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Behind the Scenes Theme Parks


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									                       Behind the Scenes: Theme Parks

                           2009 COMPETITION SCENARIOS

Get ready to experience engineering! TEAMS 2009 is taking students behind the scenes
and showing them the engineering involved in designing, building and running America's
theme parks!

Every year millions of people get their adrenaline pumping by visiting one of the hundreds
of amusement parks that’s synonymous with summer fun! In the United States alone, there
are an estimated 300 million amusement park visitors tallying a total of 3 billion rides per
year. Whether visiting Bush Gardens in Tampa Florida, Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio, Silver
Dollar City in Branson Missouri, any of the Six Flags or Disney Parks, entire families are
having countless hours of entertainment.

So who is responsible for making all of this fun and entertainment happen? Engineers! It
takes engineers with all different backgrounds from a wide range of disciplines to create the
amusement parks we enjoy. While all the work of these engineers takes place behind the
scenes, their ultimate goal is to create exciting rides and activities while keeping the safety
of all visitors and guests at the top of their priority list.

Get active and explore how it all happens! JETS provides you with the following eight
competition scenarios to offer a preliminary overview of the question content that will be
posed during the 2009 TEAMS Competition. Scenarios may be edited and expanded upon in
the questions of the actual competition; however the overall content will remain.

Team members are encouraged to get started by researching the information contained in
the scenarios including any unfamiliar terms in preparation for the competition. A short list
of related links is also provided at the end of each scenario and contains information for
more exploration. Needless to say, these links should not be considered all inclusive and
team members/coaches are strongly encouraged to go beyond the provided list during
research and preparation.

Remember to visit the JETS web site—jets.org/TEAMS—frequently throughout the
competition season for additional information and competition news.

All statistical data included in the introductory section are 2005 rough estimates and were reported by
T. Harold Hudson—All About Parks, Rides and Attractions

Note: These scenarios are for reference use only and include links providing direct access to Internet
sites not controlled or maintained by JETS. JETS takes no responsibility for the content or information
contained on those links and sites—or links found within those sites—and does not exert any editorial
or other control over other sites.
                                        Scenario #1

Biological, chemical and mechanical engineers are indispensable in maintaining
the health and welfare of large water mammals participating in showcases of
amusement parks around the world

Water shows in amusement parks that specialize in marine animals are popular venues to
teach visitors the importance of a quality marine habitat. Demonstrated at these shows are
the tricks that trained sea mammals like whales and porpoises can perform. To keep these
creatures healthy and happy, it requires a great deal of engineering design. Your team has
been asked to design a new killer whale showcase called “The Orca Opera” to be located
near St. Louis. You will be responsible for the mechanical systems and chemical processes
necessary to maintain the appropriate environment for these large water mammals. The
water must be filtered and chemically treated to eliminate bacteria and to remove organic
matter. The water temperature cannot vary to the extremes of the local climate. Their
health care and diet must be considered. Your engineering team may also be asked to plan
for alternative missions for the facility such as possible research projects involving
bottlenose dolphins.

 Get Active!
 Discover how engineering impacts marine life:

How the Georgia Aquarium Works

SeaWorld Splash of Math Teacher’s Guide

Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums – Research Report
                                       Scenario #2

Animatronics engineers create special effects not only in theme parks but in many
other parts of the entertainment industry. They combine animation, make-up
effects, and electronics.

Many engineers work in the field of animatronics for theme parks such as Universal Studios
and Disneyworld. Developing a remote controlled Hulk, gorilla, or full-scale dinosaur
requires the work of a specialized engineering team. The conceptual designer of a new
attraction is interested in making people believe that the figure is alive via special effects
such as the scent of bananas on King Kong’s breath. As an engineering team, you will work
from that starting point to determine the feasibility of the special effect. To determine
feasibility, you have to approach the problem from the perspective of safety, reliability,
guest impact, and budget constraints.

 Get Active!
 Explore the engineering of animatronics and its affect on the human senses:

The Science of Smell: Parts One through Four
       Part 1: Odor Perception and Physiological Response

       Part 2: Odor Chemistry

       Part 3: Odor Detection and Measurement

       Part 4: Principles of Odor Control

St. Croix Sensory Testing and Training Company and Odor Parameters

Scentair: Scent Marketing Solutions
                                         Scenario #3

Engineers are responsible for the design and operation of safe, exciting, and cost
effective rides in amusement parks. Roller coaster engineering is not limited to
one engineering discipline. Rather, electrical, mechanical, structural, and other
engineering disciplines are involved in the process.

In this scenario your engineering team will be asked to improve an existing ride. An
amusement park is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its opening. To commemorate this
event, the park managers have made serious plans to make improvements to all aspects of
the park, including its rides. Since the managers do not want to invest in a completely new
ride, they decided, upon consulting a ride manufacturer, that the most economical decision
was to add an inversion (loop, barrel roll. etc) to an existing ride. Your engineering team
has been asked to determine the feasibility of the new addition and the effect it will have on
the existing ride. The study should include mechanical, structural, energy and economical

 Get Active!
 Learn more about economic roller coaster design:

Amusement Park Physics

Roller Coasters—Inventing the Scream Machine

How Roller Coasters Work

Engineering Economics
                                          enario #4
                                        Sce       4

Industrial engineeers approoach the operation of an a             t
                                                        amusement park as ans
       ation prob
optimiza        blem. For t                                       y          d
                           them, the park is simulated as a factory floor and its
       ons such as queue line size, sh
operatio        a                               th      e                   ed
                                     hape, lengt and ride capacity are treate as
      ses that are in consta
process          e                   f         tion.
                           ant need of optimizat

One metric that is very impo   ortant in a theme par rk’s operation is its capacity. Hourly
capacity of a ride or show is v            ant
                               very importa to keep  ping guests happy and the queue lines
short. A parks tra ack their ho            ts”                               an
                               ourly “count with rigor. These “counts” ca include d       down
time, length of qu ueue, ride vehicles d  dispatched, and the n  number of people on then
attraction. The mon            a                                             rk
                    nitored data is used to determine how “healthy” the par is. The re   esults
have an immediate effect on de            out                   w
                               ecisions abo whether a new show should be added, whe       ether
more ve            uld                                                       r
        ehicles shou be put on-line for a specific attraction, or whether the queue line e
        be         ed.
should b lengthene Your eng               eam has bee hired to ensure a sm
                               gineering te           en                      mooth oper ration
of the p           r
         park. Other factors th            o
                               hat need to be consid                         s
                                                      dered are the various “skip-the-    -line”
technologies many parks are us             g                     on-in-line ad
                               sing. Giving the guest a reservatio                       chaos
                                                                              dds to the c
         ng         ue
of queuin and queu line leng               of                                            as
                              gths. Most o the science involved in a park’s capacity ha an
        al         ng          ut
industria engineerin focus, bu ride desig  gners shoul also be c
                                                      ld        concerned w              ssues
                                                                             with these is
                    t                      e         capacity and reliability.
because they need to design a ride to have a certain c           d

 Get A
      ver     dustrial eng
 Discov how ind                   eep theme park visito moving along:
                         gineers ke                   ors

Queue A Areas: First-C           -Served
                      Come, First-
http://en.wikipedia.or           e_area

Disney’s Fastpass
http://en.wikipedia.or           PASS

US Paten Office: Ma
         nt                                mission
                      anaging Attraction Adm
http://pat                       h-
Parser?Seect1=PTO1&S Sect2=HITOF FF&d=PALL&p
                                           p=1&u=%2Fn          FPTO%2Fsrch
                                                     netahtml%2F                   =1&f
=G&l=50&s1=617320    09.PN.&OS=P           &RS=PN/6173
                                 PN/6173209&         3209

Changing Lines—Pay
        g                      p
                    ying to Skip the Queues at Theme Parks
http://ww                      72

Queue M Management There is no magic in m
                     t:                               heme parks
                                            managing th         s.
http://iew                        /Homeworks/
                     ac.il/serveng/         /HW1_Amuse          _Mgt.pdf
                                        Scenario #5

The design of public transportation systems, including the ones found in
amusement parks, requires the input of civil, mechanical, and electrical
engineers. Construction engineers have the opportunity to turn those ideas into

Monorails are sometimes used in zoological parks to bring visitors closer to the animals
without disrupting their habitat. Your team is to design structural components such as a
vertical support pier and the guide rail beam between two piers such that it will perform
adequately in all design conditions. In a MAGLEV monorail system, the lifting force of the
electro-magnetic coils is just as important as sizing the heat sink for the solid-state triac
switches used to control the electrical power to the coils. Providing electric power for
lighting and air-conditioning to each car offers opportunities for innovative energy solutions
such as flywheel storage, LED lights, and thermal storage. Your engineering team may
also be asked to identify alternative on-board power solutions.

 Get Active!
 Learn more about monorail systems and the engineering behind their power:

The Monorail Society

Magnetically Levitated Trains

Explaining the Physics of Everyday Life
                                           Scenario #6

Control engineers are concerned with the safety of every vehicle utilized in the
rides of an amusement park. The concerns expand to both the design and the
construction phases of the vehicles. Your engineering team is asked to consider
ways in which to assure the safety of the passengers who enjoy the rides.

Many popular theme park attractions feature rides. There are a wide variety of ride vehicles,
including roller coaster trains, motion simulators, boats, monorails, chain driven
'omnimovers', cars-on-tracks, locomotive trains and even wire guided vehicles. One thing
that all of these rides have in common is the need for safety. This may be achieved through
mechanical means, control systems or a combination of both. Your engineering team is
asked to explore various methods for assuring ride passenger safety, including block zone
systems, cycle testing of sensors and redundant control systems.

 Get Active!
 Discover how engineers make transportation and rides safe for park visitors:

The Theory of Probability

Roller Coaster Physics

Roller Coaster Database

How Roller Coasters Work
                                                Scenario #7

The engineering design of amusement park rides involves many engineering
disciplines including mechanical, structural, electrical, and geotechnical
engineering. This scenario will emphasize the numerous and multi-faceted design
considerations that must be undertaken by roller coaster engineers. This scenario
will give you a much greater understanding of what is involved in the design of a
typical steel roller coaster.

A new steel roller coaster is to be constructed in a new amusement park and your
interdisciplinary engineering team has landed a contract for the design work. The ride will
be rather standard for a steel roller coaster. Features will include a traditional lift hill, a
sub-grade tunnel and soaring hills. Your team will be responsible for the design of
mechanical systems such as the chain lift for the first hill; and structural systems such as
the track and the members that support the track. Geotechnical engineers will provide you
with existing soil conditions in order for you to design the foundations. Also, you will assist
the contractor’s engineers in the estimation of materials and cost.

 Get Active!
 Find out what it takes to build thrilling roller coasters:

Force, Work and Power—UCLA Physics Connection

The Science of Structures

Roller Coaster Simulator and Definition of Terms
(Note: You will need JAVA installed on your computer to run this simulator.)

Definition of Stress
(Note: While this site includes in-depth math that may be difficult to follow, students should at least become
familiar with the rest of the material.)

Definition of Bearing Capacity
                                        Scenario #8

Mechanical engineers play an important role in the design of water park rides,
such as water slides and tubes which bring amusement to children and adults

Theme parks such as Kings Island and Six Flags attract many visitors with their array of
exciting rides. Since the majority of the theme park season occurs during the summer
months, these parks are able to include water rides. During the summer of 2008, Holiday
World an Indiana Park announced plans to build Pilgrim’s Plunge, the world’s tallest water
ride. The system is designed to lift a boat full of riders through an open elevator up to 131
feet and then to let the riders plunge at 45 degree angle and at speeds of 50 mph. The
impact creates a wave of water 45 feet high and 90 feet wide. This problem scenario is
similar to the Pilgrim's Plunge model. In order to design this type of a ride, engineers must
consider the dynamics of the rides and their impacts on the park. The study of these
impacts must be done in order to ensure the practicality and feasibility of the ride. In the
design of a water slide, several parameters must be taken into consideration. These
parameters include, but are not limited to, the fluid dynamics of the water being used on
the slide, the power required by the slide’s water pump, and the effects on the riders. The
energy usage and cost of running the water pump must also be considered. Your
engineering team is charged with the task of completing the design calculations.

 Get Active!
 Explore how engineers use water dynamics to give park visitors a cool ride:

Applications of Bernoulli Equation

Centrifugal Pumps: Operation, Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Fluid Mechanics

Pumped : Design Squad Challenges
 More to Explore
 Check out the links below for more information on engineering theme parks!

Attraction Design

Entertainment Engineering

Funworld Magazine

International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions

National Amusement Park Historical Association

NAPHA 2007 Survey Results

Walt Disney Imagineering

  Find your dream job, meet extreme engineers, watch videos. JETS has the resources to
  help your students discover engineering.

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