Fans Roast New 'Disney's KiteTails' Show

September 29, 2021, 7:29 PM · Among the new attractions debuting this week at Walt Disney World for the resort's 50th anniversary is "Disney's KiteTails," a daytime show at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park.

Disney opened the show early this morning for its "The World's Most Magical Celebration" press event. I posted some video highlights to Theme Park Insider's Twitter account.

The reaction from fans was swift... and uniformly negative.

"How is this real," one reader asked. "You gotta be kidding me," said another.

I feel the need to step in and defend the Imagineers and show producers that some readers roasted in their comments, however. We don't know what budget or parameters the creative team had to work with on "Disney's KiteTails." It's possible that, given the money and commands they had to work with, the creators knocked it out of the park and delivered the best imaginable show.

A production succeeds or fails as a team effort. While many individuals involved in a success might step forward to take credit, when failures happen, their stories are only told to trusted confidants in hotel bars late at night after IAAPA and TEA conventions. Perhaps someday we will learn the story behind the creation of KiteTails.

In the meantimes, as I said on Twitter, this show only makes the loss of Rivers of Light hurt even more.

* * *
We wanted you to read this article before we make our newsletter pitch, unlike so many other websites. If you appreciate that - and our approach to covering theme park, travel, and entertainment news - please sign up for our free, three-times-a-week email newsletter. Thank you.

Replies (10)

October 3, 2021 at 5:03 PM

Disney's KiteTails is the Superstar Limo of live shows.

September 29, 2021 at 9:49 PM

This is beyond pathetic.

They charge how much per day and this is what they went with to replace Rivers of Light? This is worse than shows at Six Flags.

/until the pandemic, I was a passholder for 20+ years. Not so sure I'm going to buy another season pass anytime soon. Mostly because of the pandemic, but also because of all the things they're taking away and then replacing with crap like this.

September 30, 2021 at 12:01 AM

Personally, almost never bothered with some shows anyway so not that big an impact...

That said, yeah, this is pretty lame.

September 30, 2021 at 8:12 AM

So……………They just ride around on jet skis flying kites?

At least the kites themselves are beautifully designed. Silver lining I suppose.

September 30, 2021 at 8:38 AM

I think this show was ultimately set up for failure. Perhaps the goal was to make guests appreciate what was lost when Rivers of Light was shut down. The kite designs offer some redeeming qualities, but as a complete production, it is highly underwhelming. Staging this in a waterfront arena with seating is almost insulting to guests who take the time out of their day to take a seat to watch this show. At best, this should be staged as a parade-style production that guests can catch as they walk around the park, but to force guests to enter an arena and sit for something of such mediocre quality is far below the standard Disney has set for live entertainment.

September 30, 2021 at 5:35 PM

Mmmm...first they should direct this to younger children, rather than a general public " attraction" . As pretty as this Kites actually are, without a proper context they cannot hold a feature show by themselves. I do like the desings however.... Maybe later they Will appear in Another venue, where You can fly one of those with the Mary poppings song in the background ( come fligth a kite was the song title?? i don't remember). That i would like very much.

September 30, 2021 at 5:38 PM

Lets go fly a kite!! That was the title!!

October 1, 2021 at 10:49 AM

This attraction was never intended to replace River of Light. It simply took advantage of the availability of the lake. And, it is not a "show", it is an attraction. Not every new attraction in WDW can - or has to be - an "E-ticket" ride.

This attraction was meant to provide families with the opportunity to take a break, relax, and re-group while enjoying some colorful and beautifully designed kites. These aren't hot air balloons folks. These are some LARGE kites. Considering that I have trouble getting a standard kite to fly, the stunts that are being performed are pretty amazing (especially in the sometimes gusty conditions over the lake). That said, I agree the show will primarily appeal to young children and the adults who can just appreciate the intricacies of the kites.

BTW, what you see is only about 30% of the show originally designed. The rest became a victim of COVID. (thanks everyone for getting your vaccines). It is only intended to run for 18 months during the scaled-back birthday celebrations.

October 2, 2021 at 12:17 AM


Don’t try to defend it, the videos are being posted everywhere: It’s an embarrassment.

It looks like these kites are being dragged and multiple times are crashing on the water or stands. In order to properly use kites, you need wind, not a jet ski on full speed

October 3, 2021 at 11:44 AM

I am APPALLED by the trite, hateful, unjustified comments being made about this glorious live production ... um ... Okay, yeah, even I have to admit that this is is pathetic.

By the by, today's scheduled performances have been aighty-sixed.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive