For anyone who happened to be in Magic Kingdom on May 11, 2018, you witnessed something that many people will never be able to see. It was on that day that the giant Maleficent dragon float in Disney’s Festival of Fantasy caught on fire and shocked everyone watching the parade that day. Since that date, the float has been out of the parade and many wondered if she would ever make her return, but they don’t need to wonder any longer.
If you’re not familiar with the float or have never seen Disney’s Festival of Fantasy parade in Walt Disney World, the Maleficent dragon is the showpiece. The huge dragon is controlled by a cast member sitting inside it and led down the parade route by a number of other entertainers.
At certain points during the parade route, and in tune with the music, the dragon raises her head and breathes fire much to the delight of all the guests watching. In mid-May, things became a bit more extreme as the Maleficent dragon actually caught on fire and began burning halfway through Liberty Square.
Luckily, no cast members, entertainers, or guests were injured and emergency services extinguished the fire rather quickly. This being the day and age of social media, though, videos quickly went viral.
Another viewer sent me this video of the Maleficent dragon fire. Sheesh! What a day over at #DisneyWorld today. Kelli Hardin says Disney staff handled the fire very well and stayed calm. https://t.co/q0tHVVrk88 pic.twitter.com/515oCI4C1P— Daisy Ruth (@daisyruth24) May 12, 2018
The day after the fire, the Maleficent dragon was removed entirely as she was badly damaged and needed major repairs. A gazebo float featuring Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and Prince Phillip was inserted in its absence and has remained there for the last six months.
Many guests visiting Walt Disney World have wondered when the dragon would come back and take her place in the parade. As time continued to move on, it started to seem ever more doubtful that she would ever be back, but those fears can now be put to bed.
According to WDW Magic, the 35-foot-long and 26-foot-tall Maleficent dragon will soon take her rightful place in Disney’s Festival of Fantasy parade. The dragon has been doing test runs and rehearsals with entertainment cast members to get everyone back in the swing of things with her on the run.
There is no set date for her return, as of yet, but the time is coming soon with rehearsals taking place. Fans have missed the Maleficent dragon from the daily run of Disney’s Festival of Fantasy parade in Magic Kingdom, but her absence was understandable. After catching on fire, though, it has not been confirmed if she will come back and still occasionally breathe fire or if it will be a much cooler return.