Disneyland Dragon Animatronic Catches Fire, Parks Suspend Effects Globally – The Hollywood Reporter

Apr 27, 2023

Disneyland and other Disney parks are temporarily suspending fire effects like those used in the Fantasmic live show after an animatronic dragon caught on fire in California on Saturday night.

The fire took place during the final showing of the 30-minute park experience, Disneyland officials told The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday. Emergency crews responded to the scene around 11 p.m. after a dragon prop caught fire. Several Anaheim Fire and Rescue engines, trucks and ambulances — alongside an engine from Orange County Fire Authority fire engine — helped extinguish the flames with support from Disneyland’s own fire team.

“All castmembers were safely evacuated from Tom Sawyer Island,” Disneyland officials said in a statement. “Due to smoke and wind, attractions near the island were safely evacuated of any guests, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time.”

While several Disneyland castmembers were treated for possible smoke inhalation, they were released the same night, with no guests or firefighters injured, to the Anaheim Police Department’s knowledge,

The event uses a number of special effects and props for a story featuring Disney mascot Mickey, including a 45-foot version of Maleficent as a fire-breathing dragon. As a result of the fire, park officials said that effects at other shows across its parks portfolio will be evaluated.

“We are temporarily suspending fire effects similar to those used at Disneyland park’s Fantasmic at select shows and entertainment experiences globally out of an abundance of caution following the Fantasmic prop fire at Disneyland park,” officials said. “The continued safety of our cast and guests is of the utmost importance.”

On Saturday, video emerged across social media, which shows the Maleficent dragon prop catching fire in its head before the flames spread to the rest of the prop, with smoke from the fire billowing out across the park.

Arson investigators responded to the scene to investigate the cause of the fire, which remains under investigation, Anaheim Police Sergeant John McClintock told THR.

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