UPDATE: Rivers of Light will officially open on February 17, 2017.
Just after dinner on a hot July evening, we headed toward the exit for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The sun hadn’t set yet, but the park would soon be closing. There would be no fireworks show at the park, as the loud booms were certain to terrify the animals we had seen on Kilimanjaro Safaris earlier in the day. As fun as it was visiting Animal Kingdom, there just wasn’t much to do there after sunset, and so the park often closed earlier than the other three Walt Disney World theme parks.
All that will change very soon. Disney’s imagineers have been hard at work designing entertainment transform this once daytime park into a nighttime park. The first of these new nighttime offerings will be a spectacular show called Rivers of Light. The show, which will take place on Discovery River, is inspired by the idea when animals pass from one world on to the next, their spirits create a “river of light” in the sky, what we call the Aurora Borealis.
Fireflies and glowing lanterns will set the stage for your guides, two storytellers dressed in elaborate costumes. These storytellers will then summon the four Spirit Guides: The Great Horned Owl, The Asian Tiger, The African Elephant, and The Tropical Turtle. The animal guides will then proceed to take guests on a journey through the Rivers of Light.
The show will feature 100 Asian lanterns and larger-than-life animal spirits in a variety of colors. In addition, guests will see beautiful floating vessels on the river. Bursting forth from fire, powerful jets of water will erupt, providing screens for stunning videos. The show will also feature a remarkable 28-foot tall Temple Lotus. Take a look behind the scenes of this brand new show in the video below.
Personally, I can’t wait to experience Animal Kingdom after dark! With the new Rivers of Light show and several more nighttime additions to come, there is sure to be plenty to do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom after sunset!