Fantasmic delayed at Disneyland until spring 2024

July 25, 2023, 10:46 PM · Pour one out for Murphy.

Disneyland announced tonight that its Fantasmic! nighttime spectacular will not return to the Rivers of America until next spring. And that, when the show does return, it no longer will include the Maleficent figure that caught fire this past spring.

"Our goal is to always deliver the best possible show for our guests," a Disneyland spokesperson said. "With that in mind, we are planning the return of 'Fantasmic!' with exciting new magic in spring 2024. As teams continue work on the show, we have launched nightly entertainment on the Rivers of America this summer and we are working on even more exciting entertainment offerings for our guests later this year."

When Fantasmic returns, Maleficent will remain in the show to battle Sorcerer Mickey, but not as the giant physical character that has been in the show in recent years, earning the nickname "Murphy" for all the problems it has encountered. Here is a look at two versions of Fantasmic, one with the inflatable dragon and the other without - in so-called "B" mode.

Disneyland recently added evening performances by Queenie and the Jambalaya Jazz Band on the Rivers of America and is promising announcements about additional entertainment soon.

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Replies (11)

July 25, 2023 at 11:02 PM


Well, this certainly is going to put a damper on my winter SoCal trip. Do I even bother with Disney for a 3rd day, or look elsewhere instead?

July 25, 2023 at 11:36 PM

A third day at Disney is better than a day at Universal or Six Flags for sure, IMO. If you like Knots that might be a good substitute.

July 26, 2023 at 12:13 AM

Things are really not looking great for Disney right now in general...

July 26, 2023 at 12:42 AM

Honestly, I'd say they should just retire the show as it's never going to be the same without the dragon finale, but I don't have an ounce of trust in current Disney to come up with a replacement that's at least on par with Fantasmic. Knowing that it won't be back until next year, however, definitely has me seriously considering skipping out on my annual DLR visit in 2023.

July 26, 2023 at 9:01 AM

This really seems like the cheap way out. I think they haven’t bought the show back in B mode simply because they want to save money. Unfortunately a lot of entertainment cast do not have jobs right now due to this.

Without the dragon this show will have a tough time delivering as it has in the past. Murphy is what made this show stand out against the Florida version for sure.

I’m hopeful for a bigger and better replacement. But current Disney does not give me much to go on.

July 26, 2023 at 9:56 AM

It's a shame Disney's best-ever nighttime show will be without its centerpiece, but I'm willing to give them a chance to find a way to wow audiences with something even bigger and better. Hopefully the amount of time spent between now and the relaunch in 2024 will give WDI ample opportunity to come up with something unique and even more awe-inspiring than Murphy.

July 26, 2023 at 9:56 AM

@thecolonel - If your already staying in Anaheim I actually would agree adding a day at Disney would be better then driving all the way up to Universal or Six Flags. I've only been once to Universal in Hollywood and we quite enjoyed our day there. I think it's gotten a lot better too now that they have Harry Potter and Nintendo.

Even better though would be a day at Knott's since its close to Disney. I wouldn't mind checking out that park next time were in the LA area.

July 26, 2023 at 10:03 AM

@AJ - That's because everyone involved in the show's creation is almost certainly retired, dead, or taking up other opportunities by this point... The creation of solid live entertainment hasn't been a priority at Disney since 2001. That's why Fantasmic is still running, why DHS has shows that are even older, and why we have barely seen new entertainment rise up to that classic 80's-90's level in years, with the exception of a few shows in Asia - and even those have their problems.

July 26, 2023 at 11:03 AM

this just makes me tremendously sad. having worked hundreds of fantasmic shows as a cast member, the "original" show in all its glory will always have a special place in my heart.

July 26, 2023 at 11:13 AM

What if whatever they come up with turns out to, like, be totally awesome or something?

July 26, 2023 at 4:16 PM

What We Had: Maleficent Robot Balloon
What I'm Hoping For: Maleficent made of drones
What I'm Expecting: idk, maybe some water projections?

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