Journey Into YOUR Imagination
This article appeared in the October 12, 1999, Issue #4 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)
Journey Into YOUR Imagination
by Deb Wills
Journey into Your Imagination is a new attraction in Epcot's Future World! If you're like me, you were a bit saddened last year when Dreamfinder and Figment bid a fond farewell to Future World and Epcot. Yes, the ride needed some rehab, but I dearly loved the creative duo. Anyway, enough reminiscing!
On October 1, 1999 the new Journey Into Your Imagination opened! Sponsored by Kodak, the attraction is now closely tied to the Honey I Shrunk the Audience 3D movie by taking you behind the scenes and into the secret testing labs at the Imagination Institute. Through the use of overhead monitors, Dr. Nigel Channing is on hand to greet you in the cue area. Figment also makes a very brief appearance with Dr. Channing. (On one of rides, I heard Figment say "Can You Imagine Too?" just before getting out of the vehicle.)
The cue area is now greatly increased, in fact I felt like I walked thru about 25% of the former ride space to get to the loading zone. Ride vehicles appear to be the same or very similar and are now painted red. There are also new graphics inside and outside the Imagination Pavilion.
As a test subject at the Imagination Labs, you will have your Imagination scanned and digitally displayed at the beginning of the ride. The vehicle will then take you into 5 different labs at the Institute. You are shown a series of new experiments designed to stretch your imagination and test your creativity. Each lab has an experiment name and number like "Up is Down" for gravity. Others labs include sound, illusion, color, and dimension! While some of these were interesting, others, such as the "Up is Down" experiment, were very routine in nature. At the end of the experience, your imagination will be scanned once again and the results displayed. I know this is a short description, but there really isn't much for me to say about the new ride.
Without spoiling the special effects, please be aware that shortly after the ride begins, you will experience a brief period of total darkness and loud sounds. Young children may be frightened during this sequence. At the ride's conclusion when you Imagination IQ is once again tested, there is a special effect that may scare young children.
At the conclusion of your journey you enter the Kodak What If! Labs. (Similar to the Image Works that was on the 2nd floor of the building.) The What If! Lab experiments were fun. You can still conduct the orchestra, but this time a la the 1990's. Other interactive experiments included stepping stones that create sounds and a special mirror that distorts your body. I played with some of the experiments and had fun. I noticed lots children enjoying this interactive section. A couple days later I found several of the experiments closed or roped off. I don't suppose the child I saw continually jumping as hard as he could on the stepping stones had anything to do with it? Nah!
After working your way through the What If! Labs, you enter a Gift Shop. Here you can have computer generated photos taken with Disney Characters and developed (this was not yet working). There is some Figment merchandise from 1998 in the form of mugs, T-shirts, key chains etc... as well as new Figment and Imagination merchandise. Figment fans who also pin trade should check out the purple pin lanyards sold here. There are a number of "Instant" Photo booths by Kodak where, for $5, you can make your own Epcot Passport, Photo-ID Badge for the Imagination Institute, or picture postcards to send to friends and family!
It seems as though Journey Into YOUR Imagination wasn't quite ready for the official October 1st opening. I understand that the attraction was only 85% completed (similar to when Countdown to Extinction opened). The ride may close briefly in the near future to finish everything.
So what did I think? I was disappointed. Journey Into Your Imagination rates as a "C" Ticket Attraction. (If you are unfamiliar with the old Disney ticket structure from the 70's, a "C" Attraction is average....nothing special.) I went on the first time with 6 friends, everyone felt pretty much the same as I did. I had hoped that the new attraction would be innovative enough to be a big draw for that side of Future World. Unfortunately, for me, it just didn't do it. The entrance cue is continually moving, just like the former ride, but if the wait time is long, I would not recommend waiting to experience "Journey Into Your Imagination!"
Have you ridden the new Journey Into YOUR Imagination? If so, you are welcome to share your comments with me by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor's Note: This story/information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all current rates, information and other details before planning your trip.