"Rivers of Light,"the majestic nighttime jewel, coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom creates an illuminating musical experience for guests. Currently in development with a premiere date to be announced soon, "Rivers of Light" will celebrate the magic of animals, humans and the natural world with a blend of performers, floating lanterns and theatrical animal imagery. (David Roark, photographer)

RUMOR: Destination D Attendees Will Be The First to See Rivers of Light Next Month?

Since April 22nd, 2016, we have been on a rollercoaster ride of rumors of when Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom might debut. Once the show was officially delayed, we reported first that the show would not make its debut in the Summer of 2016. We then heard rumblings that the show was close to being completed, and then were even told that the show is now finished and completed with rehearsals at this point. Just last week, a rumored to be mistaken posting on the Walt Disney World website made it seem the show may not debut until next May. Now, something fishy on the Destination D schedule has many a guest speculating that event attendees may be the very first to see Rivers of Light this November.


The event wraps up on Sunday, November 20th at Disney’s Contemporary Resort with a presentation by Joe Rohde about Disney’s Animal Kingdom. After that, there is an optional in-park gathering at a Disney theme park, with no further details being shared as of yet. That being said, it does require park admission and Disney’s Animal Kingdom is scheduled to close at 7:30PM that evening. However, one could argue that it would make more sense to end the event with the much anticipated AVATAR presentation, unless you wanted that final presentation to lead into something that tied into it. Rivers of Light would certainly tie into a presentation by Rohde about the future of Disney’s Animal Kingdom…

I will say this particular rumor comes with no inside information on my part. It is purely speculation based on rumblings throughout the internet since the Destination D: Amazing Adventures schedule was announced yesterday. Tickets for the event are still available if you are interested, and regardless of the Rivers of Light event happening or not, should be a wonderful time for any Disney fan who attends.

UPDATE: The schedule for the event on D23.com was updated to state that guests will not need theme park admission to attend the in-park meet up. This now makes it more likely that guests at Destination D will be the first to see the show.


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  1. I’d bet Joe Rohde’s presentation is the exact same one he gave on the DVC Member Cruise last month. (It has nearly the same title.)

    I attended that talk, and he barely mentioned Rivers of Light and spoke more about Avatar/Pandora. In fact, he was even more concrete about a Pandora opening date than Rivers of Light. He said he wa pretty confident Pandora would be ready for the summer, but that Rivers of Light would hopefully be “soon.”

  2. I was thinking the “in park gathering” might be to see the new Christmas show in Hollywood Studios, but this would certainly fit with the theme of the D23 event. I’m sure you’ll notice increased barge activity and/or other Rivers of Light testing as the date nears if it turns out that is the special surprise. Interesting idea, though!

  3. Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! (god, I hate that name) is at 9pm. No idea how long it is, but given that the special event is from 8pm-9:30, and especially now that they’re saying park admission is *not* required, I’d bet more on Rivers of Light. Here’s hoping!

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