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Togo: The Trail of Mercy

​Theme Park Experience



The Trail of Mercy is a fully fledged theme park experience that includes a fully immersive ride queue that transports guests to Nome, Alaska during the diphtheria outbreak of 1925 and an automated virtual reality ride that brings guests on a very exciting and dangerous trip to deliver the anti-toxin to the sick children. On the ride, guests meet Togo, the unsung hero of the Nome Serum Run, and experience his story.  Togo, a dark brown Siberian husky of the Inuit tribe’s stock, and his owner Leonhard were able to trek 261 miles of the most hazardous trek of the 674 mile journey to save Nome and its children. Guests will be able to experience the bravery of Togo and his musher Leonhard in a thrilling ride inspired by their true adventures.


This ride was part of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama's Playground Festival, a week in which students get one week off of drama classes to use drama resources to then produce their own shows and installations.  These shows and installations are made with a $0 budget. This year, for the 15th anniversary of the festival, several of my classmates and I transformed an empty rehearsal studio into the full theme park ride experience now known as Togo. The ride automation was achieved through the use of spare pneumatic equipment combined with written Arduino code run with Q-Lab.


The Ride was open to the public from December 7th to December 10th and saw about 400 guests over the course of the weekend. The project ended up consisting of about thirty people across many disciplines at Carnegie Mellon. 

Experience concept created and written: Tom Kelly

Production Manager: 

Kat Landry

Show Set Designer:

Fiona Rhodes

Technical Director:

Chris Norville

Arduino Programmer: Ben Vigman

Costume Designer:

Meng-Han (Mohan) Yeh

Lighting Designers:

Shawn Nielson, Chazz Malott

Live Media Designer:

Daniel Kelly

Sound Designer:

Scott MacDonald

Programming & VFX:

Sudha Manigundam

Virtual World Designers:

Srujani Kamineni, Vasant Menon

3D Modeler/Animator:

Euna Park, Eliza Zhang

Cast: Safi Harris, Emily Suarez, Eleanor Pearson, Christian Strange, Daniel Neale, Roma Scarano, Cameron Wise

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