Everything You Need to Know About It’s Tough to Be a Bug

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You’re going on vacation to Walt Disney World! The only problem? You’re not sure which attractions are right for you and your kiddos and you have questions. Which attractions are too intense for little ones? What rides do I really need a FastPass+ reservation for? What’s the disability access like for certain attractions? We’re answering all those questions and more in our Everything You Need to Know attraction series with today’s focus on It’s Tough to Be a Bug at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

What is It’s Tough to Be a Bug?

It’s Tough to Be a Bug is a 3-D/multi-sensory show starring Flik from Disney Pixar’s film A Bug’s Life. Through the use of a 3-D screen, audio-animatronics, and effects, Flik and other bugs attempt to demonstrate the importance of bugs, but also that it’s really tough to be one!

Where is It’s Tough to Be a Bug?

©Disney

It’s Tough to Be a Bug is located inside the base of the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

What is the History of It’s Tough to Be a Bug?

When creating Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there was an idea to place an attraction inside the Tree of Life, the park’s icon. It was decided a show would be produced based off of Disney Pixar’s A Bug’s Life which had yet to be released in theaters.

It’s Tough to Be a Bug and Disney’s Animal Kingdom park opened April 22, 1998 while “A Bug’s Life” wasn’t released in theaters until November 25, 1998. Fun Fact: Andrew Stanton, the director of Finding Nemo, voiced Hopper in the attraction in the place of Kevin Spacey.

Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort received it’s own It’s Tough to Be a Bug as part of its A Bug’s Land. However, the attraction closed in 2018 with the rest of the land to make way for the park’s Marvel-themed expansion.

What Do You Need to Know About the Queue for It’s Tough to Be a Bug?

(c) Disney

I personally love this queue and consider it one of Disney World’s best! Guests enter the queue from the bustling pathway around Discovery Island which then takes them to the base of the Tree of Life.

As guests follow the winding paths, they begin to feel small in comparison to the giant carved tree and its roots. It’s almost as if they’re the size of bugs? Guests eventually enter the base of the Tree of Life and into a holding room which looks like a tunnel dug by bugs! There’s even little mushrooms growing out of the walls serving as lights; and yes, even a giant dung ball. Here guests are given their 3-D bug glasses to become “honorary bugs.”

Throughout the trek to the Tree of Life, guests are treated to close-up views of the tree’s breathtaking animal carvings. Photographers will especially enjoy the perspective it supplies. There are also posters scattered throughout showcasing the different bug acts from the show. My favorites, however, are the posters of well-known shows but with an insect twist, such as Web Side Story and My Fair Ladybug!

What is the Theater Like for It’s Tough to Be a Bug?

(c) Disney

Like most Disney Park theaters, the theater for It’s Tough to Be a Bug accommodates a lot of guests and every seat offers a view of the stage and screen. The theater itself is especially cool in that it looks like an underground cavern constructed by bugs!

I should mention that this 3-D theater is unique in that the theater seats include effects which make guests feel like bugs are crawling behind them and under them!

What Do You Need to Know About the It’s Tough to Be a Bug Experience?

The show begins with Flik welcoming guests as honorary bugs to learn how tough it is to actually be a bug. Different bug acts take the stage, such as a tarantula which throws quills and a termite that sprays acid at the audience. An audio-animatronic Hopper soon makes an appearance, but with intentions to really teach humans a lesson. A can of bug spray sprays the audience and the theater goes dark. Guests feel poking sensations from the back of the seats to simulate the movement of bugs. Black widow spiders then descend from the ceiling.

Hopper is scared off thanks to a chameleon, and the show comes to an end with a musical number by several bugs. Right before guests stand to leave, an effect simulates the feeling of movement under foot which are also meant to be bugs leaving the theater.

It’s Tough to Be a Bug is intended to be humorous; and for a few guests, it succeeds. But for most guests, not so much. The problem is the show highlights the creepy crawliness of bugs and their scarier aspects instead of their endearing ones. Coupled with 3-D, darkness, and sensory effects, this show can be incredibly scary and upsetting for kids and adults!

The show spans about 9 minutes.

What Do You Need to Know About Accessibility for It’s Tough to Be a Bug?

Guests may remain in a wheelchair to experience It’s Tough to Be a Bug. Due to the nature of this attraction, guests with service animals should check with a Cast Member at the attraction for boarding information.

What Do You Need to Know About the Health and Safety Advisories for It’s Tough to Be a Bug?

Since It’s Tough to Be a Bug is a show, there are no height requirements or safety warnings. With that being said, guests should be aware of the intense sensory experiences, the simulated movement of bugs under guests’ feet and behind their back, as well as moments of darkness, fog, 3-D effects, and loud sounds. It’s by no means a relaxing experience. Be sure to know what the kids and members in your group can handle before experiencing It’s Tough to Be a Bug.

What are the Height Restrictions for It’s Tough to Be a Bug?

There are no height restrictions for It’s Tough to Be a Bug.

What Do You Need to Know About FastPass+ for It’s Tough to Be a Bug?

It’s Tough to Be a Bug offers FastPass+ reservations. Although, using FastPass+ for most shows at Walt Disney World is often a waste. Most of the time, the only waiting required for a show is waiting for the next show to start as Disney Park theaters accommodate large crowds and offer multiple showings throughout the day.

So save those FastPass+ reservations for a ride and check out It’s Tough to Be a Bug when you need to fill time.

Does Weather Affect It’s Tough to Be a Bug

A June storm pops over World Drive as a rainy afternoon gets started.This attraction is indoors and out of the elements so weather shouldn’t be an issue. Unless the queue is extended outside of the building, guests waiting to ride will be out in the weather as well.

What’s the Best Time of Day to Experience It’s Tough to Be a Bug?

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.

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.

Did I answer all of your questions about It’s Tough to Be a Bug? Is this attraction at the top of your family’s vacation to-do list? Let us know in the comments.

Savannah Sanders

Savannah has been visiting Disney World since she was a year old and has gone back almost every year since. In the real world, she teaches high school history and government and enjoys writing about all things Disney. Savannah can be reached on Twitter @DisneyParkSavvy.

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