customers. The menu you chose has a good mix of classic selections that, while not identical to what customers may be used to, are relatively close to modern cuisine. In addition, you've got a couple slightly more adventurous choices (for guests who like that sort of thing) as well as a few "safe" options for very selective eaters. Admittedly I found your restaurant very difficult to critique as it is very, very good (probably your best proposal yet), so if there was something I thought might be an issue, even a very minor one, I had to make a note of it.

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

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive