Quantcast Rivers of Light: Grand Opening Weekend Details
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    May 2001
    Imaginoppolis, Imagination Island
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    Exclamation Rivers of Light: Grand Opening Weekend Details


    A few notes from the Grand Opening Weekend of Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

    • The show features a 15 minute long Prelude Sequence prior to the published start time.
    • The public debut of the show has a run time of 16 minutes (down from 18 minutes during earlier previews).
    • Guests with FASTPASS+ reservations will be seated only in the Asia Amphitheater.
    • Guests with Rivers of Light Dining Package reservation will be seated only in the DinoLand USA Amphitheater.
    • The Standby Queue is only available at the DinoLand USA Amphitheater; Standby viewing is comprised of both seating and standing room.


    Disney's Animal Kingdom has published the Grand Opening for the Rivers of Light on February 17, 2017 at 7:15 pm.

    After the Grand Opening date, the show is currently scheduled to continue on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday through April 7, 2017.

    From April 8th through June 2017 the show is currently schedule nightly (entertainment hours are currently not published passed June 2017).

    FastPass+ is now open for the show beginning with the 2/17/17 performance.


    The first Guest previews of the Rivers of Light were held on 2/7/17. As part of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, attending Guests were given a private performance of the full Rivers of Light show.

    The show appears to be similar form to the Cast Previews held at the end of 2016, with some potential improvements on the show's climax (or at least some improved opinions of it).

    After this Private Guest Preview, Cast are still reporting that Public Guest Previews are slated to begin during the February 12th through March 4th window.

    Below is the video Jones Family Travels took of the Full Show during the Preview and has shared on their YouTube Account:



    Continued after hours testing and a recent update to the park hours schedule have added to new rumours of a soft open (public preview) run for Rivers of Light.

    Cast have reported that the show has continued to be tested after park hours to empty theaters after the Cast Preview shows in Late November and Early December.

    Additionally, Park Hours for Disney's Animal Kingdom have recently been extended to an 8:00 pm closure from February 12th through March 4th. With a Sunset between 6:14 - 6:28 pm for the park during this period; it appears that this could be a likely sign that the park hours were extended for the new show.

    Cast have reported that any showings between 2/12 - 3/4 are likely to be considered "previews" as park hours currently return to a 7:00 pm closure on March 5th.


    Buried among a plethora of previously announced items, the Walt Disney World resort made their first announcement regarding a Rivers of Light debut date since their vague "Fall 2016" update:

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney World Resort

    Walt Disney World Press Release

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.-- Rivers of Light – Coming in 2017, this powerful theatrical production takes Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests on a magnificent emotional journey – a visual mix of water, fire, nature and light choreographed to an original musical score. Continuing the park’s transformation from a day-into-nighttime experience, the amazing after-dark show on the banks of Discovery River celebrates the majesty of nature and the connection between animals and humans in the world. With innovative and never-before-seen technology, Rivers of Light will be unlike any other production ever staged at Walt Disney World Resort.
    Despite the new year-long target, Cast Previews have been continuing since the first preview on 11/27/16.

    Current Rumours are that the show may continue in a test/adjust mode with a Public Debut just ahead or during the 2017 Peak Spring Break season (March 4-20, 2017).


    Cast Previews were held 11/27/16 as planned with an additional Cast Preview tonight.

    There was reportedly one show re-set due to a technical issue, but otherwise ran with no further issues.

    The aggregate report from the debut of the 18 minute show has been overwhelmingly positive. As shown in publicity pictures from Spring 2016, the show is comprised of multiple floats that fill the River of Life and perform various synchronized movements along with fountain and lighting effects.

    The floats move with out any "driver" and move 'autonomously' through-out the show area along the river. Many of the Cast who experienced the show were impressed by the complexity and elegance of the synchronized movements that comprise the body of the show.

    The main constructive criticism reported was that storytelling of the show is so subtle that it may not be followed by some Guests leading them to gain only a partial experience.

    Despite the first set of previews, Disney has yet to make an internal announcement regarding the Public Debut (or previews) for the show.

    Below is the Publicity Picture from Spring 2016:
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