June 12, 2009

Mechanical problems slay Disneyland dragon

The Disneyland automated dragon will not make any appearances at the California amusement park in the near future due to mechanical problems, Disney says.

Disney said Maleficent, the fire-breathing star of the Disneyland production Fantasmic, has been sidelined with unspecified mechanical problems ahead of Friday's premiere of the summer-long show, the Los Angeles Times said.

Maleficent typically stands 40 feet tall and weighs 10,000 pounds, but the editor of the Disney-themed Web site, miceage.com, says the mechanical beast is now in pieces.

Miceage.com editor Al Lutz's site reported during testing of the mechanical beast, the dragon's head fell off.

Disneyland Resort spokeswoman Suzi Brown denied the site's dragon was beheaded during testing, telling the Times the complex machine was simply not prepared for its debut.

It's a very technically complex mechanism, Brown said. It's huge and it's just not ready.