Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Update


The beautiful light sculptures floating on into the lake.  They change color during the performance.

09/27/18:  Saturday night (tomorrow) is the last performance for the Water and Light Shamans in the Rivers of Light show.


Water Shaman beating on the drums.

After Saturday’s performance, the boats will be empty for subsequent performances. This is due to budget cuts taking place across the WDW park this Fall.

(See our blog about the other budget cuts at DAK this month: Rafikis Planet Watch is Closing)


Dozens of beautiful lights sculptures floating all over the lake.

We finally got to see Rivers of Light and have to admit that we were not impressed.

Disney has a vast catalog of songs and melodies from 90 years of movie making, including all the great songs from The Lion King.  They used none of it for Rivers of Light.


All the beautiful optics you expect from a Disney performance are there: Lights, water fountains, huge flames, but the music and story is blah.

The whole show and all the music is not engaging.  There’s a clear disconnect between the beautiful optics of the colorful show with all its waterworks and flames and the storyline & music.

When this show first premiered for Disney VIP guests just before Earth Day 2016, it was a disaster and the whole thing was scrapped causing a 10-month delay in the opening.  All the original grand opening merchandise from April 2016 had to be destroyed.  The show premiered for guests in February 2017.

From the premiere:   Continuing the grand Disney tradition of innovative, after-dark entertainment, “Rivers of Light” combines live performance, floating set pieces, a soaring musical score, fountains and more in a celebration of animals and nature. The story magically unfolds on the broad natural stage of the Discovery River, conveying the uplifting spirit of an ancient and timeless lantern ceremony and filled with symbolism, storytelling and plenty of heart.




Color change



All the pretty lotus flowers change colors and open up during the show to put on a synchronized water fountain show.


Very dramatic.  I like the lights reflecting on the water’s surface.


It really is a pretty show, it just needs a better storyline to bring it all together.


Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

Lions and Tigers and Strollers, Oh My!

This is not Caroline’s first time in the Disney College Program. Along with her sister, she was previously accepted into the program a few years earlier.  Back in Colorado, Caroline was wishing for a little more pixie dust to brighten up her life.  On a whim, she decides to apply to the exclusive Disney Alumni Summer Program.

Now that she’s back, things get wild.

Wild, as in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where Caroline is assigned to work in Stroller Rental.  While not the most glamorous position in the park, it’s often ground zero for humanity at its best and at its worst.

While Caroline makes many “Magical Moments” for deserving guests whose pixie dust has gone temporarily sideways, she also receives magical moments of her own through the friendships she makes, going to Disney cast member exclusive events, and all the spectacular dining opportunities at Disney World.

Caroline tells all – from the ins and outs of Disney’s secret training class called Traditions; to learning how to be a happy cast member during on-the-job training; to what it’s like to interact with fellow cast members and the guests who are ready to explore the most magical place on earth.

Join Caroline as she takes you on a wild ride through her adventures in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But be careful, it’s a jungle out there!

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Adventures in the Animal Kingdom


car DAK costume

Adventure is out there!

About the Author:

Caroline’s love for all things Disney, and desire to grow up to be a Disney princess, is the reason she always wanted to work for Disney.  Her dream came true working as a cast member at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Caroline is the co-author of the book, Two Girls and a Mouse Tale, about her adventures working at Disney World with her sister.

She is currently a 7th grade middle school Social Studies teacher in Colorado.

Daily blog link:  https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/



Welcome to Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

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