Just yesterday we discussed how the delay of the Rivers of Light nighttime spectacular really threw a wrench in Disney’s master plan to turn Disney’s Animal Kingdom into a full day park. Though it hasn't even been 24 hours since we first talked about what this delay means for this park, Disney has gone ahead and confirmed that they are tackling this problem head-on, and have a brand new plan to transition Disney's Animal Kingdom into a full-day park that will kick off in just six weeks.
We’ve got both good news and bad news regarding this development. But first let's talk about a rumor that we reported on just yesterday that was confirmed only a few hours after it first surfaced:
Jungle Book: Alive with Magic show to begin summer run on Memorial Day
We already knew that the Rivers of Light nighttime spectacular has been indefinitely delayed, with Disney only promising an "update" on this show sometime next month. However, though the future of this show is in doubt, the good news is that Disney has confirmed that there is a contingency plan in place. Beginning this Memorial Day, the park's Discovery River will become the stage for a limited-time temporary show inspired by Disney’s hit live-action film The Jungle Book. This new show, entitled Jungle Book: Alive with Magic, will feature music and special effects that recall the visuals of new film as well as classic songs, now infused with an Indian influence. We don't know how long or intricate this show will be, but we'd imagine that it will use the water fountains and projectors that were installed several months ago in preparation for the Rivers of Light opening.
Though that’s the good news, unfortunately this announcement was coupled with a disappointing development as well: we now know that fans will have to wait longer than expected for the full version of Rivers of Light to hit the park. Disney’s official announcement of the Jungle Book: Alive with Magic show confirms that this new entertainment offering will run all the way through the end of the summer, which means that it will be at least September before the much-anticipated Rivers of Light show could possibly open. Rumors abound regarding what is actually happening with this show, with some sources reporting that sinking barges have literally sunk the show, and could delay it even further, possibly until next year in a worst-case scenario.
Even though Rivers of Light won’t be debuting at Disney's Animal Kingdom any time this summer, at least guests will be able to experience some nighttime entertainment at this park in the form of this new Jungle Book show. Which is especially good news because…
All other nighttime entertainment and attractions to officially debut next month
While the start of the new Jungle Book show may be the most surprising revelation about the immediate future of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the most impactful announcement was the confirmation that nighttime operations at this park would finally kick off next month as well.
That means the much awaited Tree of Life: Awakenings show, nighttime Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction and other various entertainment offerings will all be available for guests to check out beginning Memorial Day. Though fans were initially bummed out that these entertainment offerings weren't available on April 22nd, as was originally the plan, it looks like with the new temporary nighttime show in place by the end of next month, Disney will finally be able to debut all these new attractions on Monday, May 30th, six weeks after their intended launch date.
You can read more about what exactly will be happening when the sun sets at this park here.