Watch as fire-breathing dragon bursts into flames during Disneyland’s Fantasmic show

Mickey Mouse and a fire-breathing dragon at Disneyland
Mickey Mouse tangles with a fire-breathing dragon that caught fire during a performance Saturday night.
(Joshua Sudock / Disneyland Resort)

A fire erupted Saturday night during Disneyland’s Fantasmic fireworks and light show, forcing throngs of stunned fans to evacuate the area.

Although the flames erupting from a 45-foot-tall animatronic dragon were dramatic, the Anaheim Fire Department said no injuries were reported, according to KABC.

“It was a big giant fireball. Then they began pushing people out,” said Ryan Laux, 28, a Los Angeles video producer and an annual season passholder who was watching the show near Disneyland’s Tom Sawyer Island when the fire broke out.


Laux estimated that about 1,000 park guests had packed the area to watch the spectacular, which normally features digital flames, colored fountains and pyrotechnics. Images and videos shared on social media showed actual flames shooting up over the park.

Witnesses told The Times that spectators were dumbfounded.

The signature show takes place twice nightly, with the second performance beginning at 10:30 p.m. in front of the island. Most of the show takes place in the mist of the Rivers of America, and the audience watches from the banks around New Orleans Square and Frontierland.

Disneyland faced a daunting challenge with the remake of the 25-year-old “Fantasmic” nighttime spectacular: How do you update a beloved modern classic without alienating its die-hard fans?

July 25, 2017

The show was coming to its climax, in which Mickey Mouse fights a fire-breathing dragon named Maleficent. But things went awry when the fire breath engulfed the dragon’s head, then spread to the rest of the body, Laux said.

“At one point there was a fireball,” he said. “There was a bit of debris that fell from the prop.”

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

“It happened out of nowhere,” said Melissa Giles, 30, who had traveled from Alberta, Canada, to spend four days at the theme park. “We thought it was part of the show. Within seconds it went up in flames.”


Shortly after the fire, park employees turned on a water feature that was part of the show. The crowd erupted in cheers, Laux said.

Fantasmic debuted at Disneyland in 1992 and got a makeover in 2017.