Imagine you’re at Disneyland. You’ve secured your spot to watch their most iconic show. But then, it goes up in flames. This is exactly what happened over the weekend in the Anaheim park. Many Disney goers love to watch nighttime show, Fantasmic. Which is exactly what caught on fire.
During the climax of the show, a fire-spewing dragon (Maleficent) appears. But on Sunday April 23rd, things didn’t go as planed. The dragon itself caught fire, which was not part of the intended special effect. Several part guests could see the flames from rides.
At one point it appears that someone may be trying to pour water on it but it quickly disappears as they changed their initiative from saving the dragon to saving the cast members on site. Cast members where the audience was sitting started evacuating them out of the area using their glow sticks. Many people in the comments on YouTube are saying that due to budget cuts there wasn’t enough staff on hand to fight the fire.
“I retired from the DFD (Disneyland Fire Dept) in 2010. I was a Fire Captain in charge of Disney’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) . I can only speak of the fire protection that was on site when I worked there. With all the financial strain on Disney since COVID I’m sure there have been many personnel cuts, maybe even effecting their Fire Protection,” a former Disneyland Fire Fighter said. “Each night there are about 10 Firefighters stationed around the Park to protect the property from Pyro ( fireworks fall out ) . There was 3 fire trucks on property and 1 fire boat. During the Fantasmic show there is a firefighter stationed inside the cabin behind the Dragon. He has access to two fire hoses and fuel shut off. There is also a ERT crew of 4 firefighters in the Park from 6am – 11:30pm sometimes later depending if there is a additional Pyro show. They have access to the fire boat that can reach the island. From what I can see from this video there was a attempt to shoot water on the fire but that was very brief as the fire stream disappeared in about 1 minute. I did not see the Fire Boat deployed. Fire Fighters can reach the island via the barges. I did not see any barges but they could reach the island from the other side of the island. Anaheim Fire Department (AFD )should have been called but who knows if they know how to get to the island unless a DFD firefighter shows them how. Once AFD is on property they will take over the incident.”
Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World have suspended the use of fire effects until further notice.
Whatever the reason it went up in flames we’re glad no one was reportedly injured. Watch the whole video posted online by Theme park detective down below.