Journey Into Imagination with Figment – If Only We Still Had Dreamfinder

If you ask any longtime Disney fan what "extinct" Epcot attractions they miss most, you're likely to hear Horizons and the original Journey Into Imagination. Sure, Figment still exists today but the third incarnation of the ride is just not the same as the original.

Epco's Imagination PavilionEpco's Imagination Pavilion

When the original attraction opened on March 5, 1983, guests "met" Dreamfinder - an older gentleman riding his Dream Vehicle as he gathers ideas and inspiration and eventually creates Figment. This lovable purple dragon is a combination of "horns of a steer, royal purple pigment, and a dash of childish delight" and he helps Dreamfinder fill his idea bag.

Once the idea bag is full, Figment and Dreamfinder guests visited the Dreamport and then journeyed through rooms representing Art, Literature, Performing Art, and Science. And of course, there was the song "One Little Spark" written by the Sherman Brothers - you know the words, go ahead and sing it!

Imagination's Upside-Down WaterfallImagination's Upside-Down Waterfall

Sadly, Dreamfinder was sent packing when the ride closed in 1998 as part of a major renovation. When the attraction reopened in 1999 as Journey Into Your Imagination, the idea bag, Dream Vehicle, and "One Little Spark" were gone, replaced by Dr. Nigel Channing and the Imagination Scanner. Even Figment was reduced to computer-generated cameo appearances. The premise of the ride was that guests were attending the open house at the Imagination Institute (From Honey, I Shrunk the Kids) where they would have their minds charged with ideas. This version closed (to the relief of many guests) in 2001.

Figment returned to the pavilion in 2002 when the attraction reopened as Journey Into Imagination with Figment. In its current state, the attraction takes guests through the Imagination Institute to visit Dr. Channing's five sensory labs representing sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste.

A Figment of Your ImaginationA Figment of Your Imagination

The lovable purple dragon has now turned rather mischievous (likely due to his near banishment in the 1999 version of the attraction) and has decided to tag along so he can try to sabotage Dr. Channing's experiments. Of course, imagination wins in the end as Dr. Channing decides "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!" After setting imagination free, guests are treated to numerous versions of Figment in different scenes as he and Dr. Channing sing "One Little Spark."

So while guests still have Figment around to cause mischief and you leave the ride singing "One Little Spark", the only reminder we have of Dreamfinder is a door that reads "Dean Finder." Certainly this third version is better than the second, but nothing will replace the original Journey Into Imagination.

Tell us - do you miss the original Journey Into Imagination? Are you a Figment fan? Leave us a comment!

J wrote on Thu, 05/30/2013 - 10:36:

J's picture

It's not that this is a bad attraction. It's just the orginal was so much better. Maybe eventually Disney will learn like the Tiki Room that sometimes it is best not to mess with a good thing even if it seems dated. Not that I am suggesting someone start an attraction on this ride. No..... I would not suggest that at all.

V No Privacy wrote on Thu, 05/30/2013 - 15:52:

V No Privacy's picture

I would give a finger to be able to ride through the old version one more time. Siiiiigh.

carlos wrote on Thu, 05/30/2013 - 18:48:

carlos's picture

The old ride was better but people stopped going to it so they had to make a change! Also the OLD tiki room stinks they need to put it back when they had iago in it! It was much better!

J wrote on Thu, 05/30/2013 - 19:30:

J's picture

*meant to say I wouldn't suggest someone start a fire on this ride. Even though that may get us back the orginal, still not suggeting it... but would I complain if someone did? Well, would you?

JJJJ wrote on Thu, 05/30/2013 - 19:50:

JJJJ's picture

All these renovations that have been done on Journey into Imagination should have been done on Universe of Energy. It is a bit of a dampener when you are in the pre-ride movie and Ellen DeGeneres is using a cordless phone that you pull out the antenna. That ride is seriously dated and needs help....but they need to keep the dinosaurs!!! The curent Journey into Imagination ride is okay, but will NEVER top the original!

Bryon Coffman wrote on Thu, 05/30/2013 - 20:43:

Bryon Coffman's picture

Journey into imagination is the greatest attraction ever! I even have a signed hat from Figment. My Father in law Lloyd Briggs and the rest of us absolutely loved it! Inspiration and imagination lead to discovery and creation! The memories are great and yes I miss Horizons as well.

TinkRN wrote on Thu, 05/30/2013 - 23:18:

TinkRN's picture

I absolutely loved the original. The current one does not have the same charm as the original. I met Dreamfinder and Figment outside the shop once. It was great! I wish they had left it alone. My children didn't get to ride the original and don't quite understand why we have several plush Figments at home!

revral wrote on Sat, 06/01/2013 - 22:40:

I love Figment & Journey in to Imagination. I can't comment on how good or bad the previous versions were since I've only seen the current version.

dee wrote on Sat, 06/08/2013 - 13:58:

dee's picture

I love the original!!!!!! My daughter was 15 months old on her first trip to WDW. Figment became and still is her favorite character some 20+ years later. She got a chance to get her picture taken with him when she was 26 years old and she was as excited as a 5 year old. Such fun memories

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