Visitors to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., were treated to an unexpected show when a float in the Festival of Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom burst into flames on Friday.
Video footage shows the dragon—a likeness of Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty”—continuing to bob its head up and down as the flames consumed it. In a surreal scene, parade music blared from speakers as onlookers stared in amazement at the flaming monster.
The steampunk-style dragon normally breathes fire as part of the show, but something malfunctioned and the entire head of the metal beast went up in flames. Perhaps thinking the fire was part of the show, people milled about, seemingly not alarmed by the flames. Most didn’t flee the scene and continued to watch until they were ushered away by park staff.
Local firefighters responded to the fire, but it had already been extinguished by the time they arrived.
According to “Disney Dan,” the fire was extinguished quickly and cast members confirmed that “everyone is fine.”
Looks like the Dragon from #FestivalofFantasy Parade in Magic Kingdom caught fire today. Float was burning in Liberty Square, seems the fire was put out quickly. Cast member friends confirming everyone is fine.
Float is completely destroyed. #MagicKingdom #DisneyWorld #Fire pic.twitter.com/UPCf6m4rvP
— Disney Dan (@DisneyDan) May 11, 2018
Despite that news, it appears an ambulance-chasing Orlando law firm is seeking victims:
Anyone near dragon fire please contact Stickler and Hearns lawfirm in Orlando. They're investigating this & will be approaching @Disney with possible client & cast member injuries including possible smoke inhalation as well as trauma associated with these horrific events.
— Space Stranger (@TakeThePen) May 11, 2018
“I think we have a problem, the dragon’s literally on fire,” a guest says in the video below.
Tampa resident Taylor Standridge was also at the park Friday when the fire occurred. She wrote on Facebook that the dragon’s head was on fire. “It did the fire-breathing thing and out of nowhere,” she wrote, “the flame just bursted out of the top [and] kept growing.”
Disney dragon head on fire
Posted by Taylor Standridge on Friday, May 11, 2018
Matthew C. Bayer showed a picture of what the dragon looked like after the fire was extinguished:
Here it is. Freshly charred dragon after it caught fire during today's Festival of Fantasy parade at Magic Kingdom. #festivaloffantasy #magickingdom #disney pic.twitter.com/I4pZquCKV2
— Matthew C. Bayer (@matthewcbayer) May 11, 2018
Other Twitter users shared their pictures of the flaming dragon:
You know it’s a hot day in Orlando when the Disney parade floats start catching fire!! #FestivalofFantasy #Disney pic.twitter.com/iPPc7DZ7zW
— Keatontacular (@Mrfurious32821) May 11, 2018
A float caught #fire at #Disney ! Video by Rosie Jell Portillo-Panes #dragons pic.twitter.com/UjuGoeGRH1
— Channing Frampton (@Channing_TV) May 11, 2018
Smoke could be seen from across the park:
Fire on Disney World parade. pic.twitter.com/J6EaSlTGy5
— CBGrey (@CBGrey) May 11, 2018
Prior to today, the fire-breathing dragon was a popular attraction. According to the Orlando Sentinal:
The dragon, which has a steampunk-looking design, normally rolls through the streets of the theme park, occasionally rearing its head and blowing smoke and fire into the air. An employee is stationed inside the unit, sitting near the base of the neck. Another cast member brings up the rear, while additional costumed workers — including one portraying Prince Phillip battling the beast — travel by foot.
The Festival of Fantasy parade debuted four years ago. It includes several themed floats carrying many Disney characters, ranging from the royal “Frozen” sisters to Mickey Mouse.
Disney has not yet indicated whether they’ll continue to use fire in future parades.
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