Disneyland was on fire for a brief period of time Saturday night as a fire engulfed a tree that sat very near Disneyland’s “It’s a Small World” attraction, according to John A. Moreno of KTLA 5. The fire broke out around 9:19 p.m. in a backstage area behind the ride, according to Disneyland spokesperson Suzi Brown. Firefighters responded to the blaze which was apparently extinguished in roughly just half an hour, according to a spokesperson with the Anaheim Fire Department.
The “It’s a Small World” attraction, one of Disneyland’s oldest and most popular rides, was not damaged in the fire. It is thought that the fire may have been caused due to Disneyland’s popular fireworks show that occurs each night around the same time the fire began. Fire Department investigators continue to work toward solving the direct cause of the fire.
While the Disneyland blaze was extinguished in a relatively short period of time, half an hour was more than enough for Disneyland guests to capture the fire on video via their smart phones and cause a sensation online that would persist long after the fire was put out. Louis Casiano Jr. and Alyssa Durante of the Orange County Register reported on the social media flurry, which took place primarily on Twitter and Instagram, and state that the tone of the posts seemed to turn from frightened on Saturday night during and shortly after the fire to humorous by Sunday afternoon.
Instagram user @dylan.smith.1998 posted a picture of text around 10 a.m. Sunday saying “Small world is on fire? Oh, My, God. This is scary.” To which user @itsasmallworldclocktower responded: “At least everyone is ok.” Sarah Angela, or Twitter user @_SarahMoff_, apparently a Boise State University student, tweeted about 4 p.m. Sunday “About to drop my mixtape on ‘It’s a Small World.’ Hope this one doesn’t catch on fire.” Grant Markin, a Los Angeles Twitter user that goes by @Gmarkin, seems to be anything but a fan of the iconic Disneyland attraction that was nearly damaged by the blaze. “Headline: It’s A Small World almost burns down but fire is extinguished. Millions upset with the firefighters,” he tweeted Sunday afternoon.
Lt. Bob Dunn with the Anaheim Fire Department said the fire was handled by Disney personnel.
Disneyland opened in July, 1955. “It’s a Small World” is a zero drop ride located in Fantasyland and opened on May 28, 1966, at Disneyland.