VIDEO: Full Show of “Rivers of Light” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Show Cut Down

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Tonight, guests of the Disney Social Media Moms gathering at Walt Disney World were shown Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom during an exclusive private event.

Now, this isn’t taken by a professional videographer and the person recording does talk over it a little, but it appears to be the first video of the show from tonight’s preview to be posted online. Regardless, here it is (starts about 7 minutes in):

Most notably, several minutes of the show have been cut since the cast member previews a few months ago, but also some effects were missing that even appeared in those preview shows. It is likely that this is the finished product as cast members are actively scheduled to work at the theater starting this weekend and the show should formally debut around the time.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]


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  • Drastically cut is a bit of an exaggeration. Anyway, people i know who saw it when it eas 18 min complained it dragged in places and should be 15-16 min. Spog on now. Thanks for the coverage

  • It was only cut by 3 mins that is far hardly a drastic LOL I swear this site will post anything to get clicks.

    • And yet here you are clicking like the rest of us. I’m guessing with that attitude you aren’t a Patreon member. At any rate, if you don’t like the coverage, I would suggest you start your own site that doesn’t “post anything to get clicks”. Have a nice day!

  • If the average wait time for an attraction was reduced from 18 minutes to 15 minutes, would the headline be: “Disney Drastically Cuts Wait Times for Customers!!” ?

      • I would, 17% is a lot… Again, if 3 minutes were cut from Reflections of Earth (or any of the other nighttime shows), that would be a big deal. Regardless, several effects are missing as well, which is also a “cut”. Cut does not only refer to time.

        • Annoying that people are more upset with the words used in this article than the actual story that FINALLY, this show may be coming to fruition. Regardless of whether it’s been chopped and changed, Disney know how to put on a show and if it wasn’t right originally, then I’m sure they’ve done the right things to change it and improve it. I’m sure when it opens, it’ll do just fine.

          • Thanks Disney PR Intern! You might want to pay closer attention to your punctuation though, you don’t want to get fired before yoh have a chance to hype up Avatarland.

  • Hey tom thanks for all the reports. If it wasn’t for this site i would not know when shows debut or where to get good food at the parks . Don’t know why people get all upset over an opinion, don’t worry be happy life to short to complain about everything. It’s probably the other sites mad that wdwnt gets all the traffic and theirs don’t.

  • I have to agree. I am growing tired of the boorish behavior, pompous ramblings, and negative attitudes of the contributors to this site. I have encountered that firsthand, having been called “fake”, “pretentious”, and all around “jerk”. If this trend continues, I will have to stop contributing to the comments section.

  • I can see potential but it just doesn’t have that grab you WOW moment. It looks like the solved some of the projection on the water issue they were having. this show though has been a on the fence situation from the start. This is the “B” team as far as I heard. The ‘A” team passed on this from the get go i think it shows. I am in agreement with Iger thoughat this point you need to run it to try and make the money back you invested, i think at this point its 2 OR 3 years ROI. I guess the possibility that they add things to it during its run. I appreciate that there is technology there that hasn’t been used before and that is cool but i think it fell a little flat from what it was supposed to be.

  • Thank you so much for sharing our livestream of Rivers of Light from last night. We just posted today an HD version of the show. This version is so much better than our livestream. You can find it at Jones Family Travels on YouTube. We thought the show was amazing! My whole family loved it!

  • Rivers of Light looks pretty, but vacuous. There’s nothing there but pretty images. Completely forgettable music. I’d much rather see The Jungle Book (animated movie) played out in front of me using this sort of presentation. Something with humor. Something with memorable music. Something with a comprehendible story. You should be leaving the theater with “Bear Necessities” or “I want to be like you” rebounding through your brain. Instead you’re left with this mess. Trying far too hard to be “important”.

    • I disagree. This show is trying to be different and set itself aside from being part of Disney property. It should be its own unique blend of reflecting nature, not a film. If you want to leave singing Bear Necessities the you should have watched The Jungle Book Alive With Magic, set on the same lake and used the same amphitheatre last year. I am personally trying to avoid everything to do this show before I visit this year but I do wholeheartedly agree with you that this show should have a strong soundtrack, humour and something that sticks in your memory while departing the park, much like shows like Fantasmic! which my party were all singing in the car on the way home when we last visited.

  • Watched the video on YouTube on a bigger tv screen. Nice, pretty….lots of color….good soundtrack. It’s probably a one-and-done for me, if we see it as a family at AK some night. It still felt a little long to me, but not overwhelmingly so.

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