Float catches fire during Walt Disney World parade

May 11, 2018, 1:26 PM · The fire-breathing Maleficent dragon float malfunctioned during the Festival of Fantasy parade this afternoon at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, catching fire and forcing the temporary closure of part of the theme park.

The incident happened in Liberty Square, just short of the bridge over to the Hub. No one yet knows the cause of the accident, but the fire that's normally supposed to project from the dragon's mouth in a brief burst instead consumed much of the dragon's neck.

Fans caught the incident on their mobile phones, posting it on social media.

Disney cast members blocked access to Liberty Square around the burn site for clean-up after extinguishing the fire. It appears that the Maleficent float has been destroyed. No people appear to have been injured in the accident.

Replies (22)

May 11, 2018 at 3:28 PM

Robert, think your comment that the float has been destroyed is a little strong, has some damage to the head area yes but certainly not destroyed.

I would expect they have more then one float and if not this one will be repaired and back working very quickly I am sure.

May 11, 2018 at 3:44 PM

From what I heard, the internal damage from the fuel system makes the float a loss. Perhaps some of the material can be salvaged and reused, but the float would need to be rebuilt. But I will gladly accept any more detailed information from anyone else in Disney Entertainment.

I've also not ever seen duplicates of a Disney parade float, save for the ones at other resorts. Paris has this float, too, but I would expect that it will be getting a thorough inspection before heading out again.

Obviously, Disney could rebuild this float if it wished to throw some money at it, but I would think that the fuel system would need a redesign first, at least adding a fire suppression system. No need to risk having the same thing happen again.

We will learn more once Disney finishes investigating this, of course.

May 11, 2018 at 3:40 PM

I'm certain that the good colonists of Liberty Square are pleased to have burnt a practicing witch this afternoon. Excellent storytelling!

May 11, 2018 at 3:41 PM

Wow, as a die hard Disney fan, I do wish the dragon can be repaired and back working fully, fire and all but.......if this is the end of the fire breathing then I have to understand. I love the parks and they take all kinds of measures for safety, the most important thing for guests above all.

May 11, 2018 at 4:02 PM

Frequent breaking down of rides, parts falling from monorails and now a float goes up in fire. It looks like the nickle and diming starts to become a hazard for guests and castmembers.

May 11, 2018 at 5:30 PM

On the other hand, what a great thing to witness and for guests to photo, video and publish. Magic memories.

May 11, 2018 at 8:17 PM

Full time Dragon gets fired , replaced by part time international, college program kid

May 11, 2018 at 11:34 PM


Reminds me of the times Universal Hollywood’s backlot burned down. That’s right TWICE!

May 12, 2018 at 12:53 AM

I hope this float comes back. It's definitely the highlight of the parade.

May 12, 2018 at 9:49 AM

So sad to see this happen. This was such an iconic float, and absolutely my favorite ever. It is understandable, if they choose not to rebuild, but it will be truly missed.

May 12, 2018 at 10:36 AM

I hope that's sarcasm Stevo. Great thing to witness when something burst into flames and could have been much worse than it was? Give me a break.

May 12, 2018 at 1:19 PM

Stevo means the dragon is a great thing to witness, when it's working. Give us a break.

May 13, 2018 at 2:23 AM

@Still a fan: No thanks. How I am possibly supposed to infer thats what he meant? It's all up for questioning.

May 14, 2018 at 1:30 AM

Your non-stop negativity gets more than a little grating.

May 13, 2018 at 6:13 AM

I still want to see how they got it from L.S. area to backstage along with the rest of the parade behind it. Did they just take them backwards back toward Splash or continue everything down Main Street after it was safe to move the Dragon.

May 13, 2018 at 10:20 AM

Unforgettable happens here, Disney lives up to its slogan once again unfortunately too often it's the negative which create memories. Too bad the dragon is history, I rather liked it's steampunk vibe.

May 13, 2018 at 12:20 PM

I was able to see the Maleficent Dragon in the parade last month and it was so amazing in person! Glad I was able to see it! I even did a dining package to get vip seating for the parade.

May 13, 2018 at 4:33 PM


May 14, 2018 at 7:12 AM

This float is the only reason to see the Festival of Fantasy Parade, so with it out of commission, smart guests can spend time riding instead of camping out for a mediocre parade.

May 14, 2018 at 9:04 AM

So many negative comments here. I hope they bring the dragon back, it was the highlight of an excellent, and enjoyable, parade.

May 14, 2018 at 3:34 PM

From further videos I have seen the head was still moving up and down after the fire was put out so maybe some repairs to the head area and they could have it back up and running minus the fire breathing while they sort out how to repair the fire breathing side of things.

Agree with you Robert, it needs some sort of fire surpession, surprised it was not there with some sort of fuel safety system already, it will be a reactive approach rather then a pro active.

As others have said it was the main reason to see the parade.

May 16, 2018 at 5:32 AM

No parade will ever top the Main Street Electrical Parade. Why MK got rid of it Ill never understand.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive