How Fantasmic! b-mode deals with a missing Maleficent dragon

The show must go on, and it does again and again at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the re-imagined Fantasmic! show. But what happens if a major element malfunctions or falls behind on timing? We got lucky enough to see how the new Fantasmic! b-mode works for the Maleficent dragon.

Fantasmic! B-Mode at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Many major shows and rides, such as Fantasmic!, have a b-mode operation, which allows the attraction to run at 95% of what’s expected, while modifying a specific scene or show element. For many Disney fans, it’s actually a goal to catch these kinds of modified operations.

Fantasmic! B-Mode at Disney's Hollywood Studios, as Mickey Mouse runs into place.

We were not watching Fantasmic! to cover anything; we were just enjoying the re-imagined show (which this author believes is simply spectacular), but when the water projection screens fell and we saw Maleficent still in human form, we had to grab our camera. Seen above, Maleficent still stood high as Mickey ran to his place to defeat her with the power of dreams and magic.

Maleficent waved around her staff as the staged fire effects began to consume the lagoon. For many first time viewers, this probably seemed normal as Maleficent had sufficient lighting, she continued to be foreboding, and her staff reacted to the show.


Modified Fantasmic! finale at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Mickey grabbed the sword in the stone, as the water fountains rose, dousing the flaming lagoon. Strobe effects shot into the sky as the evil villain was defeated. Some effects of a ride or show malfunction are catastrophic, but you could tell this Fantasmic! b-mode was well-rehearsed and performers were prepared.


Split second view of Maleficent being lowered down during the Fantasmic! B-Mode finale.

For a split second, a green flash lit up the mountain letting us get this look at Maleficent being lowered down during her defeat sequence. In front, Mickey stands proud, knowing he and his friends saved the day.

Did you know this location is also where Moana jumps into the water for the heroes sequence? Moana jumping in the water is big deal. Not only is it a major moment for her character, but its the first time we have ever seen a character in the Hollywood Studios version of this show jump into (and interact with) the lagoon water.

You can watch the modified portion of the show and see what other elements were changed for this Fantasmic! b-mode showing. Do you prefer the big dragon, or do you like this version of the finale more?

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