Animal KingdomThe Parks

8 Facts and Secrets About It’s Tough to Be a Bug

It’s Tough to Be a Bug really is a lot of fun.  It often gets forgotten about since there are more “thrilling” attractions and experiences in the park, but the show really is a great show that is done extremely well.  The ride also has a lot of really cool facts and stories behind the creation and details that make up the show.  Here are 8 fun facts and secrets about It’s Tough to Be a Bug:


8 – Michael Eisner came up with the idea for the attraction.

The construction for the tree of life was deep underway, and the Imagineers knew that they planned to have an attraction within the tree, but were having trouble coming up with the idea that would be cohesive with the park and the Tree of Life. This put a delay on getting started on the attraction. It was actually Michael Eisner who had the idea to base the attraction on bugs since the location was underground and within the roots of the tree. This was the start of the concept that became the attraction that we know and love today.

7 – The Bug’s Life characters were used before the movie was actually released in theaters.

After the decision was made to use bugs for the attraction, they then made the decision to use characters and concepts from the new Pixar movie that was in the works, A Bug’s Life. The movie still wasn’t released for another 2 months after the park opened, and the attraction debuted, but Flik and Hopper made their grand appearance to guests at this attraction before their on-screen debut in theaters.

6 – The attraction was an opening day attraction for Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom opened on Earth Day, April 22, 1998. This, of course, was no coincidence and was completely intentional on Disney’s part. It’s Tough to Be a Bug was one of the attractions that guests were able to enjoy on day 1 when the park opened, and it has remained a member of the attraction lineup ever since.

5 – The theater can hold a LOT of guests.

You may notice that attraction doesn’t usually have an incredibly long wait. This isn’t necessary because the attraction isn’t busy, it is because the theater can hold a lot of guests. The theater holds 430 guests at a time. The show is about 8 minutes long, so with load/unload time for the show, it runs approximately 6 times an hour, which means around 2,580 get to see the show each hour, and 20,640 guests can become honorary bugs over the course of an 8 hour day. This helps to keep the wait times down and give you a great place to cool off during your day at Animal Kingdom.


4 – There is a tribute to Jane Goodall.

Jane Goodall was a scientist that was brought in to help offer advice and feedback to the Imagineers during the construction of the park. She was famous for working with and studying chimpanzees. When she was looking around the development of the Tree of Life, she noticed that there were no chimpanzees incorporated in the tree. The Imagineers decided to add one of the chimpanzees she worked with to the tree just before you enter the lobby to the Tough to Be a Bug attraction. It is a great photo opportunity in the attraction queue, and you can read about Jane’s work with chimpanzees on the plaque in the area, too.

3 – Hopper is actually a really complex animatronic.

At the time Hopper was constructed, he was one of the most complex animatronics that Disney had ever built. He has a wide range of movements that was unique to his construction. His smooth, effortless movements make him appear extraordinarily lifelike and is thanks to the hard work and designs from the Imagineers. More complex animatronics have come since Hopper, but at the time he was built, he got to wear the crown for being the most complex.

2 – You may notice some famous voices.

Listen closely to the voices for bugs in the attraction. Chili, the spider who shoots his poisonous darts toward the audience, is the extremely notorious Cheech Marin. He is from the very famous Cheech and Chong, and his voice is extremely recognizable. He isn’t the only famous voice, either. Also, listen to Weevil Kneevil, the acorn weevil. He is voiced by Jason Alexander, who you are likely to recognize as George Costanza from Seinfeld. We love when Disney incorporates famous actors into the shows!

1 – Be sure you stay seated until the very end.

We know that guests are focused on getting to the next FastPass, dining reservation, character encounter, etc. but when the show is over, make sure you stay seated until the very end. You will get a fun little surprise if you do. The seat that you are sitting on has effects built in to make it feel like bugs are moving underneath you to get to the exit. It is a fun way to incorporate more sensory measures into the experience. If you are worried that your kids may be scared by this experience, then you may want to have them stand up right away so that they won’t experience the movement underneath them.

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


Christy Caby

Hi! I’m Christy, and I am a wife and mother of 2 young boys (ages 5 and 2). I first fell in love with Disney when my mom took me when I was a child. After that I proceeded to go to WDW for my senior trip with my friends, and I completed a year in the Disney College Program (working in merchandise at Mickey’s of Hollywood at Disney’s Hollywood Studios). I shared my love of Disney with my now husband and sucked him in. He proposed at Disney, we honeymooned at Disney, we started bringing our boys before they were born and then as early as 8 weeks old. We then continued to vacation to Walt Disney World 2-3 times per year. We decided that what makes more sense than just moving to Orlando so that we could live the Disney life and be here for all of our favorite events and seasons every year. That is exactly what we did! Now we are at the parks a couple times a week and go for most events and major holidays. We can’t get enough and get to experience Disney in a whole different way. I love to share this love and passion for all things Disney with the world and hope that I can help others appreciate the magic that Walt Disney World has to offer!
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