Disney is kicking off their #AwakenSummer campaign, where they fly in “media” and “Central Florida influencers” to write about all of the exciting things coming to Walt Disney World this summer. A super exciting thing is missing from their press release however.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

For the first time in its 18-year history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will debut new day-into-nighttime experiences that celebrate the magic of nature.

  • The park’s iconic Tree of Life will awaken each night amid a lively celebration of Discovery Island music and dance. Through stunning visuals, animal spirits appear and enchanted fireflies reveal stories of wonder as the tree morphs to showcase the magic of nature.
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris transitions to a new nighttime adventure in the extended orange glow of a setting sun. For the first time, hyenas and African wild dogs join the safari trail creature feature.
  • Hungry adventurers can have lunch or dinner at the new Tiffins signature restaurant on Discovery Island this summer. Guests seated in the restaurant’s travel-themed dining rooms or on the waterfront patio can sip libations and savor dishes featuring African, Asian and South American flavors.
  • Across the park, guests can experience wondrous new nighttime experiences and entertainment celebrating marvels in nature and enjoy long-time favorites such as Expedition Everest, DINOSAUR, Kali River Rapids and more – in a whole new light.

Notice anything missing? Rivers of Light, arguably one of the most exciting things that was supposed to come to Walt Disney World this summer, didn’t make the list.

Originally scheduled to debut this Friday, Rivers of Light was to be the foundation on which all other nighttime entertainment at Animal Kingdom was to be built around. It’s absence on the press release is concerning, and could be signaling a huge setback. Rumors point to the GPS wireless navigation system having major issues, and WDWNT is even saying they’ve heard that a flower barge has sunk to the bottom of the river.

We’ve been promised an update in mid to late-May from the Disney Parks Blog on the show. I hope we can get a solid idea of when, exactly, we can expect to see this show.


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