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  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by askmike1
    The majority of the layout has changed. The turntable is where the queue is and everything else has changed. I think Planet7 posted a diagram of the layout somewhere here.
    The layout hasn't changed much, it's just been severely truncated. They cut about one-third of the ride out. I think I posted diagrams on the "WDW Did You Know?" thread, but I can repeat them here if anyone is interested.

    As to the reason it closed, the Michael Eisner rumor is highly likely, but I've also heard that Kodak wanted "something different" (as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for).

    There are a couple of other things as well that had to be strong contributing--if not overriding--factors. First, someone mentioned maintenance on the AA's. Yes, maintenance on any AA is an ongoing issue, and one of the reasons you see less and less of them all the time. But the big maintenance issue was with the "turntable", the mechanism that allowed you to "ride along" with Dreamfinder and Figment in the opening scene, where you first meet Dreamfinder. Though it was quite clever and provided for a unique and compelling experience, it was an engineering disaster. That disaster carried over to much of the rest of the ride. It also made operations unncessarily problematic. I've written about this at length--including diagrams--elsewhere, but again can repeat here if anyone's interested. I think it's a rather interesting story myself, but then I'm an engineering geek.

    The other reasons for the change are more obvious--they wanted the obligatory gift shop at the exit , and they wanted to move Image Works downstairs. I think the latter was due to ADA concerns or compliance, not insurance. The upstairs Image Works could accommodate wheelchairs with the elevator, but it was notoriously unreliable. It broke down frequently, leaving guests stuck for extended periods. It was hydraulically-driven (as opposed to riding on cables) and the "pump room" (located near the original exit) was unventilated. The hydraulic fluid would overheat and seize up the system. It seems to me that a simple fix would have just been to ventilate that room, but in my experience, Disney isn't real big on common sense.

    The bigger issue is that there was no reasonable way to evacuate disabled guests in the event of a fire. I was told in training that should a fire occur in Image Works, I was to (insert horrified scream here) put the guest in a supposedly "fireproof room". As I told my trainer, I'd sooner carry them on my back down the back stairs than do that! I suppose that could be where the "insurance" rumor came from. Perhaps Disney's insurers were as horrified by that plan as I was.

    The new Image Works and gift shop take up much of what was once occupied by the turntable and part of the queue and exit areas.

    I've heard that while much of the original Image Works existed for years, a lot of it has since been removed. I also doubt that many--if any--of the sets and backdrops still exist. There are a lot of "blank", black-curtained spaces in the ride, so it's possible that they just hung the curtains over original backdrops rather than go through the trouble and expense of demo, but it wouldn't amount to much. I suspect that, like so many other treasures, much of the original ride is in WDW's landfill now.
    G7

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  2. #32

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    Thanks for the info - - I remember reading a lot of your detailed information on the yahoo groups years ago. By any chance do you have any links handy?

    Regardless, Thanks!
    -Mike

  3. #33

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    Okay, here's my post from the DYK thread. I've written in much more detail (on other forums) about how the turntable worked and why it was so problematic. If there are any other Disney/engineering geeks like me who want the "full story", I'll dig up my old posts of that and post them as well.

    DYK, that in the original Journey Into Imagination, the scene where you first meet Dreamfinder and Figment, involved an elaborate carousel-like mechanism. It was officially known as "the turntable", but it bore more resemblance to the way Carousel of Progress works. The vehicles remained on the track at all times, while the "carousel" or "turntable" rode just above. Cantilevered sections formed walls on the sides of each "pie section". Unlike Carousel of Progress, whose walls are--well, just walls--Imagination's were actually closet-sized equipment rooms. Also unlike COP, the center section travelled along with the "pie sections", each with its own Dreamfinder/Figment scene (5 in all, operating simultaneously). Because the animatronics were along for the ride, the show equipment needed to drive them had to be too--thus the equipment rooms.

    Turning clockwise, the left wall of a "pie section" would appear first. The vehicles would follow in, and the right-hand wall would follow behind them. At the end of this 4-5 minute scene, the vehicles would leave in much the same way.



    Because the animatronics, projectors, and other equipment rode along, and because it had to be timed very precisely to allow "acceptance" of the vehicles, the turntable was surprisingly complex and trouble-prone. Many mechanical elements of the ride had to be re-designed or simply abandoned (including the moving walkway at unload) to solve the daunting timing issues.

    The whole mechanism rode on railroad wheels, on railroad tracks (below the floor), much as Carousel of Progress does.



    The turntable mechanism was so immense, it comprised approximately one-third of the entire ride space! With the (pttthpt!) "rehab" to the ride, the Turntable was eliminated, and most of the space it occupied is now used by the queue and Image Works.



    The drawing above shows a "speculated" view of the new layout, overlayed onto a drawing of the original layout.

    And in answer to your questions, yes, I'm a total geek sometimes. Yes, they're my drawings ("please excuse the crudity of the drawings; I didn't have time to draw them to scale or to paint them"). And no, I didn't do them specifically for this thread.
    G7

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  4. #34

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    Oops .. cross post .. Thanks for the info!
    -Mike

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiMike
    Oops .. cross post .. Thanks for the info!
    You're welcome. I'll have to dig up my original Yahoo posts for more details. It's a lot easier than retyping everything!

    Another member of the Yahoo groups (Dean) did a much better rendering of how the space was likely divided up after the rehab. I'll have to see if I can find it as well. I want to take both with me next time I go to Epcot, and see if I can tell how accurate they are.
    G7

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  6. #36

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    What did they ever do with the Dreamfinder animatronic?

  7. #37

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    I can't find the much better layout drawing that Dean did (I'll have to see if he still has it), but in searching for it, I ran across this, which I forgot that I'd done to illustrate the changes:

    http://planet7.org/disney/imaglayout/imaglayout.htm

    Please note that the page is a tad non-intuitive. The menu selections don't feature mouseovers nor does the pointer turn into a "hand" showing that it's clickable. But each selection under "Choose a View" is indeed clickable to show a different view.

    The problem with the "updated" view (same as in my prior post) is that the large gap between the "purple" (new Image Works and Gift Shop) area and "red" (new entrance/queue). Dean's drawing took that into account, closing the gap and possibly making some other small changes. The view of the original layout however is completely accurate.
    Last edited by Planet7; 06-10-2005 at 11:55 AM.
    G7

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  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by BackIntoYourSystem
    What did they ever do with the Dreamfinder animatronic?
    Actually, there were at least seven of them (five on the turntable, one at the "volcanic typewriter", one near Unload). There may have been others in the ride that I'm not remembering off the top of my head. I don't know specifically what happened to them, but animatronics are often re-used in other attractions (perhaps with a new "face") or put into storage. I don't think they usually junk those as they do set pieces, as they're quite expensive.
    G7

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  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiMike
    No kidding! I never noticed that, how easily is it seen? I never made it out.
    Very easy ... once you realize it's there, you can't miss it!

  10. #40

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    Planet7, thanks for all the technical info behind the de-imagineering of the Imagination ride. Interesting and sad all at the same time.

  11. #41

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    I've heard that while much of the original Image Works existed for years, a lot of it has since been removed.
    I saw pictures from earlier this year. It's all still up there for the most part.

  12. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by askmike1
    , I'm also the kind of person that likes George of the Jungle 2 and Muppets Wizard of Oz.

    -Michael
    How unfortunate for you... :o
    -"Enjoy the rest of your stay here at Disneyland, where all of your dreams come true...well except for two of them, short lines and cheap food."

  13. #43

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    Planet7, thanks for sharing all of your work. Very interesting!

  14. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974
    Planet7, thanks for all the technical info behind the de-imagineering of the Imagination ride. Interesting and sad all at the same time.
    yeah it is

    I'm glad to see this info I was really wondering what it was that was done to maket he ride so much shorter (looking at the videos)

    I hate to see rides cut back so much like that :\ too bad they didn't just leave it alone or find some new ways to maintain it better or something

  15. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jspider
    I'm glad to see this info I was really wondering what it was that was done to maket he ride so much shorter (looking at the videos)

    I hate to see rides cut back so much like that :\ too bad they didn't just leave it alone or find some new ways to maintain it better or something
    What's worse, is that they made very poor use of the space that they did have left. There are huge expanses of space in the new ride with absolutely nothing in them. It absolutely reeks of being done "on the cheap".

    I think the original could have been saved, with newer technologies that are available now. I think the biggest problem with the original, was it was just too ahead of its time. It pushed the limits of the technology, and those limits pushed back.

    When I have a bit more time, I'll explain in more detail what went wrong and why.
    G7

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