Today, we’ll wrap up our Week Of Imagination! with the most recent story to come out of the Imagination pavilion, Disney Kingdoms: Figment 2. This is the first sequel to Marvel’s line of comic based on Disney Parks attractions and picks up the story of Dreamfinder and Figment right where the previous series had left off. The story proves to be an appropriate wrap up as it contains the creative elements of each era of the Imagination! Pavilion. So, let’s once again go on a journey with our two guides through Imagination as we discover more about their world.
Legacy Of Imagination!
The first Figment series, covered inmy review last week, gave us an updated origin for Dreamfinder and the titular purple dragon. As excited as I was to see a new version of this duo, Figment 2 took the biggest question about them: has the Dreamfinder become outdated?
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Long before FastPass lines, Soarin’, or TestTrack were in place, lines used to pour out of the Journey Into Imagination pavilion. The pavilion housed 3 distinct attractions that were incredibly popular through the 80s and mid-90s. Over the course of the 90s, the pavilion has taken on a radical shift and its once robust popularity has wained. Sadly, what lead to this unfortunate downturn highlights one of the biggest issues of Epcot’s model. Join me as we rush to the first pavilion on my childhood visits, Imagination!
Anything That Sparks The Imagination!
Walt Disney’s original idea for EPCOT was born out of his work on the World’s Fair. After his passing, the remaining project ended up finding itself back to those roots. Much of the park was to be built around sponsored attractions. When film giant Kodak had come on board later in the planning stages, the result was the Journey Into Imagination pavilion.
Continue reading “Finding Future World – Imagination! – Week of Imagination!”
While the changes to the Journey Into Imagination ride have had their share of controversy, the changes allowed Imagineers to sneak in some fun references to some of the more inventive characters from Disney’s live action films. In fact, with the queue themed to match the Imagination Institute introduced in the Magic Eye Theater year earlier, many of these nods are given before ever boarding the ride. Today, we continue our Week of Imagination!, and discuss some of the Disney innovators referenced in the Imagination! Pavilion.
Inventors of the Imagination Institute!
Once you walk into the queue for Journey Into Imagination, you’re surrounded by the colorful styling of the Imagination Institute. There are a few items in cases near the entrance but once you’re past the reception desk, the focus becomes about Dr. Nigel Channing and his fellow scientists. We’ll start with the gentleman featured in the giant portraits and move on to those a bit more hidden.
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When starting a new line of comics about Disney Parks attractions, Marvel took a chance starting with an attraction that was never built. But, as I discussed in my review, this allowed them to create unique characters and introduce a new world to audiences. A whole new set of challenges can come with taking beloved characters and translating them into a new medium. Disney Kingdoms decided to face that challenge with a story inspired by Epcot’s beloved mascot, Figment.
One Little Spark Of Inspiration
By the time the first issue of Figment hit shelves, the playful dragon had been entertaining audiences in Epcot for over 30 years. His companion in the Disney Kingdoms series, however, had been removed from the pavilion in 1998. But before that the Dreamfinder was actually the star and our real guide as we took a Journey into Imagination!
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EPCOT Center becoming a theme park rather than a functional city may have been quite different than Walt Disney had envisioned but there were some parts of his vision that were maintained. CommuniCore and its successor, Innoventions, celebrated advancing technologies and even gave visitors a chance to interact with upcoming technologies. Located in the heart of Future World, it functioned like a family friendly exhibition hall as well as a gateway to the pavilions surrounding it. Join me today as we enter into Epcot’s most diverse pavilion.
Epcot’s Main Hub
While the CommuniCore pavilion was mainly focused in two twin structures behind Spaceship Earth, they encapsulated the main thoroughfare of EPCOT Center. While Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom used a similar circular hub in front of their castles, EPCOT used its main hub as another, more diverse “land.”
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