Welcome to those of you joining me from Focused On The Magic and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 4th stop on our Magical Blogorail.
I’ve just got one thing on my Disney Refurbishment Wish List, but it’s a biggie: EPCOT’s Imagination Pavilion.
When I was a kid, we first visited EPCOT [Center] in 1983. Not having traveled abroad, the World Showcase blew my mind … whisking me away on a sophisticated journey through other cultures and realistic, faraway places.
But it was the Journey Into Imagination Pavilion that stole my heart. The smiles started with the leap frog fountains and upside down waterfall out front, the likes of which this tween-aged girl raised in South Dakota had never seen before.
Moving to the Pavilion’s interior, our favorite was ImageWorks – dubbed “the creative playground of the future”. That’s actually what I called it for years, and was how I described it excitedly to others after we returned home from our trip.
I’m sorry, but years later I found the The What-If? Labs to be a big disappointment, in comparison.
ImageWorks Worked Better!
When we took my daughter for her first trip, I gave her all the fantastic details of the Playground of the Future I envisioned was awaiting her in EPCOT’s Imagination Pavilion. I hyped it up greatly, knowing this would be the clear EPCOT favorite for my 4 year old (Ok, next to The Character Spot – that’s pretty hard to beat in a preschooler’s world).
Alas, it had been years since I had been there, so I was oblivious to the changes which had taken place. “There’s a rainbow tunnel of light [the Rainbow Corridor]” I described to her, breathlessly, “and this amazing music room with squares of light on the floor … you can jump around on the squares and play music! And this cool thing with pins that you can press your hand or face into and create a sculpture!”
But it was all different now, and in my opinion – inferior.
You Know the Old Stepping Tones Was More Fun…
Even the “playing-music-via-jumping-on-floor-pictures” (Stepping Tones) had changed in nature, and wasn’t as fun. In the old version, you’d find young and old alike … laughing and jumping around.
In the new area, it is typically too small for the grown ups to even join in, and the concept has been altered. Wasn’t it a dedicated, darkened room before? Now with the small sectioned off area and half wall along the side – I feel obligated as a Big Person to wait politely outside, observing the young ones play in the restricted space.
Ok, so I tried a couple of times to join in. Part of what I love about Disney is that there are no “this is for kids/this is for adults” lines drawn. But I (understandingly) received a few dirty looks from little ones trying to play, because let’s face it: I was taking up too much space. **Sigh** Not as fun.
Let’s Look at the Numbers, People
Allow me to use some hard statistics to prove my point: Wikipedia lists and describes the exhibits for the old vs new Imagination Pavilion interactive areas.
What-If Labs: 3
(Granted, I’m not claiming their lists are exhaustive … but I’m thinking even Wikipedia is with me here on the overall impression!)
I’ve read that in August 2010, Kodak, who had sponsored the pavilion since it opened, ended its sponsorship after nearly 28 years. And that as of early 2012, sponsorship of the area was assumed by ColorVision, a company that operates green-screen photo kiosks in many major theme parks. Sounds likes perfect timing for a refurb, to me!
Let’s Tap That Imagineer Talent Pool, Shall We?
It’s ironic that Disney – the masters of creativity, ingenuity, and imagination – allow a lack luster “Imagination!” Pavilion to continue in it’s stagnant state.
Don’t get me wrong – I love the glass pyramids, and the outside of the building in general is fun, playful and exciting. They don’t need to change that.
But let’s start fresh with the inside, interactive exhibit – shall we? Grab a handful of those amazing Imagineers, have a Think-Tank creative brainstorming session. And please bring back a Creative Playground of the Future to the Imagination Pavilion, Disney! Please, and thank you.
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Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Disney On Wheels.
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Loop should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
1st Stop ~ A Glass Slipper Vacation
2nd Stop ~ Your Highway in the Sky
3rd Stop ~ Focused on the Magic
4th Stop ~ Colorado Mountain Mom (You are here!)
Final Stop ~ Disney on Wheels
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There’s a cool Disney Trip contest being held by BodyLogicMD – enter to win a 2 night/3 day trip to Disney World.