2016 was certainly a big year for Walt Disney World. It saw the opening of new restaurants like PizzeRizzo and Tiffins, plus the debut of over a dozen new attractions, including Frozen Ever After, Soarin’ Around the World, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, and The Muppets Present Great Moments in American History, just to name a few.
However, even though there have been plenty of exciting things going on around the Walt Disney World resort in 2016, there was one unfortunate development this year that we're still seeing fallout from as the year draws to a close: the delay of Rivers of Light. Even though Disney promised an update on this project after it missed its April 2016 opening date, nothing has been said since that time, causing intense speculation in fan communities, with many wondering if the technical issues that have plagued the show have resulted in an extreme downsizing (or perhaps even cancelling) of this much-anticipated show.
Unfortunately, Disney has been completely silent on the current status of Rivers of Light, which has only led to further fueling of online chatter about what is really going on with this show. However, in the absence of anything official regarding when this show may (or may not) debut, we thought we'd quickly go over everything we know right now about the current status (and potential future prospects) of Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
1. Cast Previews are continuing to take place this week
Late last month news broke that Disney’s Animal Kingdom Cast Members were able to take part in special previews of Rivers of Light after the park closed to regular guests. Though this type of technical rehearsal also happened earlier this year before Rivers of Light was supposed to open the first time, many were confident that these previews were a signal that an official opening of Rivers of Light could be imminent. However, as has been the case with this show since the beginning, things might be a bit more complex than they seem….
2. Early reviews have been mixed thus far
Though Cast Members were not allowed to take photos or video of the performance, many took to social media after the conclusion of their preview to share their thoughts on the new show. And while the technical aspects of the show were almost universally praised, some criticized the show for not having a “story” akin to Fantasmic or a clear central theme like Illuminations or Wishes.
And unfortunately, these criticisms have not fallen on deaf ears, with insiders suggesting that top Disney officials are also not pleased with the show in its current form either, which is rumored to be truncated from the original pre-delay concept for Rivers of Light.
Though there's no way to know exactly how development has been on this attraction, the most important question on most fans' minds is when they can experience this attraction for themselves...