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Orange Bird Photo Hunt


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Surviving Pieces of Journey Into Imagination

...and Fresh Roasted Corn!

The original Journey Into Imagination ride was a quality, imaginative, creative, original, spectacular ride if I ever did see one. You wouldn't know it by looking at it's current state. The company killed of the main characters and eventually brought back Figment but Dreamfinder is still six feet under.

But pieces of the original ride still exist. Some of them in my home office. A few years back my ol' pal Hoot Gibson asked if I'd like pieces of the famous blimp!  His wife, a lot like mine, valued space over dusty old iconic treasures. I was thrilled.

Good old Dreamfinder flew his blimp with a red and gold control panel in front of his pilot seat and a glass-like dome above with binoculars attached.

At one time I had the original blue suit with original shoes, goggles, hat, and gloves and bow tie. Of course I would wear them around the house while playing with the control panel and fake binoculars. I wore them around my office at Disney a couple of times at the risk of being unprofessional. Now why can't I find the photos of this?? I don't know. Over the years these items sadly slipped through my fingers.  

Ok.  Possibly to coolest thing about this is what you see in the above.  That decorative cap is a jello mold.  Not just any jello mold.  Underneath there's a price tag from Disneyland! (Photo to come)  Who thought of this??  How did this come about?  I mean it does fit the style of the vehicle but did they say "I bet the west coast gift shops have a perfect jello molt that would look GREAT on this"?  A mystery.  Any early 80s W.E.D. people out there who helped build this thing? If so, drop me a line.  Hoot showed me this.  How rad is that?  By the way these pieces were originally given to Hoot by those determining the fate of the blimp.

Fresh Roasted Corn you ask?  This story is ten times cooler as told by Hoot himself on a new blog brought to us by none other than our favorite Horizons adventurers Hoot and Chief of Mesa Verde Times.  Their new blog tell the prequel to what you've just read, and the blog is called "Fresh Roasted Corn".  Check out photos of Chief popping out of the blimp as Figment once did.  Click here.


And if you can gag your way through what is Epcot's Mouse Gear store to look up on one of the west walls you'll see more of the blimp vehicle.


Related posts:

Walt's Wife Talks About EPCOT Center

EPCOT Construction from the Air

Love, Hate, and John Lasseter

HORIZONS the way you wish you knew it


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Reader Comments (11)

JII...the greatest attraction ever built (IMO). I miss the original soooo much! And now it appears Kodak just pulled their sponsorship of the current JIYI at Epcot. Things do not bode well for our little dragon pal.

Anyway, your pics are great! And the Jello mold is hysterical! But there would have been no way I'd have ever parted with that stuff! Obviously Hoot is not into JII as much as he is Horizons! I'd have loved to spend my day sitting amongst the sets with DreamFinder and Figment :D

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

were you the same person who sold horizons costumes on ebay?

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdisneyanaworld

Nope. But I remember that. The Dreamfinder costume I had was long before that and it was on loan for a work-related project. Months later I had to give it back. I've actually never sold something from a ride to anyone. I don't have many items and definitely not enough to part with any if it. It's rare for WDI to give pieces away and when they do they don't like to see it online for sale.

September 16, 2010 | Registered CommenterMitch

Mitch, one day I will visit you, and when I do, you must show me your stuff in person. lol cause I wanna see pictures of you dressed up.

September 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdisney obessor

HAHA! It's good to see that stuff again.

Don't get me wrong, Sarah, I LOVED JII every bit as much as Horizons. Mitch is my pal and I thought he'd get a kick out of having these props. I like to shower my friends with awesome gifts:)

Imagineering gave me these leftovers simply because I was the only one who asked for them before they went to the dumpster. "Don't let us see these on Ebay! Har har". Yeah, whatever.

When Hoot Jr was born he was the only baby on the planet who had a crib with a nice clear dome and binoculars overhead:)

Excellent post as always Mitch!

September 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHoot Gibson

Great post! I hope they bring Dream Finder back some day.

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDonnie

I remember years ago, Disney had actually put the entire blimp up for sale on Ebay. It was only up for a few days before they took it down. It was in a giant crate though and I think they were asking around 100K for it. I had unrealistic dreams of having it sitting on display in my family room lol. That is an amazing piece of history to own. From one vintage Epcot fanatic to another, thanks for posting!

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrava Centauri

No way, Brava Centauri. That's rad! I wonder if it was the same blimp.

September 22, 2010 | Registered CommenterAdmin

My grandparents were neighbors with one of the lead designers of EPCOT Center (Epcot in the today's version). His last name was Hoots, do you know who he is?

April 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBen Perkins

The other blog is gone now! How will we ever get to learn the story?

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

I was at EOCOT when it first opened and went through the "Dream Finder" ride. In the gift shop there was a model of the vehicle The Professor and Figment rode in. I asked if I could buy it and they sold it to me. My kids went crazy when it arrived at our home in California and I opened the shipping crate. Still hangs in my living room.

November 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLaurence Deutsch

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