Creating the Costumes for Rivers of Light

Rivers of Light Storytellers

I share a lot Disney fashion finds from outside of the park. Whether they be from Etsy, Hot Topic, or Torrid – you know I always have you covered on the Disney fashion front. But in the past, I have overlooked the fashion and costumes that are featured all around Disney Parks. I’m here to remedy that situation with a closer look at the new costumes for the new nighttime show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Rivers of Light.

Irina Kruzhilina, a New York-based costume designer worked alongside Walt Disney Imagineering to create these wonderful works of art. Rivers of Light features four human characters including a pair of mystical storytellers and their students. As each pair enters the village amphitheaters, they make their way down to the water and onto elaborate boats.

The four elaborate costumes featured in the performance combine a total of 81 different embroidery motifs, 180 different fabrics, and more than 250 bead designs! Wow!


The two storytellers, Assema and Aditya, transcend both time and location throughout the show, so their costume inspiration draws on many different aspects including Native American, European, and Far Eastern cultures. If you look closely at their costumes, you may also notice that some beading appears to be crafted from stone and metal.


The intricate detail doesn’t stop there! The same costumes also feature modern glass work. Yet somehow, all of these different elements work together to enhance the story and design of Rivers of Light.


The costumes for the students, Ambu and Ketu are similar to the clothing of the storytellers, but with simpler elements of pants and sashes.

What do you think of the new costumes for Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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