Where Have We Been?
Drexel TPED has been to Hershey Park in Hershey, PA on many occasions. We have gone there for our annual spring trip a couple of times. We also were given an exclusive backstage tour at Hershey Park, speaking with maintenance, ride operations, and engineering staff. The club learned about the amusement park's upkeep processes and more as they walked through the backstage areas of several attractions from Storm Runner to Hershey Triple Tower. The tour group had a special opportunity to see and learn about the wave generator for the water park's Wave Pool.
Members of Drexel TPED attend the ASTM F24 Committees bi-annual conferences each year. Members have the opportunity to network and learn from the F24 committee about the safety standards for amusement rides and devices. The F24 committee aims to develop standard methods and tests, performance specifications, maintenance, operations, and practices and guides for amusement rides and devices.
Members of Drexel TPED have visited Zamperla, a world-leading company in amusement ride manufacturing, located in Boonton, NJ. Zamperla strives to stay ahead of the curve in meeting the rigorous technical requirements for amusement rides in the 21st century. The processing facility in NJ is responsible for rides manufactured overseas. The product is processed in the facility before traveling to the final destination. The company works on roller coasters to aqua rides.
IAAPA Attractions Expo
Every November, members of Drexel TPED travel to Orlando, Florida to attend the annual IAAPA Attractions Expo & Conference. Members spend two days on the show floor exploring the latest innovations from some of the industry's most exciting companies. Members also participate in the Career Slam Event, and professionals from Walt Disney Imagineering, Universal Studios, Universal Creative, ThinkWell, and many others are on hand to share industry insight and network with students. Following the conference, our members were able to enjoy time at the theme parks, including Disney World and Universal Orlando.
Ryerson Invitational Thrill Design Competition
Members of Drexel TPED travel ever year to Universal Orlando to compete against other universities in a competition that consists of theme park engineering and design challenges! We have competed at every RITDC since inception, including the first-ever RITDC, which was held in Canada in 2014. This competition is now sponsored by Universal Creative and held in Orlando. We've received multiple accolades at this competition. Most notably, we won first place at Ryerson's first ever competition, which gained us praise from industry leaders including Chief Engineer & Vice President of Universal Parks & Resorts Steve Blum, Project Engineer for Premier Rides Mark Stepanian, and leaders from Forrec, Ryerson, and the TEA. These challenges are judged by industry leaders, which allows for a fantastic professional experience. Our participants have received a behind-the-scenes tour of both Canada's Wonderland Theme Park and Universal Orlando.
Members of Drexel TPED have visited Morey's Piers in Wildwood, New Jersey a couple of times for a behind-the-scenes tour of the three amusement piers operated by the Morey family. Under the direction of tour guides such as Dino Fazi, the Director of Operations for Morey's, members have been escorted through different areas in the amusement and waterpark sections of the piers. During the tour, members learn how these rides are maintained under the challenge of being located right on the ocean. Afterward, members get to enjoy the rides!
Eastern State Penitentiary
Members of Drexel TPED are always scared stiff when they attend Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls, a haunted walk-through built inside and around a former prison from the 1800s - a prison which is notoriously known for having actual ghosts! Here members get to observe the theme and design aspects that are necessary for such a large-scale production, as well as the detail put into preserving this awesome (yet terrifying) national landmark.
Great Coasters International, Inc.
Drexel TPED has visited the world’s premier wooden roller coaster manufacturer, Great Coasters International, Inc, located in Sunbury, PA. In the past, we have been able to walk the shop floor, where coaster trains are assembled. We've also had the wonderful opportunity to talk to Chris Gray, the Procurement and Assembly Director, about his role at GCI, as well as his own personal experiences in the roller coaster design industry.
Knoebels Amusement Resort
Drexel TPED has visited the renowned family-owned-and-operated Knoebels Amusement Resort, located in Elysburg, PA. In the past, members have toured the many workshops that keep the park maintained, have walked the track of The Flying Turns while it was currently under construction, and have gone on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Black Diamond dark ride/steel coaster. On our first visit to Knoebels as a club, members were fortunate enough to visit with Rich Knoebel, the grandson of Henry Knoebel, the park's founder! Rick gave the club a tour of the park, inspiring all of us with his passion for the industry!
Drexel TPED has visited Franklin Square Mini Golf in Philadelphia, PA a couple of times through the years. This mini golf course is in the middle of a beautiful park, so we like to visit here during the summer term when the flowers are in bloom and the sky is nice and blue. Franklin Square is one of the five original open-space parks planned by William Penn when he laid out the city of Philadelphia in 1682. Knowing that history, it makes sense that the theming of the mini golf is Philadelphia landmarks.
Escape The Room Philly
As Drexel TPED is a group that consists of both engineers and designers, we like to explore places that combine both disciplines. Escape The Room is themed entertainment that wonderfully combines both engineering and design. We like to go every now and then to now only learn, but to have fun as well! We specifically go to Escape The Room Philly, where in the past, we have escaped The Dig and 3 Mile Island. Both times, we escaped with only a few minutes to spare!
Six Flags: Great Adventure
Drexel TPED has been to Six Flags: Great Adventure in Jackson Township, NJ for a couple of our annual spring trips. This Six Flags is home to the famous Kingda Ka, the world's tallest roller coaster, the world's second fastest roller coaster, and the second strata coaster ever built.
Oceaneering Entertainment Systems (OES)
Drexel TPED visited Oceaneering Entertainment Systems (OES) in 2015. Oceaneering is an international company that works in multiple industries. When it comes to the entertainment industry, they specifically develop theme park technologies such as dark ride vehicles and show systems. Members had a tour of their manufacturing plant and were able to talk to industry professionals. This tour actually landed some of our recent alumni co-op positions, which, for one them, turned into a full-time position! You can read more about that here: Nick Rooney.
Drexel TPED has been to both Disney World and Disney Land for competition, work, and visit. Most notably, in 2015 a Drexel TPED team of four were finalists in Walt Disney Imagineering's Imagination Competition! Through this competition, our club and those four individuals gained valuable connections. In fact, two of our alumni currently work for Disney! You can read more about that from Justin Petronglo & Nick Philips.