Rivers of Light with Fast Pass

The first and only other time I saw Rivers of Light, the nighttime show held at Animal Kingdom, I did so from a seat in the reserved section provided by the Rivers of Light Dining Package.  Of the two available restaurant options for the package (Tiffins and Tusker House) my friends and I chose the less expensive Tusker House and had breakfast there, which was cheaper than lunch.  We each paid only about $5 more for the package than if eating breakfast there without the Rivers of Light package.  Note though that Tables in Wonderland is not accepted for the package but would give you a 20% discount if dining at Tusker House (or Tiffins) without the package.

In case you are unfamiliar with Rivers of Light, it is held each night in the park’s Discovery River lagoon, located between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest.  The show features water screens, fountains, lasers, music, boats, floats, and fire to show the colorful world of animals and nature.  Up until September 2018, it also included live performers.  

– Photo from my November 2017 trip –

These were two of the Shaman storytellers who performed in the audience.  There were also people performing on the sailboats previously.  These were all gone now.

So anyway, since I was seeing Rivers of Light by myself this time,  I decided to go the Fast Pass route for seeing the show.  Here’s a photo to show how the seating is divided…


The Rivers of Light amphitheater holds about 5,000 people, divided into 3 sections.  The Fast Pass reserve section (the largest of the three) was on the right (with an entrance located in Asia, across from Expedition Everest), Standby section on the far left (with an entrance in Dinoland), and then the middle is for the Dining Package guests, who enter across from the Finding Nemo theater).  While you can wait until about 30 minutes before the show begins to enter the amphitheater if you are Dining Package guests, I would recommend entering the Fast Pass section at least 1 hour prior to the show.  That’s when I entered, had my Magic Band scanned for the Fast Pass, and proceeded inside to choose a row and seat.  At this time the section was nearly half full.

An hour before show time, the Dining section had only a few people in the seats…

About a half hour before the show the Dining section was beginning to fill, but the Standby line had still not been allowed to enter from what I could tell…

The Fast Pass section, where I was seated, was pretty full by this time though.   I should note here that where I sat down initially was not exactly where I ended up by the time the show began because Castmembers have people moving down the row and filling in the gaps to allow for more people to be seated.  So keep this in mind when choosing your seat.

Then within a minute or two after the official show start time of 7:30, the floats began to enter…







The show lasted about 15 minutes.

So first off, I must say that I didn’t find there to be a big difference in the quality of the view between the Dining Package seats and the Fast Pass ones.  Both were good.  If you like the Tusker House character breakfast or lunch (I’m partial to the breakfast), then for only a few more dollars you can also get a guaranteed seat for the Rivers of Light show and save yourself about 30 minutes of sitting in your seat waiting for the show.  The 3-course meal plus non-alcoholic beverage for $68 (plus tax & gratuity) at Tiffins doesn’t seem like a bad deal to me either.  I’m actually considering doing the Tiffins dining package for my next trip, as I haven’t dined there since 2016.

Personally, I like this show.  I like the colors, the theme, and the music (while not as catchy as the other Disney shows) is nice.  I look forward to seeing it again on my trip this year, especially since they will soon be making changes to it.  However, there are those, including some of my friends, who were not impressed at all by Rivers of Light.  My advice though is to see it and decide for yourself if it’s a “Yea!” or a “Nay!”