This year, the Ryerson Invitational Thrill Design Competition (RITDC) celebrates its sixth edition. Having grown from a two-day, three-challenge, four-team, primarily engineering competition to a multidisciplinary, ten-challenge event involving a projected 160 students from an estimated 25 schools across four days, since 2016, hosted at Universal Orlando Resort, presented by Universal Creative™.

The schedule of the competition weekend is ideal: for a single plane fare, participants can not only experience the competition, but attend the IAAPA Attractions Expo: the largest attractions industry expo in the world, with 500,000 square feet of products and services from over 1,000 exhibitors including many potential employers.

Pre-registration will be opened in March 2020. Waitlisted teams will receive their invitations in April 2020. (Regrettably, the release of preregistration information has been delayed by COVID-19.)

RITDC17 participants

The success and growth of the competition is attributable to realistic, focused challenges that showcase real skill expectations for entry level professionals and interns. The challenges are created by Competition Director Dr. Kathryn Woodcock, Professor and Director of the THRILL Laboratory at Ryerson University, and based in fictional attractions using public domain themes, not a hackathon model to solve “current problems”. The simulated design problems enable participants to demonstrate not just technical skills and knowledge of software and international design standards but also interdisciplinary collaboration, time management, creative agility, and presentation.

A hallmark of RITDC is that, like real design environments, these challenges have no predetermined solution, and may have no perfect solution at all. Competitors receive the first challenge less than a month before the competition, and a preview of three others a week prior to the competition. The remaining challenges, and “twists” on previewed challenges, are revealed only at the competition opening, with solutions presented 18 to 48 hours later! There is no preferred solution and judges from Universal Creative and its partners take an avid interest in how teams approach problem definition, make trade-offs, and present their proposals.

The history of RITDC is a story of evolution. As the competition grows and adds new elements, we hope RITDC alumni will look back on memorable learning experiences and professional opportunities with the networks they have developed here.

Photo Gallery from RITDC 2018

This website contains both public content and password-protected pages for invited teams. The password was sent to invited teams and is the same for all content. Any problems? Please let us know.

University-based themed entertainment design clubs are welcome to express interest in a future invitation. Inquiries will be considered within the growth capacity of the competition.