Members of Drexel TPED travel ever year to Universal Orlando to compete against other universities in the Ryerson Invitational Thrill Design 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 won many awards through this competition, including first place in 2014!
Every November, members of Drexel TPED travel to Orlando, Florida to attend the annual IAAPA Attractions Expo & Conference. Members explore the show floor to see the latest innovations from some of the industry's most exciting companies. Members also participate in networking opportunites where they meet professionals from Walt Disney Imagineering, Universal Studios, Universal Creative, ThinkWell, and many others!
Drexel TPED has been to both Disney World and Disneyland 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, some of our alumni currently work for Disney!
The Association of Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (ACM SIGGRAPH) is an international conference on all things digital media. Our members attended the 2018 conference in Vancouver, Cananda and 2019 conference in Los Angelas, California to exhibit our VR Bike. As a result of attending this conference on behalf of Drexel, our members were able to tour Digital Domain, Double Negative, Riot Games, and Imagineering Headquarters!
During Winter 2020, we were led on a behind-the-scenes tour of Coney Island by our friends at Zamperla! We toured the various coasters on property, including the famous Cyclone!
We visisted Oceaneering Entertainment Systems (OES) in 2015. OES 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!
Knoebels Amusement Resort
Knoebels is a family-owned-and-operated located park 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!
Great Coasters International, Inc, located in Sunbury, PA is the world’s premier wooden roller coaster manufacturer. 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.
Located in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters is one of the oldest existing roller coaster manufacturing companies in the world. In years past, we've toured their facilities, where we've learned about how they create carousels and wooden coasters!
Visiting Franklin Square Mini Golf in Philadelphia, PA is an annual club tradition! 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.
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 not 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!
We've visited Morey's Piers in Wildwood, NJ a couple of times, in both winter and summer, for a behind-the-scenes tour of the three amusement piers. During the tour, members learn how these rides are maintained under the challenge of being located right on the ocean. Afterwards, our members get to enjoy the attractions!
We've been to Hersheypark in Hershey, PA for both our annual spring trip and for an exclusive backstage tour, where we spoke 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 also had a special opportunity to see and learn about the wave generator for the water park's Wave Pool!
Philadelphia Ghost Tour
We like to capitalize on Halloween being a holiday that is filled with themed entertainment activities! In years past, we've celebrated the spooky day by attending a historic walking tour through Old City, where we learn about its ghostly past.
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.