If you have been to Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, then you had to notice the amazing huge Tree of Life that takes center stage. The 140 foot tall, 50 foot wide tree is embossed with over 300 beautiful, intricate carvings of creatures. The tree features carvings of elephants, lions, monkey’s, bear, lemur as well as many other animals and it looms larger than life in the park. Many first timers to the parks aren’t aware, however, what the Tree of Life holds exactly. Nestled inside the tree, yes, I said INSIDE, is the show It’s Tough To Be a Bug. It’s Tough to Be a Bug is a nine minute show which is based off of the Disney Pixar feature film, A Bug’s Life, and stars Flik, the lovable, kind-hearted ant who is one of the main characters in A Bug’s Life. Flik has invited the humans, who are usually an enemy to insects, into the tree to experience life from a bug’s point of view.
When you first enter the Tree of Life, only a certain number of people can enter due to the size of the “waiting room”. You will be given special bug eye glasses, which are actually 3D glasses and sent to wait out in the waiting area for the next show to begin. I suggest you take the opportunity you have while you are waiting to look around the room you are in. There are several large posters on the wall that advertise movies in the bug world, and I think you’ll recognize a few titles that could be based off of our human movies.
When it’s time to enter the room where you will view the show, you need to make sure you stay with your party. As with many of these shows at Walt Disney World, guest tend to rush trying to grab the best seats, inadvertently separating you from your party if you aren’t careful. Never fear, it’s easy to find them again if you do get separated. As far as the best seating, I’ve been in every area of the viewing room, and I don’t believe I’ve had a bad experience or bad view in any part of it.
This is a show which features a combination of animatronics’ and a 3D short movie. The show begins with Flik popping out from the ceiling to hang upside down while welcoming the audience to the show and explaining that he wants humans and insects to be friends, not enemies, which is why he wants you to see things from an insects point of view. Flik will introduce you to a few of his bug friends and explain to you what their talents are. Keep in mind Disney’s knack for giving an audience an immersive experience. There will be scents and other surprises along the way for you to experience.
At this point, I will offer some tips for those of you who have small children who may be easily frightened. It’s Tough To Be a Bug is a very cute show aimed at sending a message to the audience that insects do serve a purpose in this world, and leaving them alone rather than harming them will benefit our earth greatly. There are a few parts that could very easily frighten a small child though. The first being Hopper, the evil grasshopper, who hates humans and sprays a giant can of spray into the audience (the spray being a version of bug spray that works on humans). The room becomes very foggy, and children can become scared because of lack of visibility. Another terrifying moment for the littles occurs when huge black widow spiders drop down from the ceiling. None of them actually touch the audience, but I have yet to go to a show when at least one child doesn’t become inconsolable and have to leave early. Because of this, my Disney Diva Tip for this show is to take the time before you take your child to watch It’s Tough To Be a Bug on YouTube. You know your child best and you will have a better understanding of whether or not this will be too much for your child to handle if you just take a few minutes before your trip and watch the show.
I actually love the show, and I do recommend you watch it at least once. We usually watch it each day we are at Animal Kingdom, but if it’s not possible each day, we do make sure to watch it at least once a trip. Just the walk through the root tunnels and into the Tree of Life is worth it to see all the beautiful animal carvings. If you feel your child may not enjoy the show, please don’t traumatize them by taking them anyway. If you really want to see it, perhaps arrange for another adult in your party to care for the child while you see the show. There are areas around the tree to view wild life, so the wait for you to see a nine minute show shouldn’t be too much of a hardship for them.
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