Disneyland has removed this weekend’s “Fantasmic!” performance times from their calendar. The nighttime spectacular previously had performances scheduled for this Friday, April 28, at 9:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and every day after that.
After the Maleficent dragon (also known as Murphy) caught fire on Saturday, April 22, “Fantasmic!” was initially removed from the schedule through May 25. The earliest times listed are now for Friday, May 5, but this could change.
“Fantasmic!” Cast Members have reported being scheduled to return to work on Friday, April 28.
The Maleficent dragon was completely destroyed by the fire, so when “Fantasmic!” does return, the show will likely be performed in “B-Mode,” with the dragon projected on a mist screen. Other pyrotechnics could also be suspended, but this has not been confirmed.
Maleficent Dragon Fire
Our onsite reporter caught footage of the Maleficent dragon burning as “Fantasmic!” came to a premature end for safety on Saturday night. The fire fell from the dragon’s mouth onto Tom Sawyer Island below. The cause was possibly a leak of flammable fluid, seen dripping down from the mouth moments before the fireball effect went off. Disney stated on Sunday that they are investigating the cause of the fire.
Parts of Adventureland were evacuated, and all offerings west of the Jungle Cruise were shut down that evening.
The Anaheim Fire Department confirmed that they treated six Cast Members for smoke inhalation, but nobody was seriously harmed.
Though the Maleficent dragon — which was affectionately called “Murphy” by fans — was destroyed, the rest of the “Fantasmic!” set was intact. Crew members have been cleaning up the set this week and removing the remains of the dragon.
Effects similar to Maleficent’s dragon fire have been suspended at Disney Parks globally. This includes the Maleficent dragon’s fire breath in Magic Kingdom’s Festival of Fantasy Parade, although not the dragon in Florida’s version of “Fantasmic!” which is different from the California version.
“Fantasmic!” is a nighttime spectacular which first debuted in Disneyland on May 13, 1992. The show stars Mickey Mouse as he explores the possibilities of his imagination, but the Disney Villains team up in an attempt to create an unstoppable nightmare for him. Featuring characters and music from Disney films including “Fantasia,” “The Jungle Book,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” the show incorporates projections on screens of water, pyrotechnics, and both the Sailing Ship Columbia and Mark Twain Riverboat as they sail past guests on the Rivers of America.
“Fantasmic!” went into an extended hiatus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and finally resumed performances in late May of 2022. Since then, the nighttime spectacular has performed with minimal incident in Disneyland, though it was unexpectedly shut down for just over two weeks this past January. MagicBand+ interacts with “Fantasmic!” as the center puck changes colors and flashes in sync with the show.
Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, the show, which premiered at the park in 1998, underwent a longer break, returning last November with new scenes inspired by “Mulan,” “Frozen II,” and “Moana”. This past March, a TikTok user captured video of an incident where a performer portraying Aladdin missed the ledge they were supposed to swing onto and crashed into the mountainside portion of the set. Guests attending the performance noted that the performer reappeared later in the show, appearing to be unharmed. This week, the Florida production will operate once a day on a reduced schedule ahead of a brief closure for refurbishment currently set for May 1 and 2.