24 August 2012

What if

If you ever visit Epcot, specifically the Imagination pavilion, before 1999 or have studied the early years of the park, then you know precisely where this staircase and elevator led. For those you who haven’t, I’m willing to bet you’ve wondered what lies at the end of this staircase. Well, wonder no more!

Once upon a time, the second floor of the Imagination pavilion featured a play and explore area known as the Image Works, think What If Labs but on a much grander scale, and this stairwell and circular glass elevator were the portals that accessed the Image Works. The first thing you would notice, beyond the activities that filled the entire second level, was the sun shining through the clear pyramid walls that form the pavilion and the incredible views of Epcot that were offered from this vantage point.

The vistas would soon give way to the real reasons guests were there, the colorful and mind-boggling experiences that filled every corner of the Image Works. There was a rainbow tunnel to run through, electronic coloring books where your pictures were displayed on the walls above and around guests, and pin tables where you could watch movements as they happen or make a real impression on something. Through video magic guests could interact with the Dreamfinder during one of his adventures, there were also musical bubbles, a photo taking device where you could manipulate your looks, and octagons of brightly colored light that played music.

The Image Works were the total sensory experience, from sight to hearing to touch and everything in between. No matter which of the activities you chose to partake in once you reached that second floor, they each required one thing to make them go, the power locked inside your imagination!


Jim said...

"What if" indeed. Loved Image Works and the entire original Imagination pavilion. The irony is almost unbearable to see what has happened to this pavilion. Incomprehensible that this Co. is devoid of ideas (or courage to execute them) for the Imagination pavilion, and seemingly unable to form a partnership with a company (apple? google? 2nd grade class?)who could.
Ah well; no rant intended. A reboot of the 2nd floor space would be nice.

Rich T. said...

I was lucky enough to visit WDW in time to experience Wonders of Life, Horizons, World of Motion and == my favorite -- the original version of the Imagination Pavilion. Loved Journey into Imagination and loved the Image Works! My favorite was the corner where you could conduct an invisible orchestra by waving your arms.

There are so many possibilities for renewing that space...heck, maybe they should turn the whole pavilion over to Phineas and Ferb (I'm serious).

Unknown said...

Yes! I have memories (and documented video) of being somewhere between 6-8 years old and performing the video with my Dad and my Uncle.

I remember being on a spaceship and having to run away from these huge, hulking, robotic security guards.

It was incredibly fun, and is hilarious to go back and see on video.

Anonymous said...

Leonard Kinsey (Dark Side of Disney) went up there last year and shot video. Here is the video spliced with MartinsVids footage of Image Works in its prime: