TPT logo

Your guide to theme parks in Orlando and beyond


Main menu

Rivers of Light Might Disappoint You. But Not for The Reasons You Might Think

Disney doesn't seem to have much faith in this show

When Disney announces a new show or attraction, they typically try and give guests as many opportunities as possible to experience it. For instance, when Frozen Ever After opened last year, Disney opened the World Showcase several hours early to accommodate guests who wanted to experience this new ride.

However, it looks like Disney is taking the opposite approach with Rivers of Light, as it has been confirmed that after the show's debut in just a few days it will be moving to a seasonal schedule immediately, only being performed on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through the remainder of February and the entirety of March. It is not until mid-way through April that Rivers of Light will finally switch to an every day performance schedule, and even then, there are complications, as 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.

Should I see this show?

Though the performance schedule is definitely tough to keep track of (you'll definitely want to check the official calendar for Disney's Animal Kingdom before you go), Rivers of Light is still definitely worth seeing. This show definitely doesn't feel like a traditional Walt Disney World nighttime spectacular, and lacks a certain "oomph" at the end, but even still, the show certainly is beautiful, and serves as a unique way for guests to cap off a day at this park. 

While we're not sure that this 15-minute show was worth the nearly four year wait, it is certainly worth 15 minutes of your time, and if you are already planning to stick around at Disney's Animal Kingdom at nighttime to see the Tree of Life: Awakenings show (which we still heartily recommend), Rivers of Light should definitely be on your list of "must-dos" at this park as well! Disney is currently offering a dining package as well as FastPass+ reservations for those who want to make sure they are able to see this show without having to wait in a stand-by line. 

Will you be making time to see Rivers of Light on your next visit to Walt Disney World? 

Go to page:


There are 4 comments.

I'm unsure I follow how "complex" the outlined schedule is. It gets later as daylight hours shift and then offers seasonal options for two showings versus one. This sounds like an attempt to make an article out of nothing.

I was told, last night, by the director of the show, that the final product is not showing yet. Lasers are to be added, but awaiting FAA approval.

Just saw it this past weekend. Thought it was great although not spectacular. I didn't get that "wow" feeling like with fantasmic or that warm fuzzy feeling like you get with wishes or illuminations. The article was right in that there was now overarching story like fantasmic and no clear thesis like illuminations.

We are going the week of March 25th and was able on the first day available to get fastpasses for this new show.


Connect with Theme Park Tourist: