Definitions

imagination

Imagination!

Imagination! (formerly The Journey Into Imagination pavilion) is the name of a pavilion that sits on the western side of "Future World", one of two themed areas of Epcot, a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida USA. It holds various imagination-based attractions. It is commonly referred to as The Imagination Institute (a fictional institute that is featured in some of the attractions) or by the name of one of the attractions that it holds. The pavilion has been sponsored by the Eastman Kodak company since it opened with the park in 1982.

Attraction history

While the pavilion itself has technically existed since 1982, it has so far gone through three significant phases. The original started out as an area in which the 3-D film Magic Journeys was played with a song by the same name by the Sherman Brothers. The Makin' Memories slide presentation, a history of photography was the pre-show presentation. When Journey Into Imagination opened a year later, the area was dubbed The Journey Into Imagination Pavilion. From 1983 to 1986 it held Journey Into Imagination, the (upstairs) ImageWorks, and Magic Journeys. In 1986, however, Magic Journeys was replaced by Captain EO, a more advanced 3-D film created by George Lucas and starring Michael Jackson as the title character. In 1994, Captain EO was replaced by Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, starring Rick Moranis as Professor Wayne Szalinski and Eric Idle as the Imagination Institute chairman, Dr. Nigel Channing. The pavilion was renamed Imagination! in 1999, (when the new ride opened) after the alternative title of the Dreamfinder's song. The actual name of the song however, is "One Little Spark" (which was also a Sherman Brothers creation) and is the Imagineers unofficial theme song, although some believe the title to be the former.

In 1997, Fujifilm, (Kodak's biggest rival at the time) came to Disney with an offer: make Journey into Imagination into a thrill ride that had nothing to do with imagination. Kodak's sponsorship contract was almost up, and Fujifilm knew that when the contract ran out, Disney would need someone to sponsor the building. Kodak, however, wished to stay with Disney and continue the contract. Kodak realized that in order to compete with Fujifilm, they too must come up with a new attraction to go into the building. Their proposal was to make Journey Into Imagination, already an E-Ticket attraction, into something more scientific. The ride would also be shorter and have cheaper special effects. At the time, Journey Into Imagination was the most expensive ride in Epcot to keep running, despite the fact that it got more visitors in a day than Epcot's flagship ride Spaceship Earth. The guests made it all worthwhile for Disney to keep it running, but Disney still wasn't satisfied with it. It was the most technologically advanced dark ride in history. A roller coaster would mean much more money to build and keep running, and they feared it wouldn't be nearly as popular as Journey Into Imagination. Therefore, by the end of 1997, Disney accepted Kodak's idea.

In 1998, the original Journey Into Imagination went down for a rehab. During this rehab, the upstairs ImageWorks was closed and the building's white and blue painting exterior was replaced with different colors, navy blue being primary. The original glass sign was replaced by one made of wood and metal. The leap frog fountains were reduced in size to accommodate the new gift shop at the exit of the new Journey Into Imagination. Despite the fact that the pavilion already had a gift shop right next to the 3-D film playing at the time, Disney felt that this one would be more successful. To everyone's surprise, the glass pyramids stayed despite the fact that the upstairs ImageWorks was closed, to be replaced by the downstairs ImageWorks.

The attraction opened in 1999, just in time for the Millennium Celebration. Fans went on the ride with eager hearts, but were dismayed to find that the Dreamfinder, a popular character from the previous ride, was gone. Furthermore, Figment, another popular character, only made cameo appearances until his short dialogue at the end of the ride. They felt that Disney tried too hard to make it like The Imagination Institute and the ride was just a lame tie-in with Honey, I Shrunk The Audience. Some fans became even more outraged when they saw the new downstairs Image Works which focused on visual imagination was really just an ad for Kodak.

Fans decided to take action and boycotted the new imagination ride and Kodak Film. This campaign proved better than the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride protest, mainly because of pressure from Kodak. By the end of 2001, Disney closed the ride and decided to replace it with something more kid-friendly, just in time for the 100 Years of Magic Celebration, bringing Figment back into a more prominent role. In the summer of 2006, the finale of a Kim Possible interactive activity was set up temporarily in the upstairs ImageWorks as a test, themed as Dr. Drakken's base, with a station in World Showcase loaning out Kimunicators for interactive activities.

Current attractions and services

Former attractions and services

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