A Look at the Past and Present Incarnations of Journey into Imagination

Over the years there have been three incarnations of the much beloved Journey into Imagination attraction at the Imagination Pavilion in EPCOT's Future World.

The attraction features the song "One Little Spark" written by the Sherman Brothers and is fun for the whole family!

Epco's Imagination PavilionEpco's Imagination Pavilion
Journey into Imagination (1983-1998). The original Journey into Imagination opened on March 5, 1983 and was the brainchild of Tony Baxter and Steve Kirk.

The attraction began with vehicles floating above the clouds and seeing the silhouette of a strange blimp mixed with a vacuum cleaner and hearing the humming and singing of its pilot. During the next scene riders are introduced to the pilot, Dreamfinder who shares that he uses his vehicle to collect dreams and ideas to create new things. One of those is the loveable Figment. Both the Dreamfinder and Figment come up with ideas to fill the "idea bag" which once it is full must be emptied into the "Dreamport."

After the vehicles leave the "Dreamport" they are then transported through a number of rooms representing art, literature, the performing arts, and science. At the end of their journey the Dreamfinder reminds Figment and the riders that imagination is the key to unlocking the hidden wonders of the world.

Dreamfinder Fills The Idea BagDreamfinder Fills The Idea Bag
Journey into Your Imagination (1999-2001). The second adaption of Journey into Imagination opened in October of 2001 and was based on the movie Honey, I Shrunk the Audience.

Riders were to take a tour of the Imagination Institute and be test subjects for the new invention, the Imagination Scanner. Dr. Nigel Channing was the host for this tour that began with riders going through the scanner and it saying that they had no imagination.

With that verdict, Dr. Channing sent riders through a variety of labs at the Institute including sound, illusion, color, gravity, and connections. For the grand finale riders are once again sent through the Imagination Scanner and find that their minds have been filled with ideas.

Figment made a few appearances in this adaption but did not play a prominent role in the attraction.

A Figment of Your ImaginationA Figment of Your Imagination
Journey into Imagination with Figment (2002-Present). In the latest adaption, Figment returns to the attraction with a larger role. The attraction's theme song, "One Little Spark" also returned with new verses.

In this incarnation the Institute has 5 labs that are based on the human senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. Dr. Channing invites riders to the Institute's open house but Figment tags along and causes some mischief.

Giving up after chaos that Figment cause Dr. Channing stops the tour and Figment takes riders to his own open house. Dr. Channing and riders learn from Figment that imagination should be set free.

Tom Fitzgerald created both the 1999 and current version of Journey into Imagination.

Have you experienced all three Journey into Imagination incarnations? Which one is your favorite? Leave us a note below and share which you have liked the best!

Mase wrote on Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:02:

Mase's picture

I remember the first one, and the current one obviously... but never knew about the middle one. Thats weird that it only lasted 2 years? Was it that bad for them to want to change it that quickly? Was there an outcry for more Figment? Wish I could had seen that middle one... but out of the two I've seen... the first one still remains the best.

LOLITA KING wrote on Mon, 03/05/2012 - 21:41:

LOLITA KING's picture

I have had the fortune to witness all 3 versions. The first will always have a special place in my heart and I adored it. The current version is pretty good, at least we got my man Figment back. I do however miss dreamfinder horribly. That second version should never have existed and I wish I could erase it from my imagination..lol. No Dreamfinder and barely any Figment and it was just terrible.

ANParker wrote on Mon, 03/05/2012 - 21:53:

ANParker's picture

I remember LOVING the first incarnation of this ride and was SUPER excited last year to see it again without realizing it had changed. I was so dissapointed because it wasn't what I was expecting and was absolutely nothing like I had remembered it. I won't be going on it again this year, it seemed like it wasn't very well thought out and I never got into the experiance.

JoAnn C wrote on Tue, 03/06/2012 - 00:59:

JoAnn C's picture

I've only seen the most recent version.

Poppet wrote on Tue, 03/06/2012 - 15:25:

My kids love this ride! The "skunk" part is their favorite. I miss the original version.

Debbie wrote on Tue, 03/06/2012 - 17:28:

Debbie's picture

I've seen all three....I miss the original, I seem to remember the 'Shrunk the kids' version was in place while they "remade" the Figment adventure.....I like the new version fine, but still miss the original.

Trisha wrote on Sat, 03/10/2012 - 14:31:

Trisha's picture

I miss the original! The newest one is just okay. It just doesn't have the same feel to me! I don't know why they felt the need to change it from the original. It was fine the way it was!

Kristen K. wrote on Mon, 03/12/2012 - 20:24:

Kristen K.'s picture

I really miss the original version. I loved Dreamfinder in his flying machine, he was so steam-punky and cool!

JEM wrote on Thu, 05/03/2012 - 16:42:

JEM's picture

I was told that the 2nd incarnation of Figment only lasted two years because riders found it too scary/creepy, especially for small children. They decided to tone it down and they came up with the incarnation used now... which is basically the same theme as the 2nd.

Cathy I wrote on Sun, 05/06/2012 - 01:44:

Cathy I's picture

I have seen all 3. The second one was so disappointing that I almost didn't go on it the last time I was there. I was pleased that it had improved but it still isn't as good as the first one.

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