‘Explosion’ Reported At Disneyland This Week. What Was Really Going On When That Black Cloud Formed

Disney Parks footage from Ignite The Night video.
(Image credit: Disney Parks )

Disneyland Resort is a wild place where almost anything can (and occasionally does) happen. But people were a little worried earlier this week when there were reports of an explosion near the park and sightings of a black cloud above the happiest place on earth. But as it turned out there was nothing to be worried about, as it was just some early hours pyrotechnics testing for World of Color.

On Tuesday morning at about 6:30 am people saw “flashes of red and yellow” at or near Disneyland Resort according to Fox 11. Anaheim police and fire both responded to the reports, but found no evidence of any explosion or fire. Disneyland Resort later confirmed that the cause was simply early morning testing of the World of Color show at Disney California Adventure. DCA has been running a new edition of the long-running show, World of Color - One, as part of Disneyland's 100 Years of Wonder celebration.

While the World of Color show is primarily done by projecting effects onto fountains of water, it does also include jets of fire that go off into the air during some of the more intense moments of the show. This fire obviously produces smoke, which is what the black cloud was. Of course, people in the area expect to see and hear the fire at night, and the black cloud is less visible in the dark, so people in the area probably don’t notice it normally.

It is a bit unusual to see World of Color go through this sort of testing in the morning, Disneyland does a lot of its work on things like that overnight. It’s actually more likely to hear music coming from the park in the middle of the night after things have shut down, which may be why people were concerned about this happening during the hour when it did. 

While this was just a test using the elements of the theme park that are in use every day, the fact that Disneyland Resort has fire effects and other combustible materials like fireworks is exactly the reason that it’s not surprising that some people were apparently concerned. While Disneyland hasn’t had any significant incidents in recent years, we’ve seen small fires break out at Disney World in the past, so these things do happen. We've even seen a Disney World fire result in minor injuries.

Disneyland Resort takes plenty of precautions to make sure that the area surrounding the park is safe from any potential hazards. Disneyland’s regular fireworks show taking place is contingent on a nightly test of wind conditions. If it’s too windy, the fireworks don’t happen, though thanks to the advent of projection mapping technology, the new Fantastic Journeys show can still happen with music and images projected on Sleeping Beauty Castle and Main Street U.S.A. without fireworks. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.