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Epcot 35 To 35: Day 30 – Imagination Pavilion

“One little spark of inspiration, is at the heart of all creation…”

Located in Epcot’s Future World, the Imagination pavilion is highlighted by two glass pyramids, leap-frog style fountains and a reverse waterfall.  Guests are transported into a world of creativity and imagination.

Imagination with Figment:

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Entertainment Earth

Opening on June 1, 2002 and featuring Figment and Dr. Nigel Channing, the ride invites guests to the Imagination Institute’s open house where s(he) can explore his/her senses. The ride pays homage to many classic Disney movies, including Merlin Jones, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, and Flubber.

(youtube video from Intercot)

A Journey to the Past – Fun Facts

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Entertainment Earth

  • The original ride, Journey into Imagination, was active from 1983-1998 –a year after the pavilion opened.
  • It was a 14-minute ride on an omnimover hosted by Figment and the well-missed Dreamfinder.
  • Guests entered the Dreamport and explored four areas of imagination: artistic/painting, nightmare/book, show-biz/acting, and science.
  • The song,  “One Little Spark,” was featured in the original ride as well, but with different lyrics.

(video from Screamscape)

  • The next renovation, Journey into Your Imagination (Oct. 1999-Oct. 2001), lacked both Figment and the Dreamfinder, but introduced Dr. Nigel Channing –portrayed by Monty Python veteran, Eric Idle.
  • A community of fans, Friends of Figment, rallied in support of the beloved, yet absent character.
  • Disney took notice, refurbished the ride, and reintroduced Figment in Imagination with Figment.
  • In addition to the ride, a Figment meet-and-greet was established, but later discontinued.
  • In tribute to the absent Dreamfinder, Disney placed a ‘Dean Finder’ nameplate on a door at the beginning of the renovated ride.

Image Works – The “What Ifs” Labs

Presented in 1999 after the closing of the original Image Works, Kodak’s “What Ifs” Labs features a less hands-on, more camera kiosk version of exploration.  Some components of Image Works were kept, including a 2002 reintroduction of Electronic Philharmonic and a 2008 revamp of Stepping Tones, complete with brighter, instrument-themed pads.  

The Abandoned Floor

  • The upper floor of the Imagination pavilion used to be home to the original Image Works attraction.
  • Image Works provided guests with a hands-on imagination exploration experience featuring innovations in sound, lighting, and colors.  Stations included: Figment’s Coloring Book, Magic Palettes, Light Writers, Sensor Maze, Pin Screens, Stepping Tones, Bubble Music, Giant Kaleidoscopes, Image Warp, Dreamfinder’s School of Drama, Making Faces, Lumia, and Electronic Philharmonic.
  • Upon closing in 1998, the entire upper floor of the pavilion was abandoned and much of the original fixtures still remain today.
  • Today the Upper Floor is used as a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) lounge area.

The Magic Eye Theater

Guests of the Magic Eye Theater are currently entertained by the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival —an 18-minute,  4D experience featuring Disney/Pixar short films Get a Horse, Feast, and Piper.

Remember the old song Making Memories

(Disney Studio Chorus on youtube)

Historical Facts

  • Opening in 1982, The Magic Eye Theater was the original main attraction and featured the show, Magic Journeys –a 3-D film featuring songs written by the Sherman Brothers.
  • In 1987, Magic Journeys was replaced with Captain EO, a 3-D space-fantasy, musical film created by George Lucas and starring Michael Jackson.  
  • Magic Journeys was reopened in the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland Theater where it played until December 1993.
  • In 1995, Captain EO was replaced by Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, starring Rick Moranis and Eric Idle.
  • After Michael Jackson’s death in June of 2009, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience was closed and Captain EO  reopened as the Magic Eye Theater’s featured film from July 2, 2010-December 2015.

What is your favorite part of the Imagination Pavilion?  Do you have any favorite memories of Dreamfinder and Figment?  Please comment and share.

Sources: Extinct Disney, LostEpcot, Disney Wikia

Image Sources:  Inside The Magic, Epcot Legacy, Disney

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