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The Imagination! Pavilion is a Pavilion located in Future World West (now renamed World Celebration), centered around the creative process and exploring different forms of creative expression.

From 1982 to 2010, it was sponsored by Kodak. It is opened on October 1, 1999 as part of Walt Disney World's Millennium Celebration until January 1, 2001. After Millennium Celebration ends, Epcot announced that the revamped Version of the pavilions in 2002.

History

The IMAGINATION Pavilion (1999-2001).

Original Version (1982-1998)

In 1997, Fujifilm (Kodak's biggest rival at the time) came to Disney with an offer: make JII into a thrill ride that had nothing to do with imagination whatsoever. Kodak's sponsorship contract was almost up, and Fujifilm knew that when the contract ran out, Disney would need someone to sponsor the building. Kodak, however, wished to stay with Disney and continue the contract. Kodak realized that in order to compete with FujiFilm, they too must come up with a new attraction to go into the building. Their proposal was to make Journey Into Imagination, already an E-Ticket attraction, into something more scientific.

The ride would also be shorter and have cheaper special effects. At the time, Journey Into Imagination was the most expensive ride in Epcot to keep running, despite the fact that it got more visitors in a day than Epcot's flagship ride Spaceship Earth. The guests made it all worthwhile for Disney to keep it running, but Disney still wasn't satisfied with it. It was the most technologically advanced dark ride in history. A roller coaster would mean much more money to build and keep running, and they feared it wouldn't be nearly as popular as Journey Into Imagination. Therefore, by the end of 1997 Disney accepted Kodak's idea.

In 1998, the original Journey Into Imagination went down for a rehab. During this rehab, the Upstairs Image Works was closed and the building's white and blue painting exterior was replaced with different colors, Kodak colors being primary. The original glass sign was replaced by one made of wood and metal. The leap frog fountains were reduced in size to accommodate the new gift shop at the exit of the new Journey Into Imagination. Despite the fact that the pavilion already had a gift shop right next to the 3D film playing at the time, Disney felt this one would be more successful. To everyone's surprise, the glass pyramids stayed despite the fact that the Upstairs Image Works was closed. The new Downstairs Image Works took the upstair's ones place.

The Millennium Celebration Version (1999-2001)

The attraction opened in 1999, just in time for the Millenium Celebration. Fans went on the ride with eager hearts, but were dismayed to find that the Dreamfinder was gone and Figment only made cameo appearances until his short dialogue at the end of the ride. They felt that Disney tried to hard to make it like The Imagination Institute and the ride was just a lame tie-in with Honey, I Shrunk The Audience. The fans were even madder when they saw the new Downstairs Image Works which focused on visual imagination but was really just an ad for Kodak.

Fans decided to take action and boycotted the new imagination ride and Kodak Film. This campaign proved better than the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride protest, mainly because of pressure from Kodak as well as Michael Eisner, who was also unsatisfied with it. By the end of 2001, Disney closed the ride and decided to replace it with something more kid-friendly, just in time for the 100 Years of Magic Celebration.

Current Version (2002–present)

The new Imagination ride was revamped and renamed in 2002 from "Journey Into Your Imagination" to "Journey Into Your Imagination With Figment" (The name was yet again changed in 2003 to "Journey Into Imagination With Figment", thus destroying any connections with the previous change). In this revamp, the chairman returns, but now costars along with Figment as they explore the 5 senses and how they can trigger the imagination. They finally come to the conclusion that imagination is not any good when it is controlled, but is better when set free.

Some fans were delighted that Figment had returned (now voiced by Muppeteer Dave Goelz), while others criticized Figment's change from an eager and curious childlike creature to an obnoxious, disrespectful character. The current iteration of the attraction has been the target of ire from its original designer, Tony Baxter, who referred to it as "a sham of an attraction" in an August 2018 episode of theme park history/comedy podcast, Podcast: The Ride. Baxter criticized the comedic juxtaposition of two "wacky" characters, Figment and Nigel Channing, against the more balanced pairing of the "lovable and benign", Santa Claus–like Dreamfinder and innocent, childlike Figment of the original attraction.

What also surprised many fans was that the ride remained 6 minutes long and used exactly the same track that the previous version used. There was no real revamp of the track or cars, just a revamp of the scenery. The new Image Works also stayed with no significant changes beyond implementing Figment into some of the games.

Attractions

Current attractions

Former attractions

Gallery


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World Celebration
Spaceship EarthImagination! (Journey into Imagination with FigmentImageWorks: The What-If Labs) • Odyssey (The EPCOT Experience Center)
World Nature
The Land (Awesome Planet Soarin' Around the WorldLiving with the Land) • The Seas with Nemo & Friends (Turtle Talk with Crush) • Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana (Opening in 2022)

Seasonal: Living with the Land: Merry and Bright Nights

World Discovery
Mission: SPACETest TrackWonders of Xandar (Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (Opening in 2022)) • PLAY! (Animation Academy (Opening in 2022))
World Showcase
Mexico Pavilion (Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros) • Norway Pavilion (Frozen Ever After) • China Pavilion (Reflections of ChinaWondrous China (Opening on December 1, 2021)) • Germany PavilionItaly PavilionThe American AdventureJapan PavilionMorocco PavilionFrance Pavilion (Impressions de FranceBeauty and the Beast Sing-AlongRemy's Ratatouille Adventure) • International GatewayUnited Kingdom Pavilion (Mary Poppins (Coming Soon)) • Canada Pavilion (Canada: Far and Wide (Reopening on November 21, 2021)) • DuckTales World Showcase Adventure (Opening in 2022)
Resorts
Disney's Yacht Club ResortDisney's Beach Club ResortDisney's BoardWalk ResortDisney's BoardWalk VillasDisney's Caribbean Beach ResortDisney's Riviera Resort
Current Entertainment
HarmonioUS
Former Attractions and Entertainment
Future World
Universe of EnergyJourney Into Imagination (Journey Into ImaginationUpstairs Image WorksMagic JourneysCaptain EO) • Imagination! (Honey, I Shrunk the AudienceCaptain EO TributeJourney Into Your Imagination) • Ellen's Energy AdventureHorizonsWorld of MotionWonders of Life (Body WarsCranium CommandGoofy About HealthThe Making of Me) • CommuniCoreThe Land (SymbiosisKitchen KabaretFood RocksCircle of Life: An Environmental Fable) • SplashtacularThe Living SeasInnoventions

World Showcase
China Pavilion (Wonders of China) • Norway Pavilion (Maelstrom) • Mexico Pavilion (El Rio del Tiempo) • Canada Pavilion (O Canada!) • Epcot ForeverIllumiNationsIllumiNations 25IllumiNations: Reflections of EarthAgent P's World Showcase AdventureKim Possible World Showcase Adventure
Seasonal: Millennium VillageTapestry of Nations


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Series
Seekers of the WeirdFigmentBig Thunder Mountain RailroadFigment 2The Haunted MansionEnchanted Tiki Room
Disney Characters
Candleman • DespoinaReaper KingDreamfinderFigmentProfessor BrainardCumulus IsobarBarnabas T. BullionJason ChandlerThe Spirit of Big Thunder Tyrannosaurus Rex Billy the Disney Goat George WillikersCaptain GoreMadame LeotaConstance HatchawayHatbox GhostHitchhiking GhostsGhost HostPickwickOrganistDuelistsJoséMichaelPierreFritzTangaroaMauiTangaroa-RuPeleRongoNgendeiHina KuluuaOrange BirdBandito Gang
Original Characters
Maxwell KeepMelody KeepArthur KeepEllen KeepRoland KeepReaper KingChimeraFyeChairman IllocrantSingularAbigail BullionCapricious HarmonySparkDoubtfinderDanny CroweSaoirse Bullion-O'Callaghan
Concepts
Museum of the WeirdJourney Into ImaginationBig Thunder Mountain RailroadThe Haunted MansionMatterhorn BobsledsThe Enchanted Tiki RoomThe Western River ExpeditionSpaceship Earth Journey Into Your Imagination With Figment
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