A year ago, we booked a trip for the premiere of Rivers of Light. Unfortunately, Rivers of Light didn’t end up happening then, and it became a year of waiting for the show to debut. Rivers of Light was plagued with rumors after the delay (a sinking float? A broken GPS? The yeti from Everest haunting the show?), but the truth was, no one knew exactly what was going on. A shortened, more condensed version, debuted this month in The Animal Kingdom, to mixed reviews from the public. But, like always, we didn’t want to take other people’s opinions for it – we like to see things for ourselves, and form our own thoughts (if we had listened to the general public, we never would have fallen in love with The Country Bears).
We decided to book a dining package for Rivers of Light, to guarantee a great seat for the show, since Fast Passes were scarce, and we’d heard crazy stories of people climbing trees to try and see. Your options for a Rivers of Light dining package are Tusker House, and Tiffins. Both are GREAT restaurants (some of the best in-theme park dining, in our opinions), and it’s really not a bad deal for the price, to get the meal and the reserved seating. We chose Tusker House, since we hadn’t eaten there before, and had a fantastic experience. We highly recommend, if seeing the show is important to you, booking the dining package – the reserved seats for people with dining packages are front and center, so you’ll truly have the best view. Tusker House is your cheaper option, with breakfast costing $39 for adults, and $24 for children (or one dining credit on the dining plan), and lunch and dinner costing $52 for adults and $32 for children. Tiffins is a little more expensive, but still a great deal, at $67 for adults for lunch and dinner, and $26 for children.
I have a lot of feelings about Rivers of Light. It feels like the control panel from Pixar’s Inside Out, fighting over how I should feel about the show. Bottom line – it’s a visually stunning show. The whole thing is eye candy, from start to end. From the elaborate floats, to the beautiful boats, decked out with glowing lanterns, to the fountains with projections – the combined effect is absolutely gorgeous. I walked away from the show feeling nothing though. There wasn’t a point in it that I felt like I emotionally connected – and for me, that’s important. It’s what makes me watch Wishe’s time after time, or cry my way through World of Color. I feel like the emotional connection that Disney builds for guests is important. And maybe it’s just me, being built of stone, and heartless – someone else might walk away having a completely different experience. Rivers of Light was a one and done show for me, purely out of a matter of personal taste. The show is beautiful, and we recommend seeing it – but for us, we needed to connect emotionally, and we just didn’t.