Disneyland's animatronic dragon bursts into flames during 'Fantasmic' show; no injuries reported

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Sunday, April 23, 2023
Disneyland's 'Fantasmic' show dragon bursts into flames
The animatronic dragon on Tom Sawyer island became engulfed in fire during an evening performance.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- The massive animatronic dragon featured in Disneyland's "Fantasmic" show became engulfed in flames during a live performance Saturday night.

"The dragon's head started to glow, and I see fire and kind of smoke coming out," parkgoer Elaine Gilmer, who said she has seen the show over 100 times, told ABC News. "I was like, 'Oh ... they added some new stuff because that didn't didn't happen like that before.'"

However, Gilmer's daughter Elyssa began to realize that the fire from the dragon's mouth appeared to spread to the body of the 45-foot creature

"We saw some small explosions coming out of the head, and then, all of a sudden, the whole dragon was just engulfed, and then, all of a sudden, the worker started coming around escorting everybody out for safety," Elaine said.

Videos of the incident quickly circulated on social media.

"All cast members were safely evacuated from Tom Sawyer Island," a Disneyland official 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."

No injuries were reported, a spokesperson for the Anaheim Fire Department said.

All four different Magic Key Passes were made available for purchase again.

One witness told ABC7 that after the fire started, the area around Frontierland was evacuated but the rest of the park remained open.

Videos of the incident show guests watching and recording the show's unplanned conclusion while a loudspeaker informs them that the "performance cannot continue due to unforeseen circumstances."

The live "Fantasmic!" show uses water and fire special effects to tell the story of Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer's Apprentice, interspersed with clips from classic Disney movies.

Disneyland describes the show as "Daring heroes and epic villains do battle on a grand scale in an incredible nighttime show -- starring Mickey Mouse."

The fire cut off the show as it neared its conclusion. Recently refurbished, the show typically concludes with fireworks and visit from a steamboat full of dancing Disney characters and fireworks.

"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," the Disneyland official said. "The continued safety of our cast and guests is of the utmost importance."

The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of this station. ABC News contributed to this report.