It’s hard to not love Figment. He’s adorable. He’s funny. He’s cunning. He’s a dragon. He’s purple. And sometimes he even wears a little sweater.
Even better than Figment was the original Journey into Imagination. The whole opening scene was one of my favorite parts of a ride as a child. All of the blimps and strange plans and floating bikes really got my imagination going.
Before watching a video of the ride on YouTube, I didn’t remember much about the ride except for that opening sequence and the HUGE blimp/vacuum cleaner that the Dreamfinder drives. Everything else was a blur of over stimuli for my imagination: imagination overload if you will.
I remember there was a lot of color, funky props and an awesome synthesized soundtrack that was very catchy.
It really did serve it’s purpose too. Riding Journey into Imagination always got my imagination running wild. Actually, most of EPCOT’s Future World did this for me in the mid ’90s.
The ride went through room after room after room of unfinished art projects or literature. Everything was designed to make you think; to let your imagination take over and run the show.
There was even a laser light show conducted by the Dreamfinder himself which rivals Illuminations in the World Showcase.
Some of the best parts of the attraction weren’t even in the ride itself. For a 8-year-old boy, the entire section after the ride was like Heaven. There were so many games to play and things to make and videos to be in that I never ended up doing them all. There simply wasn’t any time. I could have spent the entire day in the after-ride ImageWorks area.
Another great part of the ride were the jumping fountains outside. I could sit there and watch them for hours as a child. I always waited for one of the rockets of water to fall short or miss its mark but it never did: amazing. Without knowing it, Disney was showing me how wonderful physics can be.
The line for the ride was straight out of Las Vegas. There were so many colors and neon lights that even the most eccentric person would blush.
You know the rest of the story. It was refurbished into an abomination of a ride title Journey into YOUR Imagination. Well, apparently MY imagination sucks. The only good thing going for it was Eric Idle (“Bring out yer dead”). For once Disney listened!
After thousands (millions?) of complaints about the new ride, they went back and made some changes, most notably adding our friend Figment back into the ride and changing the name to Journey into Imagination with Figment. The ride is still inferior to the original ride. It stinks, literally…like burnt coffee.
I suppose the best we can do for now is take solace in the fact that Figment is back. He is still lovable. He is still a dragon (or maybe an alligator with wings). And he is definitely still purple.
I apologize for the poor quality in the video. It’s the best one I could find that encompassed the entire ride. Imaaaaaaaaaaginaaaaaaaaation.