Fans of Walt Disney World’s EPCOT theme park have a new mission: to RETURN THE FIGMENT AND DREAMFINDER CHARACTERS TO EPCOT, specifically to the Journey Into Imagination ride.
First, some history: when Epcot first opened, the plan was for the park to not have any of the traditional Disney characters present at all. Of course, “where are the characters?” was a common complaint from families who visited and expected to see Disney characters at any Disney theme park they visited – which, at the time consisted of just the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland…not exactly a large sample size to deal with, here.
But Epcot did have one cuddly, friendly cartoony character available – FIGMENT, the playful winged dragon of imagination — who, along with his mentor Dreamfinder, became the defacto face of Epcot when no other characters were available.
Luckily, park fans loved Figment and Dreamfinder, and together they made the original incarnation of the JOURNEY INTO IMAGINATION attraction a family must-see favorite. Ask anyone who visited the park in those days if they could sing the “Imagination” song, and you’ll hear everyone share their version of “One Little Spark”.Unfortunately, Disney executives decided that the Imagination pavilion needed to change (and after a much derided revamp causing a quickly-implemented 2nd redo into Journey Into Your Imagination), we found that what was once a beloved attraction that celebrated imagination and all it could accomplish, was just a sad shell of its former self.
Take a look at this full-length tribute video dedicated to the original ride:
You can see why Disney fans around the world have jumped onto the SAVE FIGMENT bandwagon. But at least Figment and Imagination fans have gotten word to Mr Iger about their passion. Here is an excerpt from the QUESTION ASKED OF ROBERT IGER REGARDING BRINGING BACK FIGMENT AND DREAMFINDER:
Most cherished and missed by fans was a character meet-and-greet with Dreamfinder and Figment puppet. His unique way of relating to the guests is the stuff of Disney Parks legend, and many Guests claim that their visits with these Disney friends helped them through traumatic emotional times. Doctors are on record as stating that the visits extended the life of a terminally ill child. If that isn’t Disney Magic, what is?
As CEO, you are a lightning rod for blame. If you have to assume the blame, you should be able to bask in the credit of your achievements as well. All of us were eager to see what the Iger era would bring to our company.
It is said that “you can judge a man by his character”. Since joining the company as President and COO in January 2000, you have added several significant characters to the Disney stable.
There have been three new Princesses added; Princess Mia from “The Princess Diaries” in 2001, Princess Giselle from the wonderful comedy “Enchanted” in 2007, and most recently, Princess Tiana from “The Princess And The Frog”.
In May 2004 you acquired The Muppets, no less!
Then you become CEO in 2005, and the next year sees the return of Oswald The Lucky Rabbit.
Most important of all, the PIXAR characters are now in the Disney stable.
We now have Pixie Hollow and Tinker Bell’s new Pixie companions.
And how about last year getting the MARVEL Superheroes on board!
In a year that brings us both “Captain EO Tribute” and “TRON Legacy”, we feel confident asking for the return of another Disney classic.
With Epcot’s 30th anniversary coming in 2012, the time is right to BRING OUR DREAMFINDER and the original concept BACK
Petitioning on the Internet may not have worked to save Mr Toad, but it did help to get rid of the hideous “Epcot Magic Wand” structure that hovered over Spaceship Earth for over a decade. So click over to FRIENDS OF FIGMENT and see what you can do to help bring back these two great characters.
The post is part of the DisMarks.com Disney Blog Carnival;
click on the link for more great Disney articles.