For over 30 years, Disney fans have flocked to Disneyland to see “Fantasmic!,” a nighttime show that celebrates the power of imagination. But no one could have imagined seeing the dragon used during the show’s climax to burn down to the ground in a tower of flames.
On Saturday night, Anaheim firefighters were dispatched to the Happiest Place on Earth when the show’s 45-foot fire-breathing animatronic dragon burst into flames during the nightly performance of “Fantasmic!” on Tom Sawyer Island. No one was injured in the incident, and fire officials are investigating the accident with Disneyland’s cooperation.
In the finale of “Fantasmic!,” the famous villain Maleficent transforms into a black and green dragon, just as she does in the classic Disney film “Sleeping Beauty,” to destroy Mickey Mouse within the world he’s created in his imagination. In the finale of “Fantasmic!,” Maleficent transforms into a black and green dragon, just as she did in the classic Disney film “Sleeping Beauty,” to destroy Mickey Mouse within his own world. Mickey takes control of the dreamworld and uses water fountains to quench the flames. He then blasts Maleficent’s magic at her with a magical shot.
But during Saturday’s show, as Mickey began to extinguish the flames, the head of the dragon — called Murphy by hardcore Disneyland fans — suddenly ignited. Within a minute or so, the fire had spread to the rest of Murphy’s body, consuming the amusement park marvel that had been introduced to “Fantasmic!” in 2009 as part of a modernization of the show’s special effects.
Disney lovers have taken to social media with videos and photos showing the accident, its aftermath and even a picture of a Disney parkgoer. Recording His Ride Splash Mountain, which is soon to be closed. You can see Murphy burning in the distance.
On Sunday, further pictures were posted online of Murphy’s burning demise and its charred remains, which were removed from Tom Sawyer Island by Sunday morning. Disneyland’s fans have expressed sadness over the demise of the animatronic. However, others joked around.
Murphy’s name comes from Disneyland, which had to repeatedly delay the debut of the dragon during summer 2009 because it was having problems getting it to function. As weeks of waiting turned into months, fans called the dragon Murphy after Murphy’s Law, which states that “anything that can go wrong, will.”
With that in mind, Murphy’s final fate was quite fitting.