Rivers of Light Opening Date Confirmed

March 2, 2016, 10:54 AM · Walt Disney World today confirmed what had been widely speculated - the new Rivers of Light show will debut at Disney's Animal Kingdom on April 22, Earth Day.

In addition to Disney's opening date announcement this morning, the company also released a "behind the scenes" video with creative director Michael Jung, who previews the new night-time spectacular:

From the park's statement:

The ceremony begins with the arrival of a pair of mystical hosts, two complimentary forces who come to the river bearing gifts of light. They set out from the shore on elaborate lantern vessels, engaging in a dramatic dance of water and light to summon the animal spirits. With these storytellers as guides, the wonders of “Rivers of Light” unfold, building to a magnificent finale with bursts of light as animal images soar to the heavens– signifying the ancient belief that when animals passed from one world to another they danced in the sky and became beautiful rivers of light.

Rivers of Light will be the first major night-time programming at Animal Kingdom, as the park begins expanding its operating hours into the evening in anticipation of the opening of the new Pandora: The World of Avatar land sometime next year.

Replies (5)

March 2, 2016 at 5:55 PM · This is good news as it sounds awesome and I will be at WDW in May. But I am wondering about how much of a headache it will be to leave the park? It takes at least an hour to get back to our usual resort The Boardwalk Inn when there are no crowds. How long will it take when there are Fantasmic size crowds?
March 2, 2016 at 10:35 PM · Oh look another screen based attraction from Uni....oh wait. Sorry couldn't resist.

All kidding aside, I'm glad to see this finally happening. I'm a little worried that the earlier press releases might have oversold this a bit. I thought this was going to be more like a live action Lion King musical with some fountains and some boats for lucky up close customers. Based on the trailer I'm concerned this is going to be more like the overly long movie section from World of Color.

The artwork behind Michael Curry does look promising though.

March 3, 2016 at 6:33 AM · Am I the only one who does not get excited about water screens? It seems like the foundation of several of Disney's nighttime shows, but it always looks blurry and not as vibrant as it good with some other projection technology.
March 3, 2016 at 10:35 AM · No Nick, you are not the only one. I agree completely that water screens are blurry. And based on the angle you view them, sometimes they are better or worse, just like watching early projection TVs.
March 4, 2016 at 5:11 AM · yaaawwwnnn...

I remember when Disney parks made things called E Ticket Attractions.
No, I'm serious. They were the best and a new one came out every year, almost.

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