First Look at Walt Disney World's New Kite Show

August 30, 2021, 10:07 PM · The Walt Disney World Resort is debuting a bunch of new shows and attractions to celebrate its 50th anniversary on October 1. We've talked a lot about the new Remy's Ratatouille Adventure ride in Epcot's expanded France pavilion, as well as the Harmonious show coming to the park's World Showcase lagoon.

Magic Kingdom is getting a new fireworks show with Disney Enchantment, and there will be "Beacons of Magic" moments in each of the four parks nightly. But today Disney World is focusing on the new production coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom - Disney KiteTails.

This kite show will play in the Discovery River Theater that was built for the old Rivers of Light production. The daytime show will feature dozens of kites in the shape of, or inspired by, Disney characters. Here is a new teaser video from Disney, featuring insight from two of the show's producers and first looks at some of the kites.

Disney KiteTails debuts at Disney's Animal Kingdom on October 1.

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Replies (14)

August 30, 2021 at 11:05 PM


This is how Walt Disney World is celebrating their 50th?!

Well at least we know Disneyland is the clear winner on who had the better 50th anniversary.

August 30, 2021 at 11:07 PM

I wanted a fantasyland dragon or a tie fighter drone show.
But... deformed zazu freaking out children is soo much better.

August 31, 2021 at 7:54 AM

It's good to see Disney spend all of that money to build the Rivers of Light theater and then cancel that show only to replace it with a daytime show that will be even less popular. I give this show @3 months before Disney pulls the plug. They'd probably get more people in there by hosting character meets in this theater - Also there are already 2 HUGELY popular daytime productions in DAK and loads of animal exhibits that are best viewed during daytime hours. Who in the world is going to take time out of the day to watch THIS?

August 31, 2021 at 9:07 AM

That Disney's Imagineering has died and gone to hell is an understatement.
Bob Paycheck has squeezed the parks beyond what I thought would be possible but I guess the "real Disney fan" gets exactly what they deserve.

August 31, 2021 at 11:40 AM

Disney KiteTails exists because Rivers of Light died. But Bob Chapek did not kill Rivers of Lights. Disney fans did.

Rivers of Light was a great show - one of my favorites at Disney. (Here is my review, FWIW.) But fans complained because it did not have Disney characters in it. Eventually, Disney gave in.

To me, Disney KiteTails feels like Disney management's response to the fan base: "You want Disney characters? Fine. We'll give you a show with Disney characters. How about kites?"

Anyway, RIP Rivers of Light.

August 31, 2021 at 12:11 PM

I gotta disagree with you here, as much as I like to rag on the Disney fans they are usually not the ones complaining about characters not being in shows/attractions. If the show was more popular with Disney characters then it would have stayed. I think putting Disney characters in the show was a way to try and make the show more popular but it didn't work.

ROL didn't last because once the hype died down the parks other 4 nighttime shows (DHS had two), which all had pyro, overshadowed this show. I don't think people hated ROL but ultimately when presented with the decision most people would leave DAK and go to another park for pyro.

August 31, 2021 at 12:25 PM

I will wait and see the show before having an opinion. But the one thing I do know, the River of Lights stadium is one VERY hot space to sit in during the day. Basically concrete and zero shade.
This stadium was built to host a show after the sun goes down.

August 31, 2021 at 1:54 PM

Rivers of Light fans, there literally dozens of us! Dozens!

August 31, 2021 at 2:02 PM

I don't think the lack of recognizable characters damaged the popularity of Rivers of Light. Like Robert, I LOVED RoL, but what I think the basic problem was that it was a show with more of an abstract concept without any obvious unique technology or presentation. Throughout the design and development process, Disney touted all of the new innovations and features of RoL that would set it apart from other nighttime spectaculars. While it does boast some incredible visuals and cool moments, it didn't feel like that much of a jump from shows like Fantasmic! or World of Color and the leaps those shows made on their predecessors. I think people have concluded that the lack of characters was the reason people weren't gravitating to RoL, when in reality was that the show didn't give guests anything that was unique or awe-inspiring. RoL just didn't have enough to draw those guests away from the other parks' nighttime spectacular, and Disney reacted by trying to weave some popular characters into the background, which did nothing but upset those that actually appreciated the story and message of the show.

August 31, 2021 at 2:54 PM

This is just ONE thing that starts for the 50th. I need for all the negativity. Kids will love this. People complain about not having enough included entertainment then complain when there is more entertainment.

August 31, 2021 at 3:42 PM

The Man is correct: a Disney nighttime show without pyrotechnics doesn’t feel like a Disney nighttime show. I know that they can’t do fireworks at AK for fear of the effect it could have on the animals. However, if Disney ever wanted a permanent drone show, this would be the place.

September 1, 2021 at 8:38 AM

@TwoBits - You're right on the money. A drone show at DAK would be an instant HIT, and wouldn't need to use characters to prop itself up.

September 1, 2021 at 4:20 PM

Can’t say this looks too exciting or a draw. What happens if it’s really windy or not enough? Or maybe these aren’t really kites, but balloons and banners? Heck Dollywood has a drone show that looks way more interesting tbh.

September 2, 2021 at 8:30 PM

I think is not that Bad an idea. Not everything has to be a billion dollar estravaganza. Maybe it's not for the jaded Disney fan. But kids can get a kick out of it and enjoy the Kites.

The drone show it's a great idea. The gig they did on the Tokio olympic ceremony was Nice. Also the dollyworld show looks good. Yes AK needs a nigthtine show to compliment it's atracttions roster, which is somewhat límited compared to others parks.
And fix the yeti.

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