If you’re a Disneyland patron, one of the hits of the summertime events is their riverfront “Fantasmic!” show, which takes Mickey on an adventure through his dreams. The epic finale of the show runs Mickey into sorceress Maleficent, ending in a battle for control of imagination itself. An impressive and intimidating puppet of Maleficent in her dragon form takes the stage, roaring and spitting huge tongues of fire to set the river alight. Unfortunately, the latter half of that performance went horribly wrong April 22nd. Maleficent’s fire malfunctioned, setting the massive prop on fire, and consuming a small part of Tom Sawyer Island. Due to concerns, Disneyland has put “Fantasmic!” on hiatus for the entirety of the summer.
Closed for the Summer
Originally, the malfunction caused a show hiatus until May 14th. But Disneyland seems to have changed that decision. Instead, the hiatus will encompass the whole of summer. A shame for any tourists hoping to visit the park and take in everything it has to offer. But it comes from a place of concern from the park. There’s no information on what caused the puppet to malfunction. The cause is still under investigation. As a precaution, Disney announced they’d be “temporarily suspending fire effects similar to those used at Disneyland park’s ‘Fantasmic’ at select shows and entertainment experiences globally”.
If one thing can go wrong at one park, it can go wrong at another. It’s a move intended to keep patrons and park employees as safe as possible. Six cast members within close proximity to the fire were treated for smoke inhalation, though luckily no one was hurt. Disney’s summertime hiatus will give them time to further investigate the accident, and give them time to rebuild the puppet, possibly even making changes to its construction for future performances. We’ll have to wait and see.