This decision won't exactly come as a surprise for longtime Disney parks fans

Though it's true that Rivers of Light had its problem, we couldn't help but notice that Disney never really had much faith in this show from the start, pulling showtimes and switching to a seasonal schedule right after Rivers of Light first opened, and then cutting actors and other essential components of the show several months ago. Disney even introduced a program that gave guests a little extra money to stay in the park after dark and experience this show.
Couple this with the fact that Walt Disney World as a whole is making a big shift towards attractions that include film-based IPs in its theme parks and away from original concepts, and it seems like Rivers of Light (in its current form) really was existing on borrowed time, and the addition of Disney characters from films seems like much less of a surprise. 

Guests have only a few more weeks left to see the current version

Image: Disney

Though the current version of Rivers of Light is a scaled-down version of what was presented on opening day, guests who would still like to experience this show without all the new character and music additions can do so from now through May 24th, 2019, when this "upgraded" show is expected to debut
While it's true that the current version of Rivers of Light is not a perfect show, adding in character projections and switching up the music seems like a fix for the wrong problem. The loss of live actors, inconsistent effects, and lack of a finale have always seemed like more pressing issues with this show, and unfortunately, putting Simba and other animal characters in this show simply won't bring Rivers of Light up to what it definitely could be, which is a bit of a shame, since the potential for a great nighttime show is definitely there. 

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