Disneyland was on fire, Maleficent almost killed Mickey Mouse, and the park night was ruined.
Fantasmic! at Disneyland was a safety disaster during its scheduled April 22 performance when the animatronic dragon caught fire near the end of the show.
For those familiar with Disneyland and Disney World, located at Disneyland Park in San Diego, Calif. and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla., respectively, Fantasmic! is the park’s biggest nighttime attraction.
It combines pyrotechnics, water effects, live performers, music and projections onto water screens to tell the story of Mickey Mouse’s imagination.
Mickey Mouse, depicted as a wizard in the animated feature film “Fantasia,” wears his iconic blue sorcerer’s hat and red robe as he conducts a magical orchestra – an image of Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The concept has become a beloved part of Disney lore and has been used in various Disney theme park attractions and merchandise around the world.
Toward the end of the performance, which is often performed daily for regular park visitors and newcomers alike, Mickey defends himself from the 45-foot animatronic dragon that most Disney fans know is Maleficent’s transformation.
“Mickey battles the dragon and defeats it, moving the show onto the finale,” Ryan Laux, a Los Angeles resident who frequently attends the park told LAist.
However, Laux noticed something strange. The dragon burst into flames with Mickey, a custom cast member, standing right next to a malfunctioning Maleficent dragon.
“During a moment where the dragon typically breathes fire, its head caught fire instead, which stopped the show and quickly spread to the rest of the props’s body,” Laux said. “It took a bit of time to move people away from around the waterfront, but thankfully the walkway was pretty far from the stage where the prop was burning and no one was in any immediate danger.”
No one was reportedly injured or affected by the heavy smoke as guests were safely evacuated, but the abrupt end of the show was a bummer for families who came to Disney specifically to see Fantasmic!
Several cast members and Disney park employees were treated at the scene for possible smoke inhalation, said Sgt. Jon McClintock, a spokesman for the Anaheim Fire Department in San Diego.
“The investigation so far has revealed that a large animatronic dragon caught fire during the final Fantasmic! showing, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time,” he said.
“Fire and rescue personnel quickly extinguished the fire and treated several Disneyland cast members for potential smoke inhalation,” he said. “Fortunately, they did not require further evaluation and were released at the scene.”