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New Details Released on ‘Rivers of Light,’ Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

We just shared new details on nighttime entertainment experiences coming soon to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, including the nighttime show “Rivers of Light” and Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris.

'Rivers of Light' Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

New details on “Rivers of Light” were just unveiled, telling guests more about the show that will take place on Discovery River at the park, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest. The entertainment experience will combine live performers with floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery.

“This is going to be a ceremonial event that will happen on our lake,” said Imagineer Joe Rohde. “It takes the idea of the special nature of the animals that are in this park and turns it into a celebration of the beauty of these animals. It starts simply and humbly, continues to unfold and grow as bigger and more elaborate lanterns appear, and then huge curtains of water and light emerge from the water with animals within them. And ultimately it takes off into the sky.”

New details were also shared on Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris, a new nighttime adventure that will allow guests to travel through the African savanna amid the orange glow of the setting sun.

Guests visiting the attraction after dark will also discover two species on the savanna: African wild dogs and hyenas.


  • So excited about changes coming to Animal Kingdom. It has been my half day park for several years now. Sadly there have been trips where it has been skipped completely. I think it was due to the fact that it closed so early and we wanted to get as much bang for our buck as we could. Frankly, it was just frustrating to call it a day when we were still ready for more! Please come out with a specific date on the opening of the new Animal Kingdom attractions so I can plan my fastpasses accordingly! I know there are tons of folks traveling to Disney for Spring Break 2016 that feel the same way!!!

  • Sounds great, always wanted to goto AK when it is dark, the lighting from pictures looks awesome. Unfortunately we can only go during the summer season due to UK school holiday restrictions, but assume this would be done in the dark during these months later in the night?

  • What time will this show likely be?

  • Will this night time show be free with the ticket or will it cost extra like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween or the Christmas Spectacular?

    • It will be included in park admission.

  • I am so happy to finally see this park becoming an all day park.. Can’t wait to see what else is in store for this great park!!

  • As a former opening team Cast member for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I am so very excited to see the magical story this will share. DAK has always been such a special place. It is such a majestic park at night. I think Rivers of Light will be the perfect exclamation point to the end of the day, encapsulating what this park means to everyone.

    • I’m happy you’re excited, Ken. Should be a great show.

  • This area was closed off when we were there in November, 2014. This should be quite spectacular! Can’t wait to go next year to see it! I’m thinking it should be open early 2016.

  • We booked to go in May 2016 so really hoping this is on when we there. I love Animal Kingdom

    • 🙂

  • I hope the show will be ready until the end of March, the time when I’m going to stay at WDW.

  • Do we have any idea when this will be ready??

    • As soon as we know, we’ll share it here.

  • Really excited for this! I could spend days and days watching the animals. The wife and kids on the other hand…….

    • I’m happy you’re excited! Should be a lot of fun for everyone.

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