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.
Quite possibly the most-desired unbuilt concept in the Disney portfolio is Tony Baxter & Harper Goff’s iconic Discovery Bay expansion planned for Disneyland. This steampunk-infused land, to be located just beyond Big Thunder Mountain, would celebrate “an age of discovery and expansion” and feature attractions based on the works of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, as well as the 1977 film, The Island at the Top of the World. The project floundered when that film, seen as a jumping-off point, bombed at the box office. However, remnants of this one-of-a-kind land exist at other Disney Parks worldwide. Elements of can be found in the Verne-esque idealized future stylings of Disneyland Paris’ Discoveryland, while Tokyo DisneySea’s stunning Mysterious Island is a love letter to what Discovery Bay could have achieved. Figment, EPCOT’s signature purple dragon, and his cohort The Dreamfinder, also found their start as part of Discovery Bay.
For any fan of Journey into Imagination, I have recently stumbled upon a semi-new video of Imagination filmed close to its closing, in 1998, and for some reason it has stolen my heart.
Journey into Imagination is one of the luckier old attractions that manages to survive through footage from the 80s up to its closure, and I have helped spread Imagination to several friends by showing them these precious pieces footage…and that’s exactly how I stumbled upon this video. This is, and this is my opinion here, my FAVORITE video to show people who have never seen the ride Journey into Imagination. You can’t see every hair on Dreamfinder’s beard, or every scale on Figment, and YES, the audio is in Mono. However, the colors of the lighting, the vivid capturing some places I’ve never found footage that looks clean like the Literary fireworks room, the Arts room, and the Finale.
Anyway, it pains me to see this video having only 600 views, so my dearest Imagination buddies, please spread this video around! I think you guys will all enjoy it as much as I do! (PS. They have a horizons one as well. It’s a little jerkier, but it’s still pretty.)