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Walt Disney World's new Dragon debuts above the Magic Kingdom's New Fantasyland

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Published: December 5, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Disney tonight premiered its new flying dragon, during a party celebrating the official opening of the New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

Here's the video:

This is Disney's heavily-hyped new flying plaything, though it remains to be seen whether Disney will make this a recurring feature in the Magic Kingdom (a la Tinkerbell's castle fly-by), or if it will leave the dragon's appearance as a one-shot deal, with the technology to be re-employed elsewhere, at another time.

As for the New Fantasyland - despite this week's "official opening" the new section of this land isn't finished yet. Its centerpiece - the Snow White-themed Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - won't open for at least another year. And what is opening this week has been officially soft opened for a couple weeks, and unofficially opened for a couple weeks before that.

ICYMI, I offered my thoughts on this phase of the New Fantasyland last month, as well as reviews of the new Be Our Guest and Gaston's Tavern restaurants, as well as took a look at Be Our Guest's unique lunchtime ordering system.

Update: Almost forgot about the Storybook Circus section of New Fantasyland, which also officially opens this week, even though it actually opened last March.

Readers' Opinions

From 71.226.19.76 on December 5, 2012 at 8:48 PM
It's rather spectacular. Far more realistic than I think most people would expect.
From Skipper Adam on December 5, 2012 at 9:15 PM
So, call me a Disney fan boy if you want, but this is rather impressive for, well, any theme park, or well, any grand opening, or well, any type of dragon animatronic, or well, dragon flying....well it's awesome.

On another note, I will be upset, if as the video suggest,that it was a one time thing....which makes little sense. I'm attending the grand opening ceremonies in the morning and working tomorrow evening at Mermaid, so fingers crossed I'll see it sometime.

From N B on December 5, 2012 at 10:01 PM
You all know I'm not a Disney fanboy, but the effect was impressive.
From Robert Niles on December 5, 2012 at 10:04 PM
I can't believe that Disney would work something to this level, and then just shelve it. (Though, hey, has anyone seen Lucky the Dinosaur recently?)

I can believe that Disney would underpromise - go with the "one night only" - and then drop in more nights if the system becomes reliable. The last time Disney heavily hyped a new dragon (Disneyland's Fantasmic!), uh, things didn't work out so well for a while.

From Phil B. on December 5, 2012 at 10:25 PM
That was pretty cool, I must say, but I'd like to see a guest video without the music drowning out the noise of the prop engine and the winged beast framed just so, as to not allow us to see the parachute. Will this only be a night time thing as to help conceal the chute? Either way, as far as that video is concerned, I was impressed with the articulation, as well as the fire breathing. Definite "E" for effort!
From 69.112.132.96 on December 5, 2012 at 10:32 PM
A fan video in this post:

http://thedisneyblog.com/2012/12/05/dragon-really-does-fly-over-new-fantasyland-media-event/

From N B on December 6, 2012 at 12:37 AM
I am fairly sure the Disney resort insurance underwriter frowns on a propeller driver craft flying above crowds with incendiary devices inside.... I would imagine it cost a lot of money just to insure the one fly over.
From TH Creative on December 6, 2012 at 2:09 AM
That was amazing!
From 72.197.30.46 on December 6, 2012 at 2:52 AM
Only Disney can have a "grand opening" for a land that is yet to be completed!
From TH Creative on December 6, 2012 at 3:45 AM
Who is Disney's insurance underwriter for liability? I've always heard that they self-insure.

Interesting that you can't see any running lights on the ultra-light.

From Zena Sharpe on December 6, 2012 at 4:21 AM
AWESOME! Wow, this really needs to be kept - at least till I can fly back over the pond to see it myself!
From Tim Hillman on December 6, 2012 at 6:41 AM
That was awesome! Even this Disney skeptic was impressed.

Hopefully Disney can keep it running until my next trip there.

From 92.237.20.57 on December 6, 2012 at 8:48 AM
Looks totally amazing to me, very impressed with what i saw. Id much rather see that than that somewhat boring montage of peoples days at the Magic Kingdom (which you can barely see properly anyway). Disney is about mystery and fantasy and the wow factor - i genuinely think this dragon added that - at 37 yrs old i thought that was cool
From Dominick D on December 6, 2012 at 9:16 AM
This was amazing!
From Mike Gallagher on December 6, 2012 at 10:50 AM
Yawn....

I hope it's a lot more exciting in person for those who enjoy that kind of thing (admittedly, many.) I couldn't care less.

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