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Theme Park City > Orlando Guide > Walt Disney World > Epcot > Future World > Imagination!

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Imagination!

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Imagination!

Attractions

Journey Into Imagination With Figment. Disney's theme parks are filled with imagination (where else can you talk to a turtle, or go on a realistic simulation of a Mars mission, or travel the world in an afternoon?) so it has always been somewhat of a paradox that the one ride expressly dedicated to imagination has often been the park's least imaginative. Perhaps it's because imagination without content is just an empty exercise for the mind, more akin to a hallucination or a drug trip than anything else. Even our dreams have subconscious meaning behind them, even if we don't know what it represents, they aren't just a series of strange things with no purpose other than being imaginative.

This ride has gone through more incarnations than any other in Epcot (and it may be heading for yet another rehab). First it was a musical story in which we followed a character named Dreamfinder, along with his little purple dragon sidekick Figment, as they gathered shapes and colors and sounds and things to be recombined into new imaginings. It was okay, but not hugely popular, so it was completely redone and we wound up with Journey Into Your Imagination, which took the form of a tour of the Imagination Institute and was, frankly, highly mediocre. Guests also complained about the removal of Dreamfinder and, especially, Figment.



The imagineers seemed to be saying with this version, "You want Figment, you got Figment," and it's now all Figment, all the time. In the current ride you are still attending an open house at the Imagination Institute, as hosted by Dr. Nigel Channing (Eric Idle, of Monty Python fame), yet the tour is now disrupted at every turn by Figment, who is constantly telling us to set our imaginations free (Figment is now less the cute, child-like creature he used to be and more of an adolescent brat). The song "One Little Spark" from the original ride is also reprised.

The tour is supposed to show us somehow how the senses are involved in imagination but the connection isn't that well made and the scene involving the sense of smell... stinks. Literally. (And hold on to your hats and loose, light objects when the slot wheels begin spinning.) The sense theme is abandoned halfway through, anyway, for a run under the upside-down house set from the ride's previous incarnation (an upside-down toilet is the most imaginative thing they could come up with? Sigh.)

Unfortunately, there's still little inside the attraction that has the power to delight half as much as the jumping fountains located outside of the pavilion. At least the lines aren't usually very long.

At the exit from the ride you'll find ImageWorks, an interactive playground where visitors can manipulate light and sounds and have fun doing it. The more crowded the park is at the time you visit, the less likely you'll get much hands-on time at the exhibits without a wait. There's also now a Figment character greeting area in a small building near the fountains.

Honey I Shrunk The Audience is a clever 3D film with added in-theater special effects. Rick Moranis is back as bumbling inventor Professor Wayne Szalinski from the Disney film series that began with 1989's Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. Szalinski attempts to demonstrate his shrinking machine at an awards ceremony and, of course, something goes terribly wrong, and it gets turned on us, the audience. We, and the back half of the auditorium, of course, are shrunk to mere inches in height. A pet snake and Szalinski's small child are just two of the perils we face as they try desperately to restore us all to full size.

Honey, I Shrunk The Audience is a lot like the films which spawned it: no classic, but great fun just the same. It's not as cute as Muppetvision 3D nor as exciting as Terminator 2: 3D, but it is fast paced, fairly funny, and some of the effects are extremely well done (one word: mice). It's certainly worth seeing. (Note that some effects may scare small children).

The Fountain Court in front of the pavilion is an attraction in its own right, with the famous jumping fountains and a waterfall that flows uphill. Figment sometimes appears in a little building here.

Dining

You'll have to use your imagination, as there are no restaurants here.

Shopping

The sponsor, Kodak's, products are available here in a gift shop.

Where To?

Imagination is on the East side of Future World beside The Land.


Copyright (c) 2002-2008 by Robert H. Brown
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