You’ll soon be able to raise a glass to the memory of the defunct Fantasmic dragon on the Rivers of America at Disneyland.
Goodbye, Murphy—as the dragon, which accidentally incinerated itself in April, was nicknamed by the Disney Parks community. In case it’s not obvious, that’s Murphy as in “Murphy’s Law.” It established its testy nature when it debuted back in 2009, and was often reluctant to rise for its nighttime spectacular obligations or showcase its fire-breathing prowess as the star of Disneyland’s Fantasmic show.
Deadline has officially confirmed that after the dragon went up in flames due to a fluid leak, Fantasmic will not return to Disneyland until 2024, and when it does it will do so sans giant robot dragon. In Murphy’s place will be a new re-imagining of the classic Sleeping Beauty scene where Mickey goes head to head with Maleficent in her dragon form—presumably different from the show’s established “B-mode” animated projection of the fight, which was already being used in the case of mechanical failure. For its part, Disney described the change to Deadline as “new special effects during the climactic battle” between Mickey and Maleficent.
Murphy had a good run as the replacement to the puppet dragon head that originally debuted with Fantasmic in 1992—I grew up with that, and would like to see it taken back from the museum it rests in. But as the Mouse taketh away, he giveth: on the heels of the sad dragon news, it’s been confirmed by theme park reporter Scott Gustin that Disneyland is loosening up more of its adult beverage rules around the notoriously dry theme park. Walt Disney was a stickler about this—for decades, the only alcohol in Disneyland was served at the exclusive Club 33. That all changed when Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opened Oga’s Cantina, and then widened last year with the addition of drinks to the menu of the Blue Bayou, the restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
In addition to Carnation Cafe on Main Street getting fun 21+ libations starting September 12, the River Belle Terrace and Cafe Orleans—both next to Fantasmic’s Rivers of America—will also be serving alcoholic beverages as new addition to those restaurant menus. We will definitely be pouring one out (but not in the river) for Murphy.
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