When original designs for EPCOT Center were being drawn up, an Imagination pavilion was nowhere to be found. In fact, the Imagination pavilion was the last pavilion designed for Future World . The structure that would eventually become the pavilion took inspiration from an idea that Imagineer Tony Baxter had for the Mineral and Ecology pavilion that was originally planned for EPCOT Center but never constructed . Although Baxter had gotten fairly far in his designs for the Mineral pavilion, after it was decided that the theme pavilion should go in a different direction (due to the fact that Kraft had assumed sponsorship) he turned his attention to the Kodak pavilion . Despite the fact that Kodak had originally signed on as an EPCOT Center sponsor in 1977 , the company still did not have a firm idea of what they wanted their pavilion to focus on  . According to Tony Baxter:
With a theme now in place, Tony Baxter and his Imagineers began fine tuning their plans for the pavilion. Baxter had initially impressed representatives from Kodak with his models for Captain Marvel and his pet dragon. These characters had initially been designed for an expansion of Disneyland called Discovery Bay . Although the expansion was never constructed, Baxter continued to rework the characters for his other projects. In fact, at one time Captain Marvel was going to be renamed Landkeeper and used in one of his early version of The Land pavilion . With his attention now focused on Imagination however, Baxter (as well as Steve Kirk and X Atencio) was able to rework Captain Marvel and his dragon into Dreamfinder and Figment, the stars of the Journey Into Imagination pavilion .
Concept art for the Journey Into Imagination pavilion
Construction on the Journey Into Imagination pavilion began in July 1981, only 15 months before the park was set to open . When completed, the pavilion would feature the dark ride attraction that was also titled Journey into Imagination, the Magic Eye Theater which showed the film Magic Journeys, and the interactive ImageWorks area on the pavilion’s second floor.
Although the Journey Into Imagination pavilion was completed in time for EPCOT Center’s opening day, inside the pavilion only Magic Journeys was open to guests. Five days later on October 6, 1982 the ImageWorks area opened, followed by the Journey Into Imagination attraction on March 5, 1983. Although the attraction had been more or less ready to go since the pavilion opened, Disney executives felt that Imagineers needed more time to work the kinks out. According to Tony Baxter:
It was not until the attraction opened that the pavilion itself was officially named Journey Into Imagination .
After opening, the Journey Into Imagination pavilion remained essentially the same until 1986, when Magic Journeys closed . The attraction (which was eventually moved to Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom) was replaced with a new 3D show Captain EO. Captain EO was created in partnership with Lucasfilm and stared pop icon Michael Jackson as the title character, a space captain charged with saving the universe. The new show featured technologically not present in its predecessor, including in-theater special effects such as laser and smoke to go along with traditional 3D effects .
Dreamfinder and Figment in the ImageWorks's Rainbow Tunnel
Captain EO ran in the Journey Into Imagination pavilion for eight years, before it was finally replaced with a new show in 1994. Replacing Captain EO, was a new 3D show- Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. A spin off of the popular "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" film series. Honey, I Shrunk the Audience once again used 4D effects including water and small fans to immerse guests in the film . Due to the fact that new film took place in the fictional Imagination Institute (where Professor Wayne Szalinski was receiving the inventor of the Year award), the Magic Eye Theater was renamed the “Imagination Institute” at this time .
In 1998, with Kodak's sponsorship ending shortly, Fujifilm approached Disney with an offer to sponsor the Journey Into Imagination Pavilion . Their sponsorship would have included a complete restructuring of the pavilion, including getting rid of the Journey Into Imagination attraction. Although 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, that would be just as popular as Journey Into Imagination, yet cheaper to maintain . 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 glamorous as the Fujifilm proposal, Disney had concerns about turning the attraction into a thrill ride (as such a ride would still be costly to maintain). With this in mind, Disney accepted Kodak's proposal, and Journey Into Imagination closed for renovations on October 10, 1998 .
When the Journey Into Imagination Pavilion reopened on October 1, 1999, its name was changed to the Imagination! pavilion . Following the refurbishment, the pavilion featured a drastically different layout. For starters, 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 of the exterior of the pavilion were also changed dramatically, as they now reflected Kodak's company colors of red and orange. Furthermore, the ImageWorks, which had originally been located on the second floor of the pavilion, was moved to the first floor and reduced in size. At this time, the attraction was also renamed the “Kodak What If Labs". Although its basic premise remained essentially the same, many guests complained that the new What If Labs were simply one big advertisement for Kodak. After exiting the What if Labs, guests were funneled into the aforementioned new gift shop, where they could buy photos, Epcot souvenirs, and Journey Into Your Imagination merchandise.
While many things changed both outside and within the Imagination! Pavilion in 1999, there was no bigger change then the new Journey Into Imagination attraction. Now titled Journey Into Your Imagination, the attraction was rethemed as a tie-in to Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. Taking place inside the Imagination Institute, Dr. Nigel Channing (Eric Idle) now gave guests a tour of the institute, using them as test subjects for a new invention, the "Imagination Scanner". To the surprise of many guests, Dreamfinder was completely removed from the attraction and Figment (once the mascot of Epcot) was reduced to only a brief cameo.
The four attractions housed in the Magic Eye Theater, from left to right: Magic Journeys, Captain EO, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, Disney Pixar Short Film Festival
The new Journey Into Your Imagination attraction proved to be extremely unpopular with guests and many decided to boycott the attraction (as well as Kodak) to protest the changes. This campaign proved to be quite successful, as guest complaints (along with pressure from Kodak and Michael Eisner) led to the attraction getting another overhaul in 2001 . Journey Into Your Imagination closed on October 8, 2001 , before reopening on June 2, 2002 as "Journey Into Imagination with Figment" . Following the refurbishment, the attraction still featured Dr. Nigel Channing giving guests a tour of the Imagination Institute. Instead of testing out his Imagination Scanner however, Dr. Channing now explained how the five senses can trigger human imagination. Figment returned in this version of the attraction, disrupting the doctor’s tour, and showing guests his imagination. Although the focus of the attraction was changed, the basic premise and the track structure of the ride remained basically the same. Also of note, The Kodak What if Labs remained essentially the same, however Figment was added to many of the exhibits .
In December 2004, a new Figment meet and greet location called "Figment's Place" opened to guests . The meet and greet was short lived however and it closed in 2008 .
In 2009, 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 2010, Kodak ended its 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 returned to their original name ImageWorks. On March 25, 2012, ColerVision announced it would assume sponsorship the ImageWorks .
On March 26, 2015 Disney announced that Captain EO would be temporarily closing on April 10, 2015 . Following the attractions closure, the Magic Eye Theater showed a sneak peak of the 2015 Disney movie "Tomorrowland". After the end of the preview period, on July 19, 2015 Captain EO returned. Finally, on December 6, 2015 Captain EO was permanently removed. Taking its place in the Magic Eye Theater is the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival . The new attraction shows three Disney-Pixar short cartoons.
In January 2016, Disney announced that a new Disney Vacation Club members-only club would be opening on the second floor of the Imagination! pavilion . Opening on June 6, 2016, the lounge is located in the former location of the upstairs ImageWorks .
On September 30, 2016, the Disney Visa Character Spot that was previously located in Innoventions was relocated to the former location of Figment's Place .
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 guests learn how the five senses relate to imagination.
ImageWorks- After exiting Journey Into Imagination With Figment, guests enter the ImageWorks. Here, they can explore various interactive exhibits featuring Figment. Beginning in 2019, guests can now meet Ralph and Vanellope from the Wreck it Ralph franchise in the ImageWorks.
Dr. Nigel Channing and Figment host Journey Into Imagination with Figment
Magic Journeys- This 3D attraction showed guests what the world looked like through the eyes of a child. The show was the first attraction to open in the Magic Eye Theater, where it ran from 1982 until 1986.