Taking your family to see the new Rivers of Light show? You need these Best Tips for Seeing Rivers of Light at Disney Animal Kingdom for Families & Video. Post sponsored by Disney. All magical opinions are my own
Best Tips for Seeing Rivers of Light at Disney Animal Kingdom & Video
It’s been a long time coming. The promise of a nighttime show at Animal Kingdom has finally arrived.
Walt Disney World’s Rivers of Light Show officially opens tomorrow, February 17, 2017 – but guess who got a sneak peek! Check out the best tips for Seeing Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for families – best viewing, what to expect for little ones, and even the best place to be with restless kids! Plus, I share a special Easter Egg that only Disney insiders know!
***Update: As of March 20, 2020 – Rivers of Light show is permanently closed. The new Animal Kingdom Kitetails show replaced this nighttime spectacle.
Show times for February are at 7:15 pm. The show will move to a later time with Daylight Savings, eventually into 2 shows before summer hits. FastPass+ will be available for this show as well. So if this is a Must-see on your family’s Disney to-do list, I highly recommend grabbing a FastPass now.
***Updated: FastPasses are now available for this experience. They go very quickly! I would highly suggest to secure these passes early and/or look to book the morning of or night before for any cancellations.
What to Expect
Walt Disney World nighttime shows tend to have very similar feels – they all end with a big bang! Whether you’re enjoying Wishes Fireworks at Magic Kingdom, Star Wars Galactic Spectacular at Hollywood Studios or Illuminations at Epcot, there’s a definite theme running through all of these shows – fireworks, loud noises, and big endings. Each show is amazing in its own right, don’t let me tell you otherwise. But families looking to end their Disney vacation on a much quieter and smoother transition, this is the show for you. A much more subdued nighttime show, Rivers of Light at Disney Animal Kingdom is a perfect way to ease your kids into the thrills of nighttime Disney. Here’s what you can expect to see at this show:
- Changing colors
- Video clips of animals
- Glowing floats and boats
- About 15 minutes in length
But let me clarify. It’s not fire like at the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular where you feel “the heat” of the raging columns of flames. No, this is a tasteful illumination on the water. The lights, the mist, the music – all much calmer and peaceful, as if Disney is singing you a bedtime lullaby. Winding down from the excitement of the day, I fully expect this show to be a HUGE hit with families. My 4-year old daughter was entranced! More details about the storytelling of the Rivers of Light show can be found on the Disney Parks Blog.
The large 5,000 capacity Discovery River Amphitheater on the water sits like a large “U” shape, with you entering the theater at the bottom middle of the “U.” There are steps and gradual wood bench seating as you move towards the front of the theater, offering guests the best views possible. The best seating in the house is going to be in the middle section (not the sides) for the best views of the Floats. The front left of the middle section I think is the absolutely best section to sit in, because this is where your family can see the floats enter the theater.
Have Restless Kids? There’s an Area for You
A crying baby? A screaming toddler? A crazy energetic kid? Tantrum in aisle 2? I know all about these children. At the very back of the theater, towards the entrance is a standing-only section. Here, you can still get a great view of the show (since everyone else is sitting) but can allow for walking and soothing kids in the process.
Grab Premium Seating with the Rivers of Light Dining Package
Want stress-free seating for the new Rivers of Light Show? I feel ya. Disney is offering premium guaranteed seating with the new Rivers of Light Dining Package. Similar to Epcot’s Candlelight Processional and other shows, guests can purchase a meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and secure seating for the Rivers of Light show that night.
- Tusker House Restaurant
Packages start as low as $39/adult. You are given a voucher for the show at your meal. You then show your voucher at the show entrance closest to Dinoland U.S.A. about 15-35 minutes prior to show to grab your premium seating area. I highly recommend reservations, which can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit.
Rivers of Light Easter Egg
During our Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, the imagineers did spill a little known secret about the new Rivers of Light show. During parts of the show, clips of animals are projected onto the mist. If you look closely at the clips, you’ll notice that ALL clips come from Disneynature films. Be sure to point out your favorite animals with your kids and see if you can guess which Disneynature film they came from!
Preview the Rivers of Light Show – Video
Want to preview the show for yourself? I was able to take live Facebook video during my Disney Social Media Moms Celebration experience! Here’s a sneak of the new Disney Animal Kingdom Rivers of Light Show. Please note the music had to be removed from the video for copyright purposes. However, you can see the full Facebook live videos with music here:
Love Walt Disney World tips for your family? Grab these popular tips for your next visit:
- Best Tips for Visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Best Tips to Ride Frozen Ever After
- Best of the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
- 9 Freebies at Disney Springs
Find out more info on the long awaited Disney’s Rivers of Light Show at Animal Kingdom HERE, with shows beginning tomorrow, February 17, 2017. And let me know what you think of the newest nighttime show, Rivers of Light at Disney Animal Kingdom.
Will you be taking your family to see Rivers of Light at Disney?
Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more Walt Disney World travel tips, delicious recipes, and kid crafts.
Great shots! We’d loved catching a preview of this too – the conference was amazing! So excited that others can see it soon now too.
robin Rue says
We usually skip this park when we are in Disney, but this looks pretty cool. I might check it out next time.
Amanda Love says
It’s definitely everything you can ask for. I love that there’s so much to look out for! It’s really awesome to be able to take the kids here.
Rivers of Light sounds like it would be a must see at Disney. With my granddaughter so young we would have to be in the standing section.
Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place says
These are some really great tips! And I have always wanted to see this. Cannot wait until I get the chance.
Toni | Boulder Locavore says
This is a must-see at Disney! Looks SO fun and amazing! Would love to see this with my kids!
Our Family World says
WOw. looks so amazing! my kids will surely love this! this is perfect cos we are planning to go there this year!
Wow! That is something else. This is something for sure everyone young and old would really appreciate seeing. It’s gorgeous!
Karrie Truman says
This seriously looks like it would be a blast. I have no doubt the kids would adore this and it would make lasting memories!
Annemarie LeBlanc says
What an awesome display of lights! I must remember to experience this on my next Disney trip in March. Thanks for your tips to enjoy this even more.
Dawn McAlexander says
That looks so awesome! I do think that Animal Kingdom would be my favorite of the Disney parks. I haven’t got to see much of it, but what I saw I really enjoyed. This just makes it even better!
These are excellent tips! We absolutely loved the show and cannot wait to go back to see it!
Amber Ludwig says
Omgosh this is gorgeous!! WOW!!! Talk about a must see!!
Shirley Smith says
Thank you for all of the tips on Animal Kingdom. We definitely missed all of these lights when we went to Disney. But we wont next time we get to go.
Tamra Phelps says
Now, this would be a sight to see. My niece & nephews would get a kick out of it.
Cindy Conner Bowling says
This looks so beautiful! Can’t wait to see it!
Margaret Appel says
Disney’s River of Lights Show looks absolutely gorgeous! The next time my family takes a trip down to Disney World we will have to take in this show.
Janet W. says
This looks so amazing to see in person! Just beautiful!
Kaye Newman says
This looks so amazing. I know my sonwould love to see Disney’s River of lights show.
ellen beck says
This looks so colorful and exciting. We have never been to Disney and I am always amazed at what all is there. I bet this was beautiful.