imagination-pavilion

“Ron Schnieder (the original "friend” of Dreamfinder) told us how he was walking into Epcot about two weeks before the park opened - preparing to film something for the ride, I believe - and came across a patch of wet cement. Unable to resist, he found a stick and scratched out “FIGMENT” with a backwards E. He later told everyone that was where he and Figment first met.“

"Took a fair amount of searching, since it’s hidden behind/inside a partition pretty much backstage, though just barely. If you go looking for it yourself, follow the path between the Imagination Pavilion and The Land, and hope the wooden gate is open!”

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Remembering the original “Image Works” at Epcot’s Imagination Pavilion. 

From 1983-1998 you could visit a magical place in Epcot’s Imagination Pavilion called the “Image Works” Yes, I know there is currently “Imageworks: The What If Labs” in the Imagination Pavilion, but it is not the original and doesn’t even come close to being as amazing as its predecessor. The original was located at the top level of the pavilion allowing guests an outside view through the glass pyramid. The beautifully designed spiral staircase and glass elevator which took you to the “Image Works” is still there and can be seen in the current Imagination store.At the top of this staircase/elevator you would enter the “Image Works”, a place where guests could test their imaginations. At the heart of this creative playground was the Rainbow Corridor/Sensor Maze, a colorful tunnel of neon that changed colors as you walked through. The “Image Works” also included: Figment’s Coloring Book, Magic Palettes, Light Writers, Stepping Tones, Pin Screens, Bubble Music, Dreamfinder’s School of Drama, Giant Kaleidoscopes, Image Warp, Lumia and Electronic Philharmonic. The “Image Works” closed on October 10, 1998. The new “Imageworks: The What If Labs” opened on October 1, 1999, in the new downstairs location. Sadly, the whole upstairs area that housed the original “Image Works” is now closed. Check out the awesome video posted here for a look at the sad current state of the “Image Works” next to footage from back in the day.

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Second floor of the Journey into Imagination building

So we will be doing a full review of the Undiscovered Future World Tour soon but we wanted to just post these for everyone to see. They’ve been heavily watermarked and please do not repost them on tumblr or any other social media site.

Now technically guests are no longer taken up there as part of the tour. However our tour guide, who shall remain nameless, was extremely generous and took us up there. (We think probably because we were a very small group, just us three sisters and another couple, and all were obvious EPCOT nerds. Plus our guide had worked at the pavilion for a long time and had obvious love for it that we shared.)

Just a few things our guide let us know about the pavilion: 

  • We weren’t allowed to go into the exhibits area as that is not “show ready” in any form. It’s mostly used for storage but we could still see some of the original ImageWorks exhibits set up.
  • The other reason guests are generally no longer taken up there is because there are structural issues. Apparently a manager fell through the floor while walking around up there recently.
  • As of this time there are no plans to make any changes to the pavilion. According to our guide no changes can take place unless there is a dedicated “partner” for the pavilion. 
  • Our guide also let us know that Disney won’t be able to put Dreamfinder back in the ride until they can buy him back from Kodak. Disney bought Figment back a few years ago but Kodak still owns the rights to Dreamfinder. Our guide did say that there are many imagineers who do want to get Dreamfinder back though so maybe one day it’ll happen. (I think it’s even more likely given that Kodak is allowing for Dreamfinder’s use in the Figment comic.)