What is the history of Figment and Journey Into Imagination?

Marsha Mallow

New Member
Original Poster
Hello, adult newbie Epcot fan here (after growing up on the west coast and only going to DL as a kid). I've seen many posts that talk about the evolution of Figment, Journey and the pavilion. I'm not sure of the history and why the ride is so despised currently. Also, Figment comics? Can y'all fill me in? :) Thanks much!
 

brb1006

Well-Known Member
The Figment Comics by Marvel was an origin story for Dreamfinder and Figment. I currently own two Hardcover copies that contain all the stories. Apparently the Figment comics was so successful that the people at Disney (West Coast) were surprised at how popular the comics turned out.
 

DoleWhipDrea

Well-Known Member
Nothing tops Martin, but Defunctland is always a great source for fun/informative looks at Disney history.
Don’t forget Yesterworld’s video for part 2 in the collaboration! These were the videos that helped bring me in to understand what happened.


Definitely check out Martin’s videos if you want to go as in-depth as possible.

Quick summary to start:

Journey Into Imagination opened as an elaborate dark ride that was beloved and introduced Figment and the Dreamfinder who became the unofficial mascots of EPCOT Center.

Disney wanted Kodak to put up more money to update the ride if they wanted to keep their sponsorship contract, but Kodak didn’t have much to spare. Combine this with egos at WDI and issues during construction led to a serious decline in quality on the attractions at the Imagination Pavilion with essentially the full removal of Figment and the Dreamfinder, characters that were beloved by guests.

The new ride was a cheap carnival ride that cut everything that made the original special and guests complained regularly. After 2 years, the ride closed to bring some of the joy back into the ride, but with this happening just after 9/11, budgets were again slashed. WDI cheaply as possible tried to make it better and at least brought Figment back, but it’s nowhere near what the original was. Definitely watch a ride-through of the original and you’ll see that this ride was on par with Disney classics like The Haunted Mansion.

The current ride was meant to be temporary, but has outlived every incarnation of the ride in its history, and any makeover to restore it to its original glory is regularly put on the backburner.
 
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mandstaft

Well-Known Member
Don’t forget Yesterworld’s video for part 2 in the collaboration! These were the videos that helped bring me in to understand what happened.


Definitely check out Martin’s videos if you want to go as in-depth as possible.

Quick summary to start:

Journey Into Imagination opened as an elaborate dark ride that was beloved and introduced Figment and the Dreamfinder who became the unofficial mascots of EPCOT Center.

Disney wanted Kodak to put up more money to update the ride if they wanted to keep their sponsorship contract, but Kodak didn’t have much to spare. Combine this with egos at WDI and issues during construction led to a serious decline in quality on the attractions at the Imagination Pavilion with essentially the full removal of Figment and the Dreamfinder, characters that were beloved by guests.

The new ride was a cheap carnival ride that cut everything that made the original special and guests complained regularly. After 2 years, the ride closed to bring some of the joy back into the ride, but with this happening just after 9/11, budgets were again slashed. WDI cheaply as possible tried to make it better and at least brought Figment back, but it’s nowhere near what the original was. Definitely watch a ride-through of the original and you’ll see that this ride was on par with Disney classics like The Haunted Mansion.

The current ride was meant to be temporary, but has outlived every incarnation of the ride in its history, and any makeover to restore it to its original glory is regularly put on the backburner.
So sad but true! RIP the original attraction! One of my all time favorite Disney attractions!
 

MickeyMouse10

Well-Known Member
The Figment Comics by Marvel was an origin story for Dreamfinder and Figment. I currently own two Hardcover copies that contain all the stories. Apparently the Figment comics was so successful that the people at Disney (West Coast) were surprised at how popular the comics turned out.
Whoa, Figment looks like he's on something. Maybe that's why it's so easy to imagine the weird stuff he sees. "Use your imagination... and whatever Dreamfinder has in his pocket."

Oh my god... I just thought of something. We all spend the whole ride chasing the dragon... cool now I get it. Perhaps it wasn't skunk that we were smelling afterall.
 

Marsha Mallow

New Member
Original Poster
Let Martin's videos explain.

Wow. Just wow.

The atrium was so cool!! I also like the steampunk vibe, I love Dreamfinder and the idea of traveling the globe in search of sparks. The story line was so good; the ride was whimsical and dare I say...imaginative? The current incarnation is so clinical, there's nothing there to inspire imagination, no matter how many times Eric Idle says the word. LOL. We rode this ride in 2017 and the only thing I remembered from it was all the lab doors, seriously.
 

Marsha Mallow

New Member
Original Poster
For the OP, to sum it up the ride was:
- Incredible, but slightly dated late in its life. Nothing a good refurb couldn't fix (83-98)
- Terrible, miserable, like having explosive...well I'll stop (99-01)
- To what we have now, just bad (02-????)

You're missing the incredible (terrible) part two:
Yes, it does look like it was incredible! The middle one looks so awful. So we rode this ride in 2017 and it was not memorable at all; my kids have never wanted to do it again. They liked ImageWorks well enough but I wasn't able to get them in again in the following two trips. Well, I got them into the store in 2019 and the only thing they wanted to do was the photo booth! (And my kids are pretty easy to please honestly; they'll do almost anything. I mean, they love World Showcase for gosh's sake.) We were just there in March and had some time to kill so we ventured over and the whole pavilion was closed at 6 p.m.!
 

brb1006

Well-Known Member
Wow. Just wow.

The atrium was so cool!! I also like the steampunk vibe, I love Dreamfinder and the idea of traveling the globe in search of sparks. The story line was so good; the ride was whimsical and dare I say...imaginative? The current incarnation is so clinical, there's nothing there to inspire imagination, no matter how many times Eric Idle says the word. LOL. We rode this ride in 2017 and the only thing I remembered from it was all the lab doors, seriously.
And the only place where "Flubber" gets any representation at the parks. But yeah, the current incarnation is a complete joke, don't get us started with the short-lived version (where Figment makes a quick cameo during the finale).
 

brb1006

Well-Known Member
Yes, it does look like it was incredible! The middle one looks so awful. So we rode this ride in 2017 and it was not memorable at all; my kids have never wanted to do it again. They liked ImageWorks well enough but I wasn't able to get them in again in the following two trips. Well, I got them into the store in 2019 and the only thing they wanted to do was the photo booth! (And my kids are pretty easy to please honestly; they'll do almost anything. I mean, they love World Showcase for gosh's sake.) We were just there in March and had some time to kill so we ventured over and the whole pavilion was closed at 6 p.m.!
If only your kids were able to experience the original ImageWorks, the current version pales in comparison. A major reason why the old ImageWorks was more memorable was because the entire area was set in the dark making these activities stick out more. The current version has lights on making it look like something for preschoolers. For the original version, people of all ages could join in.








Not to mention The Rainbow Tunnel
 
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Marsha Mallow

New Member
Original Poster
And the only place where "Flubber" gets any representation at the parks. But yeah, the current incarnation is a complete joke, don't get us started with the short-lived version (where Figment makes a quick cameo during the finale).
Hahaha, no, I don't want to get anything started but I definitely get the hate now! Thanks so much for posting the info. :)
 

ppete1975

Well-Known Member
Its not just the current version is horrible. Its an ok ride. But it would be like taking expedition everest removing all the foliage no longer going in the mountain and having a guy in a bad gorilla suit yell boo at the end.
the original ride made you want a stuffed figment and you could spend hours in imageworks (the most immersive of the epcot aftershow activites)... man i miss the epcot aftershow activies.
 
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