Disneyland Resort has made the decision to put “Fantasmic!” on hiatus through at least Spring 2024 and has announced that the show will return with a new climatic battle between Mickey and Maleficent, although the villain WILL NOT be in her dragon form.
Disney stated the Maleficent Dragon figure won’t be a part of the show at that time, but also has not gone as far as to say it will eventually return. There will also be new special effects.
Impacted Cast Members have been notified and teams are working on scheduling and cross-training opportunities.
In the meantime, Jambalaya Jazz featuring Queenie is performing three times nightly along the Rivers of America, with water effects and a medley of music from both Disney films and New Orleans classics. Disney stated there would be news about additional entertainment at Rivers of America soon.
Through August 31, guests can also experience the Wondrous Journeys nighttime show at this same location.
While Wondrous Journeys is primarily at Sleeping Beauty Castle, this is a decent secondary location to see the fireworks and enjoy some water projections along Tom Sawyer Island. After the end of August, Wondrous Journeys will take a break as seasonal holiday shows take its place.
During the second performance of “Fantasmic!” on Saturday, April 22, the iconic Maleficent dragon used in the climactic nightmare sequence (lovingly known by fans as Murphy for its tendency to break down, a la Murphy’s Law) caught fire during the show. The performance was canceled as the blaze continued for several minutes.
The Maleficent dragon was completely destroyed by the fire. Similar fire effects were temporarily suspended at Disney Parks around the world while the fire was investigated. Six Disneyland Cast Members were treated for smoke inhalation but there were no serious injuries.
“Fantasmic!” is a nighttime spectacular which first debuted in Disneyland on May 13, 1992. The show stars Mickey Mouse as he explores the possibilities of his imagination, but the Disney Villains team up in an attempt to create an unstoppable nightmare for him. Featuring characters and music from Disney films including “Fantasia,” “The Jungle Book,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” the show incorporates projections on screens of water, pyrotechnics, and both the Sailing Ship Columbia and Mark Twain Riverboat as they sail past guests on the Rivers of America.
“Fantasmic!” went into an extended hiatus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and finally resumed performances in late May of 2022. Since then, the nighttime spectacular has performed with minimal incident in Disneyland, though it was unexpectedly shut down for just over two weeks this past January. MagicBand+ interacts with “Fantasmic!” as the center puck changes colors and flashes in sync with the show.
Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, the show, which premiered at the park in 1998, underwent a longer break, returning last November with new scenes inspired by “Mulan,” “Frozen II,” and “Moana”.
A third version existed at Tokyo DisneySea from April 2011 to February 2020, set on the waters of Mediterranean Harbor and featuring more representation from that park’s characters like the Genie. The show closed permanently at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How do you feel about this “Fantasmic!” delay and the alternative entertainment options? Let us know in the comments.