Many guests are excited that towards the end of next year, there will be a Meet and Greet with Figment at Epcot.
This was announced to tremendous applause at the recent D23 (the official Disney Fan Club) meeting. According to Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, Josh D’Amaro, Figment will be getting his very own character meet and greet by the end of 2023. There weren’t too many details about the experience, but there’s no doubt that guests who are fans of Figment will be looking forward to this tremendously. And there are plenty of Figment fans! If you recall, the Figment Popcorn bucket released not long ago was a major hit, selling out in record time. So I expect this meet and greet will be extremely popular, as Figment has been a beloved character for many years.
Most guests know Figment from the current Journey Into Imagination With Figment attraction at Epcot, but let’s look at the history of this popular purple dragon!
Speaking of which, why IS Figment purple, since most dragons are drawn as green? The original sponsor of the Imagination attraction was Kodak. Kodak’s main film competitor was Fuji, which used green in its advertising. So traditional green was out, and purple was in for this dragon! Kodak’s colors were yellow and red, which matches the colors of the shirt Figment wears.
Figment was first introduced to guests in an earlier rendition of the current attraction. His look has remained the same through the years. He’s got huge yellow eyes, the snout of a crocodile, horns of a steer, and (as mentioned above) a purple body.
Imagineer Tony Baxter came up with the character originally. The actual name Figment came from a line in an episode of the TV show Magnum P.I. Magnum had a goat hidden in his yard. The character Higgins was upset his flowers were being eaten (by the goat), but Magnum says he’s wrong about the flowers, and it’s a “Figment of his Imagination.” That line inspired Imagineer Baxter to come up with the name of our friend Figment.
In the first version of the ride, guests were introduced to Dreamfinder and his adorable companion, Figment. Dreamfinder was all about using imagination, and during the original attraction, we learn that he created Figment with his imagination. This version of the attraction is missed by many. It was replaced in 1999, and Figment was barely seen in “Journey Into Your Imagination,” much to the chagrin of many guests. The ride was re-imagined again in 2002, and this is the version still at Epcot today, with the name “Journey Into Imagination With Figment.” Guests were delighted to see their purple buddy back in full force in the latest version.
There is way more to Figment than the ride attraction. He is considered to be Epcot’s mascot and the mascot of Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts.
He’s become so popular that all of the recent Festivals at Epcot include Figment in important roles. For example, Figment has had hidden portraits scattered about the park during Festival of the Arts. These are famous paintings that have been re-imagined to add Figment as the main subject, and guests have fun searching for them.
Also during that festival, there are opportunities for guests to contribute to painting a large Figment mural, and they receive a postcard of Figment once done.
Figment has a topiary and plenty of merchandise for sale at the International Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot.
This year’s International Food & Wine Festival’s mascot is Remy from Ratatouille—but there is so much Food & Wine merchandise for sale that is Figment related you’d guess HE was the mascot.
Figment is the favorite character of many Disney guests. His friendly manner and happy attitude spread a sweet and positive message. I look forward to the return of his meet and greet opportunity, as I am sure so many others do. Here are a few additional fun facts regarding the beloved dragon:
- The restroom behind the Imagination Pavilion plays music from the original version of the attraction (as of this writing).
- Easter Egg Alerts! In the Pixar film Inside Out, Figment is visible in one scene (in a portrait near the Train of Thought as it arrives in Imagination Land). Additionally, he appears in the 1996 live-action remake of 101 Dalmations as a plush above the screen of Roger’s computer monitor.
- The current voice of Figment is Dave Goelz. Muppet fans know Dave as the original voice of (among others) Bunsen Honeydew, Gonzo the Great, Zoot (from the Electric Mayhem band) and, since the passing of Jim Henson, Dave has voiced Waldorf.
- Guests could originally meet Figment as a puppet being held by his “creator” in the attraction, The Dreamfinder. From 2005 until 2008 a large walking figment could be seen near his attraction at Epcot, as well as at a Meet and Greet specifically for him, “Figment’s Place.” How the character will appear when he returns at the end of 2023 is unknown at this time, but it’s exciting to look forward to.