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Theme Park Design Competition

Enter Ringling College and Universal Studios exciting design contest for high school students.

Are you the next great theme park designer? Universal Studios and Ringling College of Art and Design proudly present the Theme Park Design Competition, a design contest for U.S. high school juniors and seniors who are passionate about the exciting field of Entertainment Design!

To compete, you’ll imagine and design your own creative solution to a fictional theme park problem and infuse it with your unique creativity.

Top winners can earn a tuition scholarship to Ringling College, an exclusive behind-the-scenes theme park tour, an immersive experience with the professional staff at Universal Creative, and more!

Ready to get rolling?

Contact

Entertainment Design
Jamie DeRuyter
Department Head
jderuyte@c.ringling.edu

Competition Details

Unlock your creativity by downloading the comprehensive project overview, which is your roadmap to understanding the challenge at hand. Find all the details you’ll need to design your innovative solution and begin your immersion in the world of Entertainment Design.

The project brief outlines an imaginary problem for Universal Studios: creating a mobile, all-weather cart designed to engage visitors with a unique merchandise experience. Consider how your design could make selling food, apparel, souvenirs, and other physical and digital goods a memorable experience for visitors. Immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of Universal Studios and imagine how guests will interact and engage with your creation.

Dates and Deadlines

September 1, 2024
Submission portal opens for candidates to upload entries

November 30, 2024
Final deadline for all complete submission packages

January 2025
Winners to be announced

Prize Package

Top prize winners will receive a scholarship to Ringling College of Art and Design and also experience a unique “behind-the-scenes” visit to Universal Studios, including travel and accommodations. In addition, all finalists will receive a full or partial scholarship to the intensive four-week PreCollege program at Ringling College, where they can learn from top creative industry leaders.

Top prize winners will receive:

  • Exclusive VIP “behind-the-scenes” experiences at Universal Studios with complimentary travel and accommodations
  • $20,000 tuition scholarship to Ringling College of Art and Design (non-transferable and dependent on admission)
  • Full Scholarship to Ringling College PreCollege ($7,000 value)
  • Inclusion in a finalist’s exhibition displayed at Universal Creative and/or a Universal Studios-owned facility

 

All remaining finalists will receive:

  • Half scholarship to Ringling College PreCollege ($3,500 value)
  • Inclusion in a finalist’s exhibition displayed at Universal Creative and/or a Universal Studios-owned facility

Judging

A panel of judges including professors from Ringling College of Art and Design, designers from Universal Creative, and other experienced entertainment design professionals will evaluate all entries.

Designs will be evaluated by several criteria including functionality, practicality, ingenuity, visual appeal, and brand integration. Each entry will be scored by the panel of judges, with the winning entry or entries determined by a combination of evaluation scores and the judges’ individual feedback.

Upload Your Entry

Ready to roll into the future of Entertainment Design? Start your journey now by downloading the project brief and see if you have what it takes to win the Theme Park Design Competition!

Complete the challenge by submitting your design before the deadline using the process specified in the brief. Once your entry is uploaded successfully, you’re officially in the running to make your mark in the world of Entertainment Design. Don’t miss this chance to get your creative vision noticed and celebrated by some of the top professionals in the design industry!

FAQ

The Theme Park Design Competition presented by Universal Creative and Ringling College of Art and Design (“Competition”) is a challenge for individual high school juniors and seniors to conceptualize and create a schematic design for a branded mobile merchandise cart.

Contest participants will download a project brief from the official project website, [URL], which explains the specifics of the design challenge. They will then follow each step of the challenge to create their own custom merchandise cart design. Finally, entrants must submit a digital file of their cart design by [deadline]

The Competition is open to all currently enrolled U.S. high school students who are entering or will be in 11th or 12th grade during the 2024-2025 school year. This is a U.S.-based contest that is open to all high school juniors and seniors.

A panel of judges including professors from Ringling College of Art and Design, designers from Universal Creative, and other experienced entertainment design professionals will evaluate all entries. Designs will be evaluated by several criteria including functionality, practicality, ingenuity, visual appeal, and brand integration. Each entry will be scored by the panel of judges, with the winning entry or entries determined by a combination of evaluation scores and the judges’ individual feedback.

The top prize winners of the Competition will be awarded a non-transferrable $20,000 scholarship to Ringling College of Art and Design, dependent on admission. They will also win an exclusive VIP “behind-the-scenes” experience at a Universal Studios theme park, including complimentary travel and hotel accommodations for themselves and one adult guest. Additionally, they will receive a full scholarship ($7,000 value) to the four-week Ringling College of Art + Design PreCollege Summer Program, a transformational experience for emerging artists and designers ages 16-18.

All finalists will receive a half scholarship ($3,500 value) to the four-week Ringling College of Art + Design PreCollege Summer Program, and have their designs displayed in an exhibition at Universal Creative or a Universal Studios property.

Contest entrants retain all rights to their designs. We respect and acknowledge the creativity and ownership of each participant and ensure that their intellectual property remains their own.

No, this design competition is entirely theoretical. We want to see your unique approach to this design challenge, but the designs are not intended for actual fabrication and implementation — it’s all about the idea!

To enter, visit the official contest website [Contest Website URL]. There you will find detailed information on submission guidelines and other essential details to help kickstart your creative journey.

The Competition’s entry submission period is September 1 to November 30, 2024. Entries will be judged in December 2024, with winners announced in mid-January 2025.

Each participant is allowed one entry. We encourage you to pour all of your creativity into one exceptional design that showcases your unique talent.

No, this contest is designed for individual participation. Team entries will not be accepted.

Yes, all entrants will receive valuable feedback from the judging panel. We aim to ensure that all competition participants gain valuable insights into their work and have the opportunity to grow and develop their skills.

Consult with an Expert

Jamie DeRuyter, Entertainment Design Department Head at Ringling College of Art and Design, is available to host a 30-minute online design consultation with 11th and 12th grade high school classes as his schedule permits.

To request a virtual meeting with your class, email jderuyte@c.ringling.edu.

Prize Package

Top prize winners will receive a scholarship to Ringling College of Art and Design and also experience a unique “behind-the-scenes” visit to Universal Studios, including travel and accommodations. In addition, all finalists will receive a full or partial scholarship to the intensive four-week PreCollege program at Ringling College, where they can learn from top creative industry leaders.

Top prize winners will receive:

  • Exclusive VIP “behind-the-scenes” experiences at Universal Studios with complimentary travel and accommodations
  • $20,000 tuition scholarship to Ringling College of Art and Design (non-transferable and dependent on admission)
  • Full Scholarship to Ringling College PreCollege ($7,000 value)
  • Inclusion in a finalist’s exhibition displayed at Universal Creative and/or a Universal Studios-owned facility

 

All remaining finalists will receive:

  • Half scholarship to Ringling College PreCollege ($3,500 value)
  • Inclusion in a finalist’s exhibition displayed at Universal Creative and/or a Universal Studios-owned facility

Dates and Deadlines

September 1, 2024
Submission portal opens for candidates to upload entries

November 30, 2024
Final deadline for all complete submission packages

January 2025
Winners to be announced