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Disney’s Animal Kingdom is on a march to becoming a standout theme park amongst Walt Disney World’s offerings and in 2016 the Rivers of Light nighttime show will finally give guests a reason to stay at the theme park past sunset.  Preparations for the show are well underway and the work as we’ve mapped out before covers a massive footprint.  In the midst of Expedition Everest on the banks of Discovery River, the construction is literally changing the landscape of Animal Kingdom as the Walt Disney Company hopes it will likewise change the prospects for attendance and guest spending at the park.  All of this leading up to the tentpole addition of an Avatar themed land that replaces Camp Minnie-Mickey, that now thankfully rests in Disney history.  It is a lot of change for any theme park even one as large as Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the construction walls do detract from the park for the time-being, but there is little doubt that it will be worth it once the current set of projects are completed in a couple of years.

 

Rivers of Light Construction Late July 2015

Rivers of Light Construction Late July 2015

Rivers of Light Construction Late July 2015

 

The present is a more focused story that centers around the now terraced, expanded riverbanks of the Discovery River that will allow guests to view the nightly entertainment each night at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Elsewhere we see rock work that is taking shape around a new floating element that likely houses some of the show’s special effects. Details for the show itself are somewhat sparse but we expect the upcoming D23 Expo to provide some of the first major teasers for what the show will entail when it opens for guests next year.  So again we are asked to wait, at least now it’s getting easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel.