During the Disney Social Media Mom Celebration, I had the opportunity to preview the new Rivers of Light show at Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom.
Disney World Animal Kingdom Rivers of Light
The culminating shows at the other Disney Parks – Magic Kingdom Fireworks, Fantasmic and Hollywood Studios and Illumination at Epcot – often start off with a literal bang. The start of Rivers of Light is slower and serene. Lotus flowers slowly drift in from the corners of the river “stage” while soothing music plays in the background.
Soon two boats arrive with African storytellers to narrate the show. In the far background, animals move across a backdrop of trees.
Sculptures of light in the shape of a Tiger and Elephant join the water parade. I was surprised when suddenly, instead of just light, clips from the various Disney Nature films were projected onto the animals.
The show culminates in a show of light water and fire.
Rivers of Light Review
I viewed the Rivers of Light with my husband and teenage daughter, and we all enjoyed the show. However, it is quite different from the nighttime shows at the other parks.
Rivers of Light starts slowly as the lotus flowers make their way out onto the “stage.” The process takes at least five minutes, which is a long time when many Disney rides don’t even last that long.
My husband described the show as being “Zen.” I would describe it as more cerebral than the other Disney shows. Like Illumination in Epcot, there are no Disney characters in the show. But unlike Illuminations, there are also no fireworks (they would scare the animals).
I recommend the show for older kids through adults. I think without Disney characters, fireworks, or loud music, young children may find the show boring. And after a busy day in the park, preschoolers and toddlers are at risk of falling asleep to the soothing music.
To guarantee a spot at the show, you may book a Rivers of Light Dining Packge at Tiffins or Tusker House.