Rivers of Light construction update from Disney’s Animal Kingdom


Walt Disney World’s 4th theme park is going through it’s largest expansion ever. It will add a whole new land based on James Cameron’s Avatar movies and new nighttime shows and entertainment. Today we check in on the progress at the new viewing areas for “Rivers of Light.”

If you remember the concept art released a year ago, we’re expecting a combination of lights, digital projections, choreographed water fountains, and river floats set in front of a purpose built viewing area designed to hold more than 7,000 guests at every show.


Here’s a look at the progress as of this last Sunday:

There’s very little visible progress since we last checked in over a month ago. What has happened is that they’ve filled in some of the lake and are currently pumping out water from that new infill. They probably have to wait until that process is completed before doing the next step in the landscaping and cement for the area. Although if you look close you can see some ‘brickwork’ at the base of the Expedition Everest side.

I’m also curious what that little island they built is for and what their plans are for the area that currently contains seating for Flame Tree BBQ. That little blue hut is my favorite place to eat lunch or dinner at the park. My guess is they’ll offer some sort of dessert and show option. But they’re also adding new landmass over there as well. Not a lot, but enough to house another seating area (or perhaps a booth for show support and lighting).

Rivers of Light and the new night time show that will take place on Discovery Island and feature lights and projections on the Tree of Life, plus a night time version of Kilimanjaro Safari will allow guests to enjoy the beauty of Disney’s Animal Kingdom well after dark. I’m very much looking forward to that and hope they hurry up and complete this project.

Are you looking forward to Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? What do you think of the progress so far?

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3 thoughts on “Rivers of Light construction update from Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  1. a11mark

    going in October hope they have this for then, but it does look like progress is moving slowly. while Disney springs seems to rapidly progressing.

    fingers crossed they have this in time for when we go anyway

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