Skip to Content

Rivers of Light, Stitch’s Great Escape and Primeval Whirl Closed Forever

We can’t say that no one saw this coming, but today Disney is officially closing three theme park attractions forever. The announcement came that Primeval Whirl and the nighttime spectacular Rivers of Light are officially closing for good in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and so is Stitch’s Great Escape in Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Rivers of Light Full Review

Disney confirmed the news of these three attractions today in a memo to Cast Members. The writing has been on the wall for Stitch’s Great Escape, and it was the least surprising of this news.

The Tomorrowland attraction has been closed for the better part of two years already and had been partially turned into a character meet. After the original rumors that Stitch’s was closing, photos even appeared online showing the Stitch animatronic getting torn out.

We don’t know why there was a such a long delay to hear the official news, but at least we know that Stitch is done for good.

That leads us Just this week we also found out that Primeval Whirl in Disney’s Animal Kingdom was removed from the park maps. Some readers suggested this was related to the reopening, and simply that Disney wasn’t going to be running all the attractions.

Well, now we know that is not the case and Primeval Whirl is never coming back.

The Dinoland coaster had a bad last 12 months as it was plagued with maintenance issues. Disney apparently decided it’s not in the long term plans of the park.

Primeval Whirl Animal Kingdom status

Lastly, Disney has announced that the nighttime spectacular Rivers of Light has also finished its run. The show debuted in 2017, but never lived up to its promising ideas from the beginning.

Despite using groundbreaking new technology, it was troubled by opening delays, and the show just never caught on with guests, being considered by many the worst nighttime spectacular in Disney World due to its lack of energy and no “pinch me” moments.

I guess we should have anticipated this too after the budget cuts last year when the live performers were removed.

Besides not being surprised by any of these announcements, we can’t say we are overly sad about this news either.

All three were widely considered among the worst attractions in Walt Disney World by fans. It’s not like the news of The Princess and the Frog taking over Splash Mountain, a ride which actually has millions of fans. It would be hard to find a handful of guests who will shed tears over this news.

The timing of the news makes sense for Rivers of Light. It’s been rumored that Disney never really was crazy about the show either and has always had plans for a replacement nighttime show in that spot.

Given the situation that Walt Disney World will probably not have nighttime spectaculars for the rest of the year and possibly into 2021, it might be a good time to start development on the new Animal Kingdom show.

Rivers of Light Live Streaming event

We honestly don’t know what they are going to do with the Primeval Whirl section of Dinoland U.S.A. Rumors have been stirring for years that Disney wants to eliminate the whole area, with an Indiana Jones-themed land as the leading candidate to take over that real estate.

However, due to the extreme lack of cash-flow at this time, we don’t think we’ll be getting any big announcements for a long time.

Most likely, that area will just sit empty for now until things stabilize over the next few years, and then Disney will make their move. Disney after all has announced they are making $900 million in budget cuts on current construction projects, so we doubt they would start up something this big right now.

Lastly, what can we say about Stitch? We have no idea what took so long as it’s been obvious he was never coming back to his Magic Kingdom home. This is another hot spot where multiple attraction ideas have been mentioned over the last few years.

Just like with Primeval Whirl though, don’t expect any announcements from Disney about what coming next. However, rest assured that Disney will eventually put another new attraction in that spot as it hold too valuable of a position, located right on the main walkway of Tomorrowland.

As soon as we hear more info we’ll let you know. Stay tuned…

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about Disney closing these three attractions…

  • Which one are you the most upset about?
  • What do you think should replace them?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

Is the New Mary Poppins Attraction Canceled in Epcot's UK Pavilion?
← Previous
Tangierine Cafe Closed in EPCOT's Morocco Pavilion
Next →

LT

Thursday 6th of August 2020

Love Primeval Whirl. Glad I got to ride it when I was there last year. But... they should now bulldoze that area and it’s depressing carnival midway feel. Too much asphalt. They could make much better use if that space.

Trish

Friday 24th of July 2020

We really liked the rivers of light show....sorry to see it go. We had reservations for Disney this summer, that we canceled because of Covid. With all of the changes, seriously considering not rebooking for another time ☹️

Sue

Friday 24th of July 2020

Not surprised about any of this. Rivers of Light was a one and done for me. Same or Stitch and the attraction that was there before. Hope the next one will be better! I’d like Dinoland to retain Dino theming. But more sophisticated. Primeval Whirl was an instant back adjustment !

Ernie

Friday 24th of July 2020

To replace Stitch, The Black Hole - Redux

?

Crystal

Friday 17th of July 2020

The Stitch’s Great Escape and Primeval Whirl I saw them closing from a long time ago, but Rivers of light surprised me, That show always gets a packed house and it's hard to get a fastpasses for it sometimes. I know it's not the best nighttime show but I liked it, so much that I purchased the soundtrack to the show the last time I was at Animal Kingdom. Stitch’s Great Escape and Primeval Whirl I will admit I did like them but I won't cry over them closing forever, plus I got video on my phone of them that I can watch. Rivers of Light though I might cry a little, but like I said I have the soundtrack and I did record it on my camcorder so I think I'll be ok. As for What do I think should replace them? Stitch’s Great Escape should be something from Wreck it Ralph themed maybe dark ride?? Primeval Whirl should be the Indiana Jones ride from Disneyland, and Rivers of Light maybe something like Fantasmic minus real fireworks maybe water projection fireworks but have real life characters on a stage in the middle of the lake or on water floats.

Serena

Thursday 23rd of July 2020

Maybe they can turn the area where primeval whirl is into something from Zootopia.