Rivers of Light Tribute Disney's Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom may be the largest Disney park in the world but for most of its history, it has been regarded as a half day park. It opened with few attractions and the park closed before nightfall on most days. This left it without any of the night entertainment Disney is famous for.

That all changed with the opening of Pandora World of Avatar. The park stayed open longer to allow people to view the new land at night meaning for the first time the park would be open at night on a regular basis, needing entertainment,

This brought us Rivers of Light.

This show was different than all other Disney night shows because it has to be. It is in close proximity to animals, meaning fireworks were not an option. Instead, they went with a World of Color like approach using fountains barges and fire to tell a story about how light and water come together to make life on earth.

Rivers of Light Barges Disney's Animal Kingdom

This show featured a lot of issues in the production phase, being delayed almost a year, and some of this is evident in the final product. It feels like something is missing. There are parts that are really great, but there are parts where relatively little is going on. It just feels like a part was cut out cause it didn't work. It also lost a lot when the live actors from the show were cut out.

That being said I did really enjoy the show and it fits in perfectly with Animal Kingdom. It is also a miracle that in 2017 we got a new night show at a U.S. Disney Park without any Disney movies (ok Disney nature) being prominently featured.

The show was a great addition to the park and along with things like Tree of Life Awakenings make a night at Animal Kingdom something truly special.

The show has since been replaced by Rivers of Lights We Are One, a similar show featuring some of the same music and elements as well as the introduction of Disney characters into the show.