Fantasmic! is one of the most beloved shows in Disney Parks. With shows at Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World, and soon, Disneyland Paris, it’s also one of the most popular. Fantasmic! originally opened at Disneyland in 1992, and Disney World followed soon after in 1998. In 2011, it opened at Tokyo DisneySea but went dark for good in March 2020. This December, it will open at Disneyland Paris as part of the Disney100 celebration.
The show follows Mickey into his dream world, where he is sucked into the magic mirror and sees his dreams turn to nightmares as he must battle evil villains. The biggest, baddest villain of them all? Maleficent, who, as a dragon, breathes fire and puts up a ferocious fight.
Not long ago, the Maleficent animatronic dragon caught fire at Disneyland. The fire raged as the theater was evacuated. Thankfully no one was hurt, but Disney recognized that someone could have been seriously injured. The fire could’ve turned absolutely tragic if not for the quick thinking of Cast Members both on stage and behind the scenes.
The show has been on hiatus since the fire in April. Out of “an abundance of caution,” Walt Disney World’s Maleficent dragon suspended its fire-breathing effect in the Festival of Fantasy parade. As of the time of this publication, that effect is now back.
It seems, however, that Disneyland’s Fantasmic! will be unavailable for the long term. Disney released a statement on Friday, saying that the show will be paused until at least Labor Day. “Cast Members have been notified, and teams are working to support their next steps, such as re-deployment and cross-training opportunities,” Disney officials said.
Disneyland’s website also includes a message to Guests explaining that the Park is “working hard to assess when we can bring back an adjusted show as quickly and safely as possible.”
Could this disaster be the death knell for Fantasmic! at Disneyland? It seems likely. With Cast Members being redeployed (sent to other locations), it seems likely this is truly the end of the Guest-favorite nighttime experience. Disney’s statement also seems to point to the show’s demise.
Here's the full statement from Disneyland: pic.twitter.com/XrWmDiMLXk
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) May 20, 2023
While at the moment Disney is saying the alternative offerings are temporary, it would not surprise us to soon see a brand-new experience take its place permanently. Here’s hoping Mickey’s nightmare doesn’t become a reality.