All About Figment: Disney’s Lovable Purple Dragon at Epcot

Disney Figment

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While Epcot can’t compete with Disneyland’s fame, Florida’s “permanent World Fair” certainly makes up for it with the sheer inspiration and delight that it has on offer. Serving as an integral part of Walt Disney World, Epcot touts countless rides, the famous World Showcase, and a firm status as the fourth most visited theme park in North America.

Epcot Spaceship Earth
Spaceship Earth at Epcot. Image: Anthony Quintano from Westminster, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can’t spell ‘iconic’ without ‘icon’, however, which is where the star of this guide comes into play—Figment the dragon.

This purple beam of curiosity was originally created as an animatronic for the ride Journey into Imagination. His influence was impossible to contain to a single attraction, reverberating throughout Disney Parks and media before eventually enshrining him as Epcot’s unofficial mascot.

Golden statue of Figment the dragon
Image: Disney

Just about anyone who’s been to Epcot can tell you just how iconic Figment is, but how exactly did he come to capture countless hearts and even a shot at a feature film? Read on to find out and get better acquainted with the dragon himself!

Introducing… Figment


Figment is the mischievous yet lovable purple dragon seen in the Journey Into Imagination with Figment ride at Epcot.

Most Disney characters earn their following after appearing in a Disney movie and then get a ride made in their honor. But Figment’s story is kind of upside down and opposite of that (sometimes imaginations work like that) as he earned his cult following, not from a movie, but a ride.

Imagination pavilion at Epcot with monorail passing by
Imagination! pavilion at Epcot. Image: Joe Penniston

One could argue that Disney fans connect with the little dragon because he embodies some of Walt Disney’s most popular philosophies: embracing the spirit of boundless imagination and the ability to connect with others through creativity.

Perhaps there’s no stronger voice to resonate with dreamers than Figment’s.

The Imagineering Story of Figment

Figment was created by Imagineer and Disney Legend Tony Baxter. When Imagineers started building characters for Journey Into Imagination, they conjured up a character to portray the spirit of imagination. This would be Dreamfinder. 

Dreamfinder on zeppelin-like contraption from the ride Journey into Imagination
Image: Disney

Dreamfinder represents the more practical side of the imaginative process: turning dreams into reality. Imagineers even looked to Walt Disney quotes for inspiration on how to define Dreamfinder’s character.

Figment the purple dragon in Journey into Imagination
Image: Disney

Baxter then decided that Dreamfinder needed a sidekick, and so, Figment was born. 

Sketch of Dreamfinder and Figment
Image: Disney

Figment is of the same tree as Dreamfinder but a different brach, as he represents the more playful, child-like side of imagination.

A Dragon Named After Magnum P.I.’s Hidden Goats

Did you know there’s a connection between the naming of Figment and Magnum P.I.? Tony Baxter details the story on an episode of Podcast: The Ride.

Magnum P.I.

Apparently, during an episode of Magnum P.I., Magnum hides goats on someone’s property, who end up eating all the plants. Magnum is questioned about the plants being eaten, to which he replies, “Oh, that’s just a figment of your imagination.” Magnum is met with the response, “Figments don’t eat grass.”

In hearing this, it all clicked for Baxter and Figment got his name.

A Dragon of a Different Color

The original attraction for the duo was planned as part of the never-built expansion at Disneyland Resort called Discovery Bay. Additionally, Dreamfinder was first named Professor Marvel, in honor of his showcase of curiosities and marvels. As for his sidekick? A little green dragon. 

Figment used to be a green, not purple, dragon.
Figment depicted as a green dragon in a portion of an Epcot postcard from 1981 featuring concept art from Walt Disney Imagineering. Image: Stacia Martin

When Kodak signed on to sponsor the ride, it was noted that the green was too similar to the color used by rival FujiFilm. Thus, the royal purple pigment Figment is known for today was adopted.

Dreamfinder and Figment at Walt Disney World's Epcot
Dreamfinder and Figment. Image: Disney

His original red and yellow sweater is also a nod to the Kodak logo.

The Many Voices of Figment

The first attempt to find the voice for Figment was through a casting call that appeared in Disney’s cast newsletter. Disney sought out Cast Members with unique voices in the hopes one of them would suit the character.

Casting call from Disney to find Figment's voice actor
Image: Disney

It doesn’t appear it was a success for any Cast Members at the time, as the role eventually went to actor Billy Barty.

Others who have voiced the little purple dragon are Corey Burton and Muppeteer Dave Goelz. Jean Stapleton, famously known for her portrayal of Edith Bunker in the 1970s sitcom All in the Family, also voiced the sidekick during the groundbreaking ceremony of the pavilion.

Journey Into Imagination 

When Epcot first opened, it wasn’t as kid-friendly as Magic Kingdom. The sprawl meant a larger amount of walking, and not to mention, there weren’t as many rides. 

Enter: Figment. 

Journey into Imagination ride in 1983
Figment circa 1983. Image: Loren Javier

In 1983, the Imagination! pavilion opened at Epcot. It featured a ride called Journey Into Imagination that was beloved by children and adults alike. This was, in part, thanks to Figment who quickly became a fan favorite. 

Journey into Imagination ride
Image: Disney

The ride took park visitors on a whimsical journey through the imagination. Figment accompanied the guests while they learned about the human imagination and took part in a few imaginative activities of their own. It also featured the iconic song One Little Spark, written by The Sherman Brothers.

Dreamfinder and Figment also became walk-around characters at Epcot. This gave fans the opportunity to interact with some of their favorite characters in real life, too. 

Dreamfinder and Figment walk through rainbow tunnel at Walt Disney World
Image: Disney

Dreamfinder was played by actor and writer Ron Schneider. He details his experience playing the iconic character in his book From Dreamer to Dreamfinder: A Life and Lessons Learned in 40 Years Behind a Name Tag.

Journey Into Whose Imagination?

In 1998, the ride closed for a major renovation and reopened in October of the following year. The ride was given a new name: Journey into YOUR Imagination.

The new concept featured more of a scientific bend than a whimsical one. The ride was a tour of the Imagination Institute hosted by a new character, Dr. Nigel Channing, played by Eric Idle. Riders ventured through various labs in the Institute which tested their senses and imaginations.

Dreamfinder and the catchy, vocal version of the theme song were gone. Most notably missing? Figment.

Given that seeing everyone’s favorite dragon was a main draw for the ride, parkgoers were obviously disappointed. Fans did not feel a connection to this new iteration and the negative reviews led to the ride being shut down again in 2001.

Figment’s Return

Disney listened to fan feedback and in 2002 Figment returned in an updated version of the ride, Journey into Imagination with Figment.

Imagination pavilion at Epcot
Image: Disney

The ride concept is still centered around the Imagination Institute and Dr. Nigel Channing, but now with Figment as his mischievous sidekick who causes havoc in the lab. This is the version of Journey Into Imagination you can still ride at Epcot today. 

Figment on the ceiling in Journey into Imagination with Figment
Image: Joe Penniston

Some fans are still hoping for a renovation that stars the original Disney duo, Dreamfinder and Figment. Currently, there are no plans to bring Dreamfinder back to the ride.

Figment at Disney Parks and Beyond

To see Figment in his natural habitat, you can catch him at Epcot in the Imagination! pavilion.

Figment meet and greet at Epcot
Image: Disney

In September 2023, Figment arrived at Epcot for meet-and-greets. When first rolled out, fans were waiting in winding lines for up to five hours just to meet their favorite purple dragon!

He also has some surprising appearances elsewhere. 

Figment’s Evil Twin at Tokyo Disneyland

A little-known secret is that Tokyo Disneyland actually features a version of Figment in gargoyle form inside Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast. He’s known as Figment’s Evil Twin. 

Figment easter egg at Tokyo Disneyland
Image: Chris Explorer

This fun fact gained traction after it was shared by blogger Chris Explorer and later confirmed by former Imagineer Jim Clark.

Figment on Disney Cruise Lines

Hidden Figments are the new Hidden Mickeys! Disney shared the news that guests staying in the Tomorrow Tower Suite on the Disney Treasure “will encounter Figment posing in various hiding places.”

Disney Treasure cruise ship
Image: Disney

The 2,000-square-foot suite features a private elevator, library, and is themed after Figment’s home park, Epcot. It also comes with the hefty price tag to boot. Prices for the suite start at around $8,000 a night.

Quite the castle for a dragon!

Figment Merchandise

As you’d expect, with a character as popular as Figment, his merchandise is a hot ticket with Disney fans.

Probably the most popular item is the Figment Popcorn Bucket. So popular, in 2022, fans waited up to five hours just to buy the souvenir!

Figment popcorn bucket
Image: Disney

Often, Disney merchandise that sells out in the parks ends up on reseller sites, like eBay. The Figment Popcorn Bucket was no exception. While it retailed for $25 at Disney, resellers were moving them on eBay for up to $270 at the time of their release, and many still sell for $100 now. 

Vintage Figment plush stuffed animal
Image: Disney

Vintage Figment merch, like tees and sweaters, can sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay and other resale sites as well.

On shopDisney, you’ll find a steady stream of fresh Figment merchandise, including plush toys, jewelry, shirts, prints, and even Christmas ornaments. We’re sharing a sample of our current favorites below.

Figment plush

Figment Cuddleez Plush

Can’t imagine a cozier nap than with a snuggly Figment plush.


Figment MagicBand+

This design has imagination all over it: lightbulb, gears, and of course, Figment!

Disney Christmas ornament

Figment Ceramic Sketchbook Ornament

The spirit of imagination meets the spirit of Christmas!

Figment Movies 

Language Arts Through Imagination

In the late 1980s, Figment appeared in an educational series released by Disney called Language Arts Through Imagination. The live-action/animation hybrid series starred Figment and was set in a land of his own creation called Figonia.

The premise consisted of Figment inviting children, played by live actors, to Figonia where they would embark on educational adventures. With Figment’s assistance, along with help from other Disney characters like Peter Pan and Alice, they’d explore ideas about colors, sounds, and more.

Check out the episode “Reading Magic with Figment and Peter Pan” below.

Figment Feature Film

It was reported in 2022 that a Figment feature film is on the horizon. The film is currently in production with Point Grey Pictures, Seth Rogen’s production company, with no other news released since the initial announcement.

Figment Easter Eggs in Disney Movies

Figment has appeared in easter eggs in Inside Out and Toy Story 4.

In Inside Out, he can be spotted in a scene where Bing Bong stands outside Imagination Land in Riley’s mind. Can you spot him in the framed portrait on the right?

Inside Out easter egg
Check the frame on the bottom-right. Image: Disney/Pixar

In Toy Story 4, eagle eyes can spy the dragon’s image as part of the carnival signage for the game Dragon Zone.

Toy Story 4 easter egg
Check the sign on the left. Image: Disney/Pixar

Figment Comics, Books, and Video Games

Disney Kingdoms: Figment

Disney and Marvel Comics released a five-part comic called Disney Kingdoms: Figment.

Disney Kingdoms: Figment comic book cover and interior pages

The story follows the adventures of Dreamfinder and Figment as they explore the universe. Set against the backdrop of creativity and discovery, with a steampunk twist, the comics showcase the relationship between the characters and the limitless potential of the human mind.

You’ll even notice some familiar settings in the stories, like Spaceship Earth and other notable Epcot landmarks.

Figment Books

Figment Little Golden Book
Image: Little Golden Books

Like many Disney characters and attractions before him, Figment now has his own Little Golden Book. If he hasn’t made it already, well he surely has now!

Figment is set to be released in January 2024 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Figment Video Games

Disney Speedstorm character Figment
Image: Disney

In 2023, Disney announced Figment as a new unlockable character in the epic battle-racing game Speedstorm. They even made his racing number 83, in honor of the year Journey into Imagination opened.

Figment: Epcot’s Most Iconic Mascot

Figment has long been Epcot’s most iconic character and, since his inception, has resonated profoundly with fans thanks to his curious personality and reminder of the power of “one little spark.”

Figment Imagination poster
Image: Disney

If you want to see Figment today, head to the Imagination! pavilion at Epcot and come face-to-face with the lovable fellow himself.

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