GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: JOURNEY INTO IMAGINATION

One little spark, of inspiration. Is at the heart, of all creation. Right at the start of everything that’s new. One little spark, lights up for you.

The brainchild of Tony Baxter and Steve Kirk, Journey into Imagination was an original attraction that opened on March 5, 1983 at the EPCOT theme park at Walt Disney World. Utilizing the omnimover vehicle technology, guests went on a journey with Dreamfinder and Figment as they gathered up material to inspire new ideas.

Located in the Imagination! Pavilion in Future World, the original version of the attraction opens with riders floating in the clouds while viewing the silhouette of the Dream Mobile (or Dream Catcher) and listening to the pilot humming. Continuing on, guests come face-to-face Dreamfinder, an older man with a long red beard dressed in a blue suit and wearing a top hat, and the Dream Mobile, the vehicle that he uses to collect ideas, dreams, and create new things using a vacuum-like system.

Using his imagination, he creates “two tiny wings, eyes big and yellow, horns of a steer, but a loveable fellow! From head to tail, he’s royal purple pigment, and there, voila! You’ve got a Figment!” a dragon who helps Dreamfinder fill the idea bag located on the back of the Dream Mobile with the help of their imagination.

Once the idea bag is full, riders then enter the Dreamport’s storage room, where the ideas are stored until needed. There are many objects in the room including a sorting machine, a birdcage filled with musical notes, and boxed applause. From there riders are whisked away and enter several different rooms along the journey.

The first room along the way is the Art room that showcased Dreamfinder painting a picture of birds, plants flowers, and trees using a large fiber optic brush, Figment holding a pot of rainbows, and a carousel with oversized animals. Next up is the Literature room, where Dreamfinder can be found playing a massive organ with words coming out of it, the raven from Edgar Allan Poe’s poem cawing, and Figment attempting to keep a stack of books about monsters closed. The Performing Arts room showed Dreamfinder conducting a laser show while Figment was backstage trying on costumes.

The last room was the Science room, where Dreamfinder was operating a large machine that took a look at how nature worked, specifically looking into space, the formation of crystals, and the growth of plants.

Dreamfinder tells Figment and guests that imagination is key to unlocking the hidden wonders of the world as they enter the final scene of the ride. In that scene, Figment is surrounded by large moving screens featuring him in different roles, like a tap dancer, cowboy, and mountain climber, while Dreamfinder, who is behind a movie camera, encourages riders to go to ImageWorks after the ride to use their newly found imagination.

Sadly, the ride closed on October 10, 1998 for renovation. Although the ride still exists, it will never be as good as the original.

Imagination! Imagination! A dream can be a dream for you. With just that spark, in me and you!

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