Tree of Life

Pixie Dust Central:
Calling All Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park Fans!


I have something VERY exciting to share with you this month! You guys know how much I love my Disney Parks vacations and there is something new coming up next month that has me even more excited to head back.

Animal Kingdom Park has typically been a half-day park for our family even though we love to stroll kind of slowly when we make our way around. There really is a lot to see and do at this Park, it’s just that none of it takes a long time to experience. Another factor that comes into play with this Park is that it has closed rather early for as long as I can remember. There have never been any nighttime shows or experiences taking place here which usually meant that we would stay until the Park closed; typically around 5:00 or 6:00 p.m., then head to another Park or Resort for dinner.

Well, folks, that’s all about to change starting next month when Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park at Night starts!

At various times throughout the evening, the iconic Tree of Life will have flickering fireflies that magically appear and awaken the animals spirits that are carved into the tree’s trunk. You’ll want to be sure that you walk around the Discovery Island Trails during the daylight hours for a close-up view of the intricate detail in these gorgeous carvings. Something really cool about the Tree of Life that you may not know is that there is a theater housed inside of the root system where It’s Tough to be a Bug! is performed. This 8-minute, 3D movie and multimedia show stars Flik and Hopper from the Disney Pixar film A Bug’s Life along with a supporting cast of insects and arachnids who provide a surprising glimpse into the Animal Kingdom.

What I am most excited about is the new Rivers of Light which has been described as “A Story At Sundown Set Aglow.” After the sun sets, Guests will gather waterside for the majestic nighttime jewel, “Rivers of Light.” This illuminating musical experience celebrates the magic of animals and humans and the natural world with a blend of performers, floating lanterns and theatrical animal imagery.

On the natural stage of Discovery River, guests will marvel as a timeless custom comes to life before their eyes in a stirring performance. The ceremony begins with the arrival of a pair of mystical hosts, two complimentary forces who come to the river bearing gifts of light. They set out from the shore on elaborate lantern vessels, engaging in a dramatic dance of water and light to summon the animal spirits. With these storytellers as guides, the wonders of “Rivers of Light” unfold, building to a magnificent finale with bursts of light as animal images soar to the heavens– signifying the ancient belief that when animals passed from one world to another they danced in the sky and became beautiful rivers of light, according to Michael Jung, Creative Portfolio Director, Walt Disney Imagineering.

To create “Rivers of Light,” Imagineers and Disney Creative Entertainment partnered with experts including award-winning master designer Michael Curry, whose Disney Parks contributions include “Finding Nemo: The Musical” and “Disney Festival of Fantasy parade.” Film composer Don L. Harper created the soaring musical score for the nighttime show which also includes an original song by noted composer Mark Mancina. Disney also collaborated with the award-winning filmmakers at Disneynature to bring never-before-seen footage, telling dramatic and compelling stories from the animal world to the show.

Just talking about these incredible offerings makes me even more excited for my upcoming vacation in May! I can’t wait to have dinner in the Park and just stay there afterwards. The Park will no-doubt have an incredibly different vibe at night and I’m really looking forward to it! What’s your favorite thing about Animal Kingdom Park?