Rivers of Light to Open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Feb 17, 2017

Rivers of Light to Open at Disney's Animal Kingdom Feb 17, 2017

The much anticipated Rivers of Light will finally debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World on February 17, 2017.

Rivers of Light is a 15-minute show combining live performance, floating set pieces, a soaring musical score, fountains and more in a celebration of animals and nature on the Discovery River inside the park.

The ceremony begins with a musical overture signaling the arrival of a pair of mystical Storytellers, two complementary forces who come to the river bearing gifts of light. They set out from the shore aboard elaborate lantern vessels.

Adorned in intricately designed costumes, the hosts engage in a dramatic dance of water and light to summon the animal spirits – an Asian Tiger, Tropical Turtle, African Elephant and Great Horned Owl – and take guests on a wondrous journey across Asian jungles and African savannahs.

Rivers of Light to Open at Disney's Animal Kingdom Feb 17, 2017

Disney challenged renowned Broadway production designer Michael Curry to create vessels that were artistic and stimulating, yet innovative. The commanding lanterns stand 15 feet tall and are 30 feet long, illuminated from within by innovative LED technology.

Rivers of Light also includes a powerful musical score created by songwriter and composer Don L. Harper and recorded at the renowned Abbey Road Studio in London. The signature song “We Are One” was written by Mark Mancina, who created the score and was a key collaborator on the music for Disney’s hit animated feature film Moana.

Seating is located in the park’s Discovery River lagoon near Expedition Everest. The show will seat only 5,000 guests – by comparison Fantasmic’s theater holds 6,900. Seating is first-come, first-served, but FastPass+ availability and optional dining packages (with Tusker House or TIffins), get priority entrance.

Rivers of Light is included with admission to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. For more information or to reserve advance FastPass+ spots, visit disneyworld.com. For dining package reservations, visit DisneyWorld.com/dining or call 407 WDW-DINE.

[Images courtesy Walt Disney World]

About Michelle Snow

Michelle is the owner and editor of CitySurfing Orlando. She also owns Zengrrl.com, is a freelance writer specializing in travel and entertainment, and has authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida. She lives in Orlando near Disney, and hears Magic Kingdom fireworks every night.
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