10 Facts & Tips For Rivers Of Light At Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

Rivers of Light
Credit: Disney

1. FastPass+

To guarantee a seat for Rivers of Light, reserve a FastPass for the show on My Disney Experience. FastPass guests are seated before standby guests, so you’ll have no problems getting a seat and you’ll have your first pick of a seat. Just remember that Rivers of Light typically takes place when or just after the park closes, so if you were looking to make more FastPasses after your initial three you will not be able to do so.


2. Dining packages

Another way to save your seat for the show is to book a dining package. Dining packages allow you to dine at one of the participating table service restaurants in the park with either a buffet or pre-fixe menu and a small upcharge in exchange for enjoying reserved seating for the show. If you want to dine in the park and see the show, this can be an easy way to save seats without using a FastPass so late in the day.

3. Check the showtime

Rivers of Light often starts after Animal Kingdom closes. For instance if the park closes at 8:30 pm, Rivers of Light usually starts at 8:45 pm. If you were planning on heading out of the park at closing time, you may want to change your mind and stick around for the show. You’ll get a greater value for your park ticket while capping off the Animal Kingdom experience all without missing out on any other attractions.

4. Any seat is a good seat

The design of Rivers of Light really makes any seat a good seat. Where the floats and projections are so large you don’t need to be in the first couple of rows to get the best view. Of course, if this is still a priority definitely look for a FastPass or dining package reservation, but otherwise know that whatever seat you end up with through the standby line will still be a good seat.


5. Pay attention to the show

Some guests are not fans of Rivers of Life because it feels very slow moving and less “exciting” than typical nighttime shows like Fantasmic! or any of the fireworks. To get the full experience of Rivers of Light, you really need to pay attention and let yourself enjoy it without looking for something more. The show is really a beautiful way to remember a day in Animal Kingdom, and it doesn’t need pyro or Disney characters to get its message across.

6. Bring a snack

Like other outdoor theatres around the Walt Disney World Resort, guests are welcome to bring food into Rivers of Light. Snacking during the show is a good way to save time in the parks and it’s a nice way to get one more little snack in before the park closes for the day.

7. Or have a drink

There are a couple of bars that have popped up around the seating area, so if food isn’t what you’re feeling you can also grab a cocktail or a Safari Amber to enjoy with the show. As the show tends to start when the park is closing, this is also probably your last chance to enjoy one of the parks specialty beverages unless you plan to return another day of your trip.

8. If you can get a seat at the last-minute, do it!

Even if you assume there will be no more seats available because the show is about to start, give it a try if you want to see it! Disney cast members are really great at finding last-minute seats, and unless the show is truly at capacity you should be able to find a seat last-minute. Just remember that some shows are unable to accommodate latecomers for safety reasons with the sets.

9. Leave the theatre when the show ends

Since the park is closed, there is no need to stick around in the theatre after the show ends. If you want to let some of the crowd thin out first and then follow the crowd out that’s fine, but with nothing left to do in Asia it’s best to make your way out when the show is over.

10. Shop for Rivers of Light merchandise on your way out

If you want to let the crowds at the bus stops die down however, plan on spending some time shopping on Discovery Island on your way out of the park. You can even find Rivers of Light merchandise in these shops to remember your last show of the day in Animal Kingdom!

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."