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Rollercoaster Academie

 
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Joined: 28 Jul 2007
Posts: 381

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:23 am    Post subject: Rollercoaster Academie Reply with quote

Hey,

German Holiday Park has announced that plans for a new family coaster will be made with the help of amatures. The news-section of www.holidaypark.de invites coaster fans with an engineering background to sent in their resume's and motivation. 12 people will be chosen to take a masterclass, done by Werner Stengel, and than design their coaster for Holiday Park. The winning coaster will be built and the designer rewarded with 25000 Euros.

Interesting. I might just try to to this. My German is not good at all, but I am studying engineering Smile

Holly3216
Member
Posts: 68
(3/22/06 5:25 pm)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie
Sounds like a great opportunity! It's worth a try... Best of luck =)

No Limits Thriller
Member
Posts: 41
(5/10/06 6:15 pm)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie Well, last week I got an email, congratulating me for getting selected! Contract is signed already, so I am now one of 40 contestants, and I will be at Holiday Park on May the 20th to get some lessons in coaster design from Werner Stengel.

Needless to say, I'm very VERY happy Smile

chadlockwood
Member
Posts: 54
(5/10/06 6:31 pm)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie Hey, congratulations.

Keep us informed on your progress!

Awesome,

Chad

Meloncov
Member
Posts: 152
(5/11/06 11:13 pm)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie I'm torn between hapiness for you and envy over here...

Congrats!

No Limits Thriller
Member
Posts: 43
(5/12/06 3:18 am)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie Yeah well, I'll need to pretty much learn the entire German language between now and next saturday if I want to learn anything:lol

Holly3216
Member
Posts: 84
(5/14/06 11:51 am)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie Hey... congratulations! I hope you'll come back and share tidbits of new-found wisdom!

Hmmm... I think most languages have around 2,000 words that are frequently used? So maybe not the "entire" German language... just 2,000 words... oi! that's a lot!

Depending on how advanced your German is... I've found the resources at BBC (www.bbc.co.uk/languages/german/) and the Rosetta Stone software to be pretty good (Rosetta's a bit expensive, though)... They make it a little less painful to learn...

Even if you don't understand much, take a lot of pictures and enjoy yourself =) That's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! :rollin

Edited by: Holly3216 at: 5/14/06 11:53 am
No Limits Thriller
Member
Posts: 44
(5/15/06 7:36 am)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie LOL, it was meant jokingly actually. I can understand German okay, just hardly speak it Smile

No Limits Thriller
Member
Posts: 45
(5/22/06 8:36 am)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie Well, that was an interesting day, to say the least.

IT's really cool to meet one of the big guys - if not the biggest guy - in coaster design. He had some really interesting stories to tell.

Overall the day was quite educational. I really didn't need to hear about speed and acceleration and physical calculations for the 1001st time, but there were other parts that were absolutely new and interesting.

So if you'll excuse me, I have a ride to design Wink

Meloncov
Member
Posts: 153
(5/22/06 5:32 pm)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie No, you have everything you learned today to write down in great detail for this forum Wink

Holly3216
Member
Posts: 86
(5/22/06 8:36 pm)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie yeah...you can't leave us in suspense! Wink

Glad to hear your having a good time!

No Limits Thriller
Member
Posts: 46
(5/23/06 5:57 am)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie
Okay, here’s a short report. I am probably missing huge parts though – my German isn’t up to standard, to say the least.

Obviously, things started with a regular introduction. Attendees could introduce themselves as well. It seems that I was the only one of the dutch gang who tried doing this in German, not sure if it was a success. I do know that I am not good with a camera pointing on my face Wink

The first class Stengel gave was about roller coaster history. Much of it wasn’t new – we’ve all seen in on discovery a thousand times. But some things were new and interesting, such as the origin of the name “roller coaster” and the reason SFMM’s Revolution has a truss-supported loop.

After a welcome break, with great snacks (I love Berliner Bollen Razz ), the second class was the most important for the project. It was about designing a family ride. A couple of limitations were set, and some things were explained to be better than others (magnetic vs. friction brakes etc.). There was also a part about energy, speed and acceleration. Pretty basic, so not all *that* interesting.

Fortunately, we got to ride EGF over lunch. I hadn’t ridden it in 4 years, and some had never, so this was really a nice gesture by the park. Lunch itself was great – I’m addicted to Schnitzels!

The last class explained the “ten commandments” of roller coaster design. Some obvious (Listen to the customer, keep G’s in check), some more interesting and also quite logical (use as much right turns as left ones).

The last few hours were meant to be spent working on each individual’s concepts, and everyone could ask Stengel his personal questions. I didn’t do much actually, I’d rather work at home. But talking to Stengel for a bit is, of course, interesting to say the least.

And so they day ended. I came home well into the night, but it was definitely worth it! I am not yet completely sure just how big the competition is – some are definitely very good, others were really into RCT3!

Meloncov
Member
Posts: 154
(5/30/06 8:57 pm)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie So? Any news?

No Limits Thriller
Member
Posts: 47
(6/7/06 3:00 am)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie What news were you expecting? Smile

I have until August 20th to finalize my design and once again submit it. After that, they will elect approx. 12 of 39 of the best designs for the next round. So in short, I'm hard at work Wink

Holly3216
Member
Posts: 87
(6/7/06 4:23 pm)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie Good luck! :rollin Very Happy

No Limits Thriller
Member
Posts: 48
(6/9/06 3:18 am)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie Hehe, thanks!

Too bad I'm not allowed to show anything. This week was the first time I had some real progress - not just conceptualizing, but actual track design and calculation. The first 300 ft of track have been laid Smile

No Limits Thriller
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Posts: 55
(9/8/06 4:34 am)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie Yay! I just got an email that I was elected as one of the 12 finalists!

Holly3216
Member
Posts: 97
(9/8/06 6:11 pm)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie Woo Hoo! :rollin
Keep us posted!!!

No Limits Thriller
Member
Posts: 56
(9/10/06 5:11 pm)
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New Post Re: Rollercoaster Academie The finale is this saturday (16th). So I have this week to prepare my final presentation, and then it's see what comes of it Smile

No Limits Thriller
Member
Posts: 57
(9/17/06 12:32 pm)
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New Post That's it Well, the day came and went. I ended up not winning, but that's okay. The "big" prize of 25,000 euros for the ride that would actually get constructed was not given away - they didn't find anything that useful apparently. Because they didn't clearly proclaim this right not to give away the biggest price, a lot of people were really dissapointed. I did see it coming though.

Oh well, it's been a very nice experience. Apparently, they're doing the same thing again next year...

Aloric
Member
Posts: 52
(9/17/06 12:53 pm)
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New Post Re: That's it I'm sorry to hear that no one got to having anything built - that is a real bummer.

but i do hope the whole experience was educational, and maybe a big portfolio builder too?

I'm really curious what sort of design you came up with, if you'd like to share.

No Limits Thriller
Member
Posts: 58
(9/17/06 3:29 pm)
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New Post Unfortunately...
Unfortuntely, I am not allowed to share my design. I signed a contract to keep things under wraps and have Holiday Park have sole purchasing power intill december 2008. So it'll be more than 2 years before I can show anything Sad


>but i do hope the whole experience was educational, >and maybe a big portfolio builder too?

Yes, absolutely. As a mechanical engineering student, roller coaster design is my main aim in the industry, even though it might not fit this site Wink . I really enjoyed the experience. They will do the same thing next year, maybe I'll try again.

Oh, a group picture of the finalists is available on the dutch site rides.nl :
www.rides.nl/nieuws/bericht/816

I'm on the 1st row, 3rd person from the left Wink

Aloric
Member
Posts: 53
(9/17/06 6:51 pm)
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New Post Re: Unfortunately... You know, about the whole mechanical engineer/roller coaster thing...

Someone told me the other day - someone who actually gets to build theme park rides for a living and gets paid a small fortune to do it - that there's been a shift lately in design groups away, Disney in particular, away from engineer/architectural and back toward theater/art people.

It made me think a bit about this site even, and some of the folks here (even you!) I think i'm one of the few here who has a theater/art background.

I guess this is a tangent of this topic, i can move it to a new topic if you want.. but do you suppose you want to build rides, or do you want to make attractions/shows? I've always wanted to do attractions/shows... You seem more into rides, hence the roller coaster design.

For a long time its felt like many design groups have focused on the ride before the show - though there's storytelling, it's more like they thought up the story to fit the ride rather then the other way around.

Just curious what your thoughts are....

No Limits Thriller
Member
Posts: 59
(9/18/06 4:27 am)
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New Post Re: Unfortunately... I think this can fit into this topic - no probs Smile

Actually, this is an interesting thought. Of course, at the moment I am not a profesional - I'm 21 and still in the college-phase of my life - and enjoying it actually Wink

I started getting interested in the amusement (not theme!) park industry in 1995, when DLP opened Space Mountain. A local newspaper reported that it was manufactured by a dutch company, which got my interest. Through them being kind enough to send me information brochures, my "coaster enthusiasm" was really put on fire. When the internet got big, I found out this was not such a weird hobby at all, and I got the chance to join groups of enthusiasts. It was all about the thrill at that time.

Then, in 2002, I finally visited DLP again, and the spark about *themed* attractions and theming in general hit me. So from then on, and right up untill now, there's the two things, which I still see as very different hobbies. It's funny though - I am always frowned at by coastering friends when they are raving about some "themed" coaster which actually only has a nice station building and nothing else. On the other hand, I often have discussions with "theming enthusiasts" about the idea that a "naked" roller coaster can actually be fun. It's interesting! And honestly, I didn't realise my coaster enthusiasm was that obvious on here.

In the end, I believe there is room for both theme parks that do the storytelling, and general amusement parks which are just a fun day out. What I do not like though, is that the two things seem to be melting together: Theme parks are doing more "standard" stuff, with Buzz being the eternally perfect example, and amusement parks are doing more to enhance the experience. As an example of that, I would like to bring up Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point: Amazing rollercoaster, but no theming. However, the trains are essentially dragsters, and the queueing up is really an experience. They carefully choose the soundtrack ("Ready to Go" from Republica and such), and they have informative texts all over the queue space. It builds up the excitement and really adds to the ride.

This latter one is really great I think, but I'm not a fan of the Buzz-rides at Disney. I wonder if them downgrading thematical experiences will have any effect in the long-run, because they are not differentiating themselves from the regular amusement park as much anymore. Somehow, I feel people go to Disney mostly because they have a famous name nowadays.

As for my own career - I'd love to design roller coasters, and I'd love to design themed attractions. Fact is though that I only have amateur (sp?) experience in the later, and I found very early on that technical things, physics and maths is really my thing, it's what I'm good at. I think that the fact I was selected for this coaster academie had a lot to do with a (crude) piece of software I made to make sure any coaster is a smooth coaster. Calculating is my thing, and I'm studying mechanical engineering, so designing coasters is the most fitting in the long run. It's both technical and creative, and actually, are there any themed attraciton designers over here in Europe? I'm not sure I'd want to move my entire life to the other side of the globe...

Well, that's some thoughts. Does this now get the title for longest post ever on here? Haha. I hope it wasn't too boring.

Oh and a last note - I think a chatroom on this site would be great. But that is off-topic Smile
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