Journey into Imagination was an attraction at the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World Resort which opened on March 3, 1983.

It has been through three incarnations over the years, being replaced by Journey Into Your Imagination in 1999 and the current Journey Into Imagination With Figment in 2002, though the original is considered the best of them. All three of them have featured Figment, a small purple dragon, as a character.

The ride also used the Omnimover system and featured the song "One Little Spark" lyrically or instrumentally, with it being the basis of the score in the original and current versions.

Development

The blueprint of the original incarnation of the ride. The 2nd and 3rd incarnations use roughly about 3/5 of the total area. The original track still exists, under the track that is in place now.

Journey into Imagination and the rest of the Epcot pavilion were late additions to the plans for Epcot. When Tony Baxter's ideas for The Land pavilion were turned down, he turned his attention to Kodak's pavilion. Requesting a pavilion based around the Imagination, Tony and his team went through a six-month process of figuring out how best to tell a story about the creative process, settling on the basic three steps of gathering, storing and recombining ideas, which would provide the attraction's structure.

The characters they would create would be derived from the canceled Discovery Bay project for Disneyland. One of the attractions, Professor Marvel's House of Illusions, featured a bearded scientist who had a hobby of breeding dragons, which would evolve into Dreamfinder and Figment. The inspiration for Figment would also come from Tony Baxter watching Magnum P.I..

“I was watching Magnum PI […] on TV. He was in the garden and the butler, Higgins, had all these plants and they were all uprooted. It was a mess. Magnum had been hiding a goat out there and the goat had eaten the plants. Higgins said, ‘Magnum! Magnum! Come out here! Look at this! Something has been eating all the plants in the garden.’ And Magnum says, ‘Oh, it’s just a figment of your imagination.’ And Higgins said, ‘Figments don’t eat grass!’ I thought, ‘There is this name, the word ‘figment’ that in English means a sprightly little character. But no one has ever visualized it, no one had ever drawn what a figment is. So, here is a great word that already has a great meaning to people, but no one has ever seen what one looks like.’ So we had the name that was just waiting for us to design the shape for it.”
―Tony Baxter


The attraction's most unique feature, the turntable that allowed for a "stationary" scene on an Omnimover attraction, would be one of the most difficult parts of the attraction to develop and the first thing to go when the attraction was replaced. The vehicles would lock into place on one of five identical scenes like cogs and then unlock to go onto the track containing the rest of the attraction.

Summary

The attraction began with the ride 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, the guests came 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 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 created a figment of his imagination who came up from a pot near the back of the Dream Mobile. This figment was, appropriately, named Figment--he then proceeded to come up with enough ideas to fill the Dream Mobile’s ideal bag, all of which would show up later in the ride. Dreamfinder then told Figment that before they could create something, they had to go back to the Dreamport, which he said was never far away when you used your imagination.

The ride vehicles then left the side of the Dream Mobile and entered the Dreamport’s storage room, which included a massive washing machine like device for sorting ideas. Also in the room were numerous objects, including a chest full of applauding pairs of hands, plasma balls, and a birdcage filled with musical notes. After leaving the storage room, guests would then travel through several Realms of Imagination based on 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 that Dreamfinder was made using a large fiber optic paintbrush, a carousel with giant origami animals, and a pot of rainbows held by Figment near a pond.

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

The Performing Arts room had Figment trying on costumes backstage while Dreamfinder conducted a laser light show similar 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.

In the end, Dreamfinder told Figment and the guests that Imagination was our key to unlock the hidden wonders of our world. The guests then entered the final show scene as their picture was taken. In the following room, Figment stood in the center of a giant film canister, 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, sitting behind a movie camera, gave one last inspiring message and told guests to use their newly-found sparks of inspiration in the Image Works and the on-ride photo was shown to the guests on a screen next to Dreamfinder.

It was featured in The Muppets at Walt Disney World, where Scooter and Bean Bunny were playing around at the leaping fountains.

The ride closed on October 10, 1998 to the dismay of numerous fans.

Gallery

External links


v - e - d
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World Celebration (Coming Soon)
Spaceship EarthImagination! (Journey into Imagination with FigmentImageWorks: The What-If Labs) • The EPCOT Experience Center
World Nature (Coming Soon)
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 2021)
World Discovery (Coming Soon)
Mission: SPACETest TrackGuardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (Opening in 2022) • PLAY! (Animation Academy (Opening in Summer 2021))
World Showcase
Mexico Pavilion (Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros) • Norway Pavilion (Frozen Ever After) • China Pavilion (Reflections of ChinaWondrous China (Opening in 2021)) • Germany PavilionItaly PavilionThe American AdventureJapan PavilionMorocco PavilionFrance Pavilion (Impressions de FranceBeauty and the Beast Sing-AlongRemy's Ratatouille Adventure (Opening in 2021)) • International GatewayUnited Kingdom Pavilion (Mary Poppins (Coming Soon)) • Canada Pavilion (Canada: Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360) • DuckTales World Showcase Adventure (Opening in 2021)
Resorts
Disney's Yacht Club ResortDisney's Beach Club ResortDisney's BoardWalk InnDisney's BoardWalk VillasDisney's Caribbean Beach ResortDisney's Riviera Resort
Current Entertainment
HarmonioUS (Opening in Fall 2020)
Former Attractions and Entertainment
Future World
Universe of EnergyImagination! (Journey Into ImaginationUpstairs Image WorksMagic JourneysHoney, I Shrunk the AudienceCaptain EOJourney 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) • Splashtacular • The Living Seas • Innoventions

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

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