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45-foot-tall Maleficent dragon catches fire during Disneyland’s Fantasmic! show

  • April 23, 2023

A fire broke out during Disneyland Park’s Fantasmic! nighttime spectacular Saturday. The show’s 45-foot-tall Maleficent dragon went up in flames during its final showing, a Disneyland official said.

“Anaheim Fire Rescue quickly responded and the fire was extinguished,” the official told USA TODAY in an emailed statement. “All cast members were 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.”

Several Disneyland staff members were treated for potential smoke inhalation, but did not require further evaluation and were released at the scene, said Sgt. Jonathan McClintock, spokesman for Anaheim Fire Rescue and the Anaheim Police Department.

Fantasmic! features pyrotechnics and other special effects, along with live character performances.

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“It was a big giant fireball. Then they began pushing people out,” Ryan Laux, a Los Angeles-based video producer who was watching the show when the fire started, told the Los Angeles Times. He estimated that roughly 1,000 people had gathered to watch the show when the incident occurred.

The show first debuted in 1992, and introduced updates in 2009 and 2017. A different version of the show premiered at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida in 1998.

Contributing: Eve Chen, USA TODAY

Nathan Diller is a consumer travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Nashville. You can reach him at

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