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.

Touring Tips

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.

Most readers, however, loved the bugs, including this mom from Brentwood, Tennessee:

Comments from your readers make It's Tough to Be a Bug! sound worse than Stitch's Great Escape! It's not. It's intense, but mostly funny. The bugs are cartoonlike instead of realistic and icky, so I can't understand what all the fuss is about. Disney has conditioned us to think of rodents as cute, so kids think nothing of walking up to a mouse the size of a porta-john but go nuts over some cartoon bugs. Get a grip!

It's Tough to Be a Bug! Wait Times

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 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.

Special Comments

The theater is inside the tree.

Special Needs

Other Attractions in Discovery Island

Touring Plans with It's Tough to Be a Bug!

What is a Touring Plan?