Rivers of Light at Animal Kingdom is finally here!

new show at animal kingdom has begun - rivers of light review
Photo Credit: Stephen Swidersky

There is no question, Disney is making changes to its shows and spectaculars. Wishes will be replaced this May by ‘Happily Ever After,’ Main Street’s Electrical Parade is now in Disneyland, the Welcome Show at Magic Kingdom’s rope drop has been replaced by a show at the castle, and the much- anticipated Rivers of Light at Animal Kingdom is here. And it does not disappoint! It is a dazzling display of lights and water set to wonderful music.

Rivers of Light at Animal Kingdom
Photo Credit: Stephen Swidersky
More subdued than other Disney nighttime shows

Be prepared for a different experience from most Disney evening spectaculars. It is a more serene, relaxing nighttime show than many of its other Disney show counterparts. It is more subdued than Wishes, Illuminations, or Star Wars Galactic Spectacular. It features beautiful illuminated floats, great video clips of animals that jump from one float to another, boats, displays of fire, a gentle mist, and great music.

Rivers of Light at Animal Kingdom has begun
Photo credit: Stephen Swidersky
Good for the young and not-so-young alike

This show will entertain all ages, with adults and children alike singing its praises post-debut. With a start time of 7:15, this is a great option for introducing your little ones to what Disney has to offer at night. This time will change after daylight savings time.

With the youngest kiddos, you may not be able to stay out (or up!) for some of the Disney evening shows. This one is on the earlier side, which I put in smack dab in the PRO category. There is even an area that is standing room only section in the back of the theater where you can take a small child who needs a break or some movement.

Photo credit: Stephen Swidersky
Make your plans in advance

We highly recommend getting a FastPass or a Dining Package for this experience. It has been long-awaited and guests are very excited to see it. As you can imagine, the opening night crowd was huge!

animal kingdom new show rivers of light has begun
Photo Credit: Stephen Swidersky
An Advanced Dining Reservation can score you Premium Seating

You can secure premium seating for Rivers of Light by getting the Disney’s Rivers of Light Dining Package. This package is available at both Tusker House and Tiffins in Animal Kingdom, after which you will receive a show voucher. Advanced Dining Reservations can be made 180 days in advance.

Enjoy a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner in Animal Kingdom the day you will be watching the show. Roughly 30 minutes before the show, head over to the theater entrance that is closest to DINOLAND, USA, and present your voucher. You will have guaranteed access to premium seating. Good news: these packages are eligible for the Disney Dining Plan!

Adult prices for Tusker House (breakfast) start at $39 and at $24 for children ages 3-9. The Lunch/Dinner price for Tusker House starts at $52 for adults and $32 for children ages 3-9.

Only Lunch/Dinner is available at Tiffins. Adult prices start at $67 and for children that number is $26 .

You must dine quite a while in advance of the actual show. At Tusker House, guests must show up to dine 2.5 hours before the show begins. At Tiffins, Disney asks guests to show up no later than 3 hours before the show.

More information can be found on Disney World’s Rivers of Light information page.

Video is thanks to Stephen Swidersky!


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