Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom was delayed for almost a year from it’s original opening date. The show suffered from technical issues as well as story issues and it is expected to be a short lived show.
The latest rumor points to a replacement coming to the show following the summer of 2020. That replacement is expected to feature Disney characters and potentially be fueled by the Jon Favreau live action remake of The Lion King or possibly Black Panther.
May 23, 2019: Rivers of Light: We Are One debuts May 24, 2019.
April 22, 2019: The Disney Parks Blog announced an update is coming to Rivers of Light called Rivers of Light: We Are One. Per the blog, the update will feature, “additional, stunning imagery and familiar animal characters from Disneynature films, along with a colorful tapestry of classic moments from Disney animation, to express our connection with animals and the emotions and milestones we all share in our journey through the great circle of life.”
The music will also be updated to include the original musical score of Rivers of Light and familiar Disney themes.
It new show debuts Memorial Day Weekend 2019.
March 6, 2018: On Episode #149 of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill discusses the possibility of Disney re-acquiring the Florida theme park rights for Black Panther and utilizing components from the movie as part of a new lagoon show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
March 19, 2017: On Episode 123 of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish Podcast with Jim Hill, Jim and Len discuss how a replacement is alreasy in the works for Rivers of Light. The goal is for the current show to be replaced following the summer of 2020, with a new show that will feature Disney characters. One possible tie in would be the Jon Favreu live action remake of The Lion King.
February 17, 2017: Rivers of Light debuts to guests.
December 1, 2016: On a premium episode of The Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish Podcast with Jim Hill, he mentioned that Bob Iger felt that Rivers of Light was not strong enough to be released to the public as a stand alone show. It is expected that it will debut in Summer 2017 with Avatar and potentially be replaced in several years with an updated show once the initial costs of Rivers of Light have been spread out over 3-4 years.