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The Imagination! Pavilion houses the Journey into Imagination attraction.

Journey Into Imagination With Figment is an attraction which is contained within The Imagination! Pavilion at the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World and opened on March 5, 1983. It has been through three incarnations over the years, two of them featuring Figment, a small purple dragon, as a character. The ride features the song One Little Spark lyrically or instrumentally, with it being the basis of the score in the original and current versions.

Contents

Versions

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1983-1998

Journey Into Imagination
Journey into Imagination Original Epcot Logo.png
EPCOT Center
Designer WED Enterprises
Opening date March 5, 1983
Closing date October 10, 1998
Hosted by The Dreamfinder and Figment
Music One Little Spark
Vehicle type Modified OmniMover
Cars per vehicle 4 (loads in omnimover style, then splits into a train of 4.)
Guests per car 7 (3 in the front, 4 in the back)
Ride duration Roughly 11 minutes
Sponsored by Kodak

The original attraction opened on March 5, 1983. It began with the omnimover vehicles “floating” in the clouds and seeing the silhouette of a strange blimp mixed with a vacuum cleaner and hearing the humming and singing of its pilot. In the next scene we come right next to this vessel and the pilot, an old man with a red beard dressed in a blue suit and top hat, introduces himself as the Dreamfinder (Chuck McCann) and saying that he uses his vehicle (called the Dream Mobile or Dream Catcher by some fans) to collect dreams and ideas to create all sorts of new things. Soon he creates a figment of his imagination: a small, purple creature with orange steer horns, wide yellow eyes, a crocodile's snout, and two tiny wings (usualy thought to be a dragon or winged aligator) named Figment (Billy Barty). Both of them come up with ideas to fill the "idea bag". When the idea bag is full, Dreamfinder states that the ideas need to be emptied in the "Dreamport" which he states is "never far away when you use your imagination".

The omnimovers leave the side of the Dream Mobile and enter the Dreamport’s storage room, which includes a massive washing machine like device for sorting ideas. Also in the room there are numerous objects including boxed applause, a plasma ball, and a birdcage of musical notes.

After leaving the storage room, the ride continues to go through several rooms representing Art, Literature, the Performing Arts and Science.

The Art room was mostly white colored, probably to represent a massive canvas, and had a large painting Dreamfinder was making using a large fiber optic paint brush, a carousel with giant origami animals, and a pot of rainbows held by Figment.

The Literature room was mostly focused on suspenseful tales and had Dreamfinder playing a massive organ with words coming out of it, words that turned into their meanings, a massive book featuring the raven from Edgar Allan Poe’s poem cawing menacingly, and books of horrible monsters Figment tried to keep closed.

The performing arts had Figment trying on costumes backstage while Dreamfinder was conducting a laser light show similarly to an orchestra conductor.

The last of the rooms, Science, featured a large machine that Dreamfinder was operating that took a closer look at the workings of nature such as the growth of plants, the formation of crystals from minerals and looking into space.

At the end, Dreamfinder tells Figment and the audience that Imagination is our key to unlock the hidden wonders of our world. The ride then enter the final show scene as our picture is taken as we see Figment surrounded by several movie screens of him being a scientist, a mountain climber, a pirate, a superhero, a tap dancer, a ship captain, a cowboy, and an athlete. Dreamfinder, who is behind a movie camera gives us one last inspiring message and tells us to use our newly found sparks of imagination in the ImageWorks and the on-ride photo is shown to us on a screen next to the camera.

The original Journey into Imagination attraction was the creation of Tony Baxter and Steve Kirk.

The ride closed on October 10, 1998 in order to begin a major renovation of the attraction.

1999-2001

Journey Into Your Imagination
Epcot
Land Future World
Designer Walt Disney Imagineering
Opening date October 1, 1999
Closing date October 8, 2001
Hosted by Dr. Nigel Channing
Music Institute Theme
Cars per vehicle 4
Guests per car 7 (3 in the front, 4 in the back)
Ride duration Roughly 5 minutes
Sponsored by Kodak

The second version of the attraction opened on October 1, 1999 and featured an updated theme based on the 3-D movie Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. Now guests would take a tour of the Imagination Institute and be test subjects for the new invention, The Imagination Scanner. Dr. Nigel Channing, who was played by Eric Idle, hosted this version.

The ride began with guests going through the scanner and saying that the riders have no imagination. Then Channing decides to send us through the numerous labs throughout the Institute including Sound, Illusion, Color, Gravity and Connections.

In Sound, the room starts out in total silence and complete darkness. Slowly, one can hear the sounds of cricket chirping, distant city noises, and an approaching train that comes closer and closer until it seems to pass over the audience’s heads.

In Illusion, there is a fish swimming in and out of its tank and an empty cage with a butterfly that seems to materialize as riders go by.

In the Color lab, there are sounds of jungle animals and cities that cause two large light screens to change colors matching the sounds.

In the Connections lab, the room is covered with numerous stars that soon form into constellations.

Finally, in the Gravity lab, the riders enter an upside down house.

For the finale, riders go through the Scanner again and find that their minds have been supercharged with ideas. The machine then "explodes" and you see a light show. You exited to the updated version of the ImageWorks.

Figment’s appearances in the experience were reduced to a few cameos in the queue movies, a constellation in the connection lab and in the end movie. Dreamfinder was not present at all in this version. The attraction closed on October 8, 2001 and again, went through another rehab.

2002-present

Journey Into Imagination with Figment
Epcot
Land Future World
Designer Walt Disney Imagineering
Opening date June 2, 2002
Hosted by Dr. Nigel Channing and Figment
Music One Little Spark
Cars per vehicle 4
Guests per car 7 (3 in the front; 4 in the back)
Ride duration Roughly 6 minutes
Sponsored by Kodak [1]

The current version of the attraction opened on June 2, 2002. Figment returned with a larger role and appeared in every show scene. The song "One Little Spark" also returned with new verses.

This time, the Institute had five labs based on the five human senses: Sight, Sound, Smell, Touch and Taste. Dr. Nigel Channing returned as well and invited the riders to the Institute’s open house. Figment tags along to Channing’s dismay and causes mischief along the way.

In Sound, Figment interrupts the experiment and comes up with a telephone and the train sound is now a “Train of Thought”. In Sight, Figment messes with the room’s eye chart and begins a sing along to "One Little Spark". In Smell, Figment becomes a skunk which sprays the riders with a foul odor.

Channing, after seeing the chaos Figment has been causing, gives up on the tour and Figment takes us to his own open house, which he literally turns upside down with his carefree mind. Channing soon learns from Figment that Imagination should be set free and we go into the finale with numerous Figments in various situations while Figment and Channing sing the song together and the riders disembark for the ImageWorks.

An homage to the initial incarnation of this attraction can be found on an office door in the initial show room under the name "Dean Finder" instead of "DreamFinder".

Both the 1999 version and the current version were created by Tom Fitzgerald.

References

  1. ^ 2002. "Kodak sponsorship of attractions in each of the theme parks, including the Imagination! Pavilion at Epcot, which features the Honey I Shrunk the Audience 3D film, the Journey into Your Imagination ride and Imageworks" http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/infoImaging/disney.shtml
  • Alcorn, Steve and David Green. Building a Better Mouse: The Story of the Electronic Imagineers Who Designed Epcot. Themeperks Press, 2007, ISBN 0-9729777-3-2.

See also

External links


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