Department - Author 1

Architectural Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Architectural Engineering



Primary Advisor

Jill Nelson


The goal of this senior project was to come up with a structural-engineering-related schematic design for a roller coaster to be installed in Disneyland called TRON 2.0: The Experience. This involved looking at both design processes that we had already learned through our curriculum as well as researching concepts that were previously foreign to us, namely the dynamic application of loads and the effects of fatigue stresses.

A story was established based on the source material: the TRON movies produced by Walt Disney Studios. Thematic elements from the story were used as the basis for design implications that would become necessary as the process continued. These design implication influenced the design of the Ride System, Track Layout, and Ride Vehicle Design. These factors would end up influencing applicable loads, which would be utilized in the design of the Track Layout.

The site was chosen to be constructed on Disneyland proper so that realistic site parameters and dimensions would give a sense of scale to the project and eliminate ambiguity. However, existing elements on the site would cause challenges for us to work around.

Once the site was chosen, Queue and Show buildings were designated simple designs to tie back to story-driven implications and reinforce the standards set by the Walt Disney Imagineering process model. In addition, we gained more information such as crowd capacity to dictate further mechanical design and dynamic applications.

The mechanical side of the process saw the development of a ride system used to propel the Ride Vehicles, all designed by the Mechanical Engineers on the project. The Ride Vehicle weights became relevant for the design of the track. A Track Layout was created and inputted into simulation software so that dynamic accelerations could be developed as new loading conditions for Track Design.

Finally, all of the preceding elements of design were culminated into a schematic design of a roller coaster track making sure to account for subjects such as dynamic applications, torsion, and fatigue.

All designs were replicated in modeling software to confirm constructability and viability of the resulting schematic design.