Disneyland visitors got more than they bargained for Saturday night when a 45-foot-tall dragon prop caught fire during a live show, KNBC reported.
"We saw some small explosions coming out of the head, and then, all of a sudden, the whole dragon was just engulfed, and then, all of a sudden, the worker started coming around escorting everybody out for safety," attendee Elaine Gilmer told ABC News.
"The dragon is usually the highlight — that's what most people look forward to," Gilmer's daughter, Elyssa Gilmer told the outlet.
"We always love that part, so it's exciting to watch; it's kind of sad knowing that [the fire] happened."
Disneyland's iconic "Fantasmic!" show is staged on the theme park's Tom Sawyer Island.
No injuries were reported in the fiery mishap, according to the Anaheim Fire Department, KABC reported. Disneyland officials told the outlet all cast members were evacuated from island.
The prop caught fire at the climax of the show. Under normal circumstances, "Fantasmic!" ends with dancing, costumed characters on a steamboat. Saturday, it ended with an announcement that "the performance cannot continue due to unforeseen circumstances."
Disney describes the show as featuring "a fantastical array of live performers, beloved Disney characters, enhanced special effects, state-of-the-art projections and superb pyrotechnics."
"It was a big giant fireball. Then they began pushing people out," Ryan Laux, 28, a Los Angeles video producer and annual season passholder told the Los Angeles Times. Laux was near the show when the fire broke out.
The 45-foot-tall dragon prop that caught fire is nicknamed "Murphy." The fire-breathing creature is meant to depict a dragon form of the Maleficent character from "Snow White."
An #RIPMurphy hashtag associated with the smoky demise of the mechanical beast trended on Twitter. Some readers joked about feeling relief on discovering the hashtag was not a reference to actor Eddie Murphy, who is very much alive.
This is not the first time, first park, nor first animatronic Disney dragon to catch fire. The "Sleeping Beauty" dragon float burst into flames at Disney World in Florida in 2019.
A person who says she was at the show posted images of Maleficent sheathed in smoke and flame. The person, who goes by @MelissaLeeGiles on Twitter, says she used her iPhone to capture the shot.
Watch her video below of Maleficent Dragon catching fire during Disneyland's "Fantasmic!" show.
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