Apparently Josh D’Amaro (Chairman of Disney Parks and Experiences,) Disney CEO Bob Iger, and Jeff Vahle (President of Walt Disney World,) were seen around Walt Disney World. Many are excited because this gave the trio a chance to see the parks from a guest’s perspective, and all the issues that go along with it. But what’s interesting is the rumor that they specifically took a backstage tour of ‘Journey Into Imagination with Figment.’
If this is true, it has my attention.
Disney currently has an issue with guest satisfaction and public opinion that the “Disney difference” means more money for less. That Disney is about making cuts and charging a premium to fleece customers and guests.
However, fixing an attraction that has been a guest request for a long time could go a long way in repairing their image with parks fans. For years bringing back Dreamfinder and / or returning ‘Journey Into Imagination’ to it’s former glory, was allegedly the top customer request at Walt Disney World.
Not to mention that the current attraction is not in great shape. The photographs in the queue are very faded, and the current ‘ImageWorks’ is a pale imitation of what it once was.
With EPCOT’s 40th Anniversary happening now, what better way to win back some goodwill than announcing changes to the pavilion and attraction?
Figment is incredibly popular and has been used as the mascot for the park for decades and at festivals and events. Surveys have gone out in the past asking guests how they felt about the purple dragon and given the amount of merchandise they sell with Figment on it, I assume the responses were positive.
At D23 they announced that Figment was returning to EPCOT as a meet and greet character by the end of this year. It was implied that there were other possible changes and announcements coming as well.
For the Festival of the Arts, they brought back parts of the original ‘Journey Into Imagination’ for Figment’s Inspiration Station located in the Odyseey. It seems like they are trying to use Figment as much as possible. My nephew (who is a huge Figment fan) has been hoping they bring out a Figment show to Disney+.
Now, this of course all this does not mean that their visit is to bring back ‘Journey Into Imagination’ to it’s former glory. It could have simply been a tour to see what they could change around EPCOT and rumors have been swirling that they could change ‘Journey Into Imagination’ to something else completely. ‘Inside Out’ comes up often.
Of course many of us feel that is a very bad idea.
EPCOT is a park in flux and has had some changes completed, while many others are still under construction.
The whole center “spine” is one giant construction zone. The changes to Spaceship Earth were canceled, and the Journey of Water is just now heading towards completion.
Those changes were approved by Bob Iger. But they could see those during times when guests weren’t in the area, but they still chose to do so while guests could see them and interact with them. Those optics are good for image control.
Either way, it is interesting that the head of the Walt Disney Company, the head of parks, resorts and experiences, and the president of Walt Disney World were out and about interacting and touring the park. Hopefully it was for more than just good PR and photo ops.
I look forward to seeing where this leads.
What do you think? Comment and let us know!
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.