Disney Kills Iconic Dragon After Fire, Show Delayed Until 2024

Disneyland Park’s popular Fantasmic! special effects show is delayed until 2024 following an April incident where its Maleficent dragon animatronic caught on fire. The Snow White animatronic will not return when the show resumes next spring, though Fantasmic! will continue to prominently feature a battle between Mickey Mouse and the dragon, Theme Park Insider reports.

After the April 22 fire, which appears to have been caused by errant fuel leaking from the dragon animatronic and reportedly resulted in no injuries, Fantasmic! was initially only meant to be closed through Labor Day. Disney officials have not elaborated on why its Disneyland closure was extended, but a version of the show is currently still running at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios park; Kotaku reached out for comment.

What is the Fantasmic! show?

An “incredible nighttime show,” as Disneyland puts it on its website, Fantasmic! opened in 1992 in a burst of light, fireworks, and adults singing musical theater on a riverboat. In it, Mickey has an elaborate and incredible dream featuring “memorable scenes from Disney classics,” Disneyland says, until Maleficent pulls him into a nightmare with “enhanced special effects, state-of-the-art projections, and superb pyrotechnics.”

Of course, these superb pyrotechnics are precisely what turned decades of delighted screams into astonished silence in April as Maleficent became a 45-foot tall flaming effigy of U.S. gluttony. Enhanced special effects, state-of-the-art projections, and pyrotechnics? Come on, pick one.

Despite the fire’s appearing to melt off all of the dragon’s plasticine skin, shutting down a wide swathe of Disneyland park, and allegedly collapsing an entire stage area, some Disney fans are angry that the 27-minute show won’t be returning as soon as they thought it would.

“Well, this certainly is going to put a damper on my winter SoCal trip,” said one disgruntled Theme Park Insider commenter. “Do I even bother with Disney for a third day?”

“What we had: Maleficent robot balloon. What I’m hoping for: Maleficent made of drones,” said another commenter.

Disneyland has so far only made vague statements about wanting to deliver “the best possible show for our guests,” and, aside from its 2024 return date, the future of Fantasmic! is uncertain. If I may offer an idea, I’m imagining it offers fewer opportunities for mass evacuation.


GTA 6 Leaker Hacked Rockstar With An Amazon Fire Stick In Hotel

The leaker who accessed GTA VI details from Rockstar Games allegedly did so using an Amazon Fire Stick in an England hotel, according to a BBC report.

Read More: Everything We Know About Grand Theft Auto 6

The British publication reported that, according to court documents filed in the UK, 18-year-old Arion Kurtaj was “caught red handed” when the City of London Police searched his Travelodge hotel—where he was being held on bail after his March 2022 arrest for hacking chip manufacturer Nvidia—in the south-central England town of Bicester. There, law enforcement found the digital media player connected to the hotel room’s TV, which allowed Kurtaj to infiltrate cloud computing services with a keyboard, mouse, and smartphone.

This setup let him best the likes of global neobank Revolut, rideshare service Uber, tech giant Microsoft, and game publisher Rockstar Games. Kurtaj’s hack against Rockstar Games was described as his “most audacious”—not only because of his flagrant behavior during the hack, but because he executed it while on bail for other hacking-related crimes. Kurtaj even posted in the company’s Slack, telling staff he’s not an employee but “an attacker.”

Kurtaj claimed to have downloaded all of GTA VI’s data, stating that he’d release the source code unless Rockstar Games contacted him on the messaging app Telegram. It’s unclear if the publisher ever reached out to Kurtaj, but copious details about the game, from its female co-star to its Miami: Vice City setting, did leak online last year—though we don’t know for sure if Kurtaj was behind it all. The leak was so bad that Rockstar Games, after years of silence about the next installment in the GTA series, finally confirmed the game’s existence on X (formerly Twitter) in February 2022. It was an enormous leak, so if you missed any of it, I recommend you check out Kotaku’s post on everything we’ve learned about GTA VI since the hack occurred.

As a key member of the “digital bandits” known as the Lapsus$ group, Kurtaj didn’t work alone. As reported by the BBC, an unnamed 17-year-old was also booked for his involvement with the hacks. While other members of the cyber-crime gang, allegedly operating out of both Brazil and the UK, are thought to still be at large, the two teenagers have been arrested for their alleged crimes.

Kotaku reached out to Rockstar for comment.

Read More: GTA 6’s Leak Showed Us The Future, Now It’s Hard To Care About GTA Online

Kurtaj is still in custody, while the unnamed teenager is out on bail. Both culprits will be sentenced at a later date, according to the BBC.


Starfield Literally Saved A Couple From Dying In Apartment Fire

A ship exploding in Starfield.

Screenshot: Bethesda

We all know that playing video games makes you cooler, stronger, and more attractive, but for Reddit user Tidyckilla, it made him and his wife remain far more alive. Staying up late to binge Starfield is the reason credited for how the couple escaped a deadly fire in their apartment.

As spotted by Eurogamer, u/tidyckilla posted over the weekend to the Starfield subreddit to credit the game for his continued existence.

Starfield literally saved mine and my family’s life on September 1st,” the post begins. After explaining for how long he’d been anticipating playing, the not-dead person continues, “On the night of August 31st I decided to stay up and play as long as possible to experience this new universe. At 2:26 in the morning, while playing the game, I heard an explosion from my downstairs neighbors apartment.”

It seems it was no small explosion, and the resulting fire was in an awful rush. “I paused my game to see what was happen [sic], when I opened the door I saw flames rising up our stairwell to our apartment.”

I immediately got my wife and cat, rushing us to safety with only minor burns. If I hadn’t been up bingeing Starfield I would have been asleep and we would have all died to smoke inhalation.

The post is accompanied by a photograph of the raging fire, thankfully viewed from the other side of the street from the apartment, and frankly looks terrifying. The Redditor also posted some sad pictures of the aftermath of the fire, in response to the inevitable conspiracists claiming the story was made up. This news report suggests tragically one neighbor was killed, while three others were rescued by firefighters, with the cause of the fire under investigation.

It’s further proof that staying up too late playing games is very good for you.

“I want to thank this game from saving my family and me from a horrible fate,” says tidyckilla, before concluding, “PRAISE GODD HOWARD.”

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