Magic Behind the Music: Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Discovery Island – It’s Tough To Be A Bug
As guests swarm into Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World, they can’t go far without seeing the grandeur and magnificence that is the Tree of Life at the heart of the park. What is not so apparent is that at the roots of that tree is a collection of bugs in their not-so-grand habitat, living in not-so magnificent circumstances which they show to you in a not-so-humble fashion.
“It’s Tough to be a Bug” was part of the original design of the Animal Kingdom theme park and opened with it on April 22, 1998. In fact, the idea of putting a 3-D show under the Tree of Life made the design of the Tree of Life a can of worms. How do you design a large tree that can also house a theater with a show for over 400 guests at a time? The answer was an oil rig! The large pipes of the rig can also support tremendous amounts of weight and provide a stable and large shelter for such a show. For the Imagineers, that was one part of the design process that wouldn’t be a fly in their ointment.
The real web weaving went into the show itself. Through a combination of 3-D effects and Audio-Animatronics©, Flik from “A Bug’s Life” brings fellow bugs on the stage and combines education with fun to show how important and unique bugs can be. Imagineers made sure the stink bug in the show was a real gas by regularly smelling actual stink bug odor to duplicate the scent for part of the show. In another part, the villain Hopper appears and terrorizes the guests with spiders, hornets, bug spray, and a giant fly swatter! Hopper, with his 6 limbs, wings, head, and eye movements, was the most intricate Audio-Animatronics© character to have been developed at that point in Disney history!
D-COT added the audio for this attraction to the Jukebox early in its history on May 12, 2009. Since then, it has been played 16,671 times! “It’s Tough to be a Bug!” has been around now for over 21 years. An attraction that has that kind of staying power with Disney must have guests all abuzz. An average rating of 4.6/5 with 34 votes on our Jukebox is a good indicator of that popularity. The crickets agree the show is a Favorite for 99 of our members and Supporters have added it to 10 Custom Playlists. Just listening to the show can be a lot of fun, but if you’re going to Walt Disney World and haven’t seen it yet, don’t beetle around the dung heap! Crawl on over and check it out!