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  1. #1

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    Journey Into Imagination as a metaphor for the changing state of Imagineering

    It seems to me that the three versions of the ride could be used to represent three eras in Imagineering: the creatives (relatively) in control as EPCOT was being designed, the money people seizing creative control in the late 90’s, and the current situation, with money people still in control, but some degree of hope amongst the creatives.


    (Of course, this is an over-simplified quickie synopsis of the goings on at WDI )

    I watched videos of this attraction on YouTube and did some reading about it. Those who have first-hand experience – please let me know if I got anything wrong about it . Unfortnately, I will never get to ride the original, boo-hoo!

    Also, apologies if any of this kind of thing has been discussed before. Having never been to WDW I generally stick to the DL forum.




    The original attraction had the lofty goal of actually taking you into the world of imagination.

    Humanity is so full of imagination that Dreamfinder’s machine is sucking ideas right out of the air.

    The emphasis is on the arts – visual art, literature and performing arts - but also exploring the role of imagination in scientific discovery.

    Dreamfinder and Figment seem free to do as they wish in this world. (The only conflict I noticed was Figment trying to close the books with the scary words in them, as described on Wikipedia) perhaps representing an era when creative, original ideas had less opposition at WED/WDI.



    The second version’s goal is to take you into a science lab that is studying imagination, not imagination itself.

    (I couldn’t find any videos of this version, but I would like to see one.)

    The creative arts are no longer the focus of the ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    The ride began with guests going through the scanner and saying that the riders have no imagination.


    You don’t have any imagination until Disney gives it to you, via their well-ordered scientific experiments. (Management viewing the audience as not having enough imagination to understand or appreciate certain concepts, etc.)



    The third and current version brings Figment back and has him invade the stodgy science lab.

    The new version also introduces conflict of a sort. Figment’s freewheeling activities (Imagineering) bring constant sniping from the voice of authority, Dr. Nigel Channing (Management). Channing’s goal is getting the unruly creature under control; Figment’s goal is winning over the restrictive scientist.

    Although Figment – representing a free imagination – is our protagonist, he is still seen as pesky, disruptive and a little dangerous.

    Experiencing the world with your imagination and not just your senses is presented as something of a lesson, suggesting that people do not generally do that (possibly true, but different from the abundance of imagination observed in the original).

    The new version still makes little reference to the arts, other than some art supplies (I think) seen in Figment’s home.

    (Also wanted to add that the current version seems a lot more repetitive than the original. Dr. Channing introduces an experiment, Figment messes with it…Dr. Channing introduces an experiment, Figment messes with it…Dr. Channing introduces an experiment…and so on. And, of course, it’s another example of the now-overused “and then something suddenly went wrong” formula originated by Star Tours. Still looks like something I might ride, though.)
    Last edited by animagusurreal; 05-10-2008 at 05:16 PM.
    "Happy Working Song" parody for DCA remodel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-TYESfNTP8&feature=plcp

    Retro Rant Review of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II" (comedy review of direct-to-video
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    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../1/q1j7FU8QXu0
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../0/sasNTMDRBLU

    Retro Rant Review of "Home on the Range" (comedy review of Disney movie):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7mC-...feature=relmfu
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoUie...feature=relmfu
    Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Vea...feature=relmfu


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  2. #2

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    Re: Journey Into Imagination as a metaphor for the changing state of Imagineering

    Great Post something to get the blood flowing. And thinking about this kind of thing. Although we've heard rumors of the ride returning to its original, or somewhat original state with Tony Baxter coming back on board. Maybe if this is kind of a metaphor that signals a rennisance in Imagineering.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Journey Into Imagination as a metaphor for the changing state of Imagineering

    The original ride DID have imagination. The current ride shows a lack of it. Sadly, Disney used to be about sparking the imagination in kids and adults. The old version was removed to save money. The current version does not entertain or spark imagination. It is not even fun.

    I don't believe that the original ride will ever come back.
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    Re: Journey Into Imagination as a metaphor for the changing state of Imagineering

    The old version was also removed due to a contract agreement between Disney and Kodak that the ride would be changed by the year 2000. Making it cheaper to run was sadly something that Kodak wanted more than anything else in the change.
    I like The Happiest Millionaire. What's wrong with that?

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    Re: Journey Into Imagination as a metaphor for the changing state of Imagineering

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    I don't believe that the original ride will ever come back.
    It can't because the physical building itself has been modified so much. However they could at least bring back Dreamfinder and some good sense of imagination to the ride.
    I like The Happiest Millionaire. What's wrong with that?

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    Re: Journey Into Imagination as a metaphor for the changing state of Imagineering

    Quote Originally Posted by Angie_Duke View Post
    It can't because the physical building itself has been modified so much. However they could at least bring back Dreamfinder and some good sense of imagination to the ride.
    Now hold on, the old track bed is still there, along with the escalators, stairs, and elevator to the old image works. Roughly half of the old waiting still exists with a lot of its ceiling still there. The biggest problem would arise with trying to recreate the giant "Flight to Imagination" turntable, as that was the biggest headache in the original version. It would still be the biggest challenge, should they decide to increase the length back to what it once was, as WDI couldn't bring back the old turntable and would have to start from scratch. After that the biggest problem was the continuous moving ride vehicles and their varying speeds.

    Of course, with today's technology and the challenges WDI deals with now, I'm sure creating a new turntable would be rather easy (compared to other challenges like Mr. Potato head, Yeti, etc.). And with the ride vehicles, once again I don't think that it would be that much of a challenge anymore for WDI.

    I find it hard to believe that the original ride would come back but, you never say never, especially with WDI. I wouldn't be surprise though, to find Figment back with his beloved Dreamfinder and Dr. Channing (with the rest of the institute) given the boot. But then again, what do I know?
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    Re: Journey Into Imagination as a metaphor for the changing state of Imagineering

    the ride is just too darned short in my book and I'm not really understanding why HISTA has FP and Imagination doesn't

    seems like it should be the other way around what with FP actually being able to cycle a seperate line into an attraction and FP implimentation in shows is kinda confusing (and honestly it seems like most 3D films would only need some sort of lounge area outside of busy seasons

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    Re: Journey Into Imagination as a metaphor for the changing state of Imagineering

    Quote Originally Posted by Jspider View Post
    the ride is just too darned short in my book and I'm not really understanding why HISTA has FP and Imagination doesn't

    seems like it should be the other way around what with FP actually being able to cycle a seperate line into an attraction and FP implimentation in shows is kinda confusing (and honestly it seems like most 3D films would only need some sort of lounge area outside of busy seasons
    You just opened a can o' worms with the FP statement.

    All I'll say is that no part of the Imagination! pavilon needs/should have FP. HISTA is a large capacity theater with a not-so-popular show (even if it was popular it wouldn't need FP); JII is an omnimover hybrid; and ImageWorks is a self-paced post show.
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    Re: Journey Into Imagination as a metaphor for the changing state of Imagineering

    Quote Originally Posted by Jspider View Post
    the ride is just too darned short in my book and I'm not really understanding why HISTA has FP and Imagination doesn't
    Because Journey Into Your Imagination doesn't need FastPass. It's a literal walk-on. I've never had to wait more than 5 minutes (usually less) for the next set of ride vehicles to come along to load.

  10. #10

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    Re: Journey Into Imagination as a metaphor for the changing state of Imagineering

    Quote Originally Posted by Angie_Duke View Post
    The old version was also removed due to a contract agreement between Disney and Kodak that the ride would be changed by the year 2000. Making it cheaper to run was sadly something that Kodak wanted more than anything else in the change.

    According to David Koenig's "Realityland", there was also a little trickery by Disney to get rid of the attraction:

    Quote Originally Posted by Realityland
    Year in and year out, the attraction had been the park's number two draw, second only to Spaceship Earth. Visitors typically entered the Imagination pavillion first by riding Journey into Imagination, exited into the ImageWorks play area, and finally ended up in the 3D theater. With the opening of Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, new management realized it now had a weapon to kill off Figment and Dreamfinder. They switched the main queue line in front of the pavillion so that it instead led to the 3D theater. Immediately, ridership at Journey into Imagination plummeted. Overnight, the ride fell from the park's number two attraction to to number eight. Executives could then use charts and graphs to prove to Kodak that the public had lost interest in the ride...The replacement, Journey into Your Imagination, eliminated Dreamfinder, reduced Figment to a cameo, and replaced the rich imagery, scenery and storytelling of its predecessor with simplistic decorations, cheap optical tricks and smart aleck humor...they also made the ride signifigantly shorter. Audiences hates it. Rides could not figure out what happened to Figment.

    Was that promise to Kodak to put in something new before or after they pulled the queue-switching trick?

    Also, in an old article I saw by Jim Hill, he mentioned the push to get the ride restored by the Pixar folks, but claimed it would be a large expenditure for "Disney geeks" with little appeal to "everyone else." (He also lumped it in with the "symbolic move" to get WDI's name restored to WED) However, if it once was the second most popular ride in EPCOT, second only the ride housed in (what I assume is) the largest and most noticable structure in the park, then it sounds like it did have broad public appeal. (Of course, that was over a decade ago, but I don't see why a technically updated version couldn't appeal today.)

    And, regarding the current version:

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster
    Because Journey Into Your Imagination doesn't need FastPass. It's a literal walk-on. I've never had to wait more than 5 minutes (usually less) for the next set of ride vehicles to come along to load.
    According to Koenig, audiences hated the second version (and apparently they must have, if Disney updated again just three years later). If the above quote is true, sounds like they're also not exactly wild about the current version, either.
    Last edited by animagusurreal; 05-11-2008 at 03:25 PM.
    "Happy Working Song" parody for DCA remodel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-TYESfNTP8&feature=plcp

    Retro Rant Review of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II" (comedy review of direct-to-video
    Disney sequel):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../1/q1j7FU8QXu0
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../0/sasNTMDRBLU

    Retro Rant Review of "Home on the Range" (comedy review of Disney movie):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7mC-...feature=relmfu
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoUie...feature=relmfu
    Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Vea...feature=relmfu


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    Pratfall the albatross superheroine visits the Carthay Circle Theatre.

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    Re: Journey Into Imagination as a metaphor for the changing state of Imagineering

    Quote Originally Posted by animagusurreal View Post
    And, regarding the current versiom:



    According to Koenig, audiences hated the second version (and apparently they must have, if Disney updated again just three years later). If the above quote is true, sounds like they're also not exactly wild about the current version, either.
    The 2nd version was absolutely horrific. I rode it once and when it ended I loudly proclaimed, "Well that SUCKED!" Never went on that version again. They finally wisened up a little and brought back Figment for the current version but it's still a terrible ride for the most part. As much as I adore Eric Idle, I absolutely HATE his Nigel Channing character. And yes that quote is exactly true, even the general public doesn't like the current version, which is why it's always a literal walk-on. The original always had long lines.

  12. #12

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    Re: Journey Into Imagination as a metaphor for the changing state of Imagineering

    The title of this thread says it all. Talk about creative!
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  13. #13

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    Re: Journey Into Imagination as a metaphor for the changing state of Imagineering

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post

    I don't believe that the original ride will ever come back.
    You're quite right, the original ride will never be back. They sold a lot of the old props on ebay around the time of the original renovation, including one of the vehicles that Dreamfinder used to ride.

    My hope (along with a lot of yours) is that it will be renovated again. This stems from an observation I made in MouseWorks WDW last fall. One of the original "idea bags" from Dremfinder's vehicle was used as theming around the top of the store, I believe, since the original ride closed. But when I was there most recently, the "idea bag" was gone. Will it be used in a future version of the ride as a type of tribute to the original ride? Will Dreamfinder return and take revenge on Dr. Channing by sucking him into the "idea bag?" Only time will tell.
    As far as the building being seriously renovated during the last remodel... I realize that the inside of the ride was severely marred. I may be wrong here, but it seems to me that the ride vehicles follow the same track that the original ride did.

    Also, I disagree that the new ride doesn't encourage people to imagine at all. The only thing that keeps me entertained on the new Imagination ride is imagining I'm on the original Imagination ride.

  14. #14

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    Re: Journey Into Imagination as a metaphor for the changing state of Imagineering

    Quote Originally Posted by Chickles View Post
    As far as the building being seriously renovated during the last remodel... I realize that the inside of the ride was severely marred. I may be wrong here, but it seems to me that the ride vehicles follow the same track that the original ride did.
    Correct! The only new track segment is at the current exit station to where you load. The current ride I believe is 60% of the original's length.

    I highly suggest everyone checking out Martin Smith's tributes to the Imagination pavilion. They will tell you pretty much anything and everything about the pavilion that you wanted to know.
    - Horizonsfan

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    Re: Journey Into Imagination as a metaphor for the changing state of Imagineering

    I miss the old blue and purple color scheme of the original queue area.

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