We’re one week removed from the catastrophic fire during a performance of “Fantasmic!” last week which destroyed the dragon used to portray Maleficent in the show. Following the incident, access to Tom Sawyer Island was closed, but has reopened today.
When taking the raft to Tom Sawyer Island, we can see some damage to the area along the waterfront by the stage. One of the rocks where a speaker is hidden usually closes off during operating hours, but has been exposed since the fire.
Fences are up near the raft dock to prevent access to the stage at this time. Guests are typically free to access the “Fantasmic!” stage area at any point that the island is open.
Instead, guests are directed straight to the left and the rest of the island. The wood on the fence does look somewhat aged, which adds to its authenticity.
On the back side of the island as well, access to the stage is also fenced off, with an added barricade and rope for a few extra deterrents. We saw these walls up earlier this week, but were unsure when Tom Sawyer Island would reopen. A large burnt sienna door is available for Cast Members accessing the stage area during the aftermath.
At another location, there’s no barricade, but a rope barrier is in place.
It’s unknown when “Fantasmic!” will return to Disneyland, and whether the stage will be guest-accessible when it does.
“Fantasmic!” Incident & Aftermath
“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. Similar versions debuted later at Walt Disney World and Tokyo DisneySea.
On the evening of April 22, a possible leak of flammable fluid from the dragon’s structure caused Maleficent to be dramatically set ablaze.
Our onsite reporter caught footage of the dragon, still burning, as the show came to a premature end for safety. The fire fell from the dragon’s mouth onto Tom Sawyer Island below. The cause was potentially a leak of flammable fluid, seen dripping down from the mouth moments before the fireball effect went off — though Disney stated on Sunday that they are investigating the incident.
Six Disneyland Cast Members were treated for smoke inhalation by Anaheim Fire & Rescue, though luckily, no serious injuries were reported. All guests were escorted far away from the area and large swaths of the park closed early out of an abundance of caution.
The Maleficent dragon was completely obliterated by the fire, but the rest of the “Fantasmic!” set remains intact. Future performances of “Fantasmic!” have been removed from the Disneyland schedule, with nothing posted until May 26 at the earliest.
April 28 performance dates were restored for a brief period on the Disneyland website, suggesting a potential early return of the show with a temporary “B-Mode” dragon; however, those showtimes have since been removed.
Right now, the rumors suggest the show will return in mid-May with an altered performance until a larger dragon can be created again.
Stay tuned for any alteration or announcement about the show’s return timeline.