Located in Epcot®’s Future World West, Journey Into Imagination With Figment is a whimsical adventure into the heart of every person’s imagination through the five senses. Featuring one of the most beloved characters of Walt Disney World, Journey Into Imagination allows you to discover just how far your imagination can stretch with Figment.
The Imagination Pavilion originally opened October 1, 1982 with the attraction debuting on March 5, 1983. The first version of the attraction featured the duo of Dreamfinder and Figment. Dreamfinder traveled around collecting imagination while Figment represented the actual figment of imagination. That version of the attraction existed until October 10, 1998 when it closed for refurbishment and reopened as Journey Into Your Imagination. This version no lingered featured either Dreamfinder or Figment, and some guests were not happy in the least. Such opinions were voiced, and the attraction once again closed for refurbishment in 2001, reopened in 2002 as Journey Into Imagination With Figment, and once again featured the lovable purple dragon.
Before you even enter the queue for Journey Into Imagination, you get a sense of the whimsy and fun that lies ahead. The pavilion itself featured an asymmetrical glass pyramid design which lights up with various colors of the rainbow after dark. In addition, there is an usual waterfall which flows up as well as some amazing waterfalls which utilize laminar flow to propel streams of water in leapfrog style. Already you are using your imagination to figure out how these great water effects work!
Once you enter the pavilion, you are greeted by bright colors, an array of gadgets, and doors indicating the staff at the Imagination Institute. The Imagination Institute was added to the attraction to link it to the dual existing Honey, I Shrunk The Audience 3D Show and remained after the show’s closing. The Institute is run by Dr. Nigel Channing who is played by British actor Eric Idle. You can check out his door and seemingly endless job titles while walking through the queue. Be sure to also look for doors and pictures honoring other distinguished members of the Institute including Wayne Salinski and Flubber. You can also catch your first glimpse of Figment as he bounces across the Imagination Institute’s logo on overhead screens.
The character of Figment was created by Imagineer, Tony Baxter after he watched an episode of Magnum P.I. which referred to the figment of imagination as a living entity. The first rough sketch of the character was then drafted by Imagineer, Steve Kirk and eventually fully developed by Imagineer, X. Atencio. Figment enters into the tour while Dr. Channing is informing you how you will travel through five Sense Labs each featuring one of the five senses. First up is the Sound Lab where your imagination can play with different tones and eventually the close passing of a train. As you being to leave the lab, listen for the beloved song “One Little Spark” written by the Sherman Brothers for the original attraction in 1983.
Pay close attention as you pass from the Sound Lab into the Sight Lab as there are some great little details located there. First up is a pair of red and white high tops accompanied by a nearby sign indicating no tennis shoes near the computer. There is also a matching red and white letterman jacket featuring the initial “M”. All of these props pay tribute to Medfield College, the fictional setting of the movies The Absent Minded Professor and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes. Just past these props is a door marked Dean Finder, a clever tribute to the missed character Dreamfinder.
Next, you move into the Sight and Smell Labs and are met with some pretty stinky mishaps. Dr. Channing returns sounding skeptical about whether he should continue his tour and send you to the Touch and Taste Labs, and Figment once again takes the reins and brings you along to his open house. Of course, since this is Figment we are talking about, his open house has to be special – so everything is upside down! As you pass through Figment’s house, be sure to look everywhere above you as bright colors abound and there are numerous quirky and cute references to Figment in everyday household items. Some of my favorite things in this scene to look for include portraits, a Figment teapot, and a Figment car.
Once you have moved through all of Figment’s open house, you take his shortcut back to the Imagination Institute and receive a final goodbye from Dr. Channing and Figment, then BLAST! The walls in front of you drop to reveal numerous Figment characters all playing different roles creating things from their imaginations! Look for a Figment painting and even one creating a structure out of blocks. As you head back to the unloading area, look for one of my favorite effects of the entire attraction- Figment’s purple footprints circling along the ceiling and up and down the walls.
After unloading from the attraction you enter into ImageWorks which features some pretty cool stations where you can use your imagination to create music and even postcards to email home to friends and family.
While this is one of my favorite attractions in Epcot, I would love to one day see Dreamfinder come back and once again help in collecting imagination. Until then, I love stopping by to visit with Figment and definitely recommend doing so if you never have before!
(Pictures from my personal collection.)
What is your favorite part of Journey Into Imagination With Figment? Do you miss Dreamfinder as much as I do? Be sure to let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!
Caitlin Corsello was born and raised in New York. She graduated from Adelphi University with a Masters in Mental Health Counseling in 2012. Her love for Disney started as an infant and has continued to grow with family vacations to Disney parks almost every year since. She holds a particular interest in WDW’s parks and attractions, never passing up an opportunity to visit. She looks forward to continuing to explore and learn about all things Disney and to share that passion with readers.