Dopey falls during Fantasmic mishap at Disney World

August 7, 2016, 9:33 PM · A slip led to a scary moment during tonight's performance of Fantasmic! at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida.

Dopey slipped during the show's finale, falling under the railing on the top level of the steamboat down onto the level below. In falling, Dopey landed on Goofy, who broke the Snow White character's fall. A fan captured the incident and uploaded it:

Obviously, the first concern is for the health of both character performers — not just Dopey for falling several feet but also for Goofy having to take the force of Dopey's fall. Fortunately, Goofy's presence helped slow Dopey and take some of the force of the fall, not to mention keeping Dopey from falling into the water. But I can't imagine what it would be like to be performing in full character head and suit and to have another character drop on your back unexpectedly. I also can't imagine that this incident won't prompt an enormous amount of discussion within Disney, as whatever the fall protection plan on the Fantasmic! riverboat is clearly didn't get the job done tonight.

The performer playing Chip immediately went to Dopey's assistance, and you can see in the video Dopey making a hand signal to Chip. Initial reports on social media said that both actors involved escaped immediate injury. They were checked at the scene by paramedics and released.

Replies (31)

August 7, 2016 at 10:29 PM · It's a good thing he didn't fall into the water with that costume on. I don't think he would have made it
August 7, 2016 at 10:37 PM · I'm glad there appear to be no injuries and there are obvious safety concerns here, he came very close to going over the lower rail.

I can't help but to see the funny side though. It had to be Dopey, didnt it. Did Doc run right up to help too? And was Chip just checking if Dopey had any acorns in his pockets? I can imagine Grumpy will be the occupational health and safety rep to take this to management.

Sorry, my bad imagination and worse humour getting away with me.

August 7, 2016 at 10:54 PM · Grant, in this case, I'd say it'd be fine to have a little humor. Of course, safety is and always should be the top concern, but since it appears that both actors got out of it ok, I'm willing to bet that they will be making light of the situation when they tell this story.

In any event, expect more horizontal rails on the Steamboat Willie.

August 8, 2016 at 4:09 AM · You'd think that no character would have been able to slip right through that gap in the railing. You'd think they'd be stopped from falling. This incident will guarantee a safety overhaul for those railings. 3 or 4 horizontal railings instead of 2 from now on?
August 8, 2016 at 4:51 AM · I bet the rails are being build right now! Surprised it took this long for that to happen.

Based on the video, I blame Sneezey who clearly is taking his time and holding up the line.

I also have to say that the person playing Dopey is quite the pro keeping the head on at all times!

August 8, 2016 at 5:01 AM · I felt really bad for chuckling a bit. I'm not sure why watching someone else fall is funny - it shouldn't be. But, America's Funniest Home Videos made a whole show out of it. But, they all stayed focused - the show must go on.

Dopey just missed falling in the water. Goofy was definitely in the right spot to save him. I think had he gone in the water its more likely it would have been serious. Injury by the boat movement and the weight of that costume wet. Thankful it was not any worse and I'll be watching for the updated railing when I go in 3 weeks.

August 8, 2016 at 5:04 AM · I'm wondering if Sneezy basically stops because he was having a problem keeping his head on? It's hard to tell from such a short clip if he is trying to hold it in place or not.
August 8, 2016 at 5:25 AM · Although Dopey had a start value of 15.8, he managed to salvage a yellow score thanks to Goofy.

I can't stop laughing out loud when I watch this video, but all kidding aside, I'm relieved to hear that no one was seriously injured.

August 8, 2016 at 7:32 AM · Many Disney fanatics say safety measures shouldn't matter if there were no accidents. This opinion ignores prevention. No one anticipated Dopey will fall down this way. I have no idea how they will fix it except to cover the railing with chicken wire. This will look bad. You don't want a foot or a leg to be caught between the railing and inadvertently twisting or breaking an ankle. These characters can't see well with their head masks.
August 8, 2016 at 8:10 AM · Dopey and Goofy, I Thank God Neither of You were Seriously Injured!!! My Prayers are for you both that whatever hurts is completely healed and you both are back in Good Health!!! Freak Accidents due happen (which I definitely know about)!!! You All take care and I Love You All!! **Again my Prayers to You All**

August 8, 2016 at 8:51 AM · How did that even happen!? It's like someone cut a hole in the deck! I hope everyone is safe.
August 8, 2016 at 9:37 AM · Anon writes: "Many Disney fanatics say safety measures shouldn't matter if there were no accident?"

I respond: Can't recall any instance where a Disney fanatic has claimed safety measures shouldn't matter if there were no accident." So "many times?"

August 8, 2016 at 9:42 AM · I'm guessing that you could fix this with a third crossbar at shoe level, or by moving the rail in from the edge of the platform.

That's the serious answer. The easy, sarcastic one is to never put Dopey on the upper deck. Keep him close to the ground, where he can't hurt himself, anyone or anything. And don't give him anything to wave, either. We know his track record.

August 8, 2016 at 9:56 AM · @THC. If you visit other forums, they will decry extra safety measure of fences on top of the buildings in Main Street, Fantasyland, New Orleans Square, etc, for the protection of workers during the evening shows. They hate the fences for when they look up, they don't want to see them. YES, MANY TIMES.

The Castle drawbridge received extra fencing to prevent people from falling over. They removed the seating from the drawbridge so guests cannot climb on top and inadvertently fall off the bridge. The drawbridge can no longer easily be lifted with the extra fencing.

Want more examples or is this enough?

Here's another one nonetheless. They hate the new revised Alice In Wonderland ride where when you go to the outer portion, they installed new wider leaves with extra fencing. Why must they do that for a ride that never had an accident? No guest was ever evacuated and fell more than 10 feet to their death. So now, the look has changed and the ugly barrier remains.

August 8, 2016 at 9:51 AM · Really Anon? This is now a comment on Disney fanatics? There's many on this website and none of them have said that. Proactive safety improvements are important in any occupational settings, where the risk is identified.

That chicken wire is the only thing you could think of to fix this is simply a lack of imagination. Any appropriate safety fencing material would work. Glass would be fine, but may cause reflections. More layers of ballustrading would work, but may block view. A simple and effective method would be running high tension wire around the balustrade, cheap, effective, safe (used in commercial and residential use frequently) and low visibility.

I think I saw the Evil Queen leave a banana peel out for Snow White to slip on. Poor Dopey

August 8, 2016 at 9:57 AM · @grant, I'm only repeating what others were saying on other forums.

I suggested chicken wire as a possible solution. That you think I could imagineer a solution is ridiculous.

August 8, 2016 at 10:04 AM · Lol, sorry if I was curt. Fanatics tend to say and do stupid things though.
August 8, 2016 at 10:06 AM · @THC: Today, no guests are allowed on the dock of Mark Twain prior to boarding. This is to prevent a docking accident. Guests are to remain behind the fence in the covered structure until the boat has docked and the existing Mark Twain guest disembarked. This safety procedure came after the Mark Twain mishap where one person died from a snapped cleat.
August 8, 2016 at 12:12 PM · I was just there yesterday for the thunder mountain closure for 3 months! When did this happen?
August 8, 2016 at 1:03 PM · Can we call the Orlando Fantasmic! boat a "dingy" please? That thing is nothing compared to the Mark Twain!
August 8, 2016 at 1:09 PM · place large sheets of Plexiglas between the deck and first cross railing on the in side of railing this would be the fix i would use.
August 8, 2016 at 3:28 PM · That was one really lucky dopey. it could've gone so many ways worse than it did. I guess all the characters will now be stationary with a rope tied to them.
August 8, 2016 at 4:55 PM · I believe the snapped cleat incident happened on the Columbia, not the Mark Twain...

Glad nobody got hurt but I have to admit a guilty chuckle that it had to be Dopey...

August 8, 2016 at 5:03 PM · I really... really... really should not have laughed at this.
August 8, 2016 at 5:28 PM · After 18 years of performance and probably 5-7000 shows, I am sure this isn't the first thing to go wrong. Weird stuff happens on stage and in the rest of the world.

Learn from the mistake, add some additional safety measures, if necessary take a couple days off in a couple of weeks to make more permanent changes and let the show go on. While prepping the changes, review the emergency plans, especially for dwarf overboard, starboard side.

August 8, 2016 at 6:57 PM · I would just like to thank whoever filmed it for recording in landscape. It's refreshing to finally have an newsworthy incident not captured as a vertical video.
August 9, 2016 at 5:59 AM · Did you notice the dwarf in front of Dopey looked on the ground as something was there??? That's why I think the slipped happened.
August 9, 2016 at 4:58 PM · Glad all is ok , But i bet OSHA gets involved now and helps figure out a way so it wont happen again.
August 9, 2016 at 5:05 PM · But this was Florida, not California...


August 9, 2016 at 7:10 PM · Glad they're okay. Find it ironic that of all the characters to have that accident, it was Dopey
August 11, 2016 at 11:52 AM · Crazy SAFE America! So many people slip on Road's or Sidewalks and not a single Rope will be mounted! May just understand life is "dangerous". Point.

PS Did they really Suspended the Show because of that minor incident?

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