Fire Shuts Down Popular Disneyland Spectacular

April 23, 2023, 10:40 AM · The big moment in Disneyland's Fantasmic nighttime spectacular got too big last night. The Maleficent dragon caught fire, bringing an early end to the show and likely closing it for a while.

Thousands of Disneyland visitors caught the moment and posted it to social media when it happened last night. You wont believe what just happened. I think i broke disneyland #disney #disneyland #fantasmic #fantasmicshow #accident #dragon #dragononfire #disneydragononfire #unedited ? original sound - Sea Cat

Attentive viewers noticed before the mishap that fire-breathing dragon character appeared to be leaking fluid, which then caught fire. Anaheim firefighters responded to the scene, and all Disney cast members were evacuated from the show platform on Tom Sawyer Island. No injuries were reported.

Fantasmic is off the Disneyland show schedule for today, and Tom Sawyer Island also is listed as closed. When Fantasmic returns, it likely will be in "B" mode, without the inflatable Maleficent figure, which was once nicknamed "Murphy" (as in Murphy's Law) for all the problems it has had over the years.

Disney fans might remember that this is not the first time that one of Disney's theme park Maleficent dragons had caught fire on stage. The steampunk-inspired Maleficent float burned during a performance of the Festival of Fantasy parade at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in 2018. [Float catches fire during Walt Disney World parade] A rebuilt Maleficent returned to the parade about eight months later.

There's obviously no timeline yet for the dragon's return to Disneyland's Fantasmic. But the show can, and often does, run in a "B" mode without the inflatable, substituting a projected dragon for the show's climatic scene. You can see that version in one of our Fantasmic show videos.

Update: Disney World's Maleficent will not be breathing fire for a while now, either - at least not until the investigation into the Disneyland incident is complete. Disney is suspending all similar fire effects in its parks worldwide, until it determine the cause of last night's fire.

Here is the statement from Disney:

"During the final showing of Fantasmic at Disneyland park on Saturday evening, the dragon prop caught fire. Anaheim Fire & Rescue quickly responded, and the fire was extinguished. All cast members were safely evacuated from Tom Sawyer Island. Due to smoke and wind, attractions near the island were safely evacuated of any guests, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time. We are temporarily suspending fire effects similar to those used at Disneyland park's Fantasmic at select shows and entertainment experiences globally out of an abundance of caution following the Fantasmic prop fire at Disneyland park. The continued safety of our cast and guests is of the utmost importance."

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Replies (4)

April 23, 2023 at 12:10 PM

The DL Fantasmic dragon is basically a hot air balloon compared to the WDW parade one, which is why the fire spread much more quickly.

It would expect it to take much longer to return since it looks like the entire unit was probably destroyed.

April 23, 2023 at 12:20 PM

i'm glad that nobody was injured. that thing went up like a tinder box

April 23, 2023 at 2:27 PM

I’m sorry, but I just laughed at the video mainly because Mickey looks at the audience as Maleficent’s head is on fire to nod as if he said, “you’re welcome” before going back to the ground.

April 23, 2023 at 2:29 PM

I'm with Fatty. They sent out several employees with hand-held fire extinguishers to try and put out a huge roaring blaze, very lucky none of those folks were hurt

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