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Rumored Refurb/Closing of Imagination Pavilion at Epcot

Walt Disney World: What do you think could happen?

From Andrew Dougherty
Posted July 24, 2013 at 3:13 PM
(7/24/13) I don’t have much on this story yet, but a posting on Facebook by Epcot Explorer’s Encyclopedia claims that the entire Imagination Pavilion (both the Imagination dark ride and Captain EO theater) will close down for good on January 2, 2014. While the hope that this may be done to create either a brand new set of attractions, or an entire new pavilion, so far our insiders tell us that there is no solid plan for a replacement as of this moment. Time to get WDI to work then... but will this be yet another example of repurposing the existing pavilion buildings, or has the time come to level the playing field and start over from scratch with an entirely new idea? (Screamscape)

This is the facebook message mentioned above:

The Imagination pavilion at Epcot will cease operations on January 2nd, 2014. The Captain EO show will not reopen, while the ride and retail location are rumored to remain closed for one year for renovations. There is no official statement from Disney on the scale of work at this time.

I hope that they only close down the pavilion for at least one last go to try to restore the pavilion back to it's former glory. The theater however, I don't think is to big a loss.

Opinions? What do you think?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Phil B.
Posted July 24, 2013 at 10:30 PM
Burn it to the ground and start over.

From Christopher Sturniolo
Posted July 25, 2013 at 8:52 AM
What I hope happens is that they finally shut down Captain EO and gut out the building so that they can expand the Imagination ride with a trackless system. They can still include Figment and Dreamfinder, but with a new story and design.

From TH Creative
Posted July 25, 2013 at 11:33 AM
I ran this one by my regular sources (Central Florida personnel working in large-scale construction and design) and as of now they have not heard anything about this.

From Tyler Harris
Posted July 25, 2013 at 3:28 PM
I don't see how the pavilion will ever regain itself unless it starts over.
Bryce's Imagination Pavilion in one of TPA's would be perfect. Mostly...
This is likely going to be another Wonders of Life because Disney pooling most of their money on the other 3 parks.
Then again, this could be a plan by Lex luthor to defeat Superman :)

From James Rao
Posted July 26, 2013 at 4:06 AM
Would Mystic Manor work as a replacement? It sure fits the Imagination theme, and it is the most highly touted non-coaster addition of the year. Heck, I'll never make it to Hong Kong, so make it so, Disney, make it so.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted July 26, 2013 at 5:18 AM
One rumor floating around is Phenius and Ferb attraction which would fit the Imagination Theme. I think it would be best to bring back the old 80s Journey into Imagination attraction.


Still, this appears to be only a rumor at this point. All sources are pointing to this EPCOT Encyclopedia.

From James Trexen
Posted July 26, 2013 at 8:06 AM
I keep hearing people talk about bringing Mystic Manor to WDW. It wouldn't actually fit anywhere but Magic Kingdom and even then, it's concept is too similar to Haunted Mansion to be considered. However, I do like the Phineas and Ferb idea. It is Disney's long sought Spongebob killer and as such, I am surprised at how underutilized it is.

From Phil B.
Posted July 26, 2013 at 10:54 AM
Actually, Mystique Manor, or some form of it based loosely on the Honk Kong version would fit nicely in Animal Kingdom if they ever get around to developing an Australian section.

From James Rao
Posted July 26, 2013 at 12:05 PM
The imaginative aspects of Mystic Manor would be perfect for an "Imagination Pavilion". And from what I have seen, the only real similarities between MM and HM are that they are both set in a big, impressive looking house. It might be a bit of a stretch to operate both attractions in the Magic Kingdom (although MM would fit nicely into Adventure Land) but in separate WDW parks, the two attractions should be able to co-exist nicely.

MM would also fit well into Animal Kingdom as Phil mentioned due to the "explorer" storyline behind the owner of the house.

From TH Creative
Posted July 26, 2013 at 12:05 PM
SHOCKER! I agree with Rao! Put MM in Adventureland as a replacement for Potsie.

From James Rao
Posted July 26, 2013 at 12:08 PM
^Happy Days? Anson Williams will not be pleased.

"Lock the 'fridge here comes Potsie!"

From TH Creative
Posted July 26, 2013 at 3:36 PM
Rao is such a Potsie!

From TH Creative
Posted July 26, 2013 at 5:19 PM
Chatter among the WDW CMs is that Journey is closing.

From Andrew Dougherty
Posted July 26, 2013 at 7:15 PM
For some reason I have an obsession with Epcot and it's history. Mostly though I have a deep interest in anything about Horizons and love anything about Journey Into Imagination. I would personally like to see a final try on the ride to try and bring it back to how good it previously was. I had a thought of using a story line along the lines of Dreamfinder and Figment teaching Nigel Channing the true meaning of imagination by hijacking his "tour" and taking a new trip into the Dreamport, all the while lampooning some of the things that have been criticized about the previous two rides and with more humor to also help the teenage audience enjoy the ride for more humor than the adults that would ride for nostalgia and little kids because they would be able to enjoy Figment. Also, update the Dreamworks upstairs to use more modern technology for newer exhibits. I alsohad a few other ideas about how to do this vision I have for the ride. Maybe even use the theater as part of a new scene.

From TH Creative
Posted July 26, 2013 at 7:29 PM
Also hearing chatter about Ewoks replacing Avatar

From James Trexen
Posted July 26, 2013 at 8:11 PM
I don't know, I guess I just can't see how a manor would thematically fit in with a World Expo, even with it's imagination execution. Oh well.

And Andrew, I think the term you're looking for is Imageworks. Unless of course Disney's made another $4 billion purchase.

From James Trexen
Posted July 26, 2013 at 8:21 PM
"Honk Kong."

Phil wins Typo of the Week. I guess that's the real city that never sleeps.

From James Rao
Posted July 27, 2013 at 4:03 AM
TH, please say it ain't so. The only thing Star Wars fans hate more than cheesy dialogue and Jar Jar Stinks, is Ewoks. Even Avatar bashers would regret such a move. Adding Ewoks to Animal Kingdom would be almost as boneheaded as adding Smurfs to Universal Studios. Tell your chattering sources to put a stop to such nonsense once and for all.

And James T., the manor itself does not have to be part of the addition. It is just the box in which amazing things happen. WDI could reshape that box to better fit with the Future World theme. As long as the imaginative nature of the excursion is brought to life the attraction could reside in almost any box. Heck, they could even reuse the Imagination Institute if they wanted. Just my two cents.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted July 28, 2013 at 8:43 PM
TH and Rao....SIT ON IT!

Now with that out of the way, I am not sure how much this story is true. There really hasn't been too much new information that has leaked out.

I think Mystic Manor should replace Swiss Family Treehouse. It kinda looks like it could fit with the Jungle Cruise.

From Phil B.
Posted July 28, 2013 at 9:40 PM
I proudly accept my award and vow to try and only let the best of my typos slip through moving forward :o)

From Tayler Ann Morden
Posted August 7, 2013 at 12:49 PM
I just want to throw this out there. Whenever ewoks come up the argument is that they are there for the kids. I was a kid when they came out and i hated them. I am positive i would have equally hated jar jar back then as well. Jar jar is pretty much at a Barney level of dislike in most kids i have talked to. Lets remember the cool wampas, dewbacks and tauntauns instead if you want to capture the kid sector.

From Cory R
Posted August 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM
If anyone has been following D23, you'll notice that Journey into Imagination with Figment has had an unusually large presence at the Expo. There is a lot of stuff from the ride at the Journey into Imagineering exhibit (the name of said exhibit seems to be no coincidence either), Richard Sherman performed "One Little Spark" live, Dreamfinder and Figment have been doing meet-and-greets, and when Bob Iger introduced Tony Baxter at his Disney Legends ceremony, he spent the most time talking about Tony creating the Imagination ride, and about how ardent the fanbase is for it (it definitely got the loudest applause of all the rides Tony created). Most importantly, Mr. Iger assured the fans that Figment will not be going away anytime soon. (Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78wsMrDvKQE&list=SPnu3bwB54xw1vocjThy1-HKmEjCq_IYxS)

All this leads me to believe if the Imagination pavilion does indeed close in 2014, it will not be to get rid of or replace the Journey into Imagination ride, it will be to bring back the original ride with Dreamfinder, albeit an enhanced version. Maybe they will use the trackless ride system from Mystic Manor for the new/old Imagination ride. Either way, I am very excited that Dreamfinder could be coming back, based on what's been going on at D23 :)

From Andrew Dougherty
Posted August 11, 2013 at 1:40 PM
Is there anyone that has pictures of the whole exhibit? And I really do hope that this is the case. And yea, trackless system for Journey would be pretty cool. I think it would work really well.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 11, 2013 at 3:55 PM
After seeing the video of Mystic Manor, I could see Figment and the Dreamfinder in there as main characters. The ride system and special effects could easily work for the subject.

I wouldn't mind seeing it

From James Rao
Posted August 12, 2013 at 4:11 AM
^Agreed! I would love to see a Mystic Manor makeover for the Imagination Pavilion happen, Anthony. It would absolutely work.

From Jorge Arnoldson
Posted August 12, 2013 at 8:40 PM
The Phineas and Ferb idea is horrible. Why capitalize on a sub-par TV show when EPCOT could bring back Dreamfinder (in an updated form, of course)?

From Tyler Harris
Posted August 13, 2013 at 3:08 PM
My Top 3 ideas for replacement for figment:
3. Bring back Dreamfinder and Figment in a new trackless ride.
2- Bring Mystic Manor to Orlando. Great Idea.
1- Try to get Peter Jackson or Rick Rodrain to bring Lord of the Rings or Percy Jackson to Epcot replacing Figment and EO.

From Cory R
Posted August 13, 2013 at 6:04 PM
While it would be amazing to see Lord of the Rings in a Disney park, or any theme park for that matter, it definitely will not replace the Figment ride. Lord of the Rings deserves at least an entire land (although an entire theme park would be better) not a small pavilion. Lord of the Rings would not fit in Future World thematically whatsoever. And Disney will never get the theme park rights to LOTR because Tolkien hated the Disney company. His family still owns those rights, not Peter Jackson. Jackson would be more inclined to work with Universal anyway, after working with them on Kong 360 3D.

From Frank Prsha
Posted August 15, 2013 at 11:52 AM
As long as they replace EO and Figment with some kind of E-ticket attraction, I will be a happy camper. Also Ellen's ride needs to go.

From Manny Rodriguez
Posted August 15, 2013 at 12:37 PM
Can dream catcher return.. please?

From Dominick D
Posted August 15, 2013 at 4:50 PM
Manny, it's Dreamfinder

From Tyler Harris
Posted August 15, 2013 at 5:16 PM
Quote of the week- when Manny says DreamCathcer instead of Dreamfinder.
Flying home from Puerto Rico tommorw morning. Have to get up at 3 AM :p.

From James Trexen
Posted August 15, 2013 at 7:02 PM
Gotta love it when a member calls out another for misnaming a character and then goofs up spelling the wrong name himself in the "quote of the week."

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