Being in Central Florida means you get to know a lot of Disney Cast Members. One thing that Disney has run lately is a Cast Preview of Rivers of Light at Animal Kingdom. The main idea is to test out the effects and get some feedback before showing to the public. The preview is not the full show and can change before showing to guests.
Yes this is old news to most of you, but the exciting part is that some don’t like the show. You may be thinking to yourself “they must be crusty and jaded Cast Members”. I can assure you this is not the case. The backgrounds of the Cast Members come from all over the park. Only two people share similar jobs, but none of them personally know each other. We spoke with them over the phone for about ten minutes each on what they thought about the show.
Four of the six Cast Members we talked to mentioned the music as something that goes very well with the show. Disney always does a good job with original scores, so it’s good to see that the new show delivers as well as the others. The other two had nothing bad to say about the music, but couldn’t remember much either.
The technology running the show is a lot more involved than it seems. We have floats that autonomously place themselves to line up with projections in perfect timing. “It’s something you just have to see because it looks so awesome.” Says one Cast Member who attended the second preview showing.
“It’s amazing that it works at all.” Said another cast member who works a little closer with technology at Disney.
So we know that it’s a technical achievement that is way ahead of other Disney shows. It was also mentioned that the water screens and projections have been greatly improved since The Jungle Book Alive with Magic ended.
Five people mentioned the story being weak. One person was actually confused by the show. “It seems like they had two elements and had to force a story around them.” The two elements are water and light. The light represents the life that water brings to the earth.
When asked about comfort; five of the six mentioned the benches being uncomfortable. The other cast member felt that they were on par with Fantasmic and it’s fine for the length of the show.
“I miss the explosions,” said another Cast Member. “Something about fireworks just makes Disney’s shows more Magical. I think this [show is] missing that element.” Of course Disney cites the use of fireworks in Animal Kingdom as being too scary to the animals. This might the case, but Hollywood Studios’ fireworks can be seen and heard clearly from inside the park.
Are the delays worth it? We’ll find out soon enough when Rivers of Light opens. It seems like the story is the biggest downside to the show. For those who love theme parks and technology; it seems like there is plenty to drool over even if not everything is on the surface. Four of the Cast Members recommended seeing it for sure. One recommended seeing it if you had already seen all the other shows; the last said to skip it.
Thanks to the six of you who shared your opinions. If anyone else has something to say you can email us at [email protected].