Disney’s Animal Kingdom Premieres Rivers of Light: We Are One and New Tree of Life Awakenings

An updated version of the Rivers of Light nighttime show, along with a new segment of the Tree of Life Awakenings made their first appearance at Disney’s Animal Kingdom last night.

Rivers of Light: We Are One

Called Rivers of Light: We Are One, the updated show includes new imagery, familiar characters from Disneynature films, and moments from Disney animation that illustrate humankind’s connection with animals.

The tone of the show is unchanged, but it has added more Disney characters into the show, like scenes from The Lion King and Pocahontas. Musical themes from these films have been interwoven into the original score of Rivers of LIght.

The show still has the same floating fountains, and spectactular animal floats crossing the calm water.

In spite of the additions, the show still lasts about 15 minutes.

Rivers of Light: We Are One


Rivers of Light: We Are One

The Tree of Life Awakenings show, which features projections of familiar Disney and nature stories on the theme park’s icon, has also been updated a bit. It now includes a segment called “Simba’s Journey,” with images and music from The Lion King, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

Tree of Life Awakenings: Simba’s Journey
Tree of Life Awakenings: Simba’s Journey

This short show is performed multiple times each evening, and you can see it from almost anywhere standing in front of the Tree of Life. It’s well worth spending a few minutes before you leave the park to take in these lovely projections.

Tree of Life Awakenings: Simba’s Journey


Tree of Life Awakenings: Simba’s Journey

If you’ve never seen the Tree of Life Awakenings, be sure to check out our video below — it doesn’t have the latest Lion King additions, but will give you a good idea of what the show is like.


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Debra Martin Koma wrote about food, travel and lifestyle issues for a number of local and national publications before she fell in love with Walt Disney World on her first visit — when she was 34! She's returned to her Laughing Place more times than she can count in the ensuing years, and enthusiastically shares her passion with readers of AllEars.Net and AllEars®. Deb also co-authored (along with Deb Wills) PassPorter's Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line, a travel guide designed for all travelers to Walt Disney World who may require special attention, from special diets to mobility issues.

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One Reply to “Disney’s Animal Kingdom Premieres Rivers of Light: We Are One and New Tree of Life Awakenings”

  1. I’m so glad to see that they added some of their own IP. That is exactly what this show was missing. As it was, it was a one and done type show, but I think adding Disney characters to it, it will become another must see show before you leave the park. I think all of the closing shows should find a way to fit them in. It IS Walt Disney World.