2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: It's Tough to be a Bug! at Disney's Animal Kingdom

February 5, 2010, 3:50 PM · Theme Park Insider readers have voted It's Tough to Be a Bug! in Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World as the seventh seed in the Best Movie or Animated Show bracket of the 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament.

It's Tough to Be a Bug! at Disney's Animal Kingdom

It's Tough to be a Bug is somewhat unique among movie-themed attractions in that it debuted before the film upon which it was based. It's Tough to be a Bug debuted with the rest of the Animal Kingdom park on April 22, 1998. But Pixar's "A Bug's Life," which supplied the characters for It's Tough to be a Bug, didn't appear in theaters until November of that year.

It's Tough to be a Bug was Disney's second "4-D," movie, following Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. Playing inside (okay, underneath) the park's iconic Tree of Life, the movie stars the ant Flik, who just wants to show everyone that insects should be people's friends. This being a 4-D flick, of course, that lesson is delivered along with a slew of bugs, gunk and other assorted items being chucked at the screen, along with other in-theater effects.

The show can frighten small kids, but ends sweetly. Fans credit the show for its gags, though others complain that the gags don't hold up after several viewings. It's Tough to be a Bug also now plays at Disney's California Adventure, where it anchors the A Bug's Land section of the park.

How do you think It's Tough to be a Big ranks among other theme park 3-D movies? Let's hear your thoughts, in the comments.

Replies (7)

February 5, 2010 at 4:16 PM · This is such an underrated attraction. It's a short show but every second of it is pure awesomness. The in theater effects also add much to the experience. Definitely in my top three in this category.
February 5, 2010 at 4:26 PM · 10-Perfection. Could be the greatest 3D attraction out there, a perfect example of cheeky theme park humor gone right.

The waits are short, the queue is beautiful, the gimmicks are clever, the effects are often amazing, the energy is high, the show is just the right length, and the laughs are genuine.

Unfortunately for children, the scares are, too. No other attraction is more deceptive than It's Tough to be a Bug, which seems like a fuzzy "sequel" to the movie (just like what Shrek 4-D is for Shrek). The combination of creepy insects, pitch-black darkness, "stings" (which genuinely hurt my mother), spiders, grubs, maggots, cockroaches, and the usual array of loud theater noises are overbearing for many youngsters.

Regardless, It's Tough retains the spirit of Pixar humor and creativity that is so prevalent in their movies. In fact, I'd go so far to say that this attraction, like Waterworld, is better than the movie, and an absolute must-see at Animal Kingdom.

February 5, 2010 at 4:58 PM · One of the better attractions of its type, imho. My kids never had a problem with it, although my wife did leap out of her seat when the creepy crawlies came out near the end of the show... It's Tough To Be A Bug gets bonus points for that memory!
February 6, 2010 at 2:28 AM · The 3-D holds up well even after 11 years or so, and the show is an entertaining mix of humor and scares. And don't forget Hopper, one of the best audio animatronics in all of WDW.

I rank this attraction in second place (after Mickey's PhilharMagic, of course) among 3D/4D theme park movies.

February 6, 2010 at 9:18 AM · I have gotta say one of my favorites out there as well. Its one of the few that gives me the creeps (no pun intended), even though I know exactly what is coming up. Its also the only 4D show I know that is partly educational. It really is a showcase of how bugs are important. I leave you with the closing song as an example:

We're Pollinators, We're pollinators:

If you like vegtables, fresh fruit, and flowers...Give thanks to us bugs for our marvelous powers, If it weren't for the fact that we liked the taste, you'd be out there wallowing in shoulder high waste; shoulder high waste. And if all bugs were wiped off the face of the planet, there'd soon be no humans around here to man it, the best thing about us, you can't live without us, so it's tough to be a buuuuuuuuuuug!

Perfection in my book!

February 6, 2010 at 9:20 AM · Never been to Animal Kingdom, but have visited California Adventure numerous times and seen this movie. Personally, I prefer the Muppets 3-D movie. The Bugs movie sends many kids out crying, and the storyline is not interesting enough for multiple viewings (although we seem to watch it every year). The Muppets stay more interesting as credited to the humor of the film and well-endearee characters that have charmed for multiple generations.

Special effects are good in both. Honey I Shrunk the Audience, is a tiring work that is thankfully, leaving Disneyland (for a temporary showing of Captain Eo!).

My two cents... : >

February 6, 2010 at 11:37 AM · It's one of the best 3D movies in any theme park anywhere. But definitely not the best-looking. If you ask me, that would be Shrek 4D. I'm guessing Shrek is digital and all the 3D movies at Disney are not?

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