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Behind the Scenes: Ancient Techniques & Digital Technology Bring ‘Rivers of Light’ Costumes To Life

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Rivers of Light,” the new nighttime show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, is just days away from it’s grand debut this Friday, February 17. Today we’re excited to share a behind-the-scenes look at the four costumes you’ll see in the show that represent Earth & Fire and Air & Water.

‘Rivers of Light’ Costumes ‘Rivers of Light’ Costumes ‘Rivers of Light’ Costumes ‘Rivers of Light’ Costumes
‘Rivers of Light’ Costumes ‘Rivers of Light’ Costumes ‘Rivers of Light’ Costumes ‘Rivers of Light’ Costumes

Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment collaborated closely with noted New York-based costume designer Irina Kruzhilina, to produce designs that reflect a combination of Native American, European and Far Eastern cultures.

In the video above, Costumer Amanda Meldrum explains how intricate and complex the show’s costumes are, requiring 81 different embroidery motifs, 180 different fabrics and more than 250 various bead designs. Amanda also shares how their unique production process included both ancient weaving and dying techniques – as well as the use of digital technology – to create the perfect look.

Will you see “Rivers of Light” on your next trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Tell us in the Comments section below.

Read more about “Rivers of Light” in these posts:


  • Thanks for sharing this. These are gorgeous! I can’t wait to see it all live.

  • Yes I will be there tonight looking forward to it

  • Fantastic article and video about these ROL costumes..!!! Congrats to Amanda Meldrum..!!
    Looking forward to seeing these costumes on my next trip to WDW.
    More costume articles on the blog please.
    Great job…!!!

    • Thank you. They did an amazing job. We hope you love the show, Mark.

  • We will see it Sunday, so happy I got a FP? Can’t wait?

    • Great! My tip is to sit as close to the water as possible for the best view and most immersive experience.

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