8 Totally Cool Things about It’s Tough to Be a Bug at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney

Thanks to the magic of Disney, you can be anything you want to be when you visit the Walt Disney World Resort. Be a prince, a princess, a queen, a toy that feels and thinks or an Avatar on the back of a banshee. The list goes on. But did you know that you can be something altogether different when you visit Animal Kingdom? At Discovery Island, deep inside the Tree of Life, you are invited to become an honorary bug. That’s right—become a bug at the “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” attraction and see what life is like for these tiny creatures. Even though it sounds a little creepy, this attraction is a Guest favorite. Here are 8 reasons why.


8. It was a first for Disney World.

“It’s Tough to Be a Bug” debuted at Disney World six months before the feature film that inspired it—PIXAR’s A Bug’s Life. This was the first time an attraction ever opened before the film from which it drew its inspiration. It was also the first PIXAR-themed attraction to open at Disney World.

7. It was a first for Flik and Hopper.

Because A Bug’s Life had yet to be released in theaters, the first presentation of “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” for Guests at Animal Kingdom was also the first public appearance for Flik the ant and Hopper the grasshopper.

6. You’ll recognize names in the cast.

A few famous people lend their voices to this creepy crawly production. Andrew Stanton, a PIXAR film director, is the voice of Hopper. Cheech Marin is the voice of Chili, and Jason Alexander is the voice of Weevil Kneevil.


5. A meeting of the minds led to this attraction.

“It’s Tough to Be a Bug” was the result of a collaborative effort on the part of some brilliant Disney Imagineers and a senior entomologist at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Because the storyline for A Bug’s Life was in development, but not yet finished, the only two characters that were completely developed by PIXAR were Flik and Hopper. So Imagineers and an entomologist worked together to create the rest of the cast for the attraction. They further created the story about survival techniques for all kinds of bugs.

4. There are parody posters you’ll love!

As Guests wait for the doors of the Tree of Life Repertory Theater to open, they stand in a waiting area where they see some very interesting art on the walls—posters meant to look like advertisements for Broadway musicals. But when they get closer, they realize that those posters are for parodies of those musicals—Beauty and the Bees, Web Side Story, Little Shop of Hoppers, and My Fair Ladybug, among others. Leave it to those Imagineers to hide little touches all over an attraction—even in a waiting area!

3. Lots of technology is used in this production.

The “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” attraction is just one more example of Disney’s commitment to doing things well. Instead of the attraction being a boring film about how bugs survive on earth, it is a production that combines many techniques and pieces of technology to bring to life the story of bugs’ survival—you’ll even find yourself feeling sympathetic toward those creepy creatures. Audio-animatronics, 3D filming, theater lighting and other techniques are used to make the production one you’ll want to experience more than once!

2. Become a bug!

When Guests enter the theater for the show, they get to “become bugs” and see things from the perspective of a bug. As the presentation begins, Guests are asked to refrain from buzzing, stinging, pollinating or chirping. As the show continues, Guests get to feel a harmless version of acid spray, dodge the quills of a tarantula and even sample the stench of a stink bug—gross!

1. See carvings you don’t usually see!

As you make your way toward the Tree of Life Repertory Theater toward this attraction, you will get to see carvings in the Tree of Life that would be hard to see from any other vantage point, so bring your camera!

About Rebekah Tyndall Burkett

Rebekah grew up in Forney, Texas and lives just outside of Dallas. She’s been a Disney superfan since childhood, experiencing the magic at Walt Disney World for the first time at the age of 11. Journeys to Neverland are at least a yearly occurrence for her, her husband and her four children (the Fab Four). When they go to the parks, they stay in Florida for three weeks at a time. Rebekah loves exploring the history of the parks, the genius behind the Magic in the person of Walt Disney, and she is intrigued by all things Disney World and Disney Imagineering. When in the parks, Rebekah and her husband Scott make the most of their time by enjoying every minute with their Fab Four, by delving deeper into Walt’s vision for the parks and into the history behind the Walt Disney World Resort, and by photographing the many different types of architecture at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and on the World Showcase at EPCOT. When she’s not in the parks, Rebekah is excitedly setting travel dates and planning her family’s next adventure to their happy place deep within the Sunshine State. On breaks from planning her next trip, Rebekah is a writer, journalist and children’s author, penning children’s books about kids with special needs that she affectionately calls “believement-achievement” stories. Her hobbies include creative writing, paper crafting and interviewing Imagineers. She is also an advocate for Autism Awareness and for children with developmental disabilities of all kinds.