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canadianparkfan

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Posts posted by canadianparkfan

  1. An engineering degree is nearly required to work for a coaster or ride manufacturer as a designer. These firms are often small and the engineer functions as the designer.

     

    An engineering degree is preferred, but not required, to work for a corporate or even family sized park when selecting, designing, and installing a new ride or coaster. Again, the group designing and selecting new rides is often very small, so proficiency in the technical aspects of rides and structures is necessary (beyond the internet).

     

    Groups like Imagineering and Creative both have strong art and engineering departments. Which area you want to work in is up to you, but you will never escape the mathematical aspects of the industry. Yes Disney, Universal, B&M, Intamin, etc. build rides, but what they really build is complex and often prototypical heavy machinery. Ride design is considered very high risk engineering because of the life-safety aspect. There is no room for failure.

     

    There are several universities that have active Themed Entertainment clubs. Many trend toward engineering and less toward art/design. A club like this is how I, and many others I know, became an industry professional. Feel free to PM if ya have any questions.

     

    http://www.teaconnect.org/NextGen/TEA--University-Clubs/

     

    Good luck!

    We have a Theme Park Engineering and Design group (TPED) here at Purdue University as well. We are one of the most active groups in the nation and we have a lot of events including IAAPA, media days, competitions etc. Feel free to PM me for any information about us!

    Pretty cool to see that they've got a ride design club. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Purdue is English courses, not math and Science. In highschool we always used Purdue's website to format our essays.

  2. ^Really cool... Didn't know any schools had those sort of clubs.

     

    A friend of mine who's into Rally-Car Racing joined a dune-buggy building club at his college, and as far as I know, he's not in any engineering program at the school, yet still able to contribute a fair bit. Not too sure if the other clubs you mentioned would work that way (letting non-engineering students join) but still cool to know they exist.

     

    We often had non-engineering students as well, so no need to worry. Speaking from experience, these clubs welcome dedicated members. Engineering students are often swamped with homework so it takes many people to coordinate any projects or traveling.

    Awesome news. Sounds very similar to the role my friend has in the Ralley-car club (stepping up to help whenever the team is swamped with work ).

     

    Did a bit of research, and found that quite a few local universities have teams that enter a coaster-design contest.

    http://www.ress.ca/events?event_id=10

  3. ^Really cool... Didn't know any schools had those sort of clubs.

     

    A friend of mine who's into Rally-Car Racing joined a dune-buggy building club at his college, and as far as I know, he's not in any engineering program at the school, yet still able to contribute a fair bit. Not too sure if the other clubs you mentioned would work that way (letting non-engineering students join) but still cool to know they exist.

  4. ^ My comment was mostly directed @ prozach626. Also, I get what you're saying about presenting them as characters as that's a bit unfair, but there are definite truths to all stereotypes mentioned and/or alluded to in the piece. There are most definitely TPR'ers that obsess over every nut and bolt LOL. Not to mention, its VICE. Most of their writers are awful, and 95% of the articles focus on the sensational aspect of the subject. I happened to be on there reading a completely unrelated article, noticed the headline, and thought I'd post it here.

    Great point. If I've learned one thing from being a coaster enthusiast, its to always take everything you read/watch on the Internet (or any big news platform) with a grain of salt, and do a bit of digging/research to see what's really going on... Most of the time it's not what the headline makes it out to be.

  5. There are members/readers that are active designers in the industry. They just don't have time to post because they are busy working...

    Exactly! I'm able to be active around here because A) I currently have the time; B) I like talking about the industry and what I learn; and C) I haven't actually worked for anywhere yet. Once I get working at [insert name here] design and planning firm, I'm basically going to pack my bags and retreat to the games forum again, because I won't be able to talk about anything in development due to the huge secrecy of the industry - I'll pretty much only be able to talk about and interact with stuff that's been made public. But right now, as I'm working on my own portfolio stuff in graduate school, I love talking about theme parks!

     

    I'll admit that I've definitely jumped the gun and been a little condescending, inaccurate, etc around here on occasion, but for the most part I like being both rational and enthusiastic when talking about whatever new ride Fårup has going on or whatever new themed area Disney is building. It's fun to hear what other people think as well as what the parks are doing, and how it can (or can't) influence my work.

     

    One thing that one of my colleagues told me a few days ago, and that I really agree with, is that my generation is, generally, with some exceptions from older generations for sure, the first one to actively pursue work in the themed entertainment industry directly out of college as a career path, and that as a result the big wigs in the industry aren't completely sure what to think in most cases. Most of the guys and gals who are working there now started as engineers, architects, artists, etc and found their way in because their specific skill was asked for in the context of a theme park. There's definitely a shifting dynamic - and the college theme park engineering / entertainment student organizations, companies' intern programs, and the Themed Entertainment Association's NextGen initiative are suddenly becoming very relevant.

    Been kinda of intriguing thinking about m what happens in the next 10-20 years in coaster design. As you've said, this is the first time there's really been enthusiasts actively trying to find their way into the industry. Should make for some interesting ride experiences of any of them make it far enough through the ranks of (insert company here).

  6. What Tanks4me05 said.

    I skimmed quickly through the first three years in university, but now that I'm doing my master's degree in civil engineering, I dropped several courses from my yearly quota. I found out hat plowing through courses is is a fast way to graduate, but I didn't actually remember most of the stuff discussed during the courses. Now that I'm over halfway to graduating, I though it'd be time to actually try and learn something that I'd also remember later on. Having less courses per year really allows you to focus on the courses you have, but also lets you have other life as well. A man's gotta eat and sleep, right?

     

    About this designer vs engineering topic: in my opinion, being an engineer is kinda required, since you should understand how your design is supposed to work. I've heard numerous (stereotypical) examples of architechts who want "levitating glass-pyramids filled with eternal fire". Why would you want to design something that just isn't possible/realistic? You'd have to re-design, which costs time which again costs money. If you have engineering-knowledge, you already know what's possible, what's impossible, and what is difficult but achievable. This is my interpretation of an engineer at work.

     

    Back to topic: it has been my dream job since I can remember (earliest I recall I was 6). I wasn't sure what I should do to achieve it, but studying civil engineering and working at an amusement park really were the way to go for me. Studying gives you mathematical understanding of the phenomena happening in structures etc, and working at a park lets you get up and close with rides. If you're lucky, you get to see some of the maintenance's stuff as well (as was with me), and if you're really lucky, you might get a chance at networking inside the industry!

     

    Studying languages is also a plus since manufacturers can be located in a different country than the one you're living in, AND the products will get sold all over the world and being able to communicate really makes things easier. It's also noteworthy how the computers have revolutionized this industry as well, so learning your ways with CAD and BIM should also be in your to-do-list.

    Very good points.

     

    The only way I could see someone getting around the math is to get a job at a park, and work their way through the ranks (Likely WAY easier said than done). From there, they could submit designs to manufacturers that they believe would be innovative and feasible (again, likely WAY easier said than done).

     

    I guess it truly takes a team (the park owner/architect providing the general idea/experience of the ride, and the engineers who have to figure out how to build/run the ride safely)... Sort of a left brain vs right brain/IQ vs EQ thing (this podcast sums it up nicely http://fourhourworkweek.com/2016/02/16/scorpion/).

  7. Just curious to see if anyone on here has ever thought of becoming a coaster/ride designer, or working somewhere in the amusement industry?

     

    The thought has crossed my mind a few times, however, despite all the cool designs I've come up with in my head, I don't really have the technical know-how to actually break into the market. I've basically given up, but you never know, maybe there's an internship that'll open up somewhere (though I doubt my arts degree in college would be what they're looking for... Unfortunately computers/physics were never really my thing ).

  8. Railblazer pictures are definitely scarce. There's a few pictures here:

     

    www.geocities.com/Pipeline/Reef/6776/SFStL.html

     

    And Shane (of Shane's Amusement Attic) had a clip of some news coverage of the accident.

     

    From Shane's Amusement Attic

    What's the ride at 0:48 in the video?

     

    As for railblazer, while the ride looks pretty brutal, the trains don't look much worse than the old Togo standups that came along a year or two later.

  9. I think the best thing that came from SOB was that (supposedly) Stengel supposedly wanted to use plug-n-play track for it, but the new track wouldn't have been ready by 2000 - which was important for KI. So, at least KI asking for a 200' wood coaster sorta created this "need" for a new track system which didn't previously exist and probably helped fund the design efforts. Too bad no parks are making more use of that system today though.

    Exactly... One could argue that it lead to the creation of El Toro.

     

    Like others have said, it's too bad the Intamin designs are too expensive for many parks. Would love to see more pre-fabs and mega lites to compliment the RMCs and Hyper GTXs.

  10. There is one thing that I don't get about roller coaster in general, how could a good coaster have a bad layout (like Ride of Steel at Darien Lake and Six Flags America)? and how could a bad coaster have a good layout (like Drachen Fire at Busch Gardens Williamsburg)?

     

    I never got to ride Drachen Fire (I was 2 when it closed) but I think it had an incredibly inventive layout. I really wish that Busch Gardens would hire Mack to remake it as a mega coaster (of course that will NEVER happen ) I guess it must have just rode like garbage.

     

    As for Tennessee Tornado, I guess I put it on here because the layout really is nothing special, but combining the historic (for me being so young) effect of riding an arrow looper combined with its location makes it a good coaster. That's me at least.

    Well, with the advent of Kickstarter/crowdfunding... Anything's possible... If that doesn't work, there's always the next powerball/lottomax Jackpot

  11. ^So glad to seeSkyhawk coming together! That looks incredible

     

     

    Can I ask where Valleyfair came from? I would say CP, Carowinds, and KI...

     

    Has been stated several times during quarter earning conference calls. Valleyfair is one of the key markets that they're trying to expand on, along with Carowinds and CA Great America. They don't need as large of an expansion as Carowinds has been needing, but it's still there. Valleyfair has a rather large market available to it, but can only hit around 1 million guests a season when it could easily reach 1.5mil, if not more. Cedar Point pretty much is on its own and really CF can do whatever they want to it as the market is already established and guests will always go there in droves and it's the same with Kings Island.

     

    Wonderland is one of those parks too that it's hard to expand on the market when the market is already established, or in their case, the dominate spot in the market. There's a reason why Canada's Wonderland has the highest yearly attendance out of all of the Cedar Fair parks.

    Makes sense. Now that CF's done some major work on CW over the last few years (2 B&Ms, Windseeker, Guardian etc.), I wouldn't be surprised to see some other "underserved parks getting more TLC in the coming years.

     

    However, with that being said, I'm predicting something relatively large taking up Skyrider's spot next year. The park's stated that the removal of Skyrider was a "multi-year project", and with land clearing going on all around the area (including inside Splashworks/near WWC), I'm guessing we'll either see a total revamp of Splashworks or a medium to large sized coaster.

     

     

    My guess for 2017 is we'll not see a total revamp of Splashworks, but, some slides added near Mighty Canadian Minebuster's first drop as they were clearing land there last year. Also, I think we'll see a dive coaster where SkyRider was. I mean, there isn't much room there but, a dive coaster can be quite compact if they wanted it to be.

    Maybe it won't be a total revamp, but, I wouldn't be surprised if the got a new entrance (extending into skyrider's spot), plus the slides near Minebuster that you mentioned. With other large water parks opening in the region (Calypso Park a few hours east, plus the preposed indoor waterpark for the GTA), other older waterparks are upping the anti; just look at WildWater Kingdom. They're completely redoing their park, most likely to compete with Calypso. I wouldn't be surprised if CW does something similar.

     

    As for the coaster rumor, I'm guessing the land clearing near Minebuster could be for a coaster (if splash works doesn't get any more additions next year). The station would likely be in Skyrider's old spot, and the coaster would probably interact with the area around Minebuster/splash works. Probably something from B&M, maybe Mack or RMC?

  12.  

    Can I ask where Valleyfair came from? I would say CP, Carowinds, and KI...

     

    Has been stated several times during quarter earning conference calls. Valleyfair is one of the key markets that they're trying to expand on, along with Carowinds and CA Great America. They don't need as large of an expansion as Carowinds has been needing, but it's still there. Valleyfair has a rather large market available to it, but can only hit around 1 million guests a season when it could easily reach 1.5mil, if not more. Cedar Point pretty much is on its own and really CF can do whatever they want to it as the market is already established and guests will always go there in droves and it's the same with Kings Island.

     

    Wonderland is one of those parks too that it's hard to expand on the market when the market is already established, or in their case, the dominate spot in the market. There's a reason why Canada's Wonderland has the highest yearly attendance out of all of the Cedar Fair parks.

    Makes sense. Now that CF's done some major work on CW over the last few years (2 B&Ms, Windseeker, Guardian etc.), I wouldn't be surprised to see some other "underserved parks getting more TLC in the coming years.

     

    However, with that being said, I'm predicting something relatively large taking up Skyrider's spot next year. The park's stated that the removal of Skyrider was a "multi-year project", and with land clearing going on all around the area (including inside Splashworks/near WWC), I'm guessing we'll either see a total revamp of Splashworks or a medium to large sized coaster.

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