2024 Open Qualifying

Welcome to new teams and returning teams, making a record number of teams entered in the 2024 Open Qualifying challenge for TMTDC: Toronto Metropolitan University Thrill Design Competition. We’re currently reviewing the submissions and will send out invitations by the start of August. From there it is a whirlwind of preparation.

Early August: teams select the members best suited for the challenge(s) they are invited to tackle, and complete the registration admin process

August through October: we offer some webinars on what to expect (valuable for first-time participants even on experienced teams), including how to pitch (how to structure the time-limited presentation) and new this year, a webinar on the design process. The last webinar before the competition covers the all-important “what to pack” and other logistics.

Good to know: about 20% of the 600-ish alumni of the competition have had internships or other employment with Universal Destinations and Experiences, plus many have worked at other industry operators, manufacturers, and suppliers.

Thrill Club project demo

Shortly after the Thrill Club began developing a scale model dark ride for its future activities, we had the opportunity to offer a demonstration for an audience of amusement ride safety inspectors, owners, and others at the annual TSSA Ride Safety Seminar in Niagara Falls. A smaller scale first draft model was quickly completed and packed for transport! Club president Jake Fulton attended the safety seminar and enjoyed great professional networking and continuing education hours as well.

Jake Fulton in dark hoodie and conference name tag, stands next to small scale model of a tracked ride, discussing it with four males in similar apparel. Other event participants are seen in the background, in the foyer of a conference seminar room.

Guest speaker

Guest speaker John Riggleman in shirt and khakis, sits in chair with legs crossed. To his right is moderator Ruby Aguayo, in dark slacks and blouse. To his left is sign language interpreter. Photo taken over the shoulder of audience members.
TMU Thrill Club guest speaker John Riggleman is interviewed about careers in themed entertainment

April 3 was an opportunity for TMU and local students interested in theme park careers to learn from industry veteran John Riggleman as he visited Toronto.

CNE 2017 construction week field trip

This year, three Ryerson Engineering students joined the CNE construction field trip (from left, Taha Simsek, Tyler Nagata, Meghan Keegan). Aside from posing with Squirtles (Pok√©mon game prizes likely to be the hot commodity this year), they had the opportunity to join me in shadowing some ride inspections and watching the assembly of Canada’s largest fair.

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Wednesday, pre-CNE

The show opens Friday morning. The threatening rain yesterday did not catch us, and today was windy but dry. There were still many rides on the midway that had not been completely put together and fenced in, giving us a good chance to look at the machinery from all angles. We also had a chance to watch inspections of some rides, including the Ring of Fire and the Crazy Mouse spinning coaster.

These were great opportunities for the group to think about how to mimic the mechanisms of the rides for scale model club projects, and challenge themselves to spot key features like brakes, proximity switches, drive wheels, cables, and chains on a variety of rides.

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Happy New Year

Every year, summer winds down and the CNE marks the imminent start of the new school year. Since 2002, the THRILL Lab has spent time during the CNE construction week observing and learning.  Some years, we have one or more studies on the go, other times, we are collecting ideas for future studies or designs. We meet new people and reconnect with people we know who have been so generous sharing their expertise. Increasingly, the CNE construction week has been an extracurricular “course” in amusement design and technology. This year, 11 students will participate in parts of the week. 

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