A large animatronic dragon caught fire in Disneyland, California on Saturday night. The theme park packed a large crowd who were enjoying the Fantasmic fireworks and light show when the prop became engulfed in flames, leaving bystanders stunned.
The cast of the show and the viewers were immediately evacuated. The Anaheim Fire and Rescue team was called, along with the Disneyland Fire Department, who put out the fire. No injuries have been reported from the scene.
Animatronic Dragon Caught Fire During Fantasmic Show in Disneyland
The show was at its climax when the 40-foot Maleficent’s dragon prop caught fire. Videos of the incident, which took place on Tom Sawyer Island, are now being circulated on social media. The cast members evacuated the area, and the fire was extinguished quickly by Anaheim Fire and Rescue team.
A number of cast members were taken to the hospital for potential smoke inhalation but were discharged almost immediately. No audience members or firefighters were hurt in the incident. Ryan Laux, a witness at the event described the incident and said, “It was a big giant fireball. Then they began pushing people out.”
Fantastic Fantasmic fail – wow! #fantasmic #disneyland pic.twitter.com/MZhNJhEXrB
— JessicaT (@Ms_JessicaT) April 23, 2023
As per the show’s story, Mickey Mouse was fighting the fire-breathing Maleficent dragon. However, the fire engulfed the prop’s head, and quickly spread to the rest of its body. “At one point there was a fireball. There was a bit of debris that fell from the prop. It was shocking. The crowd was in a standstill. People are packed in like sardines,” Laux added.
Disneyland Releases Statement
Following the incident, Disneyland theme park representatives released a statement. “During the final showing of Fantasmic at Disneyland Park on Saturday evening, the dragon caught fire. Anaheim Fire & Rescue quickly responded and the fire was extinguished,” read the statement.
Just watched Fantasmic Dragon catches on fire at Disneyland 😢 #disney pic.twitter.com/49yTBA2MR7
— mlg (@MelissaLeeGiles) April 23, 2023
“All cast members were evacuated from Tom Sawyer Island. Due to smoke and wind, attractions near the island were safely cleared of any guests, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time,” it read further. Arson investigators are now investigating the incident.
Another witness, Melissa Giles, who attended the event, described, “It happened out of nowhere. We thought it was part of the show. Within seconds, it went up in flames.” After putting out the fire, a water feature was turned on as a part of the show, which again cheered up the crowd.
Fantasmic Show has been Going on Since 1992
Fantasmic is a light and fire show which debuted at the theme park in 1992. It includes characters from a number of popular animated films, including Moana, Frozen 2, Mulan, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King. The 29-minute-long show was revamped in 2017.
“Featuring stunning effects, thrilling stunts, dazzling pyrotechnics, and rousing music, this larger-than-life show is painted on a grand canvas of dancing water and light. Overflowing with silly and suspenseful surprises, it will leave your entire family smiling from ear to ear!” Disneyland’s website says of the show.
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