5. River of Light – Animal Kingdom
Originally planned to debut on Earth Day 2016, the opening may have been delayed, but the product was well worth the wait. Stationed in the Discovery Island Lagoon of Animal Kingdom, this show features dancing water fountains, pyrotechnics, projections, breathtaking floats, graceful performers, and an original score courtesy of Don Harper and Mark Mancina. Admittedly, Rivers of Light is more likely to appeal to fans of EPCOT’s Illuminations: Reflections of Earth as it features more of an abstract idea than a concrete storyline. As summarized by the show’s original tune, “We Are One”, the concept for this production celebrates the unity of mankind, animals, and all elements of Mother Nature. Rather than hitting its audience in the gut with high emotions, the show gracefully builds to its musical climax in a way that is both satisfying and powerful. Be warned though, the seating arena for this show is smaller than any other nightly WDW venue, so consider using a Fastpass+ if you want a guaranteed seat.
Photo Credit: Disney