The “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” attraction at Discovery Island at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a family-friendly experience that’s great for all ages. It’s located inside the Tree of Life at the Tree of Life Repertory Theater. The attraction was an Opening Day experience at Animal Kingdom, and it’s the only attraction that offers a FastPass+ on Discovery Island (though you’ll almost never need one). Here are 8 more super cool things about this creepy attraction that will have you grossed out but loving every minute of it!
8. A giant animatronic grasshopper and a little blue ant too
Both Flik the Ant and Hopper the Grasshopper play roles in the “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” attraction. Both are audio-animatronic robots. Flik acts as the narrator and you can see him appear from a hole in the ceiling of the theater above the stage. At one point during the presentation, Hopper makes a sudden appearance to the right of the theater in a cloud of smoke. He is huge and his sudden appearance might startle you if you don’t know he’s coming. (But it’s still lots of fun!)
7. It’s based on “A Bug’s Life.”
The attraction opened on April 22, 1998—Opening Day at Animal Kingdom at Disney World. It was inspired by Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life” and features Flik the Ant and Hopper the Grasshopper. The attraction opened months before the feature film saw its theatrical release. It was the first attraction ever to open before the release of the film from which it drew its inspiration. It was also the first-ever Pixar-inspired attraction at Disney World.
6. It’s inside the Tree of Life.
The “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” attraction is the only experience inside the Tree of Life. Guests are invited to stroll around the outside of the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom any time of the day or evening and enjoy more than 300 intricate animal carvings around the structure. But if you want to go inside the tree, you’ll have to follow signs for this bug-themed attraction. As you make your way to the queue for the attraction, you’ll get to see insect carvings that you cannot see from simply walking around outside the huge Tree of Life.
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5. The movie posters inside the attraction are “punny.”
The inner walls of the queue for the attraction is decorated with movie posters showcasing famous films from days gone by—most you’ll recognize. But take a closer look at those posters, and you’ll see a Disney- and bug-themed twist on each one. The poster that looks like it’s for “Beauty and the Beast” is actually a poster for “Beauty and the Bees.” The “West Side Story” poster actually reads “Web Side Story.” Instead of “Little Shop of Horrors,” the poster is for “Little Shop of Hoppers.” And instead of “My Fair Lady,” the movie poster in the attraction queue reads “My Fair Ladybug.”
4. It’s a 3-D presentation.
Part of what makes this attraction fun is that it is presented in a 3-D format. When you first approach the queue for the experience, you’ll be invited to select a pair of 3-D glasses that look like bug eyes when you put them on. Although Flik and Hopper are animatronics, the rest of the presentation is on a screen in front of the audience and you’ll need those “bug eyes” to enjoy the experience to the fullest.
3. Spiders that fall from the ceiling
Well, maybe this isn’t a totally cool thing (does anyone really love spiders??), but the effect is interesting. After Hopper appears—in his usual “good humor”—a part of his presentation includes terrifying black widow spiders “falling” from the ceiling over Guests’ seats. If you’ve never seen it before, it might give you a jolt for a minute, and if you have seen it before, it’s fun to watch other Guests’ reactions to giant spiders descending down toward the audience below.
2. Special effects in the seats
If you’re uncomfortable with “surprises” in your seat (think effects in Mickey’s PhilharMagic at Magic Kingdom), be on your guard! Special effects at “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” include being “sprayed” by a poisonous bug and even experiencing a cloud of odor as the stink bug shows off his special survival skills. And no spoilers here, but hang on to your seat toward the end of the production as all the creepy crawly critters make their exit from the theater before you do!
1. It’s creepy, crawly and icky!
The bugs featured in the “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” attraction are creepy. They’re crawly. And they’re icky. But then again, aren’t those the hallmarks of being a bug? You’ll see animated 3-D versions of several kinds of insects, such as a Chilean Rose Tarantula, acorn weevils, a soldier termite and others.