Following the fire during a performance of “Fantasmic!” in April that destroyed the Maleficent dragon, certain fire effects were suspended at Disney Parks worldwide. These included the fire effects during “World of Color – ONE” at Disney California Adventure. For the first time since April, these fire effects have returned to “World of Color – ONE.”
“World of Color – ONE” debuted in January 2023 for the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company.
The fire effects were restored on Friday, September 8. See them in our video below.
‘Fantasmic!’ Maleficent Fire
During the second performance of “Fantasmic!” at Disneyland 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. Six Disneyland Cast Members were treated for smoke inhalation but there were no serious injuries.
Among the suspended fire effects around the world was the fire-breathing Maleficent dragon in Walt Disney World’s Festival of Fantasy Parade. The unit made headlines back in 2018 when its head incidentally also caught on fire. Fortunately, the fire was put out quickly and no injuries were reported. The float returned to the parade about nine months later with its fire effects intact and there have been no further incidents (save a broken horn in June 2022). The dragon’s fire-breathing was suspended for only a few weeks and has been operating fine since May.
“Fantasmic!” performances at Disneyland were suspended and Disney eventually announced the show would not reopen until spring 2024. “Fantasmic!” will still end with a battle between Sorcerer Mickey and Maleficent, but the villain will not appear in dragon form.
“Fantasmic!” is a nighttime spectacular that 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.