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Thoughts for a ride system

 
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kingslyZISSOU



Joined: 21 May 2008
Posts: 41
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:45 am    Post subject: Thoughts for a ride system Reply with quote

By no stretch of the imagination do I want to be an engineer, but I do like coming up with Ideas. I enjoy art much more than numbers.

How do-able would a sort of simulator vehicle do on a roller coaster track?

would that cause structural damage?

With all this talk about a major refurbishment, I've been thinking about how I would make space mountain. I think people are looking for a lot more in a thrill ride, even if it is a "classic".

Take the mummy for example. What if they made it so the vehicle would sort of bump up and down, lean, or maybe even spin sideways? does this seem plausible?
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lightguy



Joined: 30 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you seen the X-coaster style design? Though a different execution then you're suggesting, it has some similar mechanics (rotating seats).

Even though its a different system entirely, from a guest experience perspective it sounds a lot like Disney's EMV ride system (eg Indiana Jones, Dinosaur). Quick moving ride with emphasized terrain.

Just me $.02
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MartinJ



Joined: 09 Aug 2007
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Location: Flint, MI

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't that like "The Amazing Adventures of
Spider-Man®" there at Universal IOA Florida? It's on a track and has the mechanics of a simulator to enhance what's happening on the track.

Putting any kind of mechanics on a roller coaster style vehicle would add a lot of extra stress points to worry about. Have you seen how big the vehicles are for Disney's EMV? Double or triple the size of some parts if you're adding any kind of real G-force to the base carriage.

For anything not rotational, you could modify the track to actually contain the bumps and twists. The wheels would almost have to be free spinning (like the ones on the bottom of office chairs) to handle the weird contortions.

Heck, the OmniMover system incorporates all the degrees of motion you want (pitch, yaw, and roll), just at a much slower pace.
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kingslyZISSOU



Joined: 21 May 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason I would want simulated motion, would be for show scenes. I think it would be very interesting to combine a roller coaster with show scenes and projection (as in a small domed screen, along the lines of soarin). I was mostly worried about the weight of the mechanics the car would have to carry. What exactly is the drving force behind those motion based vehicles, like dinosaur, or indiana jones? I assume they are electric motors.
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icandrawem2



Joined: 16 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont think we are very far away from what you are describing. Spiderman and Dinosaur have incredible motion base vehicles, but arent techincally roller coasters in the traditional sense...Revenge of the Mummy is a very involved roller coaster, but lacks the independently moving vehicle...I think what you are asking is Mummy meets Spiderman. There was a discussion on here not too long ago about getting data and A/V to roller coaster trains in order to play music or shoot video etc. Some of that is probably stored on the trains but it obviously needs a power source, which would have to be provided through a "third rail", esp things that may require very high power such as an electric motor. I dont know exactly how these vehicles work but i would imagine it to be all electric since pneumatics and hydraulics would be very difficult or impossible to pull off on a moving vehicle (unless of course your air or hydraulic fluid source was on board) But I think we will all see some really neat things in the next couple years as far as rides are experienced.
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Holly
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Joined: 06 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that what you are talking about is a brilliant idea. I think MartinJ is right about the stress points... but it usually seems to all come down to innovation or finding different way that accomplishes the same thing (like making the ground actually bumpy)...

For example, you could have a roller coaster vehicle that goes down the track, and then when it reaches show scenes, a "shuttle" latches to the bottom, which contains all of the pneumatics, and brings the vehicle through the show scene, shaking & pitching it, and then pushes the vehicle back onto the roller coaster track at the end. It then moves back to the beginning of the scene catch the next vehicle and bring it through the show scene...

Or maybe it is possible to reduce stress on the pneumatics and/or motors by having plenty of "padding" and big latches that click the vehicle down into a low and compact position while the coaster is pummeling down the track, so that the parts can't really move around... and then releases when it reaches a show scene to let the pneumatics do their business...

Maybe a modified Kuka arm could take the stress...

I'm sure that if one of the parks were interested and poured in a little research and development cash, it will happen... and be pretty awesome! (you won't be able to get me to ride the rollercoaster, but I'll send all my friends!)
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Meloncov



Joined: 08 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last I heard, the E-ticket at Universal's Harry Potter land will be just that.
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MartinJ



Joined: 09 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I trhink the easiest solution around the engineering is to not have a continuous track. Think of standard railways. You can merge and have the lines split. Granted, passengers can feel this.

But, what if your cars were fairly locked down, maybe with rotational motion on board. That should limit the possible breaking points.

Now, your train would roll into a station for an individual scene. When the train stops, the whole station would be on a platform with the simulator mechanics buried below.

Would something like that be what you're going for?
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Holly
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meloncov - I had no idea about Harry Potter's e-ticket...Granted, my head's been in the sand for the last couple of months, but I look forward to info on it!

MartinJ - That's brilliant! That's kindof like the tram tour at MGM and Earthquake at Universal... It cuts down a lot on the beating that the ride system will take, and also cuts down on moving parts that would need to be serviced (one pneumatic system vs. pneumatic system multiplied by number of vehicles). Although, if the platform breaks down, the ride is down... Whereas if a vehicle breaks, you take it off the track... I think that's the only downside I can think of. I think a platform or shuttle may have more pros than cons vs, the other way of doing it.
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MartinJ



Joined: 09 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, well. Someone here told me that I shouldn't put the ride system ahead of the experience. Once you know what you want the end experience to be like, you start working on how you're going to achieve it. That's when you compromise back and forth (deisgner: "I want the guest to actually float", engineer: "how about we dunk them in a tank then? They'll float.").
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Loric



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a note - a simulator "cabin" which roams around going up and down hills does or at least -did- exist.

I watched a special about the creation of simulators a long time ago, back when we thought simulator theaters would become really popular and be in every town with new simulations being rolled out on a regular basis.

The cabin essentially went slowly through a tunnel, but the forward motion and the up/down hills, though slowly traversed, gave a greater sense of realism to the simulation then a simple pivot on an arm.

The same sort of idea is why rides like Indian Jones, Spiderman, etc.. actually work so well. They do not actually move nearly as fast as you think they do.
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Holly
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@MartinJ - I rarely get to think about the engineering, so it's a treat for me, just like it's probably a treat for engineers to get to think about experience Wink Anyhow, sometimes a great experience grows out of the technology, as long as a lot of time is spent on the story & application... the Tiki Room is still around, right? (That approach can also result in sadness: ex. "Sounds Dangerous" at MGM... the technology is not compelling enough to create an attraction around... always tread with caution and don't get so romanced with the technology that all else seems less important!)

@Loric - Roller coasters are such a great example of that. Most are around 50 mph... They aren't going any faster than your car on the highway, but they do that speed in a tighter space... As they say, it comes down to context... I did see a video of something like that too, but the cabin was enclosed -- I don't know if you would gain much over a high-tech simulator, unless you could get it rolling faster...
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DancinBelle



Joined: 30 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had sort of a similar idea for a vehicle, one that could start like a dark ride, then drop straight down, connecting to a roller coaster track. I imagined it to be a table/elevator piece that the ride vehicle would get on and lock (with magnets?) that could drop down and connect to another track. It would have to be a small vehicle though.

And I have a question- Is there any ride vehicle that could simulate riding on the back of an elephant? Like, so you could look down and see the "elephant" that you were riding?
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Holly
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DancinBelle,
You mean "Dumbo"? Wink I'm just kidding... That sounds like a wonderful idea. I don't personally know of a dark ride vehicle like that, but the original inventors of dark rides (who worked in the early 1900's)would love you. The guys who invented the genre did things like make a huge flying ship where you could look out of the portholes and see the wings really flapping (because of course, this was a Victorian-style flying ship) and the sky around you, as you traveled away from the earth and to the moon. They did amazing things to make people really feel like they were in an exotic but very real adventure. If I had a time machine, I would go back to the early days of Dreamland and Luna Park at Coney Island! Anyhow, I think there is always room for a little more whimsy and grace in the design world...

Maybe "mixed reality" could help in this case... I'm not sure... I'll leave it to our resident engineers!
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Loric



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think design trends most recently reached an high point of unrealism in the 80's. Look at the pointy-shoulder fashion and insanely high hair.

It mimics prior periods with the bustles and hoops and such. The more elaborate and unrealistic the clothing so goes the general art and design.

Then you have a period afterward that rebels against it. That's when in the 90's an industrialism began to show. Also in theatre the ideas went from really surreal sparse venues to more "convention" filled theatre with all the ropes, pipes, supports, etc visible - something previous period avoided.

This led to.. well.. where we are now. We look back and think the mechanics of the show aren't nearly as fascinating as the show. No one wants to see the 300 wheels under a Test Track vehicle or the track in a dark ride. We're getting back away from the nitty gritty and real - our hair should start getting higher soon.
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DancinBelle



Joined: 30 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, yeah, I forgot Dumbo... Very Happy I just was thinking Animal Kingdom needs a dark ride. Something like riding an elephant through the Jungle Book story. I know they have the capability of making a vehicle feel like your moving that way (Dinosaur/Indiana Jones), but how would you make guests feel they were really riding an elephant?

And if we're going for old style rides, I'd love to try one of those roller coasters where the seats had you ride sideways. Laughing
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Holly
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow... that sounds crazy! I don't think I could ride that... Some of the old rides were pretty trippy. Some of the original roller coasters had a nurses station at the end, or someone to ride the brake so it wouldn't fly off the track! But then again, some "new" rides are just recycled versions of the ideas that people had way back then...

Loric,
I like where we are in the industry in some ways, but I feel like our generation longs for authenticity. We no longer can believe that a photograph represents reality as it happened, or that a brick wall is actually made out of brick. What is left? The authenticity of emotion and story. Maybe getting away from being utterly fascinated with "behind the scenes" theme park shows and gritty realism (as our "hair gets higher") doesn't mean we are moving towards things that are less "real". I think it means that eventually we long for something more than flashy technology and hyperreal streets that have no "life"... Just like our ancestors, we want a story well-told around a campfire, where the firelight flickers and we can really believe that there is something deeper to reality than steel girders and ropes and 75 horsepower motors. When something tries to be as real as reality, we can often find all the reasons it's not... but when someone says "once upon a time", we often don't question it but rather let it speak to us on some deeper level. I don't know that we will fully backlash against realism, but it would be nice to see attractions not take themselves so seriously Wink But then again, maybe I'm just a crazy idealistic designer... Exclamation
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wokcreative



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DBelle - How about in a simulator type experience, where you ride a few different animals (elephant, giraffe, dolphin, eagle...) and get the sensation of each of them and how different they would be and what that would feel like?

Nearly related - I had an idea a couple of years ago, now, for a flume ride that would have a motion-type base that would "level out" as it ascends the lift hill, to give the sensation of riding on a river, instead of feeling like you were going up hill. It doesn't seem like it would be too hard to do.?.
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MartinJ



Joined: 09 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about something that looks like an escalator? Instead of flat stair steps, it would be buckets. Maybe put something in the bottom to generate gentle waves as it lifts. Hmm. Splash Mountain II - The Fox Strikes Back.
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wokcreative



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it. The whole idea is very loosely based on Robinson Crusoe, so buckets would fit well with the inventiveness of using materials that are around.
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rcj3



Joined: 31 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What if you put the cars on a gimball type mount. Then use electronic or magnetic locks to release the car in a certain direction based on the track. The wheelcarriage would be locked to the track but the passenger car could move on the wheel carriage?

Power would not be a hard thing to handle. In straight sections of of track you could put in power pick up rails. Each ride vehicle would have its own battery that is recharged as its collector rides the rail. We do this all the time on some of our conveyor equipment where I work. Since each vehicle has its own battery you limit downtime as you can remove that vehicle. Also if the battery goes bad the ride could go on just that specific vehicle would not have the fun of tilting.

This would make the experience different somewhat for everyone based on the car loading and gravity would do most of the work and would lessen the amount of mechanics in the vehicle. I am just thinking that the tilting or rotating action would be controlled by the layout of the track combined with the forces acting on the vehicle.
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Holly
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you tell us more about the Robinson Crusoe story/idea?
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kingslyZISSOU



Joined: 21 May 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thank you all for you advice. I've been putting a lot of thought into this lately, and I should have come concept art in the not so distant future.

I was watching a documentary on pixar the other day, and John Lassiter was talking about how technology and the arts inspire each other. Well, I'm trying to better understand what technology exists.

For DancinBelle, I have an Idea for your elephant concept. I'll put it into concept art as soon as I get the time.

Loric, do you know where I could find more information about that simulator cabin on a track? I've always wondered how much effect a simulator moving on a plane would have.



well, I need to get drawing!...
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wokcreative



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I hadn't checked in for a while.
Here's the link for all of Crusoe (Castaway Mountain) - and other projects - at WriteSafe.com under art (since it seems to be the best category from the choices given) -
http://216.97.39.112/list.asp?cat=ART
Here's the outline:

“Castaway Mountain”
Flume Ride Outline

The mountain is a heavily forested, tropical rainforest with misty waterfalls cutting through the drifting fog. At the base of the mountain there are lush gardens and peaceful koi ponds with bridges beckoning us to take a leisurely stroll toward the Yacht Club Restaurant, built into the side of the hill, where cares of the busy life are quickly forgotten. The air is filled with the smell of plumeria blossoms as well as the island sounds of slack key guitar and dew dripping from unbridled foliage. Beside the outdoor patio we see an entrance to “Robinson’s Cruises” inviting us to sail to adventure. The plants around the doorway are more overgrown, as if abandoned for a while.

Inside, we find ourselves in the queue. We start by making our way up a gang plank in a room with the look and feel of the open sea, where mild breezes blow, gulls soar, gentle waves lap, and a cerulean ocean blends to an azure sky. This is the start of our journey, from a leisurely afternoon cruise that became a bigger than life adventure for our captain.

The next room is more like a sail boat, with guy lines and teak railings all around. The skies are darker, with the sound of distant thunder and rain you can smell. The lighting cycles through changing intensities. The music is now more powerful, signifying eminent doom. Through projections, and a slight swaying of the platform, there is a sense of movement to the room, like a rolling sea.

In the final room, there is a rope and plank bridge, surrounded by thick jungle. We can see the mountain from here. The exterior façade has become the cyc ceiling for the interior. There is a base camp that has been decorated with household items made from bamboo, shells, and coconuts. A canopy made from an old sail hangs overhead, torn from falling palm branches and years of wear. Piles of coconuts in a corner indicate that the island won’t hold up to intrusion or support anyone much longer. Audio-animatronic Captain Rob assures his pet pelican, Freddie, that he won’t be eaten. He then reminds everyone to save their resources for when they need those most – especially the gas for the motor, when it will be needed for getting through the rough surf at the end of the journey.

“Frida” lends a hand as we climb into rickety, weather-beaten old lifeboats, to escape the dangers of the island, with a warning that much more lies ahead of us.

[i]Each room in the queue has had a subtle rise in elevation, bringing everyone to the load platform, about halfway up the mountain. Each room on the ride will have a drop, but even more of a rise, masked with forced perspective, slanted set pieces, and motion control bases that keep the boats level while ascending the ramps with water rushing down to look like rapids instead of going uphill. The flume circles the “inside” mountain as it goes up, with side trips through the middle, while the ceiling is used for lighting and projection for sky, jungle canopy, and other effects.
[/i]
Just as we start around the first turn, Butch, who appears to have been stranded a long while on the island, warns against trying to steal HIS treasure. He uses a gaffing pole to push the boat away from the calm water, sending it down a turbulent, rapid-filled alternate fork in the river. The pole hooks onto the motor’s handle, starting it and sending it careening toward danger.

Our adventure begins with threats from the animal world. Striking snakes narrowly miss the boat, as gorillas fight big cats on the banks. Mischievous monkeys help Butch start a landslide of rocks and trees, coming right toward us. Sounds of wild animals in the jungle continue throughout the ride. We are protected from them as we turn into a small cave.

The second room reveals the presence of warring natives. Spears fly by and an overhead rope bridge is cut, swinging just ahead, but missing the river. Captain Rob appears, grabbing a bamboo pole, guiding us into deeper brush, and yelling at us to turn off the motor, as we escape peril once again.

The next room brings us higher and closer to the center of the island… and the volcano that made it. The heat intensifies as lava flows and rocks spew into the river all around us, steaming as they hit. The smell of trees burning fills the air and the rumbling explosions drown out the sounds of the jungle. Just before the whole mountain blows its top, there is a bend in the river, leading to a lazy, peaceful section.

Around the turn, we come out of the thick underbrush, and find that we are outside, high atop the (outside) mountain, overlooking a lagoon with a resort, far below. The nearly catastrophic cruise had only led to the other side of the island, not uncharted or uninhabited at all. However, our boat is headed toward a giant waterfall. Huge boulders in the river funnel the water faster, the sound of the falls grows louder, and the motor runs out of gas, just before the edge. Around the last boulder, the boat detours into a dark, steep cave of hidden, twisting tunnels. Every turn of this heart-pounding final thrill ride is filled with hard-beating jungle rhythms at every turn.

At the bottom of the cave, the boat splashes down, disrupting a tranquil lagoon, soaking Butch and others who dare to cross the bridge into the wild side of this island. Guests at the Yacht Club enjoy their relaxing dining experience on the other side of the lagoon, safely away from the splash zone.

Disembarking safely, Captain Rob thanks everyone for coming and invites us to enjoy an Island Shave Ice in the Shave Cave, just on the other side of Tropical Treasure Trove and Trinkets. Available for sale are souvenirs made of coconuts, bamboo, shells, as well as “survival” t-shirts and a video copy of your journey on DVD or to send home as an e-mail. There are also trails around the mountain, to linger in the tropical atmosphere a little longer (but away from the boats).


----

I know it's a bit long still (four pages), and I'm working on a shorter version (a paragraph or two) and know that is what I need to work on most (brevity, to sell it quickly).
Listed on the WriteSafe site are backstory and a full version of the whole development process that I worked on during the Theme Park Engineering class (now called the Imagineering Class).

I would love any feedback.
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DancinBelle



Joined: 30 Jul 2007
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Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was really cool! I could see it all in my head, well done on the descriptions. So, when can I ride it? Wink
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wokcreative



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I'd love to see something like that built, too.
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