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Below is an official Press Release

Maleficent Takes Center Stage in Fantasmic!

A spectacular new fire-breathing dragon takes center stage in “Fantasmic!” – the long-running spectacular presented on the “Rivers of America” in New Orleans Square and Frontierland in Disneyland. “Fantasmic!” combines Disney characters, live performers and amazing special effects with high-definition digital images from classic Disney movies, projected on giant mist screens. The dragon, inspired by “Sleeping Beauty,” stretches as high as 45 feet tall, is capable of a wide range of movement and breathes a 35-foot-long plume of fire that ignites the Rivers of America.

Maleficent is scheduled to appear nightly Sept. 1 through Sept. 7, with shows continuing  weekends through the end of 2009.

Maleficent the Dragon Joins ‘Fantasmic!’

Show Extended With Spectacular Fire-Breathing Dragon

A spectacular new dragon joins “Fantasmic!,” stretching as high as 45 feet tall and breathing great plumes of fire on the Rivers of America at Disneyland. Performances of the show have been extended nightly through Sept. 7, and will continue weekends – Friday, Saturday, Sunday – as well as during holiday periods through the end of 2009. Nighttime Disneyland guests can also enjoy the “Magical” fireworks show, which has been extended through Labor Day and weekends thereafter through Sept. 20. Both Tinker Bell and Dumbo the Flying Elephant make special appearances in “Magical.”

  • The new dragon is a fully animated three-dimensional design that replicates the movements of the dragon in “Sleeping Beauty.”

  • Maleficent, a classic Disney villain, transforms into a dragon during “Fantasmic!” – just as she does in the famous Walt Disney Pictures film.

  • The “Fantasmic!” dragon is 32 feet wide and weighs approximately 18,000 pounds.

  • When she stretches to full height, the dragon stands 45 feet tall.

  • When she “lurks” beneath the “Fantasmic!” stage prior to appearing, the dragon contracts to 22 feet tall.

  • During the spectacular finale, she rises to stage level in 35 seconds on a custom-built elevator.

  • Tri-color LED lighting fixtures put the gleam in the dragon’s eyes.

  • In her spectacular appearance, Maleficent breathes a plume of fire 35 feet long, lighting the Rivers of America on fire for 25 seconds during the show.

  • During the show, the dragon is controlled and monitored by four computer systems.

  • The dynamic and menacing animation of the dragon is achieved via 18 axes of motion which enable a wide rangeof movement in her eyes, ears, mouth, tongue, neck, wings and body.

© Walt Disney Company