My first trip to a Disney resort came in 1988, when we visited Walt Disney World. Back then, only the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT were in operation, and while I enjoyed the heck out of them both, the future world section of EPCOT was my favourite. All the science and sci-fi and future focused attractions captivated me. One pavilion though was a bit different, for it traveled someplace quite different… it was a Journey Into Imagination.
That was some 30 odd years ago. Of the ride itself I remembered only little bits and pieces, including, most importantly, Figment, the little imagination dragon.
I have not thought about, sought out, viewed, or just about anything of the ride since then.
And yet… just the other day when I stumbled upon the song below…
… it was instantly recognizable, familiar, and downright comfortable. I felt giddy and couldn’t help but smile right away.
Unbeknownst to me, something from so long ago still held such a sweet spot in my heart.
The song got stuck in my head real fast, and I didn’t mind that one bit.
* Then again, I revel and value imagination so much, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised it holds such a spot in my heart…
** Of course, once I saw this I did do the deep dive online. And there’s a bit of a sad ending to this all. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my trip came when the park was only 5 years old; as such, I saw many of what now can be termed “classic” versions of the rides. With Disney’s financial woes around the turn of the century, and with their reliance on sponsorship, the ride ended up getting a “refresh” that was anything but. Shortened, done on the cheap, and jettisoning both Figment and the song, while also closing the various other parts of the building including the original ImageWorks, the new ride was quite poor. So poor and roundly disliked that the new version was itself re-done just a couple of years later. Re-introducing Figment and upping the game somewhat, it’s still shorter and seemingly not as well made nor as magical as the original.
But, thanks to the internet, we can re-live it once more, even if only through old tape-bound handicam footage!
And here’s another video that pulls the narration and the song directly from that amazing opening scene (which itself is a wonder – it’s a carousel that the cars face as it goes around, allowing for the long time on the one scene while still letting the cars move) from the original ride!