As the sun sets earlier and earlier this fall, “Rivers of Light: We Are One” will come to life on Discovery River in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. This nighttime show includes dramatic new imagery and familiar animal characters from Disneynature films along with a colorful tapestry of unforgettable moments from Disney animation.
As I announced today, “Rivers of Light,” the new nighttime show that debuts Feb. 17, 2017 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. And, starting today, you can book "Rivers of Light" Dining Packages at Tiffins and Tusker House Restaurant.
For more than a year, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park at Walt Disney World Resort has continued its evolution to a day-to-night park by introducing new nighttime experiences. And today, I'm happy to announce one of the park’s newest nighttime experiences, “Rivers of Light,” will make its official debut on Feb 17, 2017.
“Rivers of Light” combines live performance, floating set pieces, a soaring musical score, fountains and more in a celebration of animals and nature. The story unfolds on the broad natural stage of the Discovery River, conveying the uplifting spirit of an ancient and timeless lantern ceremony and filled with symbolism, storytelling and plenty of heart.
Dining and FastPass+ reservations for this new show are now available.
And don’t forget that the next step in the expansion of Disney’s Animal Kingdom – the grand debut of Pandora – The World of Avatar – will take place on May 27, 2017.
A quick update that development work continues on “Rivers of Light.” This show will depict an ancient lantern festival guided by two storytellers who call forth four animal Spirit Guides. The Spirit Guides return at different points during the show to lead the audience on a journey through the Rivers of Light. No official opening date has been set.
Darren Wittko is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and a Disney Destinations Specialist at Magical Vacations Travel. Voted "best of the best Disney travel agent" by readers of the 2015 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.
Disney released a menu of attractions and entertainment coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom Park this summer but what happened to Rivers of Light? The show was originally supposed to open tonight but Disney later announced that it would be delayed. And now, it's not even in the summer lineup of attractions and entertainment.
But even without Rivers of Light, I'm excited to see some new nighttime experiences coming to Animal Kingdom.
Here’s a taste of what to expect:
- “The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic” Show – For the summer, Discovery River will become the stage for a limited-engagement show inspired by Disney’s hit live-action film “The Jungle Book.” “The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic” is filled with music and special effects that celebrates the new film and the classic songs, now infused with an Indian influence.
- The Tree of Life Awakens – The park’s iconic Tree of Life undergoes an extraordinary “awakening.” You can expect to see animal spirits come to life throughout the evening by magical fireflies. Each scene appears to emanate from within the tree itself and reveals stories of wonder.
- Kilimanjaro Safaris After Dark – You can enjoy Kilimanjaro Safaris in the evening hours, thanks to special lighting that will allow them to explore the savanna – and its inhabitants – well into the night.
- Harambe Wildlife Parti – Guests can turn into “party animals” at the Harambe Wildlife Parti and enjoy lively African music, exotic foods and drinks, and explore the local marketplace.
- Discovery Island Carnivale – On Discovery Island, you can join the local community in your celebration of you love for nature in this party that features music, dancers, stilt walkers, food and more.
- Tiffins – Guests can enjoy the park’s newest eatery, Tiffins, for both lunch and dinner. Check out this previous post for a peek at what to expect from the menu.
- Nighttime Attractions – The park’s attractions, which will be operating in the nighttime hours, will take on a whole new life. For the first time, guests will be able to experience the thrill of attractions like Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids – surrounded by darkness. They’ll also be able to enjoy colorful midway games and attractions in DinoLand, U.S.A.
UPDATE: Rivers of light will not open on April 22, 2016. Stay tuned for a new opening date.
Update: Photo from live testing of Rivers of Light at Disney's Animal Kingdom
We’re excited to share that “Rivers of Light,” the first-ever night-time show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, will officially debut at the Walt Disney World Resort on April 22, 2016.
The show, set on Discovery River in the Asia section of the park, will depict an ancient lantern festival guided by two storytellers who call forth four animal Spirit Guides: an Asian Tiger, Tropical Turtle, African Elephant and Great Horned Owl. These Spirit Guides return at different points during the show to lead the audience through their journey through the Rivers of Light.
Get a first look at some of the illuminated lanterns, water screens, moving fountains and other amazing elements that will be featured in “Rivers of Light” in this video!