Disney recently informed cast members that the Rivers of Light show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom would be closing permanently. The statement, which also mentioned that Primeval Whirl and Stitch’s Great Escape will remain closed, didn’t mention any of Disney’s plans for the future. Will a new nighttime show come to Disney’s Animal Kingdom?
According to noted insider Martin Smith, Disney doesn’t have any plans to develop a new show at this time.
“No plans for a replacement at the moment. Given the current climate that’s possibly to be expected.”
Smith’s report probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Disney has publicly stated that they intend to reduce capital expenditures for the foreseeable future. The current environment has both paused projects (Mary Poppins attraction and Spaceship Earth refurbishment) and may have cancelled others (Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge).
It’s worth noting that Disney’s investment to bring a nighttime show to Disney’s Animal Kingdom was significant. They built out huge seating areas that can accommodate approximately 5,000 guests per show. That infrastructure significantly transformed the area around the main waterway, making it doubtful Disney will completely abandon their investment.
We imagine Disney will revisit the idea of a nighttime show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the future, but it will likely have to wait until long after their finances have stabilized.