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It's Tough to be a Bug Ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom takes guests on a 3D journey through bugs' world. While many people enjoy the ride, it can also be quite overwhelming for some visitors, particularly young children and those with a fear of bugs. They use cool special effects like loud noises, sudden movements, and even bugs crawling under your seat. You'll feel like you're right in the middle of a bug's world.
You'll see ants marching in formation, spiders spinning webs, and even termites munching on wood. It's a real adventure. But fear not; it's not for the faint of heart. You might feel like bugs are crawling all over you but don't worry; it's just an illusion. Just keep your arms and legs inside, and don't freak out if you feel like bugs are crawling on you!
Part Of Disney's Animal Kingdom Attraction
“It's Tough to be a Bug!” is a 9-min 3D film. It's based on the 1998 animated Disney Pixar film, A Bug's Life. The Bug's Life theater is located inside the Tree of Life at Walt Disney World, and the show is hosted by the movie's main character Flik. This was the first Pixar attraction to open up in a Disney park. The attraction was introduced to the guests on April 22, 1998, at Walt Disney World. It was seven months before the actual feature debuted in theaters on November 20, 1998.
The second version of the attraction debuted at Disney California Adventure on February 08, 2001. Still, it didn't last long and was replaced by Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure based on Marvel Cinematic Universe. At Disney California Adventure, the Bug's Life Theater was located in the Bug's Land. To get to the attraction, the queue passed an Ant Island before heading underground, where the queue appeared the same as it did at the Animal Kingdom.
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The Tree Of Life – Discovery Island
The attraction is located in the iconic Tree Of Life of the Animal Kingdom in the Discovery Island area. Many of the visitors love the concept, and the attraction is also mentioned in a Disney Parks blog.
Like the Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, the Tree Of Life holds a special place in Disney's Animal Kingdom. It all started after a tiny ant wished for the Tree to grow and shelter all the animals. Later on, it became a 145 feet tall Tree on Discovery Island, representing the bug animal kingdom.
Like other Disney parks, the Tree Of Life symbolizes peace and harmony among all the animals. It plays a critical role in glorifying the beauty of Discovery Island in Walt Disney World.
Photogenic Queue And Pre Show Of It's Tough To Be A Bug Ride
The theater is located inside the Tree of Life. Visitors must follow a queue to get to the attraction. The deeper you go into it, the queue winds around the Tree, where you can glimpse animal carvings up close. These carvings are visible from other vantage points.
At the Pre-show in the lobby, there are posters of various bug acts from all insect parodies, such as My Fair Ladybug, Little Shop of Hoppers, Web Side Story (a parody of West Side Story), and Beauty And The Bees. The lobby music overture consists of insect renditions of Broadway musicals.
Due to the nature of the experience, guests with service animals should check with a cast member first at the attraction before boarding. There are complimentary language translation devices accessible to guests that can translate the show into French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, or Spanish.
Seating Arrangement For The Guests
The pre-show waiting area is air-conditioned with dim theater lighting. In the waiting area, you'll receive Bug Eyes (3D glasses) for the show. After that, cast members will guide you to your seats in the theater rows. These hard benches with a back have special effects to give you a real feel of the show.
If you are in a wheelchair, you can choose to experience the show on that instead of transferring to the seat to avoid special effects. If you wish to experience these effects, you can leave your wheelchair or ECV at the back of the theater and enjoy the fun.
Caution: The attraction has 3D and 4D effects and might not be suitable for children or anyone who is claustrophobic or have a fear of insects. Make sure you tell a cast member that you might need to leave early, and they'll find you a seat that's close to the door so you can exit safely without any disturbance.
Production Of It's Tough To Be A Bug Ride
Before the opening of Disney parks, Disney Imagineers decided to put a show inside the iconic Tree of Life. They weren't able to find the ideal concept until the Disney CEO suggested a collab with the upcoming Pixar film, A Bug's Life.
The Disney special effects teams and creative team developed the story for the attraction based on the movie's main characters. They included everything from the animatronic characters' visual effects to the movie's audio description. They transformed the movie into a magically digital experience.
Michael Eisner shaped the Walt Disney World in such a way that it became a living dream for everyone. Disney World now has several franchises, from Marvel Cinematic Universe to the Star Wars franchise, to keep its guests coming back for more memories.
Inspired By “A Bug's Life”
The 9-min audio-animatronic form of the film is inspired by the Pixar film, A Bug's Life. The story revolves around Flik, the movie's main character and our hero. He tells how it is tough to be a bug and the daily problems they have to deal with.
He further discusses that humans shouldn't be afraid of them and how they keep us safe from some unseen dangers. There film not only has characters from “A Bug's Life” but also from other movies, such as “Hello Dung Lovers” (a parody of “Hello Young Lovers”) and “Web Side Story” (a parody of “West Side Story”).
Overall, it's a memorable experience that every visitor must try at least once to see the wonderful world of insects created by Disney Imagineers. The adventures of this stink bug will change your perspective about how you see insects.
Tips To Enjoy It's Tough To Be A Bug Ride
Following are some helpful tips to keep in mind that might benefit you on your trip to Disney World.
You can save this attraction for midday when you need to cool off, as there is a consistently short wait.
Try to watch A Bug's Life before you go to “It's Tough To Be A Bug” to enjoy the attraction better.
As this attraction has some advanced 3D effects, you should think twice about your seating arrangements. If you are with your children, sitting at the back of the theater would be advisable for you.
Remember to pack your camera when coming to this attraction. Although you are not allowed to use it inside the theater, the queue you'll be passing through will give you a close-up view of the animal carvings that you can capture clearly.
You can meet the show's real stars after a few minutes when it's over. The Kids Discovery Club is located right outside the attraction, where you can take your little ones to discover the Animal Kingdom.
POV Of A Stink Bug – Storyline
When the show starts, Flik (the show's host), in an audio-animatronic form, emerges from the hole in the ceiling. He welcomes the guests and asks them to put on their bug eyes (3D glasses). Flik then appears on the screen to present his first act, along with a pair of acorn weevils and a Mexican red knee tarantula named Chilli. The act shows that Chilli shoots the acorn weevils from a slingshot, and the other bugs chase to catch them. The shooting of those slingshots triggers the hidden air cannons in the theater, giving the honorary bugs (audience) a realistic feel.
The second act is about a Soldier termite who guards his land by spraying acid on intruders. A “Termite-Nator” is shown shooting at the taunting flees trying to intrude into its space. The shooting of acid sprays triggers hidden water sprayers in the theaters, but Flik, unfortunately, runs out of the spray and leaves. He then reappears on the screen to ensure the audience is not allergic to acid. The next act that comes up is named Claire De Room. A stinkbug walks onto the stage where the acorn weevils have placed a flower. He crashes into it in a way that the flower moves toward the audience. Claire De Room then passes a disgusting gas that affects both the Weevil and the audience. The smell is released from the hidden smell cannons.
Hopper The Grasshopper Enters The Scene
After a while, there is an explosion at “It's Tough To Be A Bug Ride,” and a grasshopper named Hopper appears on the screen. He appears to be the villain in this show. He orders a stag beetle to chase Flik, and four wasps hold up an advertising flyer for “Knock 'em dead.” The wasps turn down the ad and use it as a makeshift movie screen to show movie clips from old monster movies featuring giant bugs from various Disney book group movies.
Hopper doesn't stop there! He wants humans to have the taste of their own medicine and declares war on the audience. The screen goes black as a hand appears with a can of bug spray and sprays on the audience, triggering the hidden fog machine above the screen. A piece of rubber tubing pokes guests in the back to make it look like a Hornet's sting. Some black widow spiders also go up and down in the theater to scare the audience. Just then, a chameleon appears on the screen and tries to eat him, but Hopper manages to fly away.
After the screams of the guests set down, Flik appears on the screen claiming that he forgot to mention the reptiles that helped us from the grasshopper. Bees, Dung brothers, and other bugs sing about how they helped humans and how tough it is to be a bug. The Dung brothers join Flik in the song as the show wraps up. An announcer then asks the guests to pick up their personal belongings so that insects like beetles, maggots, and cockroach line up and exit safely before the humans do. You can feel the movement beneath your seats as the bugs start to talk all at once before they exit the theater.
Additional Cautions For It's Tough To Be A Bug Ride
Since the attraction has several sensory effects, people with lower back problems should be aware of the bug sting. An item pokes into your back from the back of your theater chair. It is actually a release of pressurized air. Some people might enjoy it, but people with back pain will find it uncomfortable. You can ask a Cast Member to help you with this issue.
At the end of the show, when Flik asks the audience to remain seated and let the crawlers leave first, you will feel a series of small pokes to make it look like the insects are leaving. You can feel the movement of insects while you remain seated in your chair.
Other effects like water sprays, fog, and wind effects are harmless to humans. The audience will be told that it's actually acid that is sprayed to fight the bugs, but there is no need to worry, as it's just water.
During the show, some giant black widow spiders come down from the ceiling to scare the audience but never really make it down to you. It might seem scary and may be sensitive for children, but it does no harm whatsoever.
The place of your seat also plays an important role in the show. If you are at the front, you'll be affected more than the person sitting at the back of the theater, experiencing very little sensory effects.
The lights in the theater are flickering and pulsating, so if you have a condition, be sure to let a cast member know about it before you board.
The celebrated composer Bruce Broughton composed, conducted, and orchestrated the show's score, while Wilkins carefully arranged and produced much of the queue music. The queue features parodies or unique renditions of songs from some of the most famous Broadway shows using bug sounds.
Some Fun Facts About It's Tough To Be A Bug Ride
Here are some fun facts regarding the attraction:
The attraction opened on April 22, 1998, and has been functional since then, completing 25 years this month.
Science has identified over 1,032,000 animal species, of which 750,000 are insects.
“A Bug's Life,” a Disney/Pixar production, was the first widescreen computer-animated film.
This is the only attraction that opened at Walt Disney World before its original release in theaters.
The Tree Of Life holds a 430-seater theater in its basement, where this attraction is located!
Is there any height or age restriction?
There is no height requirement for the attraction, but due to its nature, kids under the age of 7 must be accompanied by an adult of age 14 or older.
What is the best age for Disney World?
Where was It's Tough to Be a Bug Ride opened first?
“It's Tough to Be a Bug” opened in Safari Village instead of Discovery Island in the first year. The island in Bay Lake, opposite Disney's Contemporary Resort, formerly known as Discovery Island, featured animal interactions from 1974 to 1999.
What replaced Bug's life at California Adventure?
In 2018, Disney closed Bug's Land permanently and allotted the place for Avengers Campus. It was previously occupied by “Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure” from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What are the showtimes of the attraction?
The showtimes of the attraction are the same as Disney's Animal Kingdom. The Disney park opens at 8 am and closes at 8 pm. The show is available after every 12 – 13 mins wait.