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Orange Bird Photo Hunt

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« Disney Management Apathy / Hockey Analogy | Main | EYE CANDY: Balloons! »
Wednesday
Feb012012

Imaaaaaagination

Let’s take a look at Figment and long-lost Dreamfinder at their original EPCOT Center home.

We’ve recreated the track layout of the original Journey Into Imagination and compared it to the layout of the current attraction. You’ll notice it was originally much longer. And wait... Is the current load are on top of what used to be that grand turn-table show scene?? Hmm. For an overview of the Journey Into Imagination ride visit our friends at LOST EPCOT.


Photos

The following photos were submitted to us as part of our recent Photo Hunt (unless stated otherwise).

The beautiful, shiny, (and clean) glass pyramids. Notice the wonderful plant life. It’s as if it’s spilling into the pavilion from The Land next door. This photo is from Ryan R.

Shapes! EPCOT Center Future World was a wonderland of interesting shapes. The upward flowing waterfall is so imaginative. The next two photos are from Brett of WDW Fan Boys.

Nice matching socks, guys.

Dreamfinder and Figment

They were such a big hit together. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall in the meetings where they decided to get rid of them. 

Karate Kid, is that you? Look at those shirts. A Future World t-shirt? Fantastic.

Figment topiary.

These next two photos were from a different photo hunt. In preparation for a certain Epcot celebration Cast Members submitted old photos. These are from Gregory. Has there ever been such a unique meet-and-greet? Didn’t the duo seem so lifelike?

Leap Frog Fountains

As a kid I was MESMERIZED by these. I couldn’t believe water could act in such a way. I believe this was second thing I told my friends in California after returning from my first EPCOT Center trip. The very first thing was "we got to ride the ride inside the big ball from the commercials".

The next four photos are from Shaun Ortolano.

I love the lamp posts in the next photo. And the coloring in the photo is super pretty. This is from David of Futureprobe.

Dreamcatcher

As a kid I never knew there were five of these vehicles. In fact there were five identical Dreamcatcher scenes altogether. Each set of ride vehicles attached itself to a large turn table with one fifth of the table and one of the five show scenes visible. This way riders could view the 2+ minute scene without backing up ride vehicles behind them. It was a brilliant thing.

While working at Epcot I would occasionally find my way to the backside of the old turn table. It was clear the thing was welded in place once it was no longer used (starting in 1998). It was pointed out to me that the table slowly “screwed itself into the ground over the years”. I wish I had photos. I imagine the whole mechanism would have to be completely thrown out if they ever wanted to resurrect this scene again.

Thank you Katherine A. for this great close-up shot of the Dreamcatcher.

And Shaun Ortolano for this one.

You can read my little story of how I obtained a piece of the Dreamcatcher blimp here.

Shaun also sent in this beauty. The use of white set work and colored lights in the original attraction was so fresh and fanciful.

Merchandise

Here Figment appears in a gift shop display in the great CentoriumAnyone else miss the Centorium?? As a kid that was the ultimate in theme park gift shops in my opinion. And figment had a great presence there. Photos from Shaun.

 

Related posts:

Surviving Pieces of Journey Into Imagination
EPCOT Construction from the Air
EPCOT Center Construction Photos: Future World
Disneyland Meets EPCOT Center
Walt's Wife Talks About EPCOT Center
HORIZONS the way you wish you knew it.
THEN AND NOW: Epcot Future World [Part 1]
Daredevil Circus Spectacular



Reader Comments (13)

Some of the best pictures I've ever seen of me at work. I'd like to use some in my upcoming book about my years as Dreamfinder. How do I contact the owners? Ron Schneider (dreemfinder@yahoo.com)

February 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRon Schneider

Ron- It's an honor. I will email you their contact info and I'm sure they will be pleased to hear this.

February 1, 2012 | Registered CommenterMitch

Oh man, this is AWESOME. Thank you so much for posting. What wonderful nostalgia, this made my day. I so miss the old ride. BTW, I posted some shots of how the Image Works looks as of December 2010 here: http://s1004.photobucket.com/albums/af169/kmiller15211/Journey%20Into%20Imagination%20Image%20Works/. Being up there was amazing... I would've stayed there all day, reminiscing about chasing colored musical spots on the floor, painting with light, and playing with the pin beds. Sigh...

February 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKurt Miller

These photos really take me back, thanks. :)

February 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

But what about Science? Science... Science...

February 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames

Great article and thanks for the shoutout Mitch. And to comment on the same article as The Original Dreamfinder, it doesn't get much better!

I love photo flashbacks like this. In the 2nd photo of the Imagination Pavillion, what's was with the water back then? I'm sure everyone has a "pee" comment, so I won't bother.

February 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWDWFanBoyBrett

That Future World shirt you enjoy from those photos....it's waiting in the Designerland Wings.

February 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRichard

I've seen these photos hundreds of time but it tickles me to see them used in such a nostalgic way. Fantastic post! Glad to have contributed!

I wonder if I still have that Karate outfit. :)

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShaun

Kurt- WOW. I might have to borrow some of that for a future post ;). My photo like that disappeared, sadly. They were not nearly as good as yours.

Brett- Yeah I wondered about that water......... Anyone know why it looks like that?? Is it just the picture?

Richard- Ohh man. Your t-shirt designs are so great. Keep them coming.

Shaun- I'm so glad you contributed. I had a karate outfit like that (not as cool as yours) and went as the Karate Kid for at least two Halloweens. Never did learn karate.

February 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterMitch

Thank you for bringing back wonderful childhood memories with this post. I had the same Figment shirt as the kids in the first photo w/ Dreamfinder. The photos shared here are fantastic windows to the Epcot that was.

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

The current version of the Journey Into Imagination ride is easly, hands-down, the worst one in all four parks.

I never had the opportunity to ride the original; I'm so grateful to generous strangers on the other side of my screen for sharing their photos, videos, and memories. It makes me happy just to know it was there.

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

It must have been incredible to see the original Journey Into Imagination! I've only been able see the latest version. :( The turntable scene must have been fascinating. And to think in 1982 they used this type of ride-vehicle-synchronized show decades before Harry Potter's Forbidden Journey hit the scene, (which uses synchronized projection screens on turntables). It really makes one wonder how the decision was made to cart all this wonderful stuff to the landfill.

Ron, the fullness of your beard must have been been quite a struggle! I notice that in some pics I can see more of your face. Did they make adjustments to your costume over the years to make it more manageable??

February 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOmnispace

Mitch -- I am going forward with the publishing of my memoir and want to use the picture of myself with the young man identified as 'Gregory'. Can you please email me the information so that I might get the necessary clearance? Many thanks! Ron Schneider

April 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRon Schneider

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