Journey Into Imagination With Figment is an Omnimover dark ride attraction located inside the Imagination! Pavilion in Future World (to be renamed World Celebration) at Walt Disney World's Epcot theme park. The attraction follows the imaginative and playful purple dragon, Figment, through an open house of the fictional Imagination Institute and its laboratories based on the human senses, hosted by the Institute's stoic and mundane chairman, Dr. Nigel Channing.
The attraction is the third incarnation of Journey Into Imagination, an attraction that operated from 1983 until 1998, introducing the original characters Dreamfinder and Figment, and featuring "One Little Spark", an original song by the Sherman Brothers. That attraction was replaced by the short-lived Journey Into YOUR Imagination in 1999, which was controversial and critically panned for its condescending tone and the removal of its characters and music. The overwhelmingly negative response to Journey Into YOUR Imagination led its closure in 2001 and subsequent revamp into Journey Into Imagination With Figment, which opened on June 2, 2002.
- Climb aboard your tour tram and get ready for surprises galore as you travel through Dr. Channing’s sensory labs. Little ones will love learning and laughing about the five senses — sound, sight, smell, touch and taste—on this madcap musical trip with Figment.
- The Institute’s beleaguered chairman Dr. Nigel Channing (played by Eric Idle) sets out to prove how the 5 senses capture the imagination, but is upstaged by the mischievous Figment, who sabotages the doctor’s sound experiment, interferes with the eye chart and causes quite a stink in the Smell Lab.
- Then up becomes down as you cruise through Figment’s fluorescent, topsy-turvy house and discover that imagination really does work best when set free!
- Afterward, be sure to head to ImageWorks--an interactive play area where you can use your imagination to make music, digital pictures and more.
Dr. Nigel Channing of the Imagination Institute has opened the Institute's doors, inviting guests to a special drive-thru open house that will take them through the Institute's five Sensory Labs: Sight, Sound, Smell, Touch and Taste. Figment tags along to Channing’s dismay and causes mischief along the way.
In the Sound Lab, Figment interrupts the experiment and comes up with a telephone and the train sound from the previous version of the ride is now a “Train of Thought”.
In the Sight Lab, Figment knocks the letters off of the room’s eye chart and begins a sing along to "One Little Spark". The materializing butterfly from the previous version was carried over to this incarnation, but rather than appearing in the cage, the effect is now reversed so that the butterfly disappears.
In the Smell Lab, Figment takes over a giant slot machine-like contraption, becomes a skunk and sprays the guests with a foul odor (which is actually a burnt coffee smell).
Channing, after seeing the chaos that Figment has been causing, stops the tour outside the Taste and Touch Labs and decides that it should end right there. Figment then takes the guests 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 and Channing singing "One Little Spark" together. The guests then enter the unload area, disembark the ride vehicles and enter the ImageWorks.
The current ride has received mixed reviews, some saying Figment has become obnoxious and annoying, and they hope for a future rehab to restore Dreamfinder back to the attraction, while others are just glad that Figment is back.
Tony Baxter, the Imagineer who co-created the original 1983 attraction, has expressed criticism towards the current attraction. Baxter was interviewed in a 2018 episode of Podcast: The Ride, where he referred to Journey Into Imagination with Figment as a "sham of an attraction", opining that it "sort of reflects a more adult attitude, and if you can explain to me what an upside down toilet on the ceiling and learning how a skunk smells improve your imagination, it would help me a lot, 'cause, I for one, can't figure it out." At a 2020 virtual event hosted by the Walt Disney Birthplace, Baxter was asked if he would come out of retirement to redo the attraction. He replied, "I would — because to me it’s a critical attraction. It gets at what we started about childhood and it was interesting when the original ride was there [...] I would give anything to be called upon to rethink that and get back to the story that every human being does."
Allusions to Disney films
The attraction includes several visual elements suggesting that the Imagination Institute is connected to Medfield College, the setting of several live-action Disney films.
The queue line for the attraction passes the "offices" of Professor Brainard (Fred MacMurray's role in The Absent-Minded Professor, although the queue addresses the 1997 remake when the role was played by Robin Williams) with dancing Flubbers visible behind the door's window, Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis in the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids franchise) with a silhouette of the shrinking machine visible behind the door's window accompanied by an unnatural reddish-purple color and Dean Higgins (Joe Flynn's role in the "Dexter Riley" films).
A series of other Easter eggs can be seen and heard throughout the queue as well, including a secretary making occasional calls over the intercom for Brainard, Szalinski, Higgins, Dexter Riley, and Merlin Jones.
Dr. Channing is seen pictured next to the main characters from both films as they are the company's Inventors of the Year.
During the ride, after the vehicles exit the Sound Lab, the guests pass a glass-fronted computer room with a sign on the door that reads "No tennis shoes allowed," a reference to The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, the first Dexter Riley film. A Medfield College letterman's jacket can be seen inside the room.
- Before entering the Sound Lab, an office door has the name "Dean Finder" on it, a reference to the Dreamfinder, the former host of the attraction.
- During the 2020 Holiday season, the animatronics of Figment in the Sound Lab and Touch and Taste Lab were given a blue Christmas sweater featuring the pavilion and its logo.
- "Podcast: The Ride Live with Tony Baxter". Forever Dog Podcast Network (August 16, 2018). Retrieved on March 25, 2021.
- Geiger McDonald, Brooke (December 5, 2020). "Disney Legend Tony Baxter doubles down on redoing Journey Into Imagination With Figment, suggests feature film". Attractions Magazine. Retrieved on March 25, 2021.