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Disney’s Animal Kingdom NEW Rivers of Light Show + The World of Avatar! #DisneySMMC

Rivers of Light Show + The World of Avatar!

Starting on February 17th, when guests visit Disney World, they will be taken away on a breathtaking journey. River of Lights is a new nighttime experience in Animal Kingdom that is a must-see. It is an emotional theatrical production spectacular of water, fire, nature and light all choreographed to an original musical score.

While attending the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, we had the chance to privately preview a showing of River of Lights. We headed to the theatre after taking a look at the Pandora model and enjoying a welcome dinner sponsored by GoGo Squeez.

It was a magical experience as it was the first public showing at Walt Disney World. It is a 15-minute nighttime experience at Animal Kingdom that brings together humans and animals and the connection that exists in nature.

Be Mesmerized.

Once the show begins, you are struck with a serene scene with floating lotus lanterns, gorgeous fountains, live performers and incredible imagery displayed on large water screens.

More About River of Lights:

As you continue to be mesmerized, Rivers of Light continues to unfold with a powerful musical score created by songwriter and composer Don L. Harper and recorded at the renowned Abbey Road Studio in London. The signature song “We Are One” was written by Mark Mancina, who created the score and was a key collaborator on the music for Disney’s hit animated feature film “Moana.”

Grab Your Seat!

Now that River of Lights is officially showing, as soon as the sun sinks into the horizon, Disney guests can make their way into the 5000 seat amphitheatre for the show. The theatre is divided into two villages and separated by a bridge and the Discovery River. The sounds of nature begin to surround you and you see fireflies descend from the Tree of Life toward the lagoon.

FUN FACT: Many of the animals displayed are taken right from never-before-seen moments from Disneynature films.

The live performers act as hosts donning beautifully intricate costumes and begin to summon animal spirits in a gorgeous display of colours. You are transported to Asian jungles and African savannahs and you can see a tiger, turtle, elephant and horned owl in a surreal life-like projected display.

TIP: Sit as centered as possible but, sit a few rows up to get a better view. This allowed me a great spot to take close-up shots. We chose to sit in the third row up and had an incredible view of the fountains and 15-30 feet Lotus floats.
Dinner and a Show:

Special dining packages are available to park guests that include reserved seating at the new show. Packages are offered at the buffet-style Tusker House or the new signature restaurant Tiffins (lunch and dinner). Reservations can be made by visiting DisneyWorld.com/dining or by calling 407 WDW-DINE. 

The show is really a must-see. If you are like us, you’ll sit in awe and wonder the entire time. It is a nighttime experience that I will look forward to seeing every time I visit Walt Disney World. 

Pandora – World of Avatar.

As a part of Disney’s largest expansion of Animal Kingdom of all time, this May you will be able to walk into the Pandora – World of Avatar. If you are familiar with Avatar, you are going to be elated to find out that Disney is bringing it to life right inside of Animal Kingdom. 

It will open on May 27th and it will transport guests to a park that is 48,000 square meters they will enter the lush world of Pandora, one generation after the conflict between the humans and the Na’vi people. You will see floating mountains, bioluminescent forests and there will be rides and food! 

More About Pandora:

Riding a magnificent Mountain Banshee, visitors will soar through Pandora’s Avatar Flight of Passage. This high-tech adventure will offer a fascinating flight through jungles and floating mountains, and over majestic oceans of this colorful world.

On the Na’vi River Journey family trip, visitors will navigate a sacred river hidden in a rainforest. The expedition will end in an unforgettable encounter with a shaman Na’vi, a figure who has a deep connection with the life force of Pandora. 

Visitors can also dine at the Satu’li canteen, have a drink at Pongu Pongu or buy items from the Na’vi culture, toys, science kits and more at Windtraders.

I, for one, cannot wait for this and will be visiting just for this. Avatar is one of my favourite movies and I can’t wait to see Pandora realized right before my eyes in a magical way that only Disney can do. If you are headed to Walt Disney World this year, make sure that you add these two major attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to your list!

TAKE A SNEAK PEEK: Want to learn about a new short from Disney Pixar? Check out the details about Lou, here.
Are you excited for these new expansions to Animal Kingdom?

Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!


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  1. I have seen this announced on several other sites. I won’t have the change to attend since we live so far away and aren’t planning a trip to Disney anytime soon. From the looks of the photos it is a site to enjoy and remember.

  2. The next time we take the grandkids to Disney, we will have to watch this show. Thanks for the tip on where to sit. It looks like a beautiful show!

  3. It is simply breath taking and I want to go. Our children are grown, doesn’t matter because we enjoy Disney with no children. This is probably our year to go again because we both want to see this!

  4. I live in Central Florida and Animal Kingdom is one place I haven’t been yet. My next Disney Adventure. I can’t wait. Thanks for sharing whats new there.

  5. How incredibly beautiful! I can’t wait until my boys and I can go to Disney. When do you think are the best ages to take them? They are currently four and almost six.

  6. I have seen a few of these photos floating around on social media. Everything looks so pretty! I would love to visit.

  7. These additions to Animal Kingdom sound like a lot of fun for the whole family. I actually never saw Avatar!

  8. Looks so magical! Next time we go we will need to be sure to check this out. Love how they can make the lights do all of that

  9. YES! I am so excited to see Pandora. My older daughter was really into Avatar also so I think this will be amazing. The show Rivers of Light sounds amazing too and your pictures are beautiful! I am so ready to visit Disney again soon.

  10. I love Disney world and have been wanting to go back for several years now. Their light related things like this and parades are always fantastic.

  11. They are really good in their shows. I enjoyed looking at the pictures. It’s really beautiful!

  12. This light show sounds amazing. I wouldlove to watch this and see the sights! We will be heading to Disney soon and can’t wait.

  13. Wow it looks amazing! We really need to plan a trip back to Disney soon. So may new attractions to see.

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