By , August 14, 2012
Colin Coon

Hello everyone!

My name is Colin and I am a Mechanical Engineering student from Orlando Florida.  During the last three years I have been working in attractions at Universal Orlando Resort but just recently became the new intern with GCII.  I participated in FREDxGCII a few weeks ago and strongly encourage anyone who is looking to get their foot in the door to attend this event.  It sure worked for me!

The first week has been very interesting here at GCII, and it has been pretty eye opening already.  Upon my arrival in Sunbury I met with Chris for lunch and we spent an evening at Knoebels.  It was nice to not be in the car after the 17-hour drive up from Orlando and to relax a bit (especially on the Paratrooper).  Chris introduced me to a few members of the maintenance team at Knoebels and they gave me a tour of the control room for their newest ride, Black Diamond.  It was a lot more high tech and complicated than I expected, and all of it was done in house which is equally as impressive as the ride.

During the first week I worked with Dan on doing inventory and consolidation of incoming parts for both the trains and ride structure.  A truck was due to arrive on Wednesday so I had the task of laying out the pallets of materials so that the weight distribution was even throughout the container.  We then staged everything so that when the truck arrived it could all go in quickly and in order.  When the truck did show up it only took about 30 minutes to load nearly 46,000 pounds worth of materials.  Not too bad for two guys and a forklift.

I also completed various parts orders for several different parks around the world where our rides have been installed.  Our parts arrive in Sunbury in mass quantity, so I was tasked with hand counting out the exact number of a specific part that a park had requested.  Sometimes it’s easy, like throwing a bunch of wheels on a pallet, and other times it’s a little time consuming, like sorting out 100 washers and putting them in a bag…then realizing they were the wrong ones.  However this is all part of it, and getting my hands on these parts make identifying them much easier in the future.

Over the weekend a friend of mine and I went down to Hersheypark for the day, and I used it as an excuse to take a closer look at our rides since there are two of them there (Wildcat and Lightning Racer).  It was a lot easier to see how each part interacted with the ride structure and Millennium flyers, and I surprised myself at how many parts I could identify just from the week of doing inventory.  Needless to say, I think I’ve learned a lot already this week and I haven’t even touched a train yet!

In the next few weeks I’ll be heading down with Dan to Dollywood and we will have a small project to do on Thunderhead for a few days.  I’m pretty excited not only to visit Dollywood, but also to get some field experience with the Millennium Flyers and the ride itself.

So far it’s been a pretty good week and I’m excited to see what the next five months have in store for me.

Stay tuned!

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