WDW Magazine History Sampler - Page 6

BY MELISSA RICHESON

As a child in the ’ 80s , I can remember early trips to EPCOT with my family . In an era before Kidcot , Agent P , and Disney movie tie-ins , there were fewer truly kid-centric attractions at EPCOT . But there was Imagination .

When I was little , the Imagination Pavilion was easily my favorite spot in EPCOT . At the end of the day , when the line was nonexistent , my family would rush from the ride ’ s exit to its entrance again and again , soaking up as many encounters with Figment as possible .
I know many WDW fans shared my love for Imagination . ( Raise your hand if you can still sing “ One Little Spark ” by heart .) So with the help of Ron Schneider , one of the original Dreamfinders , let ’ s open the Imagination time capsule containing our memories from 1983 to 1998 . A nostalgic trip through time is sure to spark the imagination , don ’ t you think ?
THE JOURNEY The original Journey Into Imagination ride , designed by Tony Baxter and his team , was broken up into three acts : the collecting , storing , and recombining of ideas . “ After all ,” Schneider told us , “ there ’ s nothing new under the sun . Everything is inspired by things that we ’ ve seen before , which we think to use in new ways .”
Collecting After boarding a lavender Omnimover vehicle ( quite similar to today ’ s red ones ), guests entered into the story of Imagination , as introduced by the jolly animatronic Dreamfinder . Dreamfinder explained that he was collecting inspiration for imagination — colors , melodies , ideas , and so forth — in his Dreamcatcher machine .
Cycling through the sky , Dreamfinder sang , “ Two tiny wings , eyes big and yellow . Horns of a steer , but a lovable fellow ! From head to tail , he ’ s royal purple pigment ! And there , voila ! You ’ ve got a Figment !” I can almost hear it now , can ’ t you ?