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2021 Theme Park Design Competition now open

Annual competition celebrates the talent of upcoming young professionals

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oncept rendering of "The AquaLab" exterior structure by Ross Ricupero, Charlene Karl, and Michelle Bootsma

CAVU Designwerks, the media-based attractions specialist; JRA, a leading experience designer; Raven Sun Creative, the immersive entertainment design and IP development firm; WhiteWater, a leading waterpark manufacturer and Zamperla, a leading ride manufacturer, present the 2021 Theme Park Design Competition.

This is the seventh iteration of the annual competition, by the Cornell Theme Park Entertainment Group, which celebrates the talent of upcoming young professionals in the industry, This year, there is $7000 in cash prizes up for grabs for the winning teams.

Calling future theme park designers

The 2021 Theme Park Design Competition consists of five challenges: Concept Design, Master Planning, Technical Flat Ride Experience, Water Experience Development, and Innovation. Teams will be asked to use theme, strategy and technology to bring their vision to life in a professional proposal, which will then be judged on creativity, feasibility and attention to detail by a panel of experts from across the industry.

The sponsors will each be running virtual Development Sessions during the competition, where teams will have the chance to gather advice as well as learning more about that sponsor’s expertise.

Teams should be made up of two to four participants currently enrolled in a full-time undergraduate or graduate program at an accredited college or university. They can be from different institutions and interdisciplinary teams are encouraged.

Registration is now open and will close on Sunday 4 April 2021. For more information, please click here.

2020 winners

The winner of last year’s competition, including the Innovation Challenge, Master Planning Challenge and Development Challenge, was a team from the University of Calgary, consisting of Ross Ricupero, Charlene Karl, and Michelle Bootsma.

Their prize-winning entry was The Aqualab concept, pictured top, which included custom picture access for all guests made from recycled sea waste. Using RFID, these cards are designed to activate a range of experiences, from low-tech to high-tech.

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charlotte coates

Charlotte Coates

Charlotte Coates is blooloop's Editor. She is from Brighton, UK and previously worked as a librarian. She has a strong interest in arts, culture and information and graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in English Literature. Charlotte can usually be found either with her head in a book or planning her next travel adventure.

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