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    More Mouse: The Vacation Kingdom of the World: Future Journeys into Imagination

    The Vacation Kingdom of the World: Future Journeys into Imagination by Tom Richards

    A new series from Disney Kingdoms celebrates Figment and Dreamfinder--is it too much to hope for a reimagined Imagination Pavilion at Epcot?

    Read it here!


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    I'm all for changing and updating this one because the idea of imagination- which is essentially the core of the business model for all of the Walt Disney Company- is bigger than this. While I enjoyed the original Dreamfinder/Figment (more than the current version and far more than the 99-02 Version), the Imagination pavilion should be more than a dark ride and a 25 year old 3D movie. It SHOULD be changed every few years if for no other reason than to demonstrate how imagination changes.

    I think a new version of Dreamfinder- not quite a reset to the original version, but somewhere between the current one and the original one- is a must have. But allow Figment to exist in the rest of the imaginary universe that Walt Disney created. Maybe let Figment interact with the dreams of other Disney characters and places. All of those things stirred our imaginations as children (and adult children)- let Figment play with them. The big 3D theater is probably too hard to convert to something else, but a new movie that is less tied to any single franchise (a la Honey I Shrunk or Michael Jackson). A return of the Image Works is also great- it was a great place for both kids and adults to play.

    One other thing I'd add though would be a small theater that would show essentially documentary type movies. For anyone who's ever been to the Newseum in Washington, DC, they have several small theaters which show documentaries about how news is delivered, how reporting changed, how sports have gotten covered- it's actually pretty fascinating. They have great interviews as part of the movies that shed tremendous insight into the moments that impacted us- to hear Al Michaels talk about how it felt saying "Do you believe in Miracles- YES!" is almost as amazing as the moment itself. Disney has a tremendous array of talent at all levels- what was it like for a performer to play the Genie of the Lamp? What was it like for an imagineer to create a new ride and what was the process he used? What was it like for Richard Sherman to write all of those great songs? Did he see Mary Poppins singing his song as he wrote it? A series of those films played in rotation during the day could be absolutely fascinating and would tie in perfectly with the exhibit- travel the road with Disney legends as they go from imagination to reality and back into our collective imaginations.


  4. #3
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    I'll be honest that I don't get all the angst over Journey Into Imagination, but I also didn't hit WDW until 2002 so I never saw the original. That said, I like the current version of the ride. The narrator/host is very up and interesting, and Figment is a lot of fun. My kids love Figment! It has a catch song, and fun and interesting visual/audio effects. Then when it's done, there's a great place for little ones to run around and have a blast. Plus my older kids will enjoy some of the computer type fun. I don't see a thing wrong with this attraction, other than it's practically hidden away in the park.

    As for the 3-D film, this is where I DO get the angst. HISTA was outdated when we saw it for the first/last time in 2002. The movie was over a decade old at that point and certainly is not a timeless piece. Something has to be done here. Two ideas - first would be a TRON movie. It would be visually stunning, sound awesome, and would attract nerds like me from every sector of the galaxy. Plus it has some staying power thanks to ComicCon and other such events. The second idea would be a Phineas&Ferb movie. They're always into the Imagination thing and kids really love them. The downside is that in 10 years, they won'd be as popular and we'll have to wait another 10 years before Disney replaces it.

    Working for Disney. No, no. Working (in a Modesto office) for (the money to take a trip to) Disney (World/Land)

    WDW Trips: June 2002, Feb 2004, Dec 2006, Dec 2008, Jan 2010, Feb 2011, Dec 2012
    Disneyland Trips: Feb 2006, Nov 2013

  5. #4

    The Imagination pavilion is someplace I hold dear. I loved the original pavilion, and I still love the pavilion today. I miss the original ride with Dreamfinder, yet I love the Eric Idle version of the ride, too. I love the pavilion itself, with the jumping fountains, upside-down waterfall, immersive queue, and yet I'm saddened by the abandoned upstairs area and glass pyramids. I'm an unabashed fan of Captain EO -- I never did care for Honey I Shrunk the Audience, I'll admit -- and I'm so glad to have had the chance to revisit Captain EO for the past several years. I even love the "secret" bathrooms.

    Any talk of "updating" Imagination makes me very nervous, because I think about Horizons and The World of Motion (not to mention the Wonders of Life). I would HATE to see the pavilion essentially destroyed to put in a thrill ride that has lost the spirit of the original Future World. Yet I understand the need to update the pavilion, because it's definitely showing its age.

    Ideally, I'd like to see both the ride updated to something more like the original, but with a modern twist. Have some sort of interactivity -- touchscreens in the ride vehicles, perhaps -- that allows guests to manipulate and interact with what they see. Take the idea of "imagination" to a new level, while retaining Figment and Dreamfinder in a big way. Put the ride's track back to its original length and configuration, take out a lot of the current post-show area, and reopen the upstairs as the post-show area.

    As for the movie, that's a much bigger question. I know it's time for Captain EO to retire. I know something new needs to go in. As for what, I don't know. Not Phineas and Ferb. It needs to be something original and unique to Epcot. Possibly some sort of random-experience 3D film (think Star Tours 2.0) with Figment and Dreamfinder that would be different each time you see it. Something that complements and expands on the experience of the ride.

    However, I'd rather see the pavilion left alone than to see all the magic removed from it. It would break my heart to see it torn down, or worse, to see it sit empty like the Wonders of Life pavilion. Luckily, Figment's fans seem to be vocal enough that the danger of that is fairly minimal.


  6. #5

    The older version of this ride was BY FAR more imaginative and whimsical than the current design. I was heartbroken when they changed it and have hoped for years that the original ride would be restored. Even if they would re-design it with the original version in mind, that would be ok too, as long as it harnesses the experience of true imagination and not just facts about the senses. I have recently discovered a video online that takes one through the ride, Mystic Manor, at Hong Kong Disneyland, and it looks to be superior to any of the rides we have here. I really wish they would bring some of that technology and mix it up with Figment AND Dreamfinder in our Imagination Pavilion.

    And the Pyramid needs to be a part of this experience. I miss the rainbow tunnel!!!

    As for Captain EO, as much as I have always loved it, I would not regret seeing it replaced by something cool. However, Phenius and Ferb would NOT be cool! (I did read somewhere that that the F and P thing was just a misunderstanding?) I think they should bring in Oswald the Rabbit. There are so many things that Disney could do with Oswald, and it would be a cool tribute to Walt’s first character. They could make it in the same style as Star Tours in the way that it would be a different experience/story line each time you see it.
    One Little Spark….here’s hoping!


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