Let’s Watch: Rivers of Light (In The Rain)

In part 1 of this post, we took a look at the Rivers of Light dining package offered at Tiffin’s. In that post, we concluded that there was tremendous value to be found in the package vs ordering off the menu ala carte. If you were planning on dining at Tiffin’s anyway then its a no brainer. If you weren’t planning to dine at the restaurant, we recommend reconsidering as its one of the best options in any Disney park.


We even went as far as to recommend booking the dining package even if you do not plan on viewing Rivers of Light later on. Unfortunately for me, I did decide to catch Rivers of Light on this evening. It was unfortunate, because just a few minutes before the show, the skies opened up to a pretty steady downpour. Rivers of Light was designed to run in the rain, which is especially easy now that they cut all of the human performers for some reason.

rol shamans

Basically, in addition to making the viewing conditions quite unpleasant, it also made the show very tough to photograph. Its not a particularly easy show to shoot to begin with as its basically a bunch of highlights on the dark night background, but it was way tougher in the steady rain.

That being said, lets take a look at the show.


I’ve given my overall thoughts on the show in the past, but to quickly sum them up: I think its a good show, but not great. It probably would have been a whole lot better had it’s original vision be realized but as most of you probably know that never happened.

New Details on ÒRivers of LightÓ Nighttime Spectacular Coming to DisneyÕs Animal Kingdom

Technical problems delayed the show for almost a full year until it was eventually cut back significantly. Several of the original scenes and effects never made it into the final product.


In the end, what we got was something that was visually pleasing, but without a whole lot of substance to it.





The first half of the show is great. Its got a super catchy soundtrack and offers stunning visuals between the colorful animal floats and the World of Color like fountains. The removal of Shamans does make the 2 boats far less interesting unfortunately.



The middle of the show is more of a mixed bag. The fountains continue to impress but the projections on the water screens are not very clear, and not much happens in them.





The shows biggest weakness is that it really needs a finale. About 10 minutes in, this flaming tower thing rises from the center of the large lotus. It’s cool to look at and provides lots of great visuals. But it doesn’t feel like a finale.







After one especially large flame, the show just ends. It definitely doesn’t have that final punch that the other WDW nighttime spectaculars have.


Overall, I still like Rivers of Light quite a bit. It’s just a shame that it had to be cut so much that it ends up being a bit on the underwhelming side. That being said, it still has good music and lovely visuals. Considering it doesn’t take much of a time commitment to see (even without the dining package), I think its definitely worth a view if you have time for it during your trip.

My dining package ticket said to return 20 – 35 minutes before showtime but I literally waked up a minute before it started and got a good seat. For a total experience time of just over 16 minutes there is nothing I can complain about.


What are your thoughts on Rivers of Light? Let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading and bye for now!


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