DIS Veteran
Jul 3, 2011
So, I just got back from a week long trip to WDW. So sad to be back, but what a great trip.

I have one question for you experts - What happened to Journey into Imagination? I had not been to WDW in nearly a decade and was shocked. Imageworks is a shell of what it once was and the ride was shocking. When did this happen? Is there a full rehab planned? I think the original was better than this one?


Haunted Mansion junkie
May 26, 2009
The Imagineers destroyed it!

Sorry, that was my off-the-cuff response.

Some genius, somewhere, thought what you have now experienced would be better than the original. Lucky for you you missed the second iteration. You actually rode the third version.

You can now join the ranks of those who mourn for the original JIYI.


1971 Castle in the Hub: Your lights are on!
Nov 18, 2001
What happened to Journey into Imagination?
Here's some background-

Kodak, the original "Journey Into Imagination" attraction's corporate sponsor since the opening of Epcot, had an agreement with Disney that stated the attraction must be "updated" for the year 2000.

Little did anyone know that the "creative minds" in WDImagineering would not be nearly as creative in 1998 as they had been in 1980!

The new "Journey Into Your Imagination" ride was one of the biggest disappointments in the history of Disney parks. There was NOTHING left of what had made the original ride such a major crowd pleaser (and that also meant that there was no Figment in that version!)

So, they finally "re-did the re-do" and you now still see the result:
"Journey Into Imagination With Figment."
Its "cute," (and, obviously, Figment is back) but the current ride is nothing but a far too short, sliver of the amazing first version of the ride.

In the grand scheme of these kind of things, re-designing the original ride was a colossal blunder.

There's a saying that goes, "Do you want to trade the devil you KNOW for the devil you DON'T know?"
(Meaning that if you don't like your situation NOW, how do you know that you won't move into a WORSE one by making a change?)

I'll paraphase it in the case of "Imagination" to say to Kodak/Disney...
"Do you want to trade the ANGEL you KNOW for the POSSIBLE devil you DON'T know?"

The original version of this ride is my all-time favorite attraction at Epcot.

It was so RICH in details that I'm sure that I never saw "everything" in it, even after literally dozens of ride-throughs.

The scenes were diverse and always surprising.
The musical arrangements were complex and interesting.
The characters were engaging.

There was even a "ride photo" that displayed as you rode along near the end.
What a tragedy that this was "lost" in an untimely and entirely AVOIDABLE set of missteps.

I'll assume that there was an entire CHAIN of memos and meetings where warnings of
looming problems were ignored (or not spoken strongly enough.)

I have seen so many majorly ill-advised corporate decisions made in all kinds of companies.

So sad that in a "vast bastion of creativity" like Disney, could they make such an unfortunate move
as to lose the original artistic creation that was the first version of Journey Into IMAGINATION.
  • W.E.D.

    Haunted Mansion junkie
    May 26, 2009
    See, Sappermont. Now you've done it. That is the longest Robo post I've seen in quite some time.

    Anyone else want to chime in? I'll get the tissues.


    DIS Veteran
    Jun 23, 2009
    Robo, your post has done the question justice. As a Figment lover ( name. lol), I can't stand the current ride. But....I tough it out for my children. I wish, oh how I wish, that they would bring back the original.
  • Scubee

    DIS Veteran
    Oct 30, 2009
    Count me in as one of many who mourn the loss of the original. We let our boys ride if they ask, but even they are underwhelmed by the current version. We usually skip it. I have to watch the videos (like the one posted above) after a trip to remember why I loved the attraction as a child.


    DIS Veteran
    Jul 3, 2011
    Thanks everyone. Wow, what a disney tragedy.

    Hopefully the Imagineers will come to their senses and do a complete overhaul to restore this ride to its original glory.

    Thanks again for the info. and for the links to the videos.



    DIS Veteran
    Jul 5, 2001
    The Imagineers destroyed it!

    Sorry, that was my off-the-cuff response.

    Some genius, somewhere, thought what you have now experienced would be better than the original. Lucky for you you missed the second iteration. You actually rode the third version.

    You can now join the ranks of those who mourn for the original JIYI.
    :thumbsup2 This pavilion needs some love and a MAJOR overhaul
  • pumpkin7

    Nov 4, 2010
    although i had never (i don't think) encountered the original journey into your imagination, i can safely say after i had been on the current version, i was scarred for life. i mean, what on earth was that monstrosity? it's awful.

    but hey, there was hope for the tiki room, and maybe someday there will be hope for figment too.

    Katie In Wonderland

    Real Life Wendybird
    Jul 4, 2011
    I miss the neon tunnel :mad:
    That's the ONLY part I remember about the original ride. I was little when it was in that state. it's still up there. There's a YouTube video that proves it (I did NOT take this. I just found it)

    I've seen videos of the original and I like it SO much better than the new one. I wish the imagineers could get it back to the way it was.


    DIS Veteran
    Oct 19, 2009
    The thing that really bothers me is WDW was built on imagination, suspension of reality. Walt's vision was to bring the public into a 3D movie, be a part of the action.

    Here is a pavilion with IMAGINATION in the name. This should be the most creative, innovative and wonderful pavilion at Epcot. But noooooooo....

    Help us John Lasseter! :wave:


    DIS Veteran
    Aug 22, 2011
    Well at least I know I'm not crazy then. When we went, I couldn't wait to show the family Epcot. Hubby had heard it was boring so I was excited to prove him wrong. I kept talking about how great Imagnation was and telling my son about the awesome rainbow tunnel.

    I think I was pissed for the rest of the day that it was gone. I think they had more fun laughing at my crestfallen face.


    Disney Princess
    Oct 15, 2009
    The loss of the original was truly one of WDW's greatest mistakes.

    I'm only 20, so I was super young when the original was around...but the memories I have as a child of that ride are some of the most vibrant and magical!

    And everyone remembers Figment, but is anyone still mourning the loss of Dreamfinder? After all, he created Figment!

    Everyone's lives would just be better if they brought JIYI back to its original glory.


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