There are certain things synonymous with a Walt Disney World Vacation, such as Cinderella Castle, monorails, attractions, and, of course, characters! After all, if you didn’t meet Mickey and Minnie, a Disney Princess, or your favorite Pixar character, did you even go to Disney World? However, when exploring the parks and resorts, some guests may come across character merchandise or references they’re not familiar with or who don’t have a Disney movie of their own. So for today’s installment of Disney Characters You May Not Know, we’re taking a journey into imagination to learn all about Figment!
Who is Figment?
Figment is a purple dragon from Epcot’s Imagination Pavilion and often considered the unofficial mascot of the park. Figment is a figment of the Dreamfinder’s imagination; and according to his attraction’s original song, he’s, “two tiny wings, eyes big and yellow, horns of a steer, but a lovable fellow. From head to tail, he’s royal purple pigment. And there, Voila! You’ve got a Figment!”
So who is the Dreamfinder? Known for his blue suit, red beard, and top hat, the cheerful Dreamfinder was the host of Epcot’s original Journey Into Imagination attraction. Along with creating Figment from his own imagination, he collects dreams and sparks in his signature machine. He also taught guests, along with Figment, all about ideas and the power of imagination.
The History of Figment
The original EPCOT Center was home to pavilions themed after energy, transportation, communication, the land and seas, and more. The Journey Into Imagination Pavilion was open when EPCOT Center debuted in 1982. However, its signature dark ride didn’t open to guests until March 5, 1983.
This original Journey Into Imagination attraction, as well as Figment and the Dreamfinder, was created by Imagineers Tony Baxter and Steve Kirk. The ride was a hit with guests from the start and offered a much-needed kid-friendly character in Figment. The Sherman Brothers of Mary Poppins fame even wrote the attraction’s song “One Little Spark!”
Guests could also interact with a walk-around Dreamfinder character with a puppet Figment outside the Journey Into Imagination pavilion. This particular meet-and-greet is still missed by those who remember it today!
The Journey Into Imagination attraction closed for a refurbishment in 1998. Due to sponsorship issues with Kodak, a new version titled Journey Into Your Imagination opened in 1999. In this version, Dr. Nigel Channing replaced the Dreamfinder. Tragically, Figment’s presence was reduced to only a minor appearance at the end of the ride.
Naturally fans were less than thrilled with this change. This resulted in the Journey Into Your Imagination’s closure in 2001. The attraction then reopened as Journey Into Imagination with Figment which is the version still in operation today. In this adaptation, the Dreamfinder is still absent. However, Figment is now present all throughout the attraction which focuses on the five senses and letting your imagination run free.
Where Can You Find Figment?
In addition to Epcot’s Journey Into Imagination with Figment attraction, guests can find Figment on an assortment of souvenirs ranging from pins to plush to apparel and more! Also, in recent years, he’s specifically been showcased during Epcot’s festivals in both exclusive merchandise and even in topiary form!
Back in 2014, Disney and Marvel teamed up to produce a comic book mini-series called Disney Kingdoms: Figment. Also, a clip from his Figment’s signature song “One Little Spark” was recently featured in Epcot Forever, Epcot’s new nightly fireworks display!
Even though Figment’s home attraction has changed quite a bit through the years, he maintains a strong presence at Walt Disney World these days. In fact, he’s even been spotted at Disney California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort!
Inside Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! fans can spot Figment’s silhouette in a frosted glass box hanging in the Collector’s fortress!
Epcot is currently being re-imagined and under major construction. For a while, Figment fans worried whether he would survive the new vision for the park.
Currently, there are no scheduled changes coming to the Journey Into Your Imagination with Figment attraction. But due to Figment’s fan base, iconic status, and presence on merchandise, I think only positive changes are in store for the future of our lovable fellow.
Are you a Figment fan? Did you know about this Disney character or is he new to you? Please share!