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‘Rivers of Light’ Live Chat Set for March 8 at 1:15 p.m. EST

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

As we shared earlier, “Rivers of Light,” Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s first-ever night-time show – and this show is truly shaping up to be spectacular!


To learn more about the work going on behind the scenes at the show, we’ll host a #DisneyParksLIVE chat right here on the Disney Parks Blog on Tuesday, March 8 at 1:15 p.m. EST with two of the show’s creative team members, Michael Jung and Mark Renfrow. They’ll be ready and waiting to answer your questions about the show’s theming, storyline, technology, staging, music and much more. And of course, it wouldn’t be a #DisneyParksLIVE event without a surprise or two.

We’re already taking questions here in the comments section (and will continue to do so through live chat time on Tuesday). We’ll get to as many questions as possible during the chat, so please ask away!


  • From the concept art, the Lotus Flower looks beautiful! Is there any signifigance about the lotus flower that made it the choice to be the centerpiece of the show?

  • 1 – Looks like the water screens are something that we’ve seen in Fantasmic. What have you learned from Fantasmic to improve this show?
    2 – What was the toughest effect or element to integrate into the show?
    3 – How will the show effect the sleeping habits of the animals?
    4 – Will we ever see projection mapping on Everest?
    5 – How long will the show run and how many showings will there be per evening?
    6 – Will there be any interactive elements to the show such as Made with Magic?
    7 – How long has this show been in the works?


  • One of my favorite things about Disney nightime spectaculars are the way they blend in with the beautiful surrounds and seem to come out of nowhere. Kind of the way Fantasmic! at Disneyland hides in the island all day and only comes out at night and the fountains of World of Color and Illuminations only appear after sunset.

    Rivers of Light takes place in one of the most beautiful surrounds at any Disney Park… so how did you blend all the infrastructure for this massive-looking show into the existing Animal Kingdom surroundings?

    One of the early renderings of the show showed some really cool drummers with flaming sticks. More recent renderings have had no live performers at all. Are there going to be live performers in the show still?

  • The park is currently scheduled to close at 6:30 on Friday the 22nd. Will they be extending the hours to accommodate Rivers Of Light?

  • I’m planning a trip there in May and I would love to see this show, but no showtimes have been announced so it hasn’t been possible to add this my plans. Can you please give us showtimes and will it be running daily?

  • Will the viewing require being in the seated areas, or will it be more like the Illuminations viewing at Epcot?

  • How do we participate in this live Chat tomorrow?

  • Will there be a Fastpass viewing area? And if so, how soon will the fastpassss be available to book?

  • Looking forward to fastpass seating.

  • Will there be anything special for Pass Holders ?

  • Hello Disney Parks Blog, Michael and Mark! I was wondering if you could tell us how Rivers of Light came to be? Since Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened was there always the idea of potentially creating a nighttime show in the Discovery River and that section of the park?

    Secondly I was wondering if the Tree of Life Awakenings will use the same projection mapping technology as Celebrate The Magic at Magic Kingdom?

    And lastly can you tell us more about what we can expect for the Rivers of Light soundtrack? Theme song perhaps? New Album release? 🙂

    Thank you Michael and Mark for your time and a big Thank You to all of you at Disney Parks blog for all that you do and the fantastic meet ups! I always have a wonderful time and I wish I could attend every one of them! 🙂

  • Will a dining package be available like Fantasmic?

  • 1. How many shows per night. 2.What is the seating capacity?

  • Will the show have pyro?

  • The 22nd is my family’s last night in the parks (we are from Canada and this is our first WDW trip) we coincidentally had already booked Tuskar house for that day’s lunch. Will there be a dining package we can upgrade to for preferred seating? We want very badly to catch this show, it would end our trip perfectly.

    Any details on dining or fast pass options or tips for watching this show without blowing our whole day holding a spot would be… Well… Magical 🙂

  • Are there any current plans to release the Rivers of Light soundtrack on iTunes or a CD?

  • My family and I are so excited for this new nighttime show, but we also very much miss retired shows. More specifically, we are so sad about the ending of the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Since this is a family tradition that has come to define the holiday season for us, we were wondering will we ever see the dancing lights return or at least be revived to some extent?

  • Another here looking for information about potential FastPasses, dining package, or viewing party. So excited! Thanks!

  • Ooo… And will there be Disney Parks Blog meet-up for this exciting new show?

  • What kind of new Disney Magic or special effects can we expect to see?
    With so many Disney animals living in the park, will the new Rivers of Light show affect them?
    Thanks, very much looking forward to the show!

  • Most interested in finding out about show times and dining packages!

  • Hoping Michael Curry will be an unannounced guest on the Live Chat as I’ve been a fan of his work for many. many years. I do have a few questions for him as his work is not only aesthetically fantastic but the mechanics amaze me! Have seen Lion King (puppets co-designed w/ Julie Taymor) several times, Tapestry of Dreams/Nations maybe 75 times, Finding Nemo, The Musical at AK many, many times and I just can’t take my eyes off his puppetry!!!! OK, time to stop gushing and ask my question: How does he so seamlessly integrate the aesthetics and mechanical components in his puppets? Does the aesthetics come first and then the mechanical design follows, vice versa or are they done simultaneously? Where does his inspiration come from aside rom the obvious story line of the project? What else would you like the Disney fan community to know about you or your projects?

  • I might have missed the answer to this, but will this show be offered year-round?

    • Yes, this show is permanent and ongoing. 🙂

  • Thanks so much for this new experience at Animal Kingdom!! Will guests be allowed to video record the show? And will guests be able to view the show from outside the amphitheater? We’re very excited that Disney is adding this new night time feature!!

  • What kind of services will be offered for people with disabilities like blindness or hard of hearing? I am partially deaf and remember liking using the reflective sign captions at Fantasmic. Will there be something like this in the new amphitheater?

  • I’ll be at the Parks during the Live Chat! Is there someplace we can go to watch the broadcast? Or will it be recorded so we can watch later? Thanks!

    • We’re hoping to be able to replay. Stay tuned!

  • What a great kickoff date! Earth Day!!! Can’t think of a better way to celebrate. The 22nd is our last day at Disney and I’m hoping we’ll be able to experience this!
    The preview looks amazing! Will there be familiar Disney characters incorporated?

  • Since Animal Kingdom usually closes before dark, will the park now remain open until dark for this show? And what time(s) will the show be? And lastly, will it be every night?

  • Will this show be modified for seasonal events like during Christmas time? Some new special holiday offerings in Animal Kingdom would be awesome!

  • Rivers of Life looks like an amazing way to kick off the exciting additions to Animal Kingndom! Will there be any surprise additions to the park in the future or is everything that’s been previously announced (like Pandora: The Land of Avatar and the Nighttime Safaris) the only new attractions to come?

  • I’m sorry if this has already been asked (I tried to look through all the comments first) but is the live chat EST or PST?

    • EST

  • How long is each performance? How many performance will be each night?
    Approximatly, What is the capacity of the amphitheater?

  • Everyone must be calling about it because I got a very quick, scripted response that they don’t have any info on when they will start taking reservations for it.

  • Like everyone else will there be fast pass+ or a dinner package? ETA on when if either will be available? Have a trip later this year

  • Will AP holders get to see it before the actual opening?

  • When will the special dining packages at the Tusker House begn being offered and will exisisting reservations be able to upgrade to the ROL meals?

  • I’m really excited to see this new show. It’s going to be a wonderful addition to Animal Kingdom. Can you tell us who composed the score? I’m also curious if Michael Curry was involved since the large animals look like he may have helped develop them. Thanks!

  • Which Imagineer had the idea to use footage from the DisneyNature documentaries?

  • April 22nd you say? That’s Earth Day (and Animal Kingdom’s anniversary)! How appropriate! (and I’m sure completely intentional!)

  • I am also hoping to find out information about FastPass+ availability for this, and an idea on when that might open up!

  • Music always plays a huge part in shows at the parks tell us a bit more about what inspired the score for “Rivers of Light”. Also are there any plans to release the score for sale close to the premiere of the show for those who will instantly fall in love with it as well as those who would want it before even coming to the park? I’d love to see it released on digital platforms at the same time as the show premieres.

  • We arrive on the 22nd and are really looking forward to seeing this during our trip. Will there be any preferred seating options?

  • How will the show affect the animals at Animal Kingdom?

  • What new technologies are you using to make this show as breathtaking as other Disney night spectaculars, and how many people can be seated in the audience.

  • As creative designers, do either of you have favorite parts of the show?

  • What times will the show take place?

  • Will any nearby rides or attractions (specifically Expedition Everist) close during performances?

  • Approximately how long is each performance? Will there be multiple showings each night?

  • Will FastPass+ seating be available for this show? If so, is there an anticipated date when I can start reserving?

  • Well there be any soft openings earlier in the week before Friday the 22nd? We will be there that week for the half marathon the weekend before and the 22nd is out last night. If there were any way to go earlier in the week it would be so awesome!

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