Let’s say we’re taking a trip to EPCOT, and decide to check out the Walt Disney World website for some information. In the Imagination pavilion, we might decide to check out the ImageWorks – the interactive post-show area for the Imagination ride. Looking at the official Disney page for the ImageWorks, we find the following attractions listed:
ImageWorks – The Kodak “What If” Labs features a vast array of hands-on, sensory-themed activities and exhibits where you can exercise your imagination and explore your creative side in exciting exhibits that include:
* Dreamfinder’s School of Drama – Become the star of your very own film using greenscreen technology
* Stepping Tones – Create your own music by stepping on electronic picture panels
* Figment’s Coloring Book – Using electric paintbrush guns, add a little color to Figment and Dreamfinder
* Electric Philharmonic – Conduct an orchestra through the use of electronic sensors
* Rainbow Corridor – Stroll through an illuminated tunnel where colored lights follow you
* Vibrating Mirrors – Watch as your reflection changes right before your eyes
* Kaleidoscopes – Spin eye-popping colors in intricate designs via large-size kaleidoscopes
* Voice-Activated Lumia – Speak out and behold a bevy of shimmering light effects
* Bubble Projectors – Blow virtual bubbles on a circular screen and create colorful colors
* Figment’s Melody Maker – Help Figment play an instrument to the tune of “One Little Spark”
Those of you unfamiliar with EPCOT might say, “so what?” Those of you who know EPCOT’s history are probably falling out of your chairs laughing by now. The fact is that these attractions, with two exceptions, aren’t part of the post-show exhibit – they never have been. Instead, they were part of the former ImageWorks area that occupied the second floor of the Imagination pavilion from 1982-1998. The new version opened with the controversial and much-maligned Journey into YOUR Imagination attraction overhaul in 1999.
The original ImageWorks, whose attractions are listed above, came from a less technologically advanced era but was larger and far more creatively executed. Fans have long hoped for a return of the original ImageWorks, along with a rumored impending fourth version of the Journey into Imagination ride, so it’s no surprise that the discovery of this list on Disney’s website started a conflagration on fan-frequented message boards.
It’s pretty obvious that this is some weird glitch caused by the web team having to cut-and-paste old information, but it’s fascinating that site has remained this way for at least three days since it was widely noticed. Conspiracy theories have blossomed, but it’s universally reported that no actual work has been done in the former ImageWorks area so this is not something that’s currently happening. Some hope that this is some trial balloon for fan reaction – which, if so, they definitely got a reaction – but more than likely it’s just a weird little mistake.
What is interesting is that these events have shaken out a few interesting rumors about that hoped-for restoration of the Imagination ride. The last few years have provided a steady stream of whispers about plans being drawn up for the pavilion, but these always seem to be stymied by one reason or another. It’s said that Disney knows this attraction is a dog, but the fact of the matter is that someone has to cough up some cash before the rehab begins. In any case, one of the leaked tidbits that has come from several sources is that one potential plan for the attraction that is under consideration involves the remodeled ride expanding into the area currently occupied by Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. This would make up for the massive reduction of the attraction’s footprint in the 1999 remodeling, and would save Disney from having to shoot yet another 3-D film to replace the threadbare current presentation.
The pavilion really needs the work, so hopefully these changes come sooner rather than later, but for now we can assume the brief rebirth of the ImageWorks owes more to a fluke of copy-editing rather than a sneak preview of things to come.