BREAKING: Stitch’s Great Escape, Rivers of Light, and Primeval Whirl Officially Closed Forever at Walt Disney World

In a memo to Cast Members, Walt Disney World has indicated the permanent closure of Primeval Whirl and Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, plus confirmed the official closure of Stitch’s Great Escape at the Magic Kingdom.

Stitch’s Great Escape has long since been “Temporarily Closed” at the Magic Kingdom (and is rumored to be replaced with a new “Wreck-It Ralph” attraction.) Back in March, permits were filed for the interior demolition of the theater that houses what remains of Stitch’s Great Escape. This project is now likely delayed or cancelled.

If you’re feeling nostalgic, here’s the last-ever showing of Stitch’s Great Escape at the Magic Kingdom, filmed back in 2018.

Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Primeval Whirl was recently removed from all park guidemaps and listings. “Rivers of Light” did not make a comeback for the park’s reopening, as all shows and nighttime spectaculars are temporarily suspended in order to maintain social distancing efforts.

Last August, we broke news on a potential new show replacing “Rivers of Light” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with the new version of Rivers of Light set to borrow elements from the “EPCOT Forever” nighttime spectacular, including the same “special effects” kite technology. “Rivers of Light” was intended to end next year, according to sources, so the show getting cancelled early is likely the residual effect of current COVID-19 conditions.

Of course, given the recent budget cuts, cancellations, and indefinite project postponements across property, it’s unlikely we’ll see any new shows or attractions debut in the near future as replacements for these offerings.

Further details have yet to be publicly announced.

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Ahnsael
Ahnsael
3 months ago

I was surprised to see this today.
 
I mean, we all knew these three attractions were on the chopping block (and I don’t think ANY of us expected to smell that chili dog burp in Stitch’s Great Escape ever again)…I was just surprised to see them all officially ended in a single announcement.

Tom Was-Right-But-You-Didn’t-Believe-Him
Tom Was-Right-But-You-Didn’t-Believe-Him
3 months ago

As nice as it is for Disney to own it and close bad things or finally be truthful, we are in a time where those things won’t be replaced for the next while and that is truly what sucks. I will never understand why they did what they did in this multi-year span with destroying two parks to rebuild and rebrand.

Jen Z
Jen Z
3 months ago

This is not a surprise, considering how long both rides have been closed or in “seasonal” status. Rivers of Light was pretty, but disappointing. Wonder if Disney is going to close Dinoland in order to disassemble Primevil Whirl? Now is the time to do it since that area is closed due to COVID. Look forward to what Imagineers come up with to replace them!

Jeremy
Jeremy
3 months ago
Reply to  Jen Z

I agree, they should just close Dinoland to save money since they can only operate one store and one rides over there. Might as well close it off to save money and set aside for future redevelopment. Makes me wonder if Finding Nemo will be permanently closed as well since its a performance-based show…

Robert
Robert
3 months ago
Reply to  Jen Z

I hope not, Dinosaur is one of the only things worth doing at Animal Kingdom (what with Na’vi River Journey sucking and Kali River Rapids sucking and Triceratop Spin sucking). And at a time where the park closes at 6 and the inability to park hop, we don’t need even LESS to do on a day where we’re forced to do Animal Kingdom.

Kim Cee
3 months ago

I’m glad I got to ride Primeval Whirl one last time in January when it was briefly reopened (Thanks, WDWNT, for the heads up! 👍🏼). I had fond memories of riding it during my CP days. My body remembers my final ride less fondly. 😄

Jen Z
Jen Z
3 months ago
Reply to  Kim Cee

My back ALWAYS killed me after riding it, but it was fun!

Britt
Britt
3 months ago

Why Primeval Whirl? That was simple but fun. Mechanical issues?

jenna
jenna
3 months ago

I find Iger and his cohort destructive and this non stop build build build is tedious and ruining the magical experience.
I get it, change is good but non stop is out of control and destroys the fun.
I do get Stitch and Rivers going, but every time we were in Dinoland, Primeval was always busy with kids laughing, I guess too much fun is dangerous too. :( :/

Mike
Mike
3 months ago

Rivers of Light was absolutely incredible when it had the Shaman and Acolyte performers. When it’s safe, bring them back, lose the IP, and bring in some wow factor with some drone tech. Bam. Perfect show.

fuzzybunny
fuzzybunny
3 months ago

will miss Primeval whirl, the most the others not so much

JPL
JPL
3 months ago

I don’t understand why they decided to close Stitch’s Great Escape at all. Stitch is very popular and the attraction seemed pretty low maintenance.

Last edited 3 months ago by JPL
Leo Dooley
Leo Dooley
3 months ago

I guess we could say that Stitch has finally pulled off a “Great Escape” from Walt Disney World. Good riddance!
 
Hopefully the Tomorrowland Speedway will soon go the same way…

Charlie
Charlie
3 months ago

Maybe this means that DinoLand will finally change into South America- complete with Indiana Jones Adventure!

Randy
Randy
3 months ago

I really liked Rives of Light, I felt very inspired by it. I feel it was the most impressive of the night shows, minus for the fireworks/castle overlay show at MK. It will be missed.

Isabella
Isabella
3 months ago

I wonder if this means that the whole of the dinorama section in dinoland will close, seeing as primeval whirl was the main ride there.

Than
Than
3 months ago

So that amphitheater is going to just sit there empty for who knows how long…

james pierce
james pierce
3 months ago

i knew primeval whirl would be closed forever, we know how those attractions end up. right? what’s next the people mover at magic kingdom?
 

Last edited 3 months ago by james pierce
tabster
tabster
3 months ago

aw my kids love Primeval Whirl – and it’s counterpart at Disneyland (Goofy’s Sky School). It will be sad to see it there all empty – I hope something awesome goes in its place. If they close the triceratops, that leaves very little for smaller kids to enjoy at AK ride-wise.