One of the mandates during the creation of EPCOT Center was to differentiate its offerings from what could be found in Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom. One of the more famous elements of that agenda was the lack of traditional Disney characters in the park; instead of Mickey and friends, EPCOT would showcase new characters.
The best known of these are, of course, Dreamfinder and Figment from Kodak’s Journey into Imagination pavilion. The professorial Dreamfinder was an evolution of “Professor Marvel,” a character conceived for Tony Baxter’s unbuilt “Discovery Bay” Disneyland expansion. He migrated east when a host was needed for the Kodak pavilion, becoming the character we know today.
These images are from March of 1981, when the character was starting to come to life in the workshops of WED Enterprises.
Dreamfinder, host of the Journey into Imagination Pavilion in Epcot Center, nears the final approval stage in the Sculpture Shop. Pictured [below] is the full-scale clay model, which recently took on a whole new look as fittings were made for his wardrobe.
The model stands 5’6″ and has reddish-blonde hair. Wayne Strong, who set aside his sculpting tools and did the make-up for Dreamfinder, revealed that early conceptual drawings specified white hair, but were changed when the character began to look a bit too much like Santa Claus.
Dreamfinder has been gone from Epcot for more than a decade now, but we live in hope of his eventual return…