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Right now nighttime operations are in full swing at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but unfortunately without what should have been this evening expansion’s headlining attraction: the Rivers of Light nighttime spectacular. This ambitious nighttime spectacular was supposed to debut over two months ago, and while everything seemed to be going well in the run up to its opening day, the production ran in to some unexpected technical difficulties only days before it was set to premiere and was delayed until further notice, with no new launch date provided.

Unfortunately, in the two months since Rivers of Light was initially delayed, updates have been few and far between from Disney in regards to this upcoming show. So what is going on? Here’s what we know right now.

1. Rivers of Light has not been cancelled…yet

Rivers of Light

Image: Disney

Disney parks (and Walt Disney World in particular) have an unfortunately long list of projects that were announced but never finished and quietly cancelled without an official announcement or acknowledgement. Which is why ever since the delay of Rivers of Light was confirmed, many fans have been (justifiably) concerned that a similar fate would befall Rivers of Light, and this show simply wouldn’t ever make it to Disney's Animal Kingdom. However, the good news is that we can say with 100% confidence that this worst possible outcome most certainly hasn’t happened yet. So how do we know this? Simple: the Rivers of Light attraction page on Walt Disney World's official website continues to function.

Though official updates on this show's progress have been few and far between, when Disney cancels a project one of the first things that happens is the official webpage mysteriously vanishes. Disney pulled the official event pages for Club Villain and Disney After Hours, which were cancelled earlier this year, without making one mention of the end of these events using official channels. Fortunately, since the Rivers of Light page still exists, that means Disney hasn't cancelled the project quite yet.

Image: Disney

However, while we can say with complete confidence right now that Rivers of Light has not been cancelled yet, that doesn’t mean that Disney won’t change their minds at some point. We’ve had reliable rumor sources in the past for pretty much every upcoming Disney project,but news on Rivers of Light has been strangely nonexistent since its delay earlier this year, which is disconcerting to say the least. And when you consider that Disney promised official updates on Rivers of Light back in May, and thus far none have materialized, and you’d be forgiven for assuming Disney had given up on this show. However, there are a number of other things to consider as well that should give hope to those wanting to see this show in the near future. 

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Comments

Is there any possibility with the recent alligator sightings and terrible accident, that Disney is hesitant to open a ride that operates in an outdoor water area? I'm not being sarcastic, just seriously bringing it up as a possibility (?). Is it an outdoor water ride?

With the low theme park attendance numbers that Disney has been experiencing this summer, perhaps the powers that be are in the process of justifying spending the money to actually put forth an attraction that functions properly. The priority seems to be on profits first so the low attendance numbers may not justify the expenditure hit to the all time high revenue.

Partner works over at ROL, they have been told by techs that the show is fixed and ready to go but Disney execs are going to decide today whether or not they're going to even have the show

In reply to by Disney kids (not verified)

Did they come to a decision? If so what did they decide?

I was interested in visiting Animal Kingdom after dark when we go in December, but when I checked the schedule, I found that it starts closing at 6PM again sometime in September. Based on that, Jungle Book will run through the end of the night-time season this year, and Rivers of Light won't be shown until next season. So that was disappointing to find out the night hours are seasonal based on Disney's calendar.

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