Disneyland’s Maleficent dragon accidentally catches on fire during a live performance

A crowd of onlookers got an unexpected and scary surprise while watching a recent performance of “Fantasmic” at California’s Disneyland Park.

According to multiple reports — as well as a live video now going viral — the Maleficent dragon spontaneously caught fire on April 22, forcing Disneyland to immediately halt the live show and call in the fire department.

“During the final showing of Fantasmic at Disneyland park on Saturday evening, the dragon prop caught fire,” a statement provided to Entertainment Weekly explains.

Luckily, Anaheim Fire & Rescue immediately rushed to the scene and extinguished the fire quickly. As a result, all Disney cast members were safely evacuated from Tom Sawyer Island, and no parkgoers were harmed during the incident.

“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,” the statement from Disneyland continues. “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 continued safety of our cast and guests is of the utmost importance.”

It didn’t take long for guests at the park that night to upload their own videos straight to TikTok, where people have been watching the jaw-dropping footage for days now.


This was crazy to see in person! Im just glad everyone is safe! 🫶🏽 #murphy #fantasmic #disneyland #fire #disneylandfire #distok #disneytok #disneyadult

♬ original sound – Vic✨🤍

As the footage makes clear, the head of the dragon caught fire first, which then caused the flames to travel down the animatronic structure and envelope its body fully.


Tonight the Fantasmic dragon at Disneyland caught on fire. No guests/Cast Members were harmed (that I am aware of). The Cast Members helped escort us out of the area very quickly. Mickey was just as shocked as we were!!😳 #disneyland #fantasmicfire #fantasmicdragon #disneylandfire #fire #disneylandnews #disneyworldnews #ohno #ismickeyok? #disneyfire #disneynews #californiaadventure

♬ original sound – Lauren🥞

It was at this point that guests began to realize something was wrong, and they could be heard gasping in the background of most videos. In one case, a guest says, “Oh no, that’s not supposed to happen,” as the show abruptly comes to an end.


If you haven’t heard yet, the Fantasmic Dragon (Murphy) at Disneyland caught on fire during the 10:30 showing on April 22nd, 2023 🐉🔥🤯🔥 #disneylandfire #fantasmicfire #fantasmic #disneyland #disneyfire #fantasmicdragon #disneynews #california #maleficent

♬ original sound – KrisOnTrips

Other TikToks capture the chaos from other areas of the park.

In one clip, guests were riding Splash Mountain when they suddenly saw flames erupt in the distance.


Replying to @twzero I experienced it. 🫣 Its the ride music that does it for me. “My oh my…” 😬 #disneylandfire #fantasmic #splashmountain #disneyland #fantasmicfire

♬ original sound – User

In another, one parkgoer captures the aftermath of the fire in the daytime before Disneyland cast members could fully remove the debris.

The Fantasmic show has been a mainstay at Disneyland for decades after initially opening in 1992. According to Disneyland.com, it takes place at night in Frontierland as “dazzling special effects transform the Rivers of America into an epic canvas.”

During the live show, Mickey dreams that he’s the Sorcerer’s Apprentice and conducts various scenes from the movie Fantasia across the water. While fireworks and other impressive pyrotechnics go off, pink elephants, daring pirates, fairy princesses and other Disney characters appear on and around the Rivers of America.

But once Mickey gets pushed into the Magic Mirror, things suddenly take “a dark turn.”

That’s when the Evil Queen from Snow White “conjures up” some of Disney’s infamous villains, including Maleficent in her dragon form, which stands 45 feet tall and is otherwise known as Murphy.

“It was a big giant fireball,” Ryan Laux, 28, told The Los Angeles Times. “Then they began pushing people out.”

Laux, who was watching the live show when the fire broke out, estimated there were probably about 1,000 people watching Fantasmic at the time of the incident.

“It was shocking,” Laux shared. “The crowd was in a standstill. People are packed in like sardines.”

“It happened out of nowhere,” said Melissa Giles, 30, a fellow witness who also spoke with The Times. “We thought it was part of the show. Within seconds it went up in flames.”

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