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Future Catchup

When Epcot opened, most kids did not enjoy most of the attractions. Spaceship Earth explored communications from the dawn of time to 20th Century America. Horizons explored future worlds on earth, in the water, in the skies. Motion showed the advance of transportation from foot into the 20th Century. The attractions were both informative and educational–two kisses of death for too young America today.

With the New Millennium came the need for some modernization. The world as we know it has changed dramatically from when Epcot opened in 1982. Spaceship Earth has been redesigned to emphasize recent technology. Horizons closed and its space revamped into Mission Space, an attraction that visitors seem either to throng to or to avoid entirely. Transportation was leveled to make room for the need for speed ride Test Track. The Energy Pavilion got a new approach with a prequel and postquel featuring Ellen Degeneras. Many parts of the Land were gutted to make room for Soaring, a ride so successful in California that Imagineering took its adventure to Florida too. The ride through the Living Seas was closed. What a loss! Those were the attractions of Futureworld aimed at the mamas and papas.

figment

Imagination was rethought again and yet again. By the time it morphed into Design III, Epcot had lost not only the only ride meant for toddlers through adolescence, but the Figment character itself had been purged. Too bad Disney didn’t leave the original ride alone. It was the only really child friendly ride in the entire park. It didn’t traumatize, bore, or make the under 12 segment fall asleep.)

Just exactly was Figgy’s crime–being popular? Why didn’t Disney simply take out its old design and building specs and rebuild the ride that made us all laugh? Once I inquired a manager why didn’t they restore the first ride. The response given me was that it had been sold off.
Hmm… Was there a power play with Kodak, sponsor of the attraction? Did some clause in Figment leasing remove the happy yellow eyed, purple pigmented from the scene? The words to his song are telling:

One little spark
Of inspiration
Is at the heart, ha, ha
Of all creation
Right at the start
Of everything that’s new
One little spark
Lights up for you
Two tiny wings
Eyes big and yellow
Horns of a steer
What a lovable fellow!
From head to tail
He’s royal purple pigment
And there, Voila!
You’ve got a Figment

2 thoughts on “Future Catchup

    1. I too love Figment. Disney doesn’t market him much. I suppose its contract with Kodak doesn’t give them the profit share they want.

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