Demand for Original Figment Ride Rises Amid Overhaul Rumors

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Spaceship Earth at EPCOT with Figment

Credit: Edited by Inside the Magic

While most of the popular Disney characters are from beloved films and tv shows, there are a few that were created for various rides or attractions within the Disney parks that have become just as beloved, if not more so, than those associated with a classic Disney film.

Perhaps the most iconic and recognizable parks character is Figment the purple dragon. He debuted in EPCOT in 1983 along with the original Journey into Imagination ride located at the Imagination Pavilion. The original iteration of the ride featured another character called Dreamfinder, a man in an iconic blue suit and top hat, who created Figment and together, guests would go on a “journey through imagination” along with the two characters.

dreamfinder and figment rainbow tunnel original ride EPCOT, resized
Credit: Walt Disney Archives

The ride itself has been through two overhauls since 1983, and now in its current form, Journey into Imagination with Figment focuses more on Figment and the Imagination Institute and Figment has become the official unofficial icon of EPCOT. He’s had popcorn buckets designed after him (which featured waits of several hours and eBay resells for hundreds of dollars) and now has his own meet and greet in the park. However, there are some fans who say the original version of the ride and the purple dragon were better than its current version.

Taking to Reddit, u/Jaded-Bobcat-2987 shared, “Anyone else feeling extra nostalgic for Figment and the Dreamfinder? I wish Disney would just bring the original ride back, it was such a classic.” And several people agreed. “Every time they do something new with Figment, I get a little bit of a pang that his ride is still so shabby,” u/countesspetofi said. “I comfort myself by telling myself that they’re working on something, but that they really want to take their time and make sure it’s a good concept before they announce anything.”

Figment at EPCOT
Credit: Disney

However, others compared it to the Disney parks’ overall decline. “The current state of JIA is just a drop in the bucket of the overall downfall of EPCOT for those of us who grew up with it in its original form. Jamming it with Disney’s character IP just makes it more and more like a second-rate Six Flags,” said u/evercuriousgeek. “I want to believe they’re doing something to rectify the miserable Imagination Pavilion, but I have no faith in them doing anything to “fix” it or restore it. It’s much more likely gut Journey and replace it with some terrible Inside/Out spinner & meet and greet,” u/CoolUncleTouch commented, referring to the effort to bring more IPs into the Disney parks, often at the expense of original attractions and ideas.

“Everytime i step into epcot i think about how in general that park use to amazing. The figment ride, innoventions, meeting figment wth dreamfinder (not that abmonination that is the full size figment for meet and greets now), and that new area that took them 4 years to do and its a bunch of park benches,” stated u/Midnight_Sun_Toph. “They have no vision and cut every corner imaginable to cheap out on the final product in every capacity,” u/CoolUncleTouch replied.

Figment animatronic at EPCOT
Credit: Disney

Last year, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger and Disney Parks President Josh D’Amaro said they plan to infuse the parks with more IPs and recognizable Disney franchises, and fans have already begun to see that with Splash Mountain being rethemed to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure and the Country Bear Jamboree being updated with songs from other Disney movies. Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure is now Pixar Pier, with the latest addition being the San Fransokyo Bridge, which replaced the Pacific Wharf area of the park.

The company has also pledged a $60 billion investment into its parks over the next 10 years, despite no public confirmation of exactly what it plans to do with that investment. The most recent overhaul unveiled at EPCOT was met with disappointment after a four-year construction period and a major change from the original concept promised. With Figment being such a beloved character and the current version attraction in a “shabby” state, it’s not impossible that guests may have to say goodbye to the beloved dragon sooner rather than later. And it likely won’t be to bring back the original version of the ride.

Which version of Journey into Imagination is your favorite? Do you think the ride is on the list for a replacement? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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