Just Published: Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
Well, the plan this morning was that I would be bringing you video and some still photos of Disneyland's renovated Fantasmic! show, complete with the new high-tech Maleficent dragon animatronic that Disney's been promising all summer.
Disney was supposed to debut Maleficent earlier this summer, at the "Summer Nightastic" press event, but the dragon went "101" (Disneyspeak for "not working") and has remained inoperable since.
Until Friday, when I got a breathless e-mail from Disney's PR rep, inviting me (and many others, I am sure) to a pre-dawn "dress rehearsal" of Fantasmic! this morning, complete with the new dragon. I RSVP'd with a "Heck, yes!" and hauled myself out of bed at 3 o'clock this morning for the drive down to Anaheim.
You can see where this is going, can't you?
"Murphy," as many folks inside and out of the company have taken to calling the dragon ("whatever can go wrong, will"), still ain't working, as I discovered when I arrived and the PR reps informed us that the event was off.
So Disneyland's dragon joins Universal Studios Florida's Rip Ride Rockit coaster as the most recalcitrant theme park attractions of the summer. Of course, Rip Ride Rockit eventually did open. And, I suppose, at some point Murphy Maleficent will appear as well. Until then, though, Disneyland seems well on its way toward setting the record for most press events hyping an attraction that no one in the press has yet seen.
Two, and counting.
(I'm going back to sleep.)
Update: Disney's sent hand-out art and video of the dragon from a run-through when it did work:
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