NewsWalt Disney World (FL)

Rivers of Light and Other Nighttime Experiences Delayed for Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Share This!

Today, I bring some bad news. Disney announced that the Rivers of Light nighttime show, as well as the other nighttime experiences for Disney’s Animal Kingdom have been delayed and will now NOT be debuting on April 22, as it was previously announced that they would.

Details about the nighttime event are expected to be released in mid-late May, with no exact date listed any longer.

For those who are unaware, Rivers of Light is the upcoming nighttime experience that is set on the Discovery River in the Asia section of the park and will feature two storytellers who guide you through an ancient lantern festival. There will be large floats of animals, water, fire, and more.



Rumors have persisted that Rivers of Light was seeing technical difficulties and would potentially cause delays.

Disney has released some more information about the Tree of Life awakening that will occur on the Tree of Life each night. The show will feature animal spirits who bring the Tree of Life to life in moments of wonder. In the Awakening, the tree is brought to life in the form of fireflies who surround the tree in magical animations that occur.

The Tree of Life will awaken multiple times each evening and it appears that it will not be a scheduled thing, but more of something to happen upon, remaining active throughout the evening once it awakens for the first time that night. The Awakening will include 2-3 minute animal fables, as well as shorter nature and animal scenes.

Guests will be able to see the Awakening in the main hub; they will not be able to see the show from the back of the Tree of Life.

It also appears that the Awakening is not going to be connect to the Rivers of Light nighttime show.

Make sure to check out this stunning video that shares what Guests can expect when it debuts.


Stay posted to the blog for more information about the upcoming nighttime events for Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

You May Also Like...

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

11 thoughts on “Rivers of Light and Other Nighttime Experiences Delayed for Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Comments on another blog indicated that the reason for the delay was due to an unexpected impact on the animals in the park. I interpret that as upsetting the animals and stressing them. Perhaps sound from the speakers? If this is the reason I very much applaud Disney for caring more about the critters under their care than the money lost.

    • That would be nice but not the real reason.

  • Bummer. Fam is going up May 1st. We were looking forward to seeing the show.

  • This is really disappointing. 🙁

  • Disney Parks Blog actually says that they’ll “share more information about timing on the Disney Parks Blog by mid- to late May,” not that the events are expected to debut in mid-May as this article states.

    • Exactly…… Meaning more likely a June opening. That’s a rather significant re-schedule. I’m guessing they must be having some serious technical problems that are going to require some major fixes.

      • Whoops! Sorry. Got excited that I would still hopefully get to see it in May. It’s been fixed.

      • That’s not the real reason.

Comments are closed.