Theme Park Apprentice 3 Challenge 7

Universal Studios Japan

From Tim W
Posted July 18, 2011 at 3:19 PM
This week we travel from Tokyo Disneyland, to Universal Studios Japan. It has been a rumor for some time that Back to the Future: The Ride will close at Universal Studios Japan. It has closed at both American parks in 2007. So this week, it is your job to design a replacement for this attraction. For your replacement, it must still be a simulator style ride. You must include attraction details and the length of the ride. Although it has yet to be announced, one can pretty much assume that Backdraft may be replaced by Transformers the Ride shortly. Keep that in mind when designing your ride.

Ideas are due by July 23rd.

Unofrtunately, we say goodbye to our next apprentice and winner of last season, Dan Babbitt.

From Andy Milio
Posted July 18, 2011 at 9:46 AM
Can the ride be something along the lines of Spider-Man or Harry Potter?

From Tim W
Posted July 18, 2011 at 11:38 AM
Sure, I'm using simulator in the loose sense. It can be along the lines of BTTF, Soarin, Spidey, Harry Potter, Star Wars, etc...

From Andy Milio
Posted July 18, 2011 at 1:00 PM
Awesome! Well, at this point, I'm considering a Ghostbusters ride, but I'm still thinking on it
EDIT: And isn't Transformers coming to Universal Singapore, not Japan?

From Tim W
Posted July 18, 2011 at 3:21 PM
Yes, unfortunately I had a bit of a mixup when I was writing this challenge. Thanks Andy.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted July 18, 2011 at 4:05 PM
Out of curiousity, what franchises are off limits?

One would think that the most obvious thing to put in at this moment would be a Harry Potter anything. Followed closely by anything Avatar, Lord of the Rings, DreamWorks, Marvel, Spielberg, Cameron, Ron Howard, etc., the list goes on.

Do we need to stick to stuff either in a Universal park, easily associated to a Universal park, or do we have free will to do whatever as long as it is a movie franchise and something that would just logically fit and not owned by a theme park competitor?

From Joseph Catlett
Posted July 18, 2011 at 7:24 PM
Leave the technicolor world behind and step into the black and white gothic world of Universal Studios Classic Monsters. Grab your crossbow because monster hunting season is at hand.

Universal Studios Japan proudly presents...


Coming soon....

From Andy Milio
Posted July 19, 2011 at 6:55 AM
Is there something strange in your neighborhood? Are you seeing things running through your head? You know who to call.....

Ghostbusters: Ghost Invasion, an interactive 3D simulator ride with your favorite ghost hunters...or should I say, Ghostbusters!
Coming soon to Universal Studios Japan! They ain't afraid of no ghosts...

From Andy Milio
Posted July 20, 2011 at 12:56 PM
Ghostbusters: Ghost Invasion

Hurry! Strap on your Proton Pack and start up the Ecto-1! The Ghostbusters are coming to Universal Studios Japan!

You enter the headquarters of the Ghostbusters: the retired firehouse at 14 North Moore Street.


You notice that in the window is a sign that has the words "Recruits Wanted" scrawled on it.

When you enter the building, it is set up like a museum. Behind glass are some of the actual props from the Ghostbusters movies, such as the Ghost Trap, the Proton Packs, and the uniforms from the original cast. As you stroll though the queue and see the props, Ray Parker's classic Ghostbusters theme plays throughout the room.

After exiting the queue and entering a rounded room with 4 screens on the front walls, the doors behind you close, and the lights dim. This is the preshow room.

On flashes the Ghostbusters logo, and the Ray Parker theme plays yet again.


Both the music and the logo fades out to show the 4 classic Ghostbusters, portrayed by their original actors: Peter Venkman (played by Bill Murray), Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson).


Each character is on a separate screen (the reason for 4 screens).

Venkman begins speaking to the guests after this time. "Hello applicants! I see you noticed our "Recruits Wanted" sign at the entrance."

Stantz takes over the speaking. "As you can see, we're all getting a little old for our job, and there's always a need for ghost busting!"

Spengler talks. "So, if you could just-"

Suddenly, an alarm goes off.

"What's going on?" Spengler asks. He runs off screen, and Zeddemore speaks. "Don't worry; there's most likely nothing going on."

Spengler appears back on screen, and looks very nervous. "There's been a huge ghost invasion in New York City!"

Venkman speaks again. "Alright folks, it looks like there's no time for training! We're gonna need you to use the Ecto-1 and a Particle Gun to clear up this infestation!"

Stantz speaks. "We're counting on you to save the city!".

The screens go blank, yet the alarm still rings (only in the preshow room). The doors in front of you open, and you are in the garage, home to the Ecto-1. In this room is where you grab your "Ghost Goggles", your 3D glasses.

Replicas of the Ecto-1 would be used as the ride vehicles in this ride.


The vehicles would have three rows of two seats for a total of 6 riders per vehicle. There is no roof or windows on the vehicle for easier shooting. The vehicles are similar to those of Spider-Man, meaning that they tilt and spin throughout the ride.

After being buckled in, your Ghost Goggles are on, and your Particle Gun is in hand (it is attached to the vehicle, like Men In Black), the ride begins.

Now, G:GI is a unique ride experience that separates it from rides like Men In Black. How? Depending on how well you do in each "stage" affects the rest of the ride.

Scene 1 is in a dark alley with the classic ghost Slimer, as well as other ghosts similar to him.


In a 3D effect, he spews green goo all over riders (a 4d effect accompanies it, with a wet liquid being splashed on riders).

If you pass Scene 1 with enough points, you exit the dark alley and enter Scene 2A. After exiting the alley, your vehicle seems to smash through a wall of the New York Public Library.


This scene is where you encounter common ghosts, as well as the Librarian Ghost.


She notices you and goes into her terrifying alternate form.


If you did not pass Scene 1 with enough points, Slimer pushes you down stairs to the subway, where you encounter the Subway Ghost.


This is Scene 2B. As with the other scenes, there are common ghosts, as well as the main ghost. The Subway Ghost is tough to hit because he moves around, failing his arms and tentacles, shrieking all the while.

No matter if you pass or fail Scenes 2A or 2B, you enter Scene 3, which is on the streets. Traveling from 2A, you smash through the back wall of the library and enter the streets. Traveling from 2B, a subway train knocked you out from the station and onto the streets. In front of you is the Zombie Taxi Driver, who swerves to avoid being shot.


You shoot at him through the back windshield of the taxi.

If you pass this scene successfully, you enter Scene 4A. This is nearing the climax of the ride, where Zuul the terror dog possesses your vehicle and takes it to the top of the Empire State Building.


Ghosts that are flying around in the air can be shot at.

If you didn't pass Scene 3 successfully, you enter Scene 4B. The Zombie Taxi Driver crashes into you and knocks you into the grasps of Vinz Clortho, the other terror dog.


He also takes you to the top of the Empire State Building for the finale with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Once at the top of the Empire State Building, you realize that Gozer, the antagonist from the first Ghostbusters movie, has returned and is unleashing her Earth form: the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.


Suddenly, a radio transmission in your vehicle comes on. It's Venkman! "Guys, you have to defeat Gozer! I can't believe I'm saying this, but...CROSS THE STREAMS!". If you cross-shoot with another player, you get bonus points and defeat Gozer quicker.

If you defeat Gozer successfully, a "explosion" nearly knocks you off the building (you seem to hang on the edge), and a rescue helicopter transports you to the Ghostbusters base safely, where you exit.

If you don't defeat Gozer successfully, the Stay Puft man grabs you and drops you off the building (the effect is similar to that of Spider-Man). Luckily, the original Ghostbusters come out and save the day, and you arrive back at the base.

If you didn't understand the cycle, refer to this chart:


From Andy Milio
Posted July 20, 2011 at 1:14 PM
Sorry about the huge pics, should be fixed tomorrow (I say this every week :P)

From James Koehl
Posted July 20, 2011 at 6:01 PM
"There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the Universe, with tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Mayans. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of Man who even now fight to survive somwhere beyond the heavens."*

*opening monologue of the original series

Coming soon to Universal Studios Japan-


"Battlestar Galactica: Viper Attack"

From Adam Nodjomian
Posted July 20, 2011 at 9:05 PM
Andy, I was curious about the technology you would have used to create the effects necessary for your attraction. For example, how would you make Marshmallow Man appear to be 100ft tall? Are you using physical sets or projected screens, or a combination?

From Jeff Elliott
Posted July 21, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Background: There have been rumors about James Cameron taking out his Universal Studios Terminator 2:3D rides and replacing them with his Avatar franchise. Avatar is the highest earning movie ever pulling in just over 2 billion dollars outside of the United States. James Cameron is currently working on two sequels to Avatar.


The outside appearance of the building is of discarded futuristic military weapons that have been riddle with and destroyed by spears, arrows, and jagged claw marks. It should create a similar future tech feel with the Transformers ride next door. The building itself will be of a military compound that is starting to be reclaimed by the jungle around it. This ride takes place soon after the movie finishes.


Instead of slowly working into a story, this queue line gets the action moving right away. The first story element in the queue is a video featuring Norm (Joel David Moore) and Max (Dileep Rao) from the movie. They are in crisis mode right now and are trying to get as many Avatars loaded as possible. While the mine facility at Hell's Gate was destroyed and all of the personnel have been sent off planet, there is a separate mining facility a couple hundred miles away that is using the sudden disappearance of all of the Na'vi warriors, to strike at their women and children in their homes. Everyone available at the Hell's Gate facility is now mobilizing to help the Na'vi around the area of the Styx Crossing mining facility. Everyone is thanked for waiting patiently in line as they load Avatars as quickly as they can.


During the remainder of the queue line, there are different video logs showing the equipment that that the Styx Crossing facility has at their disposal, the weak points of each piece of equipment, and how to control your Avatar. The queue ends in a lab where the ride ops are all wearing lab coats to help people into the ride’s vehicles called "link units".

From Jeff Elliott
Posted July 21, 2011 at 10:52 AM

The ride uses similar technology to the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Islands of Adventure: a Kuka Robotic arm mounted to a track. The ride vehicle is themed to the link unit, since you cannot see the vehicle once you are locked in, a simple theme on the vehicles is ok. There is one addition to this ride the HP ride doesn’t have, these vehicles all have lightweight flat panel TV screens attached to the top of the vehicle that are lowered down in front of the riders at certain moments.

Once the riders are locked and loaded, the robotic arm lifts the riders so that they are lying on their back, as the chairs recline, the video screen lowers down in front of their eyes, showing Max and Norm standing over the rider.


After a final check, they lower the upper clamshell of the unit. After a moment of darkness, the riders rush down the light tunnel into their Avatar bodies.


The screen lifts up and rests on the roof of the ride vehicle until the end of the ride. The robotic arm lifts the riders into the air and the riders see that they are in a lab, and when looking into a mirror, see that they are 9ft tall and blue. Using similar technology to the new ending of Disney’s Haunted Mansion, the ride shows the rider’s own faces morphed into a blue Na’vi face. The ride will track and in real time show the people’s faces even if they turn their heads or wave at the faux mirror.


The ride then leaves the lab and we meet our first Na’vi, who tells the riders to climb the tree and grab a banshee. The ride simulates a quick climb with lots of leaping up to the top of the tree, using an elevator taking the vehicles to the second story of the ride building. A Na’vi is waiting at the top of the tree and reminds the riders that the banshee that tries to kill you is the one that choses you. Around a corner we meet a great pack of banshees.


After passing several that scurry out of our way, the riders find themselves stared down by a rather large banshee who seems intent on spilling blood. After a brief struggle, we are able to climb onto the banshee’s back and dive it off of the tree into the first set of wraparound screens. The banshee flails as we drop uncontrollably for a few moments as the ground rapidly approaches.


As we gain control of the banshee and flatten out the beast’s movements before we crash into the ground, we see a group of riders in the air above the tree forming up. We fly up to join the other riders who have just been given the order by Jake to follow him to the Styx Crossing mining facility.


From Jeff Elliott
Posted July 21, 2011 at 11:02 AM
After soaking in the beautiful scenery for a couple of moments, we hear the alert that a flight of scorpion flying machines is coming toward us fast. Jake yells to set up an ambush and cling to the rocks until they pass. The vehicle drops out of the wraparound screens. The banshee hits the rocks and then scrambles around a bit to get in a good position to attack from. The only thing the riders can see at this point is a rock face and vines very close up. We hear the sounds of a group of scorpion flying machines going by and then the sound of a war cry going up as the banshee drops off the wall while the ride vehicles drop back into the second se

From Jeff Elliott
Posted July 22, 2011 at 6:46 AM
.....second set of wraparound screens.

.....Continued with the help of Robert...

From Andy Milio
Posted July 21, 2011 at 4:09 PM
Adam, it is essentially screens. There are a few real sets, like the alley way walls, but most of it is on screens. The Stay Puft Man grabbing you is an illusion, like Maggie grabbing you in the Simpsons Ride

From Robert Niles
Posted July 21, 2011 at 7:55 PM
Here's the rest of Jeff's post:


The next long scene is complete pandemonium, there are flying lizards and flying warships going everywhere. The ride vehicles duck and roll and twist and maneuver between everything going on doing several inversions to help to bring down several war ships and nearly get hit, shot, and crushed many times.


The scene ends with the rider getting knocked off their banshee while successfully taking out the largest of the warships and we fall down to the ground saving ourselves from a splattery end by grabbing branches to slow our fall. The ride vehicle simulates this effect by mounting an elevator that drops it quickly back to the first floor of the show building.


From Robert Niles
Posted July 21, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Back on the ground and in the jungle, after dodging a couple of charging hammerhead titanotheres we bounce off the side of a tree, we use one of the titanotheres as a spring board and land on the back of a thanator at the same time the ride vehicle drops into the third and final wraparound screen. The thanator runs through the jungle with the riders on its back, dodging in and out of hammerhead titanotheres and heading directly toward a line of soldiers that are firing in our direction.


From Jeff Elliott
Posted July 22, 2011 at 6:42 AM
The thanator springs into the air bounces off several trees to gain height and drops like a house onto one of the armored ampsuits smashing it flat. The thanator doesn’t lose any momentum and goes after another ampsuit, catching it around the top and whipping it up into the air and off into the distance. In quick succession, the thanator we are riding dispatches 3 more ampsuits (being very careful not to show actual people being killed), while in the near distance we can see other thantors causing similar destruction.


The thanator then pauses to look around and between it and another wave of hammerhead titanotheres running through the area, all of the human fighters are fleeing in panic. Go after the fleeing people, the thanator jumps high into a tree, but a thick branch in the tree hits the riders and the whole scene goes black.

In the blackout, the ride drops out of the wraparound screens and slowly moves to a laying down position as the video screen lowers back down in front the riders.


The riders see the light tunnel again, this time in reverse and it ends with Max lifting the lid to the link unit. He says, "Good work out there, the Styx Crossing mine fighters are decimated and those remaining have been captured. Jake says that we are going to send them off the planet as soon as the shuttle gets here. You were amazing out there, I never would have thought an untrained Avatar driver could be that good. You must be a natural."

The vehicles flatten back out to the sitting position as the screen folds back up to the top of the ride vehicle. The unload platform is again themed to the link unit lab and the gift shop is themed to a futuristic Avatar pilot ready room.


From Jeff Elliott
Posted July 22, 2011 at 6:42 AM
The End......

Wow, had to have Robert's help there to get it done....for some reason it wouldn't let me get a single letter's ok....I was having a bad day, too....

From Joseph Catlett
Posted July 22, 2011 at 10:12 AM

From Joseph Catlett
Posted July 22, 2011 at 12:47 PM
OK, looks like I finally got it to work.

From Joseph Catlett
Posted July 22, 2011 at 12:38 PM
Universal Studios was defined in the 1930s and 1940s as the home of Monsters. Universal’s stable of Classic Monsters now returns with a vengeance as Universal Studios Japan presents….

From Joseph Catlett
Posted July 22, 2011 at 12:40 PM
CASTLE DRACULA is a one of a kind motion based ride through the gothic worlds created for Universal’s Monsters. This motion based thriller will meld the use of film, animatronics and live sets to allow you and three other riders join Professor Van Helsing to take down Draucla and his minions. Dracula is not alone however, this ride will also feature Frankenstein, his Bride, Wolfman, the Mummy and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. This attraction is a love letter of sorts to the great monsters of the classic age of cinema and will be presented as if you are in the film. All sets and film will be presented in a Black and White color scheme. The video will be in black and white, the sets and even the creatures you meet will be in black and white, it will feel truly as if you’ve jumped into the silver screen.

From Joseph Catlett
Posted July 22, 2011 at 12:41 PM
This will not be a passive experience where you ride through and just admire the looks, in this ride built into the ride vehicle will be a crossbow gun that will fire electronic beams in the style of Toy Story Mania. With your crossbow you will be on a monster hunt. To make everything jump out as well you will wear 3D glasses that will make the cinema scenes “pop” with extra realism.

Now onto the ride

From Joseph Catlett
Posted July 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM
Upon entering the castle grounds, visitors will see the wagon of Vampire Hunter Van Helsing, monster hunting equipment like wolfsbane, wooden stakes and torches are strewn about. We then head into the castle, over the drawbridge and into the dark castle. The main queue room will set you in front of the main staircase room from 1931s Dracula.

From Joseph Catlett
Posted July 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM
Atop the cobweb strewn staircase is a video of Van Helsing using the Dumbledore technology used in Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Van Helsing welcomes us and then warns of the inhabitants of this evil castle. He then explains that our carriage which is waiting for us is outfitted with repeater wooden stake firing crossbows and they will be our only protection against Dracula and his minions. We will also be wearing special glasses (3D glasses) that will allow us to see that which cannot be seen. This castle is also haunted and these glasses will let us see the invisible phantoms which lurk in these halls.
By the way, all video and animatronics in this ride will be based off the look of the original films, motion capture technology will merge the face of long dead actors with body of a current actor. So, in a sense, Lugosi and Karloff live again.
We then head into the loading area and enter our vehicle, a kuka arm motion based simulator that takes us on the ride.

From Joseph Catlett
Posted July 22, 2011 at 12:44 PM
We sweep along and head into the first room made of imax screens as the 1930s Universal logo comes on screen
Continuing on with the idea that we are in an old movie.

From Joseph Catlett
Posted July 22, 2011 at 12:50 PM
We then head down a live hallway filled with cobwebs as an animatronic Van Helsing comes out from around a corner and warns you to get your crossbows ready as Dracula’s minions could be anywhere, but fire only on ghosts and vampires, the other creatures on these grounds are not affected by wooden stakes.
Its then that we move into the next room filled with an imax screen as ghosts swirl in the air around us. You fire at them and if hit they explode in a puff of dust, but if you miss, they will jostle your vehicle and send you spinning. The vehicle is rigged to react to what you do with your crossbow and what happens on screen.
We then head outside the castle and into the haunted woods on the grounds. We pass by gnarled trees and hear the howls of a wolf…no of a WEREWOLF.

From Joseph Catlett
Posted July 22, 2011 at 12:45 PM
Its then that an animatronic Wolfman man jumps out at you, fanged mouth growling at you. Our vehicle then moves quickly only to have the Wolfman run alongside our vehicle and leaps at us as we head into the next Imax screen room as the wolfman continues to lunge at us and jumps at us as we fall down together over a cliff and into the lake below us. Our vehicle bobs up and down as if on the water as The Creature from the Black Lagoon surfaces and takes a swipe at our vehicle.

From Joseph Catlett
Posted July 22, 2011 at 12:45 PM
We then leave the screen room and head into a cave and find ourselves in the cave hideout of Frankenstein and his Bride, who are cowering in a corner from Van Helsing (all animatronics) who is waving a torch at them. He tells us that these two don’t mean us any harm, this fire will keep them at bay.

Van Helsing then tells us to get back into the castle, the vampire awaits. We then head past a sarcophagus of a a Mummy

From Joseph Catlett
Posted July 22, 2011 at 12:52 PM
And head into the next Imax screen room as more ghosts attack our vehicle and warn us to turn back, Dracula is near.
Its then that Dracula’s brides appear on screen and turn into vile creatures that swoop toward us.
The female vampires lunge at us so we better fire our crossbows. If we hit them they disintegrate to dust with a puff of wind in our faces, but if they strike us our vehicle pitches and spins from the impact.

From Joseph Catlett
Posted July 22, 2011 at 12:53 PM
We then leave the Imax screen room and see Dracula in all his finery in animatronic form atop his castle steps, candelabra in hand.
He tells us he admires our cunning, but now its time for us to die!
With a puff of smoke he turns into a large bat and comes at our vehicle as we head into another Imax screen room as the giant bat Dracula and more vampire minions come at us. We must fire our crossbow, but it has little effect on the Count. That is until Van Helsing grabs Dracula from the rear and plunges a wooden steak right into his chest.

From Joseph Catlett
Posted July 22, 2011 at 12:46 PM
We then leave the Imax screen room as we see animatronic Van Helsing standing over the body of the destroyed vampire. Van Helsing thanks us as we see through the windows of the castle the first light of dawn as a rooster crows. The day has come and evil is destroyed as we pass a flickering movie screen with this logo…
We have survived Castle Dracula, we now exit the vehicle and leave the castle.

Hope you all enjoyed.

From James Koehl
Posted July 23, 2011 at 3:03 AM

Approximate running time: 10 minutes

Battlestar Galactica will long be remembered as one of the most cutting-edge, best written and visually stunning science fiction television series of all time. This action-filled epic tells the story of the destruction of the Twelve Colonies of Man by the Cylons, a race of robots created by humans to serve them but who rebelled.


The survivors of the destruction escaped in the few interstellar ships that remained, and were guided and protected by the last Colonial warship, the Battlestar Galactica, to find the legendary lost thirteenth colony...Earth.


"Battlestar Galactica: Viper Attack" at Universal Studios Japan is a breathtaking motion simulator which takes riders on a dangerous rescue mission against a Cylon Basestar, where a group of humans is being held captive by the Cylons. The Cylons, given the derogatory nickname "Toasters" by the Colonial human warriors, have been known to use humans for horrible medical experiments, and this mission is to rescue the captives and destroy the Basestar.

The queue for the ride will recreate some of the remarkable interiors of the Galactica, including the Bridge, Commander Adama's quarters, and displays in the passageways explaining the Battlestar Galactica universe to visitors unfamiliar with the series.


Riders will enter the Pilot Ready Room


and will be directed by "crew members" to take one of the sixty-four seats. A large video screen at the front of the room shows the Galactica insignia on it.


When all are seated, the insignia is replaced with the face of Commander Adama, who says,


"Warriors, we've received this transmission a few hours ago."

His face is replaced with a grainy, interference-filled video of a man. We can see behind him a few people, who could be his family, huddled under a table. They are hiding and trying to protect themselves from what sounds like laser fire and explosions. He speaks frantically to the screen:

"Can anyone hear me? The Cylons have attacked us! I don't know why or how they found us. We're just a farming settlement!! We don't have any weapons that can defend us from them." Static fills the screen for a moment, then we see him come back into focus as he says, "They're not even killing most of us. It looks like they want to capture us alive, take us prisoners. Can anybody hear me? Can anyone help us! Please, my wife and kids are here, but the Cylons are going to find us at any...." The screen fills with static and snow, then goes dark.

Commander Adama reappears.

"We were able to track the signal to a small planet near our present heading and sent Vipers to try to help them, but when we got there the settlement was destroyed and the people that weren't killed were missing. We think the Cylons took them to a Basestar we've detected hiding behind the planet's moon. The Cylons have been known to take humans hostage for some kind of medical experimentation. I'm not going to let that happen."

"We're going to rescue those people. While there, we might as well destroy that Basestar and get rid of a few of the Cylons while we're there. You're being assigned to the new Raptors and will accompany and provide support for the Vipers which are leading the rescue effort. Good luck, good flying, and get those people out of there."

The Galactica emblem replaces Commander Adama's face on the screen, and the crew members who have been watching with the riders will then take charge of loading the ride, similar to how it is currently done with "The Simpson's Ride". Technically, this attraction uses the same general design as "The Simpson's Ride" and Back to the Future" did before it, with the ride vehicles facing an IMAX screen. The film is not animated, but combined film and computer-generated graphics. Groups of up to eight will be directed to one of the twenty-four "Raptor" ride vehicles that will take part in this rescue mission. These vehicles seat riders in two rows of four. When seated, the framework of a canopy is lowered over the Raptor to give the feeling of being in a spacecraft. Several screens in the cabin of the Raptor light up and show the pre-launch preparations being finalized, the launch team fueling the ship and the countdown for launch. These screens will be used throughout the ride to keep the Vipers and Raptors in contact with each other.


The countdown reaches zero and the Raptor is launched from Galactica into space.

The Vipers then appear, passing the Raptors and leading them to the Cylon Basestar. The Viper pilot's face will appear on the screen and speak to the riders, checking on how they're doing, warning them about staying in formation, and actually leading the riders through the story.


The ships make the jump to FTL (faster than light), and suddenly are staring at a huge Cylon Basestar.


Hundreds of small dots emerge from the Basestar, and the Viper warns the Raptor to take evasive action- those are Cylon Raiders! The Raptor starts to weave, dip and climb to void being hit by the attacking Cylons or the missiles being fired by the Basestar.


The sky is filled with Colonial and Cylon vessels, attacking, dodging, occasionally exploding, but the Basestar continues to get larger and larger as the Colonials continue to approach it. The Viper pilot on the screen, who has been leading the Raptor since take-off, tells the Raptor to follow his Viper into the now visible landing bay of the Basestar. He says that two other Vipers will land with them while the others will keep the Cylon Raiders occupied.

Suddenly a Cylon Raider is seen closing in on the Raptor, its weapons glowing red in preparation to fire. The lead viper, with the pilot's face visible on the Raptor's screens, turns and fires at the Cylon Raider, destroying it in a dramatic ball of fire.

"Got him!" the pilot announces.

"Look out! You've got one on your tail!" a woman pilot's voice is heard over the speakers.

"Where? I can't see him!" he answers, while looking around frantically.


Suddenly bolts of energy from below and beside the Viper strike the ship and it explodes in a deadly fireball.


The viewscreen goes to static.

"Frak!" the female pilots exclaims with anger and frustration. The Cylon Raider appears from under and to the left of the Raptor, and is seen speeding away as she then announces, "No, you don't. You're not getting away with that, you frakin' toaster!" One of the remaining Vipers takes off after the Raider, leaving one viper still escorting the Raptor (and riders). The riders can see the Viper chasing the Cylon Raider and firing at the enemy ship. The Cylon ship is torn in two and the parts spin out of control and disappear into space.

"Good shooting!" the voice of the pilot of the Raider's Viper is heard as the Cylon-destroying Viper is seen returning to its position in front of the Raptor. A woman's face, the pilot of the Viper, now appears on the screen.

"Raptor, I'm now in command of this mission. Stay with us. We WILL get you into the Basestar and out again."

The Vipers are ahead of the Raptor and lead it into the Basestar and its huge landing bay, now empty. It appears that all of the Raiders were launched to stop the Vipers. Both Vipers land in front of the Raptor, and the pilots jump out of the ships. One turns to face the Raptor- it is the female pilot, now in command. She tells them to stay in the Raptor- it should only be a few minutes, since they know where the Cylons keep their prisoners, and they'll be back with the humans. The Raptor's occupants will be able to watch the action on the screen from the pilot's helmet camera. The pilots disappear down a hallway, but the riders see where they're going on the small screens in the Raptor. They watch the pilots running down a few hallways, occasionally shoot and destroy a Cylon, then find the room where the humans are being kept. They release the humans and start to lead them back to the waiting Raptor, when suddenly the Raptor is shaken hard by an impact- a Cylon has entered the Landing Bay, saw the Raptor and started shooting at it. Each impact from the Cylon's powerful hand weapon shakes the ship hard!


The pilot's face comes on the screen with a hand-held camera and loudly asks, "Are you under attack? Press the red button, the flashing red button!" A red button, previously dark and unnoticed, is flashing on the Raptor console next to the screen. Each screen has a flashing button, so someone will undoubtedly hit it. Laser blasts from the front of the Raptor (filmed, of course) shoot out and destroy the Cylon. As it collapses to the deck, the pilots and the now-rescued humans run out of the hall and towards the waiting Raptor and Vipers. The pilots order the rescued humans to get in the Raptor fast! "We've planted a virus in their computer to cause their defensive shields to shut-down." The humans run to the waiting Raptor and the riders hear a hatch behind them open, feel the Raptor move a bit as the humans climb aboard (behind them, out-of-sight)then hear the hatch close.

"Quick! Get out of here!" the pilot orders, and the two Vipers and Raptor take off and fly out the landing bay- and back into the battle. More dodging attacking Cylons, more explosions, more missiles, then the pilot on screen says, "She should appear!" and the Battlestar Galactica suddenly comes out of FTL and is rapidly approaching the Cylon Basestar.


The riders watch as the full compliment of weapons from Galactica are brought to bear on the now defenseless Cylon Basestar, which explodes in a massive fireball. "Evasive action!" the pilots orders, "We've got lots of debris coming at us!" The Raptor dodges and manages to avoid most of the debris from the now destroyed Basestar, but occasionally something will "hit" the ship and the riders will feel it bounce off the hull.

"Looks like the Toasters are leaving to find a new home," the pilot says. "Commander Adama, do you want us to follow?"

"No," Adama's face appears on the screen. "We've lost enough pilots already. It's time for us to leave. Get those people back to Galactica."

"You heard the Commander," the pilot says to the Raptor. "Follow me." The Raptor takes position behind the Viper and heads home to the Galactica. They approach the huge Battlestar, enter one of the landing bays and land gently. As the Raptor lands in its small individual landing bay, the face of the man first seen being attacked by the Cylons comes on the screen. He says,

"I have to thank you for saving my family and friends. I don't know what the Cylons were going to do to us, but I know we would never have gotten out of their alive without you. May the Lords of Kobol bless all of you."

His face is replaced with Commander Adama's, who says, "Good job. That was good flying. I think we'll open the Officer's Club tonight for a well-deserved celebration." He signs out, and the pilot of the Viper who took command after the loss of the original lead pilot appears on the screen and says,


"Not bad for a bunch of nuggets- that's what we call rookies. You held it together after we lost the captain- that can be tough to do the first time in battle. You can fly with me anytime."

The Galactica emblem appears on the screen, and the cabin opens. Riders exit through- what else?- the "Battlestar Galactica Officer's Club" store.


From Zackiel Marsh
Posted July 23, 2011 at 9:07 PM
I am a big fan of Theme Park Apprentice and read all the competitions including the Next Walt Disney and Water Park Apprentice. I decided to join TPI just so I could give feedback to this game.

Anyway I am really liking the ideas but can't say I am a fan of the material they are based of off. Still when everyone has posted I will post my reviews of everyone's work.

From Eric S
Posted July 23, 2011 at 10:59 PM
Fast and Furious: The Monte Carlo Job

Background: After their work in Rio de Janeiro, the crew is lying low in Monte Carlo. They're living off of their takings from the last robbery, but their funds are being depleted. Plus, they're itching to do another job. There's only one problem. The crew needs a getaway driver.

Queue: The entrance to the ride looks very nondescript (other than the large ride sign). The queue wind its way through a typical warehouse with all the signs to prep for a robbery a la Inception or Ocean's Eleven. There are some telltale signs of a robbery planning in progress, blueprints, guns, ammunition, a scale replica of the vault they're planning to rob, etc. The real stars of the line are the cars. There will be cars from the movies scattered throughout the line. 2010 Dodge Charger, 1966 Ford GT40, 2002 Porsche GT3, 1972 Nissan Skyline, etc. This would be an excellent opportunity for corporate tie-ins. The ride goes into the office of the warehouse, where there is a "live web chat" waiting from Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel). "Alright everyone. Everything on my end is all ready. The map behind this screen shows the escape from the rendezvous point. The police won't know we're there, so it won't be an issue. The GPS in your car is already programmed, and it'll be able to help you out if you have to make a few wrong turns. Brian [O'Connor (Paul Walker)] will be on the radio the whole time to give you updates. I'll see you in a bit. And don't forget to be fast... and furious."

Ride: The riders board in a garage. Each ride vehicle is different and modeled after a very expensive convertible. The ride seats 6 people, 3 in front and 3 in back. The ride starts out pretty slow. The riders go around a corner onto the streets of Monte Carlo and get stopped by a red light. Brian's voice comes over the intercom: 
"Make sure you follow all of the rules of the road on the way to the rendezvous. Don't make anyone suspicious. If you manage to get away without any police attention, stick by that rule." The light turns green and the car starts the drive to the rendezvous. "Okay you're there. Just wait until Dom comes out and then drive off with him in tow." Right before Brian's transmission ends, there's an explosion to the left of the car. 
"GO GO GO GO!" The car peels off and fishtails around a corner. "Things went south and Dom had to go to plan B. You have to get out of there before the police suspect anything." The sound of sirens comes from off in the distance. 
"The police are en route, but we aren't sure if they suspect you yet." 
Gunshots ring out and the glass next to the car bursts with bullet holes. 
"Okay speculation over. Get out of there!!" 
The car peels off in a long straight away. It zigzags in between buildings taking sharp rights and lefts. The car gets hit from behind and goes into a massive tailspin going around 360 degrees multiple times. All the while, the car has a GPS telling you directions. Every once in a while, it says Recalculating. During the spins, it says recalculating a bunch. The spin stops and the car is facing 5 police cars all with lights and sirens on. The car revs its engine. 
"Go for it! Drive right through them!" The car drives through the car knocking multiple police cars out of the way. The GPS says destination in .5 miles. 
"If you gun it, you can make it before they get turned around.” The car zooms straight ahead. 
"Don't miss it!! The entrance is coming up!” The car goes into very long drift to go around the corner into the entrance. 
"Great you made it. No word from Dom yet, but he's always fine.” The ride exits in what appears to be the same garage they boarded in.

From Andy Milio
Posted July 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM
Tim, Adam, and/or Zackiel, are we gonna see reviews?

From Tim W
Posted July 24, 2011 at 2:43 PM
Sorry about the delay folks. At this point I will only be announcing my favorite of the week due to the small amount of contestants we have left. Here is this week's review:

Andy- I think you had a good idea by having an enrolement session for upcoming ghostbusters. The scenes you used, are of course classic and memorable. The only thing that sort of stuck out to me is the fact that the franchise is a bit dated. Of course it would be an excellent way to launch with Ghostbusters 3! Good job.

Jeff- I really did like the proposal and you certainly included a great amount of detail. I think this is probably one of the most marketable ideas towards Universal.

Joseph- I think you definately had the most interesting and unique concept this week. I've always been a huge fan of the Universal monsters. I think you might run into a bit of a problem with marketing due to the fact that their monster movies are now certified as "classics". Still a really good proposal.

James- I liked that you tried to differentiate this land from something similar in Singapore. That park will have Transformers right near Battlestar Gallactica rides. Your ride is far superior to the dual coasters located at Singapore. Absolutely excellent work, and my favorite.

Eric- I have to admit I have never seen a Fast and Furious movie. Your ride sounded extreme and thrilling. I think a few more plot elements would have helped the descirption out a bit, but still you did a really good job this week.

Next week, we head over to Hong Kong to probably my favorite challenge, the Hotel challenge.

From Andy Milio
Posted July 24, 2011 at 3:15 PM
Thanks Tim, but I'm sure there others like me who still adore the Ghostbusters :)

From Tim W
Posted July 24, 2011 at 6:36 PM
Ah such a close week in the poll so far!! Really great ideas guys! This should be an extremely close race, I'm guessing, from now on out. 3 more challenges until finale!

From Andy Milio
Posted July 24, 2011 at 6:35 PM
What a rocket in votes!

From Zackiel Marsh
Posted July 24, 2011 at 7:48 PM
Sorry guys if my reviews are a bit late. By the way the number at the end is how I rank everyone for that week.

Andy: Andy you are usually eliminated around this point. But I think if you get eliminated here it would be a crime. IMO this could really be your time to shine. This was a great idea and executed well. Ghostbusters is a timeless franchise and like Tim said if that third movie ever comes out this would be the perfect attraction. It had a very good story that didn't bore you. You having different scenes for if you win or lose that scene was great for the story and so was the interactivity. This completely blew everyone else out of the water. My favorite this week and possibly from all of your work. 1st

Jeff: Your ride reminded me of the movie. IMO that is a bad thing. The ride started out with a good story but then fell into complete chaos. You just started making everything explode or get destroyed some way or another. Your story was weak and very lacking especially compared to everyone else story. But you couldn't have picked a better theme. Avatar is the highest grossing movie in the world. Japan is second place for countries gross for that movie only behind the USA. So it is very well known there. Plus Avatar is the kind of action-packed movie that is perfect for a simulator. The story is bad but the ride is good and profitable. 4th

Joseph: IMO your idea is the opposite of Jeff's. Both are fun rides but your story and theme are the things that are different. You had a very good story. Your interactivity was also very appreciated and definitely made the ride much more fun. But your theme just sucked the blood out of it like Dracula. It's not that I don't like the Universal Monsters. It's that they aren't popular. At all. They are even less popular in Japan. At least in the US we have general knowledge of these guys. But like Tim said they are classics and have little marketability. Take the 2010 version of the Wolfman for example. It only made a measly 62 million domestic and couldn't even make back it's budget. As much fun your ride is it will probably fail. 5th

James: James I almost always love your work and you are frequently my favorite of that week. The best idea I every read from any season of this game was your Titanic ride from Water Park Apprentice. So when I read your idea I was a bit disappointed. Usually you blow everyone away but this is one of your weakest proposals ever. But the ride is still very good which speaks volumes to your creations. I really couldn't find anything wrong with the ride except it is pretty long and boring at times. Plus it didn't seem particularly thrilling. But everything else was just good. It never was great like your other ideas. 3rd

Eric: This was a very thrilling ride with a good theme and story. I thought that it would have worked better as a Test Track style ride but indoors but you did a good job. There isn't much to say about it. It is actually very good and flawless except that it is a simulator. 2nd

From Anthony O'Neal
Posted July 25, 2011 at 12:06 AM
Very creative, everyone!

I enjoyed reading all of the ideas.

From Adam Nodjomian
Posted July 27, 2011 at 7:34 AM
I know I'm really late on these, but vacations/travel have limited my abilities to post. So, here goes......

ANDY: I was quite impressed with this proposal. Lots of positives with a few negatives. Job well done!

POSITIVES: First and foremost, you chose an excellent theme for your attraction. Additionally, I was happy with your choice of ride system. A shooter style attraction is a given for a ride based on Ghostbusters. The fact that you mixed it with Spiderman tech was awesome too! Also, your presentation was excellent. Everything was clear and understandable and the pictures helped tremendously to visualize all the action occurring around you. There was just enough dialogue to make it easy to follow but it wasn’t overdone (I’m often guilty of this myself). The story was good, you had the necessary “everything goes terribly wrong” element which is always a plus in theme park attractions. I also liked the multiple paths system, and the 3D effect.

NEGATIVES: My only negative is that you are replacing a family ride (BTTF) with a ride that could frighten kids very easily. I honestly would worry more if this were being placed in a Disney park, but Universal Parks generally have a higher fear and thrill threshold, so it’s really not that big of a deal. Ghostbusters is a bit of an outdated franchise, and who wants to bring their family on rides with a theme they can't relate to.

BOTTOM LINE: Really excellent attraction! Perfect choice on the ride system, great presentation, and good story. My only worries is that it may be a bit TOO scary and you used an outdated franchise. A favorite of the week.

From Adam Nodjomian
Posted July 27, 2011 at 7:16 AM
JEFF: I liked the ride and the presentation was good, but there are a few critiques I have to mention.

POSITIVES: First off, you chose a good franchise. Avatar is known worldwide and will be known for years to come. The effects sounded stunning. I liked queue theming as well.

NEGATIVES: The story was somewhat farfetched, but as I've said before, that can be expected with theme park attractions. Also in relation to the story, I didn't like the fact that you were the Avatar. I would rather it have been like you were riding on a vehicle or a creature.

BOTTOM LINE: I was pretty happy with the attraction, but I would have liked a more original story that was centered around something else in the world of Avatar.

From Adam Nodjomian
Posted July 27, 2011 at 7:37 AM
JOSEPH: At first I was excited for this one, but it was kind of underwhelming. I don't feel it honored the movie monsters properly.

POSITIVES: I liked the fact that your attraction was based on the movie monster because I feel like that is needed. Also, I liked the black and white color scheme. In my mind, I picture a Spiderman style attraction. If I'm right in thinking that then I am happy with the ride system, if not I would have to change this over to negatives.

NEGATIVES: Also, with the ride system. The shooters need to go. They add nothing to the story, in my opinion. I picture as it more that Van Helsing is fighting Dracula and you are just along for the ride. Another thing is the 3-D. AAs don't belong in an attraction that uses 3-D, you should have all 3-D screens or all AAs. It makes for a better story. Also, I felt the story was a bit jerky and confusing. It really didn't make much sense. I think you tried to pack too much in too short of a time.

BOTTOM LINE: I liked that you used movie monsters, but I wish that execution was a better.

From Adam Nodjomian
Posted July 27, 2011 at 7:53 AM
JAMES: Wow, excellent ride. I really want to ride this one, and I'm not even a fan of Battlestar Galactica! After reading this, I kind of want to watch the show if a ride this exciting could be based off of it.

POSITIVES: This ride sounded so exciting and fun. Also, I big bonus for me was the fact that you utilized the existing ride system to your advantage. This is what got you major points from me regarding MLBBT award (see below). Your story was cohesive, believable and exciting. Excellent pre-show as well. Another big plus is your simple improvement of the ride vehicle. It adds even more to the story.

NEGATIVES: I don't really have much to say here. As much as I did like the use of existing system, I hope your improvements included more fluid movements on the ride system, that way the flying is more realistic. Not even a huge issue just something that would make the ride that much better.

BOTTOM LINE: My definite Favorite of the Week, and also my pick for Most Likely to Be Built Tomorrow! Excellent on basically everything.

From Adam Nodjomian
Posted July 27, 2011 at 8:24 AM
ERIC: I was a bit confused by this one honestly. It sounded exciting, but I feel liked you rushed it.

POSITIVES: As I mentioned before, this ride sounded exciting and fun. I liked the queue and felt it introduced the story well. The vehicle sounded like a good choice for this ride as well.

NEGATIVES: The story of the GPS was not needed and just added to the confusion. Another thing that I didn't get was the ride system itself. It sounded like a roller coaster honestly and this was a simulator challenge. A lot of the elements of this ride (like the 360 spin) could only be achieved with coaster technology. The story was very choppy as well and difficult to grasp. Also, effects like explosions and breaking glass are hard to do every 20 seconds (which would be the speed required for an attraction like this). Would this be outside or indoors?

BOTTOM LINE: It sounds like a fun ride, but it needs some work and more than anything else, time. I really want to know how you expect to achieve many of the effects you mentioned since they seem complicated. I can picture and better appreciate attractions if the technology is believable and achievable.

From Andy Milio
Posted July 27, 2011 at 11:38 AM
Thanks Adam. Ghostbusters may be outdated a little, so I'll give you props on that one. As for Ghostbusters being too scary, the movie was hardly scary; it's a comedy, ya know ;)

From Andy Milito
Posted July 27, 2011 at 12:42 PM
The only part that REALLY scared me when I saw it was the Library lady. The terror dogs were mildly scary also

From James Koehl
Posted July 27, 2011 at 5:30 PM
Thank you, Adam. I like the way you organize the positives, negatives and bottom line in a contructive, logical manner. Your experience in creating proposals shows in your critiques.

This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.

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