The Walt Disney World Resort is hosting a big media event this week, which had been planned to show off Rivers of Light and tease everything else coming to the resort this summer. However, Disney announced earlier this month that Rivers of Light would not debut as planned on April 22, leaving the media event without its highlight.
When it announced the delay, Disney promised an update on the show by mid-May. However, the company dropped a hint today that the delay on Rivers of Light might not be a brief one.
In its main press release for its #AwakenSummer publicity campaign, Disney omitted any reference to Rivers of Light. Disney's release mentioned extended evening hours for Disney's Animal Kingdom, the new night-time projection show on the Tree of Life, the night-time safari on Kilimanjaro Safaris... but no Rivers of Light, leaving the previously aggressively-hyped show conspicuous by its absence.
It's not as if Disney takes a conservative approach to including new attractions in its publicity. Especially when the company takes on the expense of flying hundreds of reporters and bloggers from around the country and putting them up free at Disney World for a week's worth of photo ops, interviews, food and drinks. The company's hyping several other upcoming attractions — including the new Frozen overlay of the old Maelstrom ride in Epcot and a new Star Wars-themed fireworks show at Disney's Hollywood Studios — that don't have firm opening dates. So Rivers of Light's absence from the press release might suggest that Disney management is not exactly confident that the show will make its debut this summer after all. (h/t)
Update: [4/19] Disney announced that Rivers of Light will be replaced this summer by a Jungle Book-themed show on the Discovery River: "Jungle Book: Alive with Magic."
More from the "Awaken Summer" Event:
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This family should post its future vacation plans online, so the rest of us will know what to wait to see.
Regardless of how it turns out, I'm sure the show will be great and I hope Disney can iron out the issues soon because initial turnout is going to be off the charts, assuming results similar to World of Color.
Jungle Book isn't the reason for the delay there are tech issues with barge navigation. But apparently they are looking at Jungle Book for a quick fix so they can relay more on projections and less on barges.
The temporary Camp Minnie Mickey with its Lion King show of old parade floats proved popular enough for Disney to not spend money on an E-ticket and themed land for almost two decades it opened in 1998.
I would not doubt for a second that WDW would just keep Jungle Book summer nights if it proves popular as it will be less money to run and easier to market and sell merch for. It won't be the first time that they showed amazing concept art and under delivered like Western River and Beastly Kingdom
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