The Rivers of Light show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom kicks off the start of evening hours at the park. Watch a video of this mesmerizing show. You can marvel at the beauty and harmony of all living things during this music-filled water and light show.

Rivers of Light at Disney World

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight…

Well, sorry to have to say this, but the words to that song are wrong. I know this because I saw the lions more active than I’ve ever seen them before while on the Kilimanjaro Safari – a safari that took place at night.

That’s right. At night.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park used to close each night, making it impossible to know what the animals were up to after all the people left. Well, not anymore. Since Memorial Day Weekend of 2016, it’s possible to experience Disney’s Animal Kingdom after dark.

A Game Changer for Animal Kingdom

This is a game changer for the park that I’ve always considered more a zoo than a theme park, not that that’s a bad thing, but very different from other Disney experiences.

Now, there’s a lot more entertainment packed into the park, including new attractions that will have you struggling with deciding where to spend your nights at Walt Disney World.

Disney's Rivers of Light

The gorgeous Rivers of Light show is packed with dramatic and beautiful images captured by the folks who make Disney Nature movies possible. It incorporates music, live performers and breathtaking animals projected onto water features over the Discovery lagoon, creating a great centerpiece for Animal Kingdom’s new ‘nighttime awakenings’ theme.

Rivers of Light Transforms Disney’s Animal Kingdom After Dark

Photo by Desiree Miller, FamilyFun Traveling Mom

The Tree of Life remains the focal point of the park, with a majestic transformation in the evenings. During several shows each night, as darkness sets in and beyond, the icon of the park will appear to ‘come to life’, revealing magical images and special effects in a show that will make this tree even more dramatic for many. You’ll recognize some of the animals from Disney’s Nature series, and others from Disney’s animated movies. It’s a relatively quick and impressive show.