One of the most requested changes at the Walt Disney World resort is for Disney to bring back Dreamfinder and turn ‘Journey Into Imagination’ to an updated version of the original attraction. One of the most vocal supporters of this idea is Tony Baxter. For those that don’t know Tony Baxter is a retired Disney Imagineer and a Disney Legend. He is also returning to help with the re-theming of ‘Splash Mountain’ to ‘Princess and the Frog.’
According to Attractions Magazine, Mr. Baxter again campaigned for a return to classic ‘Journey Into Imagination’ during a VIP reception for the “Walt Disney Birthplace’s virtual celebration of Walt’s birthday” on December 5th.
During this event he mentioned that the current version is not what it was.
“For those of you who haven’t see the original ride since 2000, you’ve never seen it.”
I completely agree. The versions since they changed the original have not been anywhere near as iconic and fantastic. Dreamfind was a massive part of the attraction and ideas and whimsey behind it made it memorable and beloved.
I remember the lines for the original and they were long. Plus the upstairs Imageworks was a magical place and far more exciting than the current version. That rainbow tunnel is still something everyone misses!
Mr. Baxter talked about how the “fairly simplistic’ attraction took guests through the process of imagination and how we use that skill to envision and create. From science to writing to painting and film. It truly broke down how important the human imagination is in society. Plus the Sherman brothers’ song “One Little Spark” just made it better, like most of their songs did.
Sadly, they decided to change the original version and as Baxter says “Then it was somehow commandeered and turned into a nightmare.”
Agreed! The “Journey Into Your Imagination” was basically what it was turned into, with Dr. Channing and very little Figment. Of course Dreamfinder was completely gone (big mistake.) Then two years later they threw Figment back in to what we see today and called it “Journey Into Imagination with Figment” and it was better, but still no where near what it originally was. Sadly, that’s what we’ve been stuck with since 2002!
People really want Dreamfinder back with Figment and for some reason Disney just will NOT do it. It’s one of the most requested changes. They use Figment on merchandise for events and promotional things, but they won’t bring back what people want.
Mr. Baxter even mentions the fan devotion saying that the supporters of the original attraction are part of “one of the most loyal Disney fandoms ever.”
In regards to the beloved attraction he would love to come back and return it to something closer to what it was:
“I would give anything to be called upon to rethink that and get back to the story that every human being does. There aren’t creative people and non-creative people. Everybody uses it. It’s just to what extent and I think that that was a really valuable story to tell. It is certainly not told in there now, and I would love to see it get back.”
I can tell you for a fact that ‘Journey Into Imagination’ was something that influenced me very much. My whole family looked forward to it on every trip. The song and the ideas stuck with me even till today. My husband sadly never got to see it, but he has watched all the ride-though videos he can find and even went to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party dressed as Dreamfinder a few years ago.
I love how Mr. Baxter even gets how Disney works now and suggested that they make a new animated film then maybe it would get more consideration.
“Maybe we can even do a film. That would even be better. A full-length animated feature film starring Figment.”
Then he joked about doing a crowd-funding campaign.
“Let’s do a kickstarter right now.”
I would back it! I’m sure many would.
If Disney wants to bring classic EPCOT back with the logos, fountains, etc., maybe they should worry less about some of the changes people don’t like and instead focus on doing something that so many have requested.
What do you think? Comment and let us know.
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