Primeval Whirl, Stitch's Great Escape and Rivers of Light are now permanently closed

Jul 16, 2020 in "Primeval Whirl"

Posted: Thursday July 16, 2020 3:45pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

In a memo to Cast Members, Disney has today announced that Primeval Whirl, Stitch's Great Escape! and Rivers of Light are now permanently closed and will not reopen.

Stitch's Great Escape! at the Magic Kingdom has been mostly closed since late 2016, and was at one time strongly tipped to be replaced by a Wreck It Ralph attraction that did not ultimately get approval. The show's lobby area had been host to a Stitch meet and greet prior to the COVID-19 shutdown. Since the Magic Kingdom's reopening, Stitch has been appearing at the Rockettower Plaza Stage in a physically distanced setting.

Similarly, Primeval Whirl at Disney's Animal Kingdom has been closed for more than a year due to a series of technical and operational difficulties, alongside poor guest ratings.

Rivers of Light at Disney's Animal Kingdom opened with great excitement after a series of delays due to ground-breaking autonomous technology, but ultimately did not meet guest expectations. Budget cuts were made to the show last year, which saw the live performers removed, but this was not enough to save the show from cancellation.

No announcements of any plans for replacements have been made at this time, but with great uncertainty and budget constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be some-time before we hear more.

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TrainChasers16 days ago

12 of those lotus fountain barges (so 8 more) could put on a great show. I’d argue that 12 moving barges could do some stuff that the WOC infrustructe can’t. Really they just needed to triple the things that worked (12 fountains, 12 animal floats, 6 storyteller boats). That would have been a really nice show.

MansionButler8416 days ago

No idea but WoC was originally deemed impossible in that waterway.

mnelson316 days ago

@MansionButler84 Has there been any rumblings of what type of show, infrastructure wise, might replace RoL? Or is if likely going to reuse the same RoL barges and that giant failure of a water screen? I really want them to go the WoC route.

cjkeating29 days ago

Yes, the additional performers (and I think additional/large floats) were in the originally released concept art. I was also really gutted we never got the fog effects on the river like was shown in some teaser D23 footage. And don't even mention the 100 individual floating lanterns...

TrainChasers30 days ago

The Jungle Book Show had quite a few live performers which added quite a bit of energy to the show. Supposedly there were going to be many more live performers in Rivers of Light but they got cut.

MisterPenguin30 days ago

What happens at the end of the movie could be the beginning of a parade of animal life returning to the region. The dragon part could be the bookends of a animal-centric show.

CaptainAmerica30 days ago

A movie about dragons fits at least as well as a rollercoaster about yetis. If you've seen the finale at the end of the movie, it could actually make a pretty incredible nighttime show. But I'm skeptical of any "nighttime spectacular" being based on a single movie.

mnelson330 days ago

Regardless what they end up doing, DAK could use something once entertainment can resume. But unless there’s been secret construction going on their only options at this point would be to retract their decision on closing RoL, or give RoL a makeover. I’d rather have a Lion King overlay rather than Raya. Or better yet a show based on Lion King, Jungle Book, Avatar, Bugs, Zootopia, Raya, etc. Basically what should have been done in the first place with WoC infrastructure, or similar. It would likely be on par with HEA in terms of popularity if they had done that.

Brer Panther30 days ago

What does Raya have to do with animals or nature? Maybe if we actually got Beastly Kingdom, it could work, but as is, I'm a bit unsure... then again, the film DOES take place in Asia, doesn't it?

cookiee_munster30 days ago

TBF I have no issue with a Raya themed nighttime show at Animal Kingdom. It fits within the Eastern aesthetic and Sisu (The Dragon) has the associated power of water in the film. so it kind of fits. Plus, if they were to add other mystical creatures like other dragons or the phoenix and using other elements like fire I think it would make a pretty interesting show. The score James Newton Howard did for the film was also pretty top notch. I wouldn't mind hearing some of that in a nighttime show...

mnelson330 days ago

Wild guess that a RoL replacement will be next on WDWs agenda after the Harmonious? Needs to be what it should have been in the first place, which was a WoC type show. But I get it that would create challenges. Total guess but they would probably have to block off that section from the rest of the river and rebuild it. If that’s even possible. Or just go the route that they should have done at Epcot with a bunch of flat barges with fountains all over them, mist screens, flame throwers, etc.

mnelson330 days ago

Rather not lol. What worries me is I think @MansionButler84 commented awhile back that the soundtrack for Harmonious takes after this show... not exactly sure what he meant by that but I’m nervous lol.

marni197130 days ago

Alive with Magic was panned. There’d be a certain irony introducing a show about dragons into this park now wouldn’t there.