Summer Nightastic Comes to a Close, Still With No Dragon

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According to the OC Register’s Around Disney blog:

The image of a giant glowing dragon spitting fire graces most promotional material — billboards, flags, fliers — for Disney’s Summer Nightastic events.

But the theme park’s official summer season will end this weekend without any appearance of the dragon in the water-and-light Fantasmic show because of technical difficulties.

Still, Disney officials promise that fans should get ample time to see the dragon, once it’s ready, because the Fantasmic show will be extended until the end of the year, said John McClintock, a Disneyland spokesman. Disney recently decided to add extra time for the show. On busy days, a third show is added at 11:30 p.m.

But a firm date for the dragon’s debut has yet to be released.

The dragon was supposed to emerge as the centerpiece of a revamped Fantasmic show, stretching 35 feet high in 17 seconds as “Sleeping Beauty” character Maleficent transformed into a dragon in the water and light show. The dragon then was to ignite the Rivers of America for 25 seconds, according to Disney’s press materials.

The dragon was designed to be 40 feet tall by 28 feet wide, weighing about 10,000 pounds.

But the dragon has yet to get off the ground in public, prompting much debate and discussion among Disney fans online. Fans even gave the dragon the nickname of Murphy after Murphy’s Law.

Disney has continued to release the same official statement about the dragon:

“Our goal is to exceed our Guests’ expectations every day. Because the dragon is technically complex and the largest and most fully animated Disney character ever created for a live stage show, we want it to be perfect before adding it to Fantasmic! However, Fantasmic! is a summer tradition at Disneyland, and we’re glad we have been able to offer the show throughout the summer. We’re happy so many Guests have been able to experience it.”

Al Lutz, editor of, a Disney watchdog blog, said he has heard that the dragon may be up soon, but he isn’t sure he believes it after so many delays. Lutz has monitored the behind-the-scenes problems on his blog.

“I’ve never seen so much attention on one thing,” Lutz said of the fans. “I find it fascinating.”

The Summer Nightastic season officially runs June 12 through Sunday, although some features will go beyond this weekend.

Here is the schedule for some promotions:

  • Disney’s Electrical Parade in Disney’s California Adventure will go on for the last time Sunday.
  • Sunday is the last day for Southern California residents to buy three day passes for $99. The first visit must be made on Sunday at the latest.
  • The fireworks show, called “Magical,” will go on nightly through Labor Day and on weekends until Sept. 20. A special Halloween fireworks show is set to begin Sept. 25.
  • Fantasmic shows will be nightly through Labor Day and on weekends through the end of the year.