Disneyland Resort has made the decision to put “Fantasmic!” on hiatus through at least Labor Day. The holiday falls on September 4, 2023.
Disneyland Resort released the following information:
“We are taking this time to evaluate the show and explore opportunities to add new magic and touches for Guests to enjoy. Guests who had a previously-booked “Fantasmic!” Dining Package will be notified of the hiatus. More information will be coming soon on alternate experiences for Guests this summer.”
During the second performance of “Fantasmic!” on Saturday, April 22, the iconic Maleficent dragon used in the climactic nightmare sequence (lovingly known by fans as Murphy for its tendency to break down, a la Murphy’s Law) caught fire during the show and was completely destroyed. The show was cancelled as the blaze continued for several minutes.
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.
“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”.
A third version existed at Tokyo DisneySea from April 2011 to February 2020, set on the waters of Mediterranean Harbor and featuring more representation from that park’s characters like the Genie. The show closed permanently at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.