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Disneyland's 45-foot-tall dragon removed from Fantasmic after weekend incident

August 30, 2010 |  3:14 pm


From the start, this dragon seemed to be missing a spark or two.

When Disneyland’s updated version of Fantasmic debuted in June of last year, it had to do so minus Maleficent, the mighty fire-breather from “Sleeping Beauty” that was supposed to be the star of the show.

At the time, rumors flew over what had felled Maleficent, with some observers reporting that the dragon’s head had fallen off during rehearsal. But Disney officials refused to confirm anything more than mechanical trouble.

The 45-foot-tall, 18,000-pound dragon finally debuted in September. But on Monday, the image-conscious officials representing the Happiest Place on Earth confirmed that the dragon was out again, this time indefinitely, after some kind of “technical” problem during Saturday’s show. “

"The dragon in Fantasmic experienced a technical issue last Saturday night,” wrote Disney spokeswoman Betsy Sanchez. “We are working to fix the problem. At this time we are not able to determine when the dragon will reappear in the show; however, it will continue to run at its scheduled times.”

Fans said the mechanical beast had collapsed during Saturday's show, according to posts on micechat.com.

-- Paloma Esquivel

Photo: Dragon after it collapsed this weekend at Disneyland. Credit: Richard Martin