The Classic ImageWorks Rainbow Tunnel Will Return in the New “Epcot Experience Center” Inside The Odyssey Later This Year

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Many a childhood was shaped by Epcot’s Imagination pavilion. While most regard the original Journey Into Imagination attraction as quite possibly the greatest theme park ride ever built, there was certainly a lot of memorable things to see and do upstairs, above the ride, in the ImageWorks play area. The one thing from the now-defunct electronic playground that everyone seems to fondly remember is the Rainbow Corridor, or as most call it, “The Rainbow Tunnel”.

For those unaware, this was a large tunnel that featured colored lights that followed guests as they went through, with each guest getting assigned a different color. This gained a bit of notoriety when Disney fan Michael Jackson had several photos taken here in the 1980’s. The tunnel was a part of the Imageworks from when it opened in 1982, until it closed in 1998.

You can watch some guests go through the tunnel in the video below to get a better idea of how it worked:

The Rainbow Corridor was abandoned in 1998 when ImageWorks moved downstairs. It sat dormant upstairs until about 2-3 years ago.

When the Disney Vacation Club member lounge moved in to the old ImageWorks space upstairs, much of what remained behind the walls of the rest area was removed. Many assumed the Rainbow Corridor was destroyed, but it seems that it was carefully dismantled and saved, ready to return to use somewhere down the road.

According to sources close to the project, the Rainbow Corridor will return as part of the already announced Epcot Experience Center in The Odyssey. With the park being radically re-imagined as we speak, Disney will use the tunnel in a space also previewing models and concept art of what’s to come, seemingly in an effort to assure guests that what they love about Epcot will live on “well into the future”, despite drastic changes and an invasion of Intellectual Property-based attractions. We’ll see if many agree with that as time progresses.

Disney is expected to announce more about the future of Epcot at the 2019 D23 Expo in August. Among the expected unveilings will be the confirmation of stories already posted here at WDWNT.com, including the Brazil pavilion for World Showcase, Project Gamma, the overhaul of Spaceship Earth, what’s inside the new Play Pavilion, the backwards launch of the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster, the debut dates for 4 new film attractions, and more.

Models and such displayed at this year’s Expo are expected to move to the new Epcot Experience Center (inside the recently remodeled Odyssey), which should open shortly after the August convention. The Experience Center will host the Rainbow Tunnel, those aforementioned preview displays, and also a food and beverage location (rumored to be temporarily Starbucks once the existing location closes to make way for Project Gamma). Work on this conversion is already underway, so the building and its interior restroom facility is currently closed to guests.

Given the heart-wrenching rumor that the Country Bears will be leaving us soon (in addition to the multitude of price hikes Disney World just put into effect), it’s nice to have something positive regarding the future of The Vacation Kingdom of the World that we can all get behind. Don’t you agree?

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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Steve
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Steve

I’m glad to see this!! It’s refreshing to know that WDW didn’t destroy everything from the original version of Journey Into Imagination. Now if they’ll put the Journey Into Imagination ride back to the original version (maybe with updated lighting, sound, and ride vehicles) and bring back Dreamfinder to keep his pal Figment company, I’ll be a happy camper:) That’s what dreams are for:)

Phillip Ratter
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Phillip Ratter

The best thing that they could do for EPCOT would be to return the original ride, but as you said, update it. Same basic layout and story, but new animatronics, effects, vehicles, the works. Spare no expense, do it with LOVE. Guaranteed to be the most popular attraction in the park. Retro and modern, fun and catchy, new and yet familiar. It’s what we all want to see (and therefore won’t ever happen).

SampleText
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SampleText

Well it’s a bit reassuring… But we’ll have to see if it’s truly honoring the past or trying to cover up the future!

Deb
Guest
Deb

I think that Disney should take the props from all the rides and attractions that got rid of and create a new ride entitled “WDW: The Vintage Years”. How many would be willing to see that ride? Too bad they repurposed the Chinese Theater. It would have been a good spot.

Randy Clifford
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Randy Clifford

With this “honoring” of EPCOT Center, I believe Disney is just placating us complainers for a year or two so they can go ahead with the eventual killing off of everything not IP related.

Wayne
Guest
Wayne

I’m sure they just want to be reassuring as they destroy old EPCOT, rainbow tunnel t-shirts on the way $29.99

Brandon
Guest
Brandon

All of that Osborne wonderful news. But the bit that struck me the most was when you mentioned that the country bears would be leaving soon.