After nearly a year of delays, technical malfunctions, and dress rehearsals, Disney finally announced earlier this week that the long-awaited Rivers of Light would indeed be premiering in just a few days, on February 17, 2017 at 7:15 PM.
Though this development is certainly cause for celebration (the wait for this show did nothing to assuage fan anticipation for this show, which was already at a fever pitch last year), there are some things you should definitely know as we move closer to next week’s opening date.
1. Rivers of Light will not be performed every night
In a strange turn of events, it looks like even though Disney is promoting the debut of this new show fairly heavily, this show will only be performed on a seasonal schedule, effective immediately.
After its debut next Friday, Rivers of Light is only scheduled to be performed on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through the months of February and March. Then, beginning in April, Rivers of Light will switch to an every day performance schedule until June, after which no schedule has been posted.
In addition, performance times will vary widely depending on the day. Through the show is scheduled to take place at 7:15 PM through all of February and some of March, it will be pushed back to 8:45 beginning on March 12, 2017. And then, to even further complicate things, when the show moves to an every day schedule in April, select dates will offer two shows (one at 8:30 PM and a later show at 9:45 PM) while other dates will have a single show at 9:15PM.
Our advice is, if you want to see this show, make sure you check and double check the official performances calendar, as show times for Rivers of Light are really all over the place, and there doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to them at this point
2. This show may not be exactly what you’ve seen in previews
If you’ve attended one of the after-hours Cast Member previews of Rivers of Light (or snuck online to check out one of the many videos of early performances on YouTube), you may be surprised when Rivers of Light debuts in just a few days, as much of the original show has been cut. It is unknown whether these cuts were made due to technological, creative, or budgetary difficulties (or perhaps a combination of all three), but it looks like whatever the case is, Rivers of Light has been officially cut down to a 15 minute show, which is at least in line with other nightly spectaculars like Illuminations: Reflections of Earth and Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away.
Though we won’t comment on the content of the show until its official debut next week, many characterized early performances as disjointed and lacking a cohesive theme or story, so perhaps this truncated runtime will help address this criticism as Rivers of Light finds its focus.