"One little spark of inspiration..."
The Imagiantion pavilion (1982-present) was hosted by Kodak from its opening to 2010. It was called the "Journey into Imagination" pavilion from 1982-1998, and is currently called the "Imagination!" pavilion since 1999.
The principle attraction, Journey into Imagination opened on March 5, 1983 and closed in 1998. It was redone into Journey into Your Imagination, which lasted from October 1999 to October 2001. The attraction was redone once again as Journey into Imagination with Figment, which opened on June 1, 2002, and is the current version of the ride.
The Imagination building is highlighted by two glass pyramids. In 1999, red and orange paint was added to the lower parts of the building, which were originally purple. Surrounding the building are the leap-frog fountains and the reverse waterfall. A Figment topiary used to spin on a turn-table in the area's courtyard called the Magic Garden.
Journey Into Imagination was a slow moving 14-minute omnimover trip hosted by Dreamfinder and Figment through their imagination. At the beginning of the ride Figment is created out of the Dreamcatcher. From there Dreamfinder and Figment explore different areas of imagination after taking you to the Dreamport. The tune "One Little Spark" played throughout the ride. It closed in 1998 and reopened in 1999 as Journey Into Your Imagination (a whole different ride).
After taking you to the Dreamport, you begin to explore four different areas of the imagination. The first is the artistic/painting area. The second is the nightmare/book area. The third is the show-biz/acting area. The final area is the science area where time-lapse video screens display crystals forming, seeds germinating, and video of the processes being reversed. After exploring the four areas, you are taken to the grand finale where Figment is in the center of a large room. Surrounding Figment are video screens of him being many different things in his imagination: scientist, weight lifter, Alpine mountain climber, top hat/cane dancer, sea captain, pirate in a treasure chest, superhero, and cowboy. Upon exiting this room, Dreamfinder would take your picture, which you would then see.
After leaving Journey Into Imagination you could enter Image Works. Image Works was in the upper area of the pavilion allowing guests an outside view through the glass pyramid. It offered guests activities that they could test their imaginations with. It included:
Image Works closed in 1998 and reopened in 1999 as the Kodak What If Labs. The whole upstairs area that housed the original Image Works is now closed.
The newer Image Works - The Kodak What If Labs is located at the ride exit. The What If Labs have less hands-on features (such as the pin-screens) and more camera kiosks. A version of Stepping Tones returned in the newer version with pictures of various instruments, animals, and fireworks on each pad. In 2007 or early 2008, the newer Stepping Tones were redone to feature much brighter lights with only instruments on the pads. Pictures of babies playing each instrument are now displayed on the wall. In 2002, a new version of Electronic Philarmagic was introduced with Figment playing the different instruments.
The original Imagination shop was the Kodak Cameras & Film shop located near the theater. It sold a vast assortment of Figment merchandise, and of course cameras and film. The camera shop forever closed around 1999. The new shop opened in 2001 as an extension of the Kodak What If Labs.
From Epcot's early days to 1998, a Dreamfinder ventriloquist would walk around the area, entertaining guests with his Figment puppet. When Journey into Imagination with Figment opened in 2002, a full-costumed Figment character was introduced for meet 'n' greets. Unfortunately, he has been discontinued.
The Magic Eye Theater is the 3-D theater situated the the left of the main pavilion entrance. It has housed three shows. The shows are following:
Magic Journeys was the first 3-D movie held in Mage Eye Theater. Magic Journeys follows a child exploring his imagination. At one point, the child's toys begin to grow until they become a living circus. The song "Magic Journeys" was also played during the show.
Magic Journeys closed and was moved to Magic Kingdom in 1986, but has since closed from Magic Kingdom and now is completely gone. Preceding Magic Journeys was a preshow featuring the song "Makin' Memories" (a song about taking pictures and sharing memories).
SPOILER WARNING: The Captain EO pictures on the bottom half of the Magic Eye Theater section may spoil the show if you are planning to see the re-released Captain EO on a upcoming trip.
Captain EO replaced Magic Journeys in 1986. Captain EO, the second 3-D movie at the Magic Eye Theater, starred Michael Jackson as the title character. It was a space fantasy musical involving some aliens and an evil leader.
It was executive produced by George Lucas and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Rusty Lemorande produced. All three worked on the screenplay, which was based on a story by Walt Disney Imagineering. It also starred Anjelica Huston and Dick Shawn. Aside from starring in the film, Jackson also wrote the songs and was in charge of the musical direction. The choreography was done by Jackson and Jeffrey Hornaday. The songs heard in the show were "We Are Here to Change the World" and "Another Part of Me." The musical score was done by James Horner. The show's production company was called Three DDD Productions, Inc.
Special theater effects included fiber optics, fog, and lasers, set to the sequences on screen. The show and effects had a final budget of $17 million, after initially being only $11 million. Its running time was 17 minutes. The original 3-D glasses were purple. Captain EO closed in 1994 when Honey, I Shrunk the Audience became the new 3-D film.
Following the wake of Michael Jackson's death in June 2009, Captain EO reopened on July 2, 2010.
Honey, I Shrunk the Audience was a 3-D show with characters from the movies Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Honey, I Blew Up the Kid. Rick Moranis reprises his role from the movies as Professor Wayne Szalinski. The theater housing the show was referred to as the Imagination Institute instead of the Magic Eye Theater. The original preshow for Honey, I Shrunk the Audience featured the Cyndi Lauper song "True Colors," but later changed to a new preshow without the song. The 3-D glasses were yellow.
Honey, I Shrunk the Audience closed in May 2010 to make way for Captain EO's return. It is planned to return but has no date set.
Journey into Your Imagination opened in October 1999 and closed in October 2001. This ride version did not star Figment nor the Dreamfinder and was hosted by Dr. Nigel Channing from the Imagination Institute. Guests went through different departments: color, dimension, gravity, illusion, and sound. Instead of using Omnimover ride technology this ride used cars that had to be stopped to load and unload.
On June 1, 2002 Journey into Imagination with Figment opened, which was a much needed make over to Journey into Your Imagination. This version brought Figment back but still left the Dreamfinder out. Guests are still part of the Imagination Institute's open house, but are now invited to explore the five senses. Some of the areas are still similar to Journey into Your Imagination. There are more references to older Disney movies, such as "Flubber" or "The Absent Minded Professor", "Merlin Jones", and "The Computer Who Wore Tennis Shoes". Medfield College, and names like Merlin Jones, Dean Higgins, and Dexter Riley can be seen or heard in the queue or the ride. Also there is one reference to the Dreamfinder on a door near the beginning of the ride. It has the name plate 'Dean Finder'. Also the tune "One Little Spark" returned with new lyrics.
Much speculation about a possible fourth version of the ride has been going on since the opening of the third version in 2002. Many rumors have been floating around that the Dreamfinder might also return for this fourth version. Supporting these rumors have been numerous items for sale featuring the Dreamfinder (mostly pins). However, there is currently no official status on a Journey into Imagination 4.