You may have heard about or even seen videos of the massive fire that took over Disneyland’s 10:30 p.m. performance of Fantasmic! last night. Maleficent, AKA the large fire-breathing dragon from Walt Disney Studio’s Sleeping Beauty (1959), malfunctioned and became completely engulfed in flames.
Guests were startled and quickly ushered out by Cast Members with directing wands, and further performances of Fantasmic! at Disneyland have been canceled.
The startling incident left both Guests and Cast Members wondering about safety procedures and how something like this could have happened. In response to the viral blaze that shook up Disney fans, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida has begun considering precautions in its own Fantasmic! performances in the Hollywood Studios theme park.
While the cause of the fire in Disneyland is still “under investigation,” Walt Disney World will only be suspending the fire effects used in the Maleficent float included in Magic Kingdom’s Festival of Fantasy day parade. Showings of Fantasmic! at Hollywood Studios will continue as normal despite the incident in California.
Apparently, the fire mechanisms used in Walt Disney World’s version of Fantasmic! are not the same as Disneyland’s dragon and therefore do not threaten the same fire risk. However, Disney World’s steampunk dragon has burst into flames in the past. In 2018, the dragon’s head caught ablaze as it breathed fire above the crowd, which may be why WDW feels its best to down that feature right now.
Out of an “abundance of caution,” Disneyland is pausing all similar pyrotechnics throughout its property at certain shows and other experiences until the issue is resolved. The suspensions may not be necessary, but they certainly give occupying Guests and Cast Members some piece of mind in the meantime.