A fire-breathing animatronic dragon went rouge in Disneyland, and ended up setting itself ablaze, leaving scores of spectators stunned. Video captured by spectators showed the sight of a huge animatronic dragon engulfed in flames. The video captured by panicked locals appears to be straight out of HBO’s Game of Thrones, minus the sword yielding armies, and power-hungry kings and queens.
In a land where dreams come true, chaos erupted when a fearsome dragon took the stage and spewed flames that ignited more than just excitement. The towering Maleficent, a 45-foot prop from Disneyland’s “Fantasmic!” show, became a fiery inferno that blazed through the air, sending guests into a frenzy of fear and confusion.
Initially mistaken for part of the show’s thrilling pyrotechnics, the dragon’s fiery breath soon grew out of control, creating a spectacle of smoke and chaos that left many struggling to breathe.
Elyssa, daughter of a Disneyland spectator Gilmer, was quoted in a ABC7 report saying, “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.”
As the flames spread, workers rushed to evacuate the area and provide medical attention to those injured by the smoke.
The Facts of the Matter
For years, fire-breathing dragons have captured imagination of countless people. However, when a dragon sets itself on fire, the last place you expect it to happen is at the happiest place on earth.
But that’s exactly what occurred at Disneyland’s “Fantasmic!” show, where a towering prop of Maleficent transformed from a magical creature into a blazing inferno that left spectators both in awe and in panic.
45-Foot-Dragon Catches Fire
It was a Saturday night at Disneyland, and the “Fantasmic!” show had just started. Spectators were eagerly watching as Mickey Mouse, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, began his journey of daring heroics and epic battles against villains. Suddenly, a 45-foot dragon prop depicting Maleficent, one of the villains in the story, began to catch on fire.
Spectators Panic After Quick Realisation
At first, some spectators thought it was part of the show, as the dragon was known to breathe fire during the performance. However, the fire quickly spread from the dragon’s head to its body and neck, causing panic among the audience. A voice over the loudspeaker announced that the show could not continue due to “unforeseen circumstances,” while workers rushed to evacuate the area and put out the flames.
Video Footage Surfaces
Despite the chaos, some witnesses managed to record footage of the incident and post it online, providing a firsthand look at the spectacle. The video shows the dragon prop engulfed in flames, with
smoke billowing from its head and neck. Spectators can be heard gasping and shouting as the situation unfolds, while workers in safety gear try to contain the fire.
🚨#BREAKING: A massive fire breaks out during performance at Disneyland
Currently Disneyland staff are asking everyone to evacuate the area as a Disneyland, prop dragon catches on fire during a Fantasmic show at DisneyLand in Anaheim California. The… pic.twitter.com/F3fCaQTgms
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) April 23, 2023
Dragon catches on fire during a Fantasmic show at Disney Land in Anaheim, California. pic.twitter.com/F0VU3l7Mao
— Dredre babb (@DredreBabb) April 23, 2023
Moments before the whole dragon caught on fire 🔥pic.twitter.com/bC6RvJHFgs
— California USA (@CaliforniaSt_) April 23, 2023
6 Workers Treated, Disneyland Issues Statement
After the incident, at least six workers were treated for smoke inhalation but did not require further evaluation. Authorities were investigating the cause of the fire, while Disneyland temporarily suspended fire effects similar to those used in the “Fantasmic!” show at select shows and entertainment experiences globally as a precaution.
In the aftermath, Disneyland issued a statement which read – “All cast members were safely evacuated from Tom Sawyer Island. 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.”