I've been on all 3 rides and the original is by far the best. Before made the dreadded "Imagination Institute", the pavillion was painted in beautiful shades of blue and purple. The queue was enormous... light and airy as natural light from the glass pyramids was able to shine through. The ceiling was decorated with paintings of scenes from the attraction. Dreamfinder was just so original and whimsical. He reminded me of a red-haired Santa Claus. And figment in his initial incarnation was like a wide-eyed, curious child. Now he's kinda like Bugs Bunny in a purple dragon suit. As much as I adore Eric Idle (I am a HUGE Monty Python fan), his character of Dr Nigel Channing needs to just... go away.
And I would give almost anything to see the old Dream Worls upstairs opened again. The current one is actually where part of the original ride queue was. The elevator and stairs to the old Dream Works are still there. It makes me sad every time I see them. I found out much of the original playground up there is still intact too... just waiting to be put back into use again. Currently the space is used for cast member training and manager meetings. The reason the area closed is because Disney didn't want to pay the insurance (cheapskates). Makes me so mad because I could spend a whole day playing up there. It was so creative and original. I miss the rainbow tunnel thing.
And then there were the meet & greets with Dreamfinder and Figment. It was a total experience because Dreamfinder would really make the kids think and use their imaginations. He'd approach a child and say something like, "Now what are you?" The ne Figment walkaround character is cute... better than I expected Disney culd pull off. But to me he will always be that little squirt Dreamfinder always carried around with him.
When they took Figment out of the attraction, Disney received MILLIONS of complaints. Most any attraction has ever received. Mikey the Grinch even said "Figment has gone to Figment Heaven." Nice. I'm glad he's back, but now we need his friend Dreamfinder back too. It's just not the same with one and not the other. I think this attraction could be saved if Disney is willing to really put some effort and money into it and bring back the glory days of the pavillion. Alot of the old sets are just hidden behind black curtains and I'm sure new sets could be rebuilt from photos of the old ones that did get destroyed. Come on Disney... I know you can do it!