Description And Comments
The Tree of Life, apart from its size, is quite a work of art—we think it’s the most visually compelling structure in any Disney park. Although from afar it’s certainly magnificent and imposing, it’s not until you examine the tree at close range that you truly appreciate its rich detail. What appears to be ancient gnarled bark is, in fact, hundreds of carvings depicting all manner of wildlife, each integrated seamlessly into the trunk, roots, and limbs of the tree. New “roots” were added to the tree in 2015, including crocodile and ram’s head carvings. Look for these along the Discovery Island walkway to Africa, on the front left side of the tree.
In sharp contrast to the grandeur of the tree is the subject of the attraction housed within its trunk. Called It's Tough to Be a Bug!, this humorous 3-D presentation is about the difficulties of being a very small creature. Contrasting with the relatively serious tone of Disney's Animal Kingdom in general, It's Tough to Be a Bug! stands virtually alone in providing some much-needed levity and whimsy. The show is similar to Mickey's PhilharMagic at the Magic Kingdom in that it combines a 3-D film with an arsenal of tactile and visual special effects. We rate Bug as not to be missed.
It's Tough to Be a Bug is rarely crowded even on the busiest days. Go in the morning after Kilimanjaro Safaris, Kali River Rapids, Expedition Everest, and DINOSAUR. If you miss the Bug in the morning, try again in the late afternoon.
Note that It's Tough to Be a Bug! is very intense and the special effects will do a number on guests of all ages who are squeamish about insects. A mother of two from Williamsville, New York, shared this experience:
It’s Tough to Be a Bug! was my girls’ first Disney experience, and almost their last. The storyline was nebulous and difficult to follow—all they were aware of was the torture of sitting in a darkened theater being overrun with bugs. A constant stream of parents headed to the exits with terrorized children. Those who were left behind were screaming and crying as well. The 11-yearold refused to talk for 20 minutes after the fiasco, and the 3½-year-old wanted to go home—not back to the hotel, but home.
From a Louisville, Kentucky, family:
My 12-year-old-son and I were laughing at the comments made by concerned parents in the It’s Tough to Be a Bug! review, thinking it would be fun to watch families leave early with crying kids. And our particular show didn’t disappoint, even in ways beyond my expectation, for, as the show progressed, my son became eerily quiet. In fact, it was only a matter of time that I found him hunkering down underneath his seat for survival after he saw the bugs coming at him and “feeling” their presence. Needless to say, he ended up being a good sport, and we were able to put it behind him after spending several hours with the on-site child psychologist. (Just kidding!)
This chart shows you roughly how long you'll wait for It's Tough to Be a Bug! when you visit on a day with a given Disney's Animal Kingdom Crowd Level. The blue bars represent the average "peak" wait time (that is, how long the line will be at its busiest). The bottom and top black lines represent the range of peak wait times to expect (for you fellow nerds out there: it's the 5th percentile and 95th percentile of peak wait times). Please note that these are estimates, and for a better forecast for your travel dates, see It's Tough to Be a Bug! Wait Times.
- We rate this attraction as Not To Be Missed.
The theater is inside the tree.
- Reflective Captioning Available
- Assistive Listening Devices Available
- Audio Description Devices Available
- May Remain In Wheelchair/ECV
Other Attractions in Discovery Island
- Discovery Island Carnivale
- Discovery Island Sunset Serenatas
- Discovery Island Trails
- Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
- Viva Gaia Street Band
- Wilderness Explorers
Touring Plans with It's Tough to Be a Bug!
- Animal Kingdom One-Day Touring Plan for Parents with Small Children
- Animal Kingdom One-Day Touring Plan for Active Seniors
- Animal Kingdom One-Day Holiday Touring Plan for Active Seniors
- Animal Kingdom One-Day Holiday Touring Plan for Parents with Small Children
- Animal Kingdom One-Day Late Arrival Touring Plan for Parents with Small Children
- Animal Kingdom One-Day Late Arrival Touring Plan for Active Seniors
- Animal Kingdom Unofficial Guide One-Day Touring Plan (without Expedition Everest)
- Ultimate Touring Plan: Animal Kingdom
- Animal Kingdom Unofficial Guide One-Day Touring Plan
- One-Day Touring Plan for Tweens and Their Parents
- One-Day Happy Family Touring Plan
- See all Touring Plans...