Festival of Fantasy Dragon on Fire at Magic Kingdom
During today’s performance of Festival of Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, the Maleficent Dragon float caught fire and sustained serious damage. (Above is how it looks on a normal day.)
Photos and video can be seen embedded below, which were taken by guests who were at the park today watching the parade. It appears as if the external shell of the dragon caught fire as the float passed through Liberty Square. Whether this was a malfunction is unclear.
Per guests there, character performers who were near the Maleficent Dragon dispersed and headed backstage, while crowd control Cast Members quickly acted to ensure that no guests were in any danger–thankfully, no one was injured. The fire was extinguished quickly, but not before components of the dragon’s head burned.
Here’s the video:
And a photo of the aftermath:
It’s all kicking off at the Magic Kingdom! The parade went past us and the mechanical Dragon was all good until it burst into flames! Parade closed and the fire was promptly put out. The dragon was not looking the best after as you can see. pic.twitter.com/6DsWL1NK5M
– Martin MJ (@MartinMJ22) May 11, 2018
Another of the aftermath:
Great photo from @matthewcbayer shows the damaged Maleficent dragon float:
(Photo: Matthew Bayer / https://t.co/P7SUDWkDFx) pic.twitter.com/7tU7mlL3DL
– Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) May 11, 2018
Yikes, that’s some pretty significant damage.
While this is the first known safety incident with the Maleficent Dragon in the 4 years since Festival of Fantasy Parade has been running in Magic Kingdom, we would not be surprised if it’s also the last safety incident. Walt Disney World tends to treat these kind of things very seriously, and with a risk-averse approach.
Note that Disney Stars on Parade at Disneyland Paris uses an identical Maleficent Dragon float, and it’ll be interesting to see whether that version’s fire-breathing functionality continues to be utilized in France. We wouldn’t be surprised if it’s turned off at Disneyland Paris for the foreseeable future until a safety assessment can be performed to ensure that this doesn’t occur again.
Either way, it’s unlikely we’ll know the future of the Dragon’s fire-breathing effect in Festival of Fantasy at Walt Disney World, as it’s likely the Maleficent Dragon float will need some down time in order to be refurbished. Obviously, since this just occurred today, we don’t have word yet on how long repairs or will (we’d guess at least a week–if not longer) or whether Festival of Fantasy will be performed without the Maleficent Dragon float (we’d guess so), but we’ll keep you posted and update this as we hear more info.
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Were you watching Festival of Fantasy Parade today when this happened? Any insight into what went wrong with the Maleficent Dragon float? Any other thoughts about the impact of this on the future of Festival of Fantasy? Any questions we can help you answer? Please share your thoughts below in the comments!
Any idea if the dragon will be back at WDW Orlando?
As of now, the fire breath in Paris is turned off, just as you predicted.
We were there the day of the fire and while they did a great job with crowd control, things got a bit chaotic in the park as a result. Sections of the park were closed while they dealt with the incident and the crowds were all herded to the same areas so it was really crowded. Thankfully it was our 2nd day at Magic Kingdom and we had done all our planned activities for the day so we opted to call it a day and head back to the resort for some swimming and down-time. Too bad that’s how our last day ended but the incident was well handled and we’re happy that no one was hurt.
Hope this failure isn’t an indication of a much more serious problem, that being a degradation of Inspection and Maintaince of WDW’s mechanical systems, in general. Doesn’t take a degree to know that a flexable gas fuel line will fatigue and fail over time, obviously, no one is checking it, What else are they not checking ??? Hey Igor, you listening?
Yikes! I’m headed there tomorrow. I’ll try and let you know what the parade looks like.
Same parade, just no dragon or it’s attendants. Aurora and Prince Phillip rode behind the 3 good fairies in a gazebo type float.
Hope they get him patched up right quick! Fire Breathing Dragons are COOL !!!
We didn’t see it outselves since we were in a different park, but footage and pictures are all over the r/disney and r/waltdisneyworld subreddits of the Reddit community.
Gonna be scouring the web for the rest of the night looking for more footage of this. Thanks, Tom, you just killed my Friday night.
I was at Disneyland Paris in February andthe Maleficent float did not have the fire feature, no idea why though!
“Whether this was a malfunction is unclear.” Well, it certainly wasn’t planned! (Just kidding – glad everyone is okay and the fire didn’t spread to any structures.)
Lol. “What caused the malfunction is unclear” is probably the better way to put that!