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Wednesday, November 15, 2023

It is Time to Reimagine Journey into Creativeness.


Disney Parks has posted a collection of movies that includes Figment arriving to California with a suitcase an thought bag & e book and a dream his creativeness. In these movies, the character visits the Walt Disney Studios company headquarters in Burbank and Walt Disney Imagineering campus in Glendale.

The first in a collection of 5 movies options Figment letting his creativeness run wild in Legends Plaza in entrance of the Group Disney headquarters (the Michael Eisner or “Seven Dwarfs” constructing–the place Bob Iger and the opposite c-suite head honchos work). Within the second video, Figment meets a superfan of his (eager eyes ought to acknowledge that bench). The third options Figment unloading a bunch of unimaginative junk from a bag at a safety checkpoint.

Within the fifth video, Figment demonstrates the 5 senses by visiting varied areas of the studio. He checks out the multiplane digital camera on show within the foyer, smells meals within the commissary, and so on. Most notably, Figment touches former Imagineer Tony Baxter’s handprints on his Disney Legends plaque. For individuals who are unfamiliar with him, Baxter created Figment for the unique Journey Into Creativeness attraction at EPCOT and has been fairly vocal lately about getting a crack at redoing the experience.

The last video is the end result of the whole lot that got here earlier than it, with the character carrying a notepad labeled Figment’s E-book of Concepts. He walks by means of the halls of the headquarters and meets with staff, earlier than lastly strolling by means of the doorways of the storied Walt Disney Imagineering constructing in Glendale.

D23 adopted up with their very own movies that remix the identical footage of Figment on the Walt Disney Studios and Imagineering headquarters, whereas additionally including photographs of Figment with the statues in Legends Plaza and touching Marty Sklar’s plaque.

We’ll begin with the plain, which is that Disney hasn’t introduced something in or alongside these movies. Completely nothing official has been mentioned about Journey into Creativeness getting a fourth model. They’re toying with us.

They know they’re toying with us, too. Regardless of cliches about social media accounts being “run by interns,” that’s not how any of it really works with Disney. A collection of posts like this is able to be workshopped, contain (a number of) conferences throughout departments, and undergo layers of approval. None of that is accomplished on a lark. It’s all purposeful and strategic.

Disney is aware of precisely what they’re doing by ending on a shot of Figment coming into Walt Disney Imagineering, the reactions and feelings it’ll evoke from followers. That’s exactly the purpose. They need the hypothesis. The thrill. The hope. The weblog posts like this one. (Hey, it’s not falling right into a entice if we soar into it willingly!)

Whether or not the video really means one thing or is teasing at an announcement to return is anybody’s guess. I’ve heard some followers speculate that this pertains to the upcoming Seth Rogen Figment movie. I’m extremely skeptical of that being the case. For one factor, that film was by no means formally introduced and it’s been over a yr since we’ve heard something about it. In between, Disney has in the reduction of considerably on streaming manufacturing, after which there have been writers’ and actors’ strikes, the latter of which was actually simply resolved.

Even when the movie continues to be in improvement (an enormous “if”), this doesn’t seem to be the time to share or tease an replace on it. This additionally doesn’t seem to be the way in which of doing so. These movies deal with Tony Baxter and Marty Sklar, two Imagineering legends well-known for being instrumental to EPCOT Heart. It additionally ends with Figment ending the Imagineering constructing.

Admittedly, studying something into the movies might be unwise. However when you’re going to attract conclusions, the video is main you in the direction of ones about EPCOT, not a film.

Shaggy dog story: we will’t have candles anymore as a result of Yossarian the Cat likes to “play” with the flame and saved burning himself. On a very unrelated observe, my honest perception is that Disney Parks is purposefully teasing an upcoming announcement for a reimagining of Journey into Creativeness at EPCOT. I’ll be the primary admit that’s coloured by me very a lot eager to consider. (I’m like Mulder and UFOs, however with manner worse luck!)

I’ve held out hope for a Journey into Creativeness reimagining for years, and been burned by quite a few rumors and bulletins that by no means got here to fruition. (I nonetheless can’t watch Frozen with out interested by what might have been had that film not been a smash hit.) Level being, what I believe will or ought to occur shouldn’t be taken severely by anybody.

With that mentioned, assuming for the sake of argument {that a} Journey into Creativeness reimagining had been going to occur, I believe that is in all probability how it will look. Josh D’Amaro wouldn’t simply point out it in passing as one of many fast hits through the Disney Parks Panel on the 2024 D23 Expo.

The corporate would construct as much as the announcement with a bunch of breadcrumbs and a collection of teases over the course of months, telegraphing their intentions to make such a divulge to generate pleasure and pack the Anaheim viewers with diehard EPCOT followers. The reveal itself could be as splashy as attainable, getting Tony Baxter and Figment (and Dreamfinder, if he’s to be concerned) on stage to share the information because the grand finale of the Parks Panel.

With the 2024 D23 Expo taking place August September 11, that is in regards to the time these teases would possibly begin. So now it’s a matter of seeing what else occurs within the coming months.

Whereas I can not say whether or not that is false hope or a honest signal that Journey into Creativeness is being reimagined, what I can say is that it must be. That it’s time to reimagine the Creativeness pavilion (Figment known as–desires adjustments!). That’s hardly a daring assertion–it’s been time for nicely over a decade. The final model was solely a band assist, meant as a fast repair for the actually abysmal second model.

It’s no secret that whilst diehard Figment devoted, we don’t love the present incarnation of the experience. It made our lists of the 10 Worst Attraction Replacements at Walt Disney World and 10 Points of interest That Have Aged Poorly at Walt Disney World. We not too long ago (half-heartedly) defended Journey into Creativeness as considered one of a number of points of interest at EPCOT that it is best to not skip, which is a “controversial” opinion as a result of the attraction actually is divisive.

The present Journey into Creativeness has low visitor satisfaction scores relative to different rides of its form. We’ve routinely remarked that first-timers confuse Figment for a Spyro the Dragon knock-off, which is de facto solely a half-joke.

Except you’re a toddler of the Eighties or 90s who skilled the unique attraction–which has been gone for a lot longer than it existed!–or are a voracious shopper of Disney historical past movies, you seemingly have zero affinity for Figment and would possibly even be confused by why the present character has such a robust fan following. (He doesn’t! It’s the outdated Figment we love!)

Not solely is visitor satisfaction low, however the present Journey into Creativeness attraction and the pavilion as a complete are underutilized. The experience routinely is a walk-on or has an precise wait time of underneath 5 minutes. The theater has been displaying the Pixar shorts for some time now, which was additionally meant to be a band assist following the elimination of Captain EO.

Earlier this yr, Disney management expressed a need to extend capability of the parks by reimagining areas which are at the moment underused. There are a number of such spots in EPCOT, however except for Wonders of Life, I can’t consider any which have as a lot potential for absorbing extra crowds because the Creativeness pavilion. There’s a lot untapped potential.

This strategy to rising attendance with out increasing makes an amazing quantity of sense. Though CEO Bob Iger and Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro have touted a plan to speculate $17 billion in Walt Disney World and one other plan to double funding to $60 billion in Disney Parks over the subsequent decade, they’ve additionally conceded that the spending will begin slower and ramp up within the again half of the last decade.

As we’ve identified repeatedly, Disney has an excessive amount of debt and never sufficient liquidity to front-load spending. Because of this regardless of the 10-year plan is for Disney’s Park & Resorts, it’s essentially backloaded. That’s why this weblog has centered on determining streaming, ESPN, linear tv, and so on. It’s not that we actually care about these divisions–we’re parks followers before everything–it’s that every one of that could be a prerequisite earlier than investing in Walt Disney World.

That alone places the begin of enlargement plans in late 2024 or 2025. This doesn’t imply Disney gained’t announce massive plans earlier, however we seemingly gained’t see vital building on something till then. Spending in all probability doesn’t begin in earnest till October 2024 or possibly even 2025. That’s the purpose at which we’d anticipate work to start on the Tropical Americas at Animal Kingdom, that means you in all probability have (at the least) one other yr to experience Dinosaur.

To that time, there’s additionally a cause why Walt Disney World will begin with Tropical Americas quite than the ‘Past Massive Thunder’ venture in Magic Kingdom. Nicely for one factor, Animal Kingdom is in rather more pressing want of assist. However the different massive cause is that Tropical Americas is generally a reimagining quite than a recent construct, and might be completed a lot, a lot quicker. (Whereas we hope there’s a brand-new Encanto experience on this land, there’s no assure of that.)

However this can be a put up about EPCOT and Journey into Creativeness, not Animal Kingdom. Attending to the purpose, when you take a look at the present Disney Parks Undertaking Timeline, you’ll discover completely no main points of interest on the horizon after Tiana’s Bayou Journey opens in 2024. If rumors are to be believed and that attraction is ready to open early, that leaves at the least a 2-year hole between that attraction and Tropical Americas.

In that point, Common is opening Epic Universe in Summer season 2025. Walt Disney World gained’t have a direct ‘reply’ to that new park. Whether or not they need to is one other subject for one more day. However it’s already too late for a brand new experience or land to debut at Walt Disney World alongside Epic Universe. That ship sailed at the least a yr in the past.

About the one factor that may very well be completed in that timeframe is experience reimaginings. Personally, I’m skeptical even that’s adequate time for any unannounced initiatives, nevertheless it’s at the least believable. A redone Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster may very well be accomplished in 6-8 months and could be a colossal draw with mainstream audiences.

Over at EPCOT, revisiting Wonders of Life with Inside Out 2 could be an ideal match for that pavilion, and supply a wanted family-friendly possibility for World Discovery. In the meantime, a reimagined Journey into Creativeness could be an enormous hit with followers and revitalize that nook of EPCOT.

So the timeline is sensible, and reimaginings definitely match with Disney’s plans to speculate $60 billion–however much less of that up entrance. (I do know loads of Walt Disney World followers gained’t like listening to this, however I believe we now have a very good 5+ years of redone rides earlier than we see something brand-new. Truthfully, as a lot as I’d love each, there are such a lot of rides in sorry states which are overdue for TLC that I’m form of tremendous with this strategy.)

About the one factor that makes the prospect of a Journey into Creativeness announcement on the 2024 D23 Expo much less seemingly is different potential initiatives at EPCOT. We already know that Take a look at Monitor 3.0 is coming, however that’s being funded by Basic Motors and largely has a special audience than the family-friendly Figment experience. Each might occur concurrently.

Nevertheless, Spaceship Earth can also be overdue for a refurbishment and that can be obligatory as a result of experience system sooner quite than later. That’ll in all probability be a year-long venture, and it’s tough to think about each it and Journey into Creativeness taking place on the similar time.

Then once more, it’s powerful to see Disney closing Spaceship Earth and placing up new building partitions proper after the partitions come down across the Large EPCOT Grime Pit. So it’s conceivable {that a} reimagining of Journey into Creativeness will leapfrog Spaceship Earth.

The ultimate cause why a reimagining of Journey into Creativeness might and may occur is repairing relations with followers and constructive PR. For Bob Iger, this must be a no brainer transfer. Though it’s unlikely he himself is a Figment fan, Bob Iger has demonstrated upon returning that he does care about visitor goodwill and fan disenchantment–however there’s extra work to be accomplished on that entrance. He’s additionally involved about his legacy.

Likewise, Josh D’Amaro nonetheless seems to be within the operating as a successor CEO. Regrettably, that’s not a place followers vote on, however there have been so much of mainstream media items about fan complaints in regards to the parks. If D’Amaro turns into the heir-apparent, you higher consider that CNBC, Wall Avenue Journal, and so on., will all be operating items in regards to the man who presided over a interval of fan unrest being promoted.

Bringing again Figment and Dreamfinder is a surefire manner of undoing loads of the outrage and model injury from the previous few years, quieting the complaints and criticism. I can’t consider another single constructive announcement that will outweigh so many prior negatives ones. Quite a bit could be forgiven by followers within the blink of an eye fixed.

An overhaul of Journey into Creativeness could be each a legacy venture and one thing that will outline the in any other case underwhelming World Celebration neighborhood of the EPCOT transformation, tying it collectively right into a extra cohesive venture. Figment would grow to be the face and mascot of the new-look EPCOT, elevating the in any other case underwhelming central backbone within the course of. Not solely that, however Figment has already “confirmed” that he can actually transfer merchandise and is a extremely profitable meet & greet character.

Walt Disney World has accomplished sufficient dipping its toes into the pool to check the recognition of Figment. It’s past time for a redone experience. There are a number of extremely compelling causes to maneuver ahead on this in 2024. It’s the second-best time to do one thing, with essentially the most logical time being a decade in the past.

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YOUR THOUGHTS

Do you assume 2024 will lastly be the yr {that a} reimagining of Journey into Creativeness is introduced? Assume Disney is purposefully teasing that with these movies or are they only giving us false hope once more? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation that now could be the second-most logical time for a Journey into Creativeness overhaul? Any questions? Listening to from you is half the enjoyable, so please share your ideas within the feedback!



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