It's Tough to be a Bug! show poster

Great Disney World Queues: It’s Tough to be a Bug!

It’s Tough to be a Bug is pure greatness. I’ll write about the show itself soon, but for now, know that it’s fun for parents and terrifying for children. That’s not hyperbole. Kids scream during this show, and they’re not happy screams. More on that later.

Unfortunately, this attraction will be closing at some point in the future, to be replaced by a Zootopia show. I’m not going to question this move until I’ve experienced the new feature, but I’ll always miss It’s Tough to be a Bug.

So before it leaves us, here’s my love letter to It’s Tough to be a Bug’s incredible queue.

Did you know that the original concept for Animal Kingdom’s iconic Tree of Life was for it to have a tunnel for guests to walk through, similar to Cinderella Castle? What Joe Rohde and the Imagineers came up with is so much better.

First up, you’ll notice the entrance signs look like they’ve been thrown together from natural materials, as if made by bugs. It’s perfect theming. And the best thing about the entrance sign — the stand-by wait time. It rarely goes above 10 minutes. Unless you’re visiting on Christmas or New Year’s or some other level 10 day, don’t bother using a Lightning Lane for this show.

It's Tough to be a Bug! entrance
It's Tough to be a Bug! entrance sign

The first part of the queue is a typical theme park path. The good stuff is coming up quickly, though.

It's Tough to be a Bug! queue
Tree of Life as seen from the It's Tough to be a Bug! queue

The Tree of Life is a recycled oil rig, turned upside down and wrapped in concrete. This baobab tree and its roots are home to over 300 animal carvings. It is Disney Imagineering at its finest. 1000 out of 5 stars.

It's Tough to be a Bug! queue

Animal carvings start to show up as you get closer to the Tree of Life. We usually have to admire these sculptures from afar. Being so close will give you a new appreciation for the love that went into creating this area of the park. And you’ll see the Tree from new perspectives. Take time to look up as you go deeper into the queue.

Tree of Life as seen from the It's Tough to be a Bug! queue
Animal carvings in the It's Tough to be a Bug! queue

I always have to remind myself that this is a queue. Honestly, the theming is on par with what you’ll see in the Journey of Water attraction in EPCOT.

It's Tough to be a Bug! queue
Animal carvings in the It's Tough to be a Bug! queue
Tree of Life as seen from the It's Tough to be a Bug! queue
It's Tough to be a Bug! queue

The show posters deserve your attention. These are beautifully crafted by the bugs, who obviously love dad jokes.

Weevil Kneevil poster from It's Tough to be a Bug!
Termite-ator poster from It's Tough to be a Bug!
Claire De Room poster from It's Tough to be a Bug!
Chili poster from It's Tough to be a Bug!
The Dung Brothers poster from It's Tough to be a Bug!
Animal carvings in the It's Tough to be a Bug! queue
Animal carvings in the It's Tough to be a Bug! queue

I love that so much detail was added to the tree roots. Imagineers could’ve taken a much simpler route, but creativity won out.

Animal carvings in the It's Tough to be a Bug! queue

Jane Goodall visited Animal Kingdom prior to its opening. Goodall, famous for her work with chimpanzees, asked if any chimpanzee carvings were included on the tree. There were none at the time, but Imagineers addressed that before opening by adding a large sculpture of David Greybeard near the theater entrance. Greybeard was a famous chimpanzee studied by Goodall. Jane visited the sculpture in 2006.

Chimpanzee carving in the It's Tough to be a Bug! queue

The subterranean pre-show area is the last step in the the Bug’s Life queue. It includes beautiful sculpting and lighting — the perfect end to the queue. Next up, all the screaming.

Underground lobby for It's Tough to be a Bug!
It's Tough to be a Bug! show poster

This attraction is skipped by so many Animal Kingdom guests, but it’s a must for us whenever we’re in the park. Do yourself a favor and enjoy the queue and one last show before it’s gone for good.

It’s Tough to be a Bug is fully accessible to guests requiring wheelchairs or ECVs.