Imagination! is a pavilion in Epcot. The pavilion was known as the Journey Into Imagination pavilion from 1982-1999.
The Imagination! pavilion opened in 1982 as an unnamed pavilion, which foucused on human's imagination. The pavilion was open on Epcot's opening day, and it was sponsored by Kodak. To give guests a taste of what would be inside, upside-down waterfall, and "jumping" fountains were placed outside of the pavilion. The pavilion itself was a large, glass, triangular building, which had a very unique architectural design. When it opened it only featured one attraction, Magic Journeys, which was a 3D show, that looked at the world through the eyes of a child. The film was shown in the "Magic Eye Theater". When a new, Kodak sponsored attraction, Journey Into Imagination opened in 1983, the pavilion was named the Journey Into Imagination Pavilion. Journey Into Imagination was a dark ride, hosted by the Dreamfinder who explored imagination with his creation, Figment. The attraction proved to be extremely popular, often outdrawing the parks icon Spaceship Earth. When Journey Into Imagination opened, a tie-in attraction known as ImageWorks opened with it. ImageWorks was an interactive area located on the second floor of the pavilion. The attraction allowed guest to experiment with their Imagination by playing on interactive screens. One shop was also located in the pavilion. Known as the Kodak Camera & Film Shop, the store sold film and Figment merchandise.
The Journey Into Imagination pavilion remained exactly the same until 1986, when Magic Journeys closed. The attraction was moved to Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom, and replaced with a new 3D show, Captain EO. The new fiml was created in partnership with Lucasfilms, and stared pop icon Michael Jackson as a Captain EO, a space captain charged with saving the universe. The new show was much more technologically advanced then it's predecessor, using in-theater effects such as laser and smoke. Many consider Captain EO to be one of the first 4D shows ever created. Captain EO ran in the Journey Into Imagination pavilion for eight years, before it was finally replaced with a new show in 1994. The show that replaced Captain EO was called Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. This 3D film was a spin-off of the popular Honey, I Shrunk the Kids film series. The show took place in the fictional Imagination Institute, where professor Wayne Szalinski was receiving the Inventor of the Year award. The show once again used 4D effects, including water are small fans to immerse guests in the film. The Magic Eye theater was renamed at this point, becoming the Imagination Institute.
In 1998, with Kodak's sponsorship ending shortly, Fujifilm approached Disney with an offer to sponsor the pavilion. Their sponsorship would have included a complete restructuring of the pavilion, including getting rid of the Journey Into Imagination attraction. Althogh the attraction was popular, it cost a lot of money for Disney to maintain. Fujifilm told Disney that they would replace the attraction with an "E-Ticket" thrill ride. Fujifilm said that the new ride would be just as popular as Journey Into Imagination, but it would cost less to maintan. Kodak, not wanting to lose their sponsorship of the pavilion (especially not to rival Fujifilm) pitched their own idea to Disney. They told Disney that they would make Journey Into Imagination more scientific, and use cheaper special effects. Although their proposal may not have seemed as glamourous, Disney was concerend that a thrill ride would not be as popular as Journey Into Imagination, while also coasting a lot to maintain. With this in mind, Disney accepted Kodak's proposal and Journery Into Imagination closed for renovations.
When the pavilion re-opened in 1999, it's name was changed to Imagination! The pavilion featured a drastically different layout. The jumping fountains located outside of the pavilion were significantly reduced in size, in order to accommodate the addition of a new gift shop. The color scheme and signage on the exterior of the pavilion also changed dramatically, now reflecting Kodak's company colors. ImageWorks, which had been located on the second floor of the pavilion was moved to the first floor, and reduced in size. The attractionw was also renamed "The Kodak What If Labs", although it's basic idea remained the same. Many guests complained that the new ImageWorks, was simply one big advertisement for Kodak, focusing only on visual imagination. After exiting the What if Labs, guests were funneled into a new gift shop. Here, guests could purchase photos, Epcot souvenirs, and Journey Into Your Imagination merchandise.
To the surprise of many, when Journey Into Imagination attraction reopened as Journey Into Your Imagination in 1999, the Dreamfinder was no where to be found. The attraction was now themed as a tie-in to Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, giving guests a tour of the Imagination Institute. Dr. Nigel Channing, who was Imagination Institute chairman in Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, now took guests on he tour. He also used them as test subjects for a new invention known as the Imagination Scanner. Figment, once considered to be the mascot of Epcot, only made a brief cameo apperance in the new attraction.
The new Journey Into Your Imagination attraction proved to be extremely unpopular with guests. Many decided to boycott the attraction, and Kodak film to protest the changes. This campaign proved be quite successful, as guest complaints (along with pressure from Kodak and Michael Eisner) led to the attraction getting another overhaul in 2001. The attraction reopened in 2002 as "Journey Into Your Imagination with Figment" (although the your was dropped in 2003). The new attraction focused on Dr. Nigel Channing explaining how the five senses can trigger human imagination. Figment returned in this version of the attraction, disrupting the doctors tour, and showing guests his imagination. Besides a retheming of the attraction, both the premise and the track structure remained essentially remained the same. The Dreamfinder, who was quite popular in the original version of the attraction, was still nowhere to be found. The Kodal What if Labs remained essentially the same during the second Journey Into Imagination refurbishment, however Figment was added to may of the exhibits.
In 2010, following the death of Michael Jackson, Disney mulled over the idea of bringing Captain EO back as a tribute to the late singer. Sure enough on July 2, 2010, Captain EO returned to the Imagination! pavilion replacing Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. In August of that year, Kodak ended it's 28 year sponsorship of the pavilion, and all references to the company were removed. Following the end of Kodak's sponsorship, The What If Labs have returened to their original name, ImageWorks. Lately, guests have been noticing an abundance of Lego merchandise in the Imagination! pavilion, leading some to speculate that the company may assume sponsorship of the pavilion.
Captain EO- A 4D Space Adventure starring Michael Jackson! This show follows the heroic Captain EO and his rag tag team, as they try to save the universe. Captain EO originally ran from 1986 until 1994. The show reopened in 2010.
Journey Into Imagination With Figment- This dark ride lets guests take a tour of the Imagination Institute with Dr. Nigel Channing and Figment. Along the way they will learn about their imagination!
ImageWorks- After exiting Journey Into Imagination With Figment, guests can further their exploration of imagination in the ImageWorks. Here guests can use interactive screens to play three different Figment themed games!
Magic Journeys- This 3D attraction showed guests what the world looked like through the eyes of a child. The show was the first attraction open in the Imagination! pavilion, where it ran from 1982 until 1986.
Honey, I Shrunk the Audience- While attending the Imagination Institute's awards ceremony, guests would accidentally be shrunk down to the size of an ant! This 4D show was based on the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids film series. Honey, I Shrunk the Audience ran from 1994 until 2010.
Journey Into Imagination- The original Journey Into Imagination was a dark ride, which allowed guests to explorer their imagination with the Dreamfinder and his creation Figment. The attraction opened and 1983, and remained extremely popular until it closed in 1998.
Journey Into Your Imagination- The short lived second version of Journey Into Imagination, this attraction was also a dark ride. Guests were now invited by Dr. Nigel Channing to explore the Imagination Institute, where they were used as test subjects for there newest invention, the Imagination Scanner. The Dreamfinder was nowhere to be found on this attraction (although Figment did make a cameo), which ran from 1999 until 2001.
Imagination! Gift Shop- Located just outside of ImageWorks, the gift shop features Epcot and Figment merchandise. Lego merchandise can also be purchased here.
Although no characters currently appear in the Imagination! pavilion, from 1982 until 2008 the Dreamfinder would walk around outside of the pavilion. Figment would rest on his shoulder as the two entertained guests. Following Figment's return to the attraction in 2002, a large walk around Figment could be found outside of the pavilion. He has since been discontinued.
Fun Facts and Trivia
- Parts of the original ImageWorks attraction are still located on the second floor of the Imagination! pavilion.
- In the early years of the pavilion, guests could see a Figment topiary in the Magic Garden (which was located just outside of the pavilion). Figment would spin a turn table there, but he has since been removed.
- Mark Fuller, a Walt Disney Imagineer, was responsible for the design of the Imagination Fountains.