Rivers of Light to Debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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I feel like I’ve written this blog post before…only to have things change. But now, it appears as though the long wait is finally over. According to Disney’s website, Rivers of Light will begin enchanting Guests starting on Friday, February 17.

The show, which as many well know was fraught with delays and issues, currently appears to be scheduled at 7:15 p.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays through March 11.  Then things begin to change with the schedule and get kind of confusing.

Beginning March 12, showtimes change to 8:45 p.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. That lasts through April 8. Beginning April 9, Rivers of Light will have two shows each and every night – one at 8:30 p.m. and one at 9:45 p.m. leading up to the Easter holiday. Starting April 23, the park will go back to having only one showing nightly at 8:45 p.m. The final schedule change will begin April 30, when Rivers of Light will take place beginning at 9:30 p.m. each evening. Currently, the schedule has only be released through the end of June. FastPass+ reservations are now available. 

Rivers of Light is a nighttime spectacular for Disney’s Animal Kingdom that takes place on Discovery River and includes captivating special effects, music and animal folklore. The show begins with an awakening of flitting fireflies that lead to a procession across the water. From there, clusters of lanterns morph into one of four stunning animal spirit forms—the Tiger, Turtle, Elephant and Owl. This show features song, light, color water, and earthly elements. There are also the shaman who are the show’s storytellers that communicate through dance, music, song and shadow puppetry.

Rivers of Light appears to have been cut down in length, with each presentation clocking in at just 15 minutes.

In addition, Guests who are looking to see this show have the opportunity to purchase a Rivers of Light Dining Package. Guests who purchase this package receive a meal from a participating restaurants, plus a non-alcoholic beverage and premium seating for that evening’s Rivers of Light show.

Guests have two different restaurants that they can choose from. The first is Tusker House. This buffet is available for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The breakfast option costs $39.00 for adults (ages 10 and up) and $23.00 for children (ages 3-9). The lunch and dinner option cost $52.00 for adults and $32.00 for children. (Must arrive to dine no later than 2 hours 30 minutes prior to showtime.) The second option is Tiffins. At Tiffins, Guests can dine at either lunch or dinner and will receive an appetizer, entree, and dessert. The cost is $67.00 for adults and $26.00 for children. (Must arrive to dine no later than 3 hours prior to showtime.)

Things to keep in mind for those who purchase the dinner package. You will receive your voucher for Rivers of Light package seating at the time of your meal. You should plan to arrive for Rivers of Light anywhere from 15 to 35 minutes prior to show time and use the theater entrance located closest to DinoLand U.S.A. Seats are not assigned; they are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Advance reservations for the Rivers of Light Dining Package can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit. Guests can book their packages here.

This time it seems like the show will actually go on, unlike the previous time the date was announced. There have been multiple showings leading up to the debut date, with the most recent showing occurring just a couple of days ago during the Social Media Moms Celebration event.




Rikki Niblett

I am a co-host of the Be Our Guest Podcast and do lots of other fun Disney stuff all around the interwebs! You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram at @RikkiNibs or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rikkinibs

11 thoughts on “Rivers of Light to Debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • February 9, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Thank you. Do we know yet if AP or Tables in Wonderland discounts will be accepted for the dining package?

    • February 9, 2017 at 11:32 am

      We’ve done a couple of the dining packages in the past. Both times we asked about TIW and/or AP discounts and were told both times (separated by about 1.5 years) that TIW and AP discounts don’t apply to dining packages.

  • February 9, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Just got our FP+ for 3/4!

  • February 9, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Got our FP+ for 2/23!

  • February 9, 2017 at 9:43 am

    I also just got FP+ for Rivers of Light, for 3/2/17. The time listed is 6:35 – 7:00pm if anyone is curious. We weren’t planning to be in AK that night, but I swapped because I can’t wait to see the show!

  • February 9, 2017 at 9:53 am

    I already have dining reservations at Tusker House in June. After reading your post I went back in to see if it included the dining package for Rivers of Light but did not see that option. Will it automatically include Rivers of Light?

    • February 9, 2017 at 11:38 am

      Lisa…I tried to call Disney to ask this question but wasn’t able to get through due to the long wait time. I’m eager to know the answer to this as well as we already have an ADR for Tusker House in June. Would love to add on Rivers of Light as long as it is still only 1 table service credit.

      • February 9, 2017 at 11:49 am

        If you already have a dining reservation, it will not include Rivers of Light. You must schedule a Rivers of Light Dining Package specifically.

    • February 9, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      You have to rebook it as a Rivers of Light dining package. I was able to get the same time as my previous Tusker House reservation.

  • February 9, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Our rooms are booked for April 24th+, and so I noticed the AK park is open later now. I suppose they want to make sure it’s dark for the show. Last week the close was at 7PM, now at 8:30PM and 9PM! YAY!

  • February 14, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    How do we add the Rivers of Light dining package to our touring plan? It keeps suggesting getting fast passes for Rivers of Light but we’ve already booked the dining package and would like to get a different suggestion for fast passes before we need to book them.

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