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  1. #1

    • Not the Hawkguy
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    Let's Talk About: A Bug's Land

    Almost 2 years ago, Disney unveiled Cars Land and Buena Vista Street, and ushered Disney's California Adventure into its 2.0 phase. So, 2 years later, I wanted to take a multi-part look at the park, its lands, its problems, its successes, and what can be one in the future.

    Previous threads: Grizzly Peak/Condor Flats, Paradise Pier, Cars Land

    This marks the halfway point of this particular series, and it's an interesting point to be at. A Bug's Land (which I'll probably just call Bugs Land from here on out) was part of the first expansion of DCA, along with Tower of Terror. Bugs Land itself was meant to address an issue with the original DCA - that it lacked rides for young children. Thus, to compensate, Disney took the land next to park original It's Tough To Be a Bug, and expanded the Bugs presence with 4 new rides and a water area.

    So did it work? Well, yes and no. Let's get into this and unravel the Bugs Land mystery.


    The Positives

    You know, Bugs Land probably doesn't get enough credit for theming. The original entranceway into Bugs Land helped establish a visual style for the rest of the land, by having guests walk through an opened cereal box that leads to the larger (literally) land beyond. There's a great sense of scale by blowing up normal objects to large proportions, with some clever results (in particular, I love Christmas time here with the oversized Christmas tree lights).

    It's Tough To Be a Bug has been in DCA since the beginning, and remains charming. The theater itself just received an upgrade for its projectors as part of the Maleficent preview recently taking residence.

    Of the rides in Bugs Land proper, both Heimlich's Chew Chew Train and Flik's Flyers appear to be the consensus top rides in the land, and for good reason. Both do a great job with theme and provide a unique spin on traditional carnival rides. For Flik's, the ride vehicles are dressed up as old food containers, and has the look of something built by bugs. Heimlich's is a hidden gem of an attraction, as guests took a standard train ride and plussed it by adding large food scenery and scents to accompany the ride. By all accounts, this ride could really be lengthened and no one would find fault with it.

    The Negatives

    Remember how I pointed out that Bugs Land brought 4 new rides and a water play area to the park? Notice how I only talked about two of the rides in the positive section? It's time to talk about the other two rides.

    Francis's Ladybug Boogie is....an interesting ride. It's a standard spinner similar to the Tea Cups found just across the Esplande. The problem here is the ride vehicle, where I guess you're spinning around inside Francis? Honestly, the biggest problem with this ride is how divorced it feels from the rest of the Flik's Fun Fair theme in the land. Tuck and Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies is a fine ride, but the core concept (bumper cars) feels more at home in Paradise Pier or Cars Land. The problem for it was that, at the time, Paradise Pier didn't have the room (as Maliboomer was still running) and Cars Land wasn't even on the drawing board.

    Now, as for the water play area, known as Princess Dot Puddle Park, the reason I have it down here in the negatives is more of a personal bias. Certainly the area is well themed with the large water spigots, but I'm just not a fan of water play areas. I find them gross. Can't really explain why. Maybe a better issue for this area is that it occupies some prime real estate right in the heart of the land, which I'll get to in a second.

    One big issue people find with the land (and comparisons calling it DCA's Fantasyland) is the lack of dark rides in a predominantly child-oriented area. I agree with this assessment, but more because DCA could use more dark rides in general, and Bugs Land could lose some rides to provide real estate for one.

    The other big issue here is ITTBAB. I know I said it's a fine show, but this has more to do with the overall problem of 3D and AA shows at the DLR. While the shows tend to be popular with guests who do see them, the problem is how few guests are actually taking the time to go see them. This is exacerbated by the large amount of APs that make up a large portion of the attending crowds, as they're less likely to attend these shows after a first viewing (I know I've personally been guilty of this for basically any show outside of Tiki Room). So for ITTBAB, it becomes harder and harder to justify the large parcel of land this show sits on compared to the ridership numbers.

    Is there room to expand?


    Bugs Land is one of three lands that could claim the expansion pad behind ToT, but of the three, Bugs Land is the least likely to expand. If anything, Bugs Land may remain the topic of expansion plans for Hollywood Lane by armchair Imagineers.

    The Possible Fixes

    And now, this armchair Imagineer is going to propose some fixes. First, we're getting rid of a few rides. Tuck and Roll is gone, with the bumper car ride getting moved to Paradise Pier with a retheme (it'd be an easy replacement for Jumpin Jellyfish along the water or at the Maliboomer expansion pad). Francis's is also gone, along with the Puddle Park. Oh, and one more thing gone in this area? The pathway between the water area and Tuck and Roll/Francis.

    Bugs Land gets a new entranceway from Cars Land, with a small ant tunnel built at the entrance to give a similar experience as the entrance from the spine currently does. The Hollywood Land entrance gets a spoof on the Santa Monica Pier sign to advertise Flik's Fun Fair.

    So, we now have real estate to build a new ride on. This would be the spot for a dark ride. In this case, I'd put in a ride similar to the Monster's Inc Ride and Go Seek attraction found in Tokyo, though in this case you're helping the ants (and carnival friends) find food for a large party. It's simple but highly interactive, with the queue and station taking the place of the water play area, and starting the ride outdoors before heading into the main show building.

    Now, for one other change: I'd suggest getting rid of ITTBAB. Here me out! There's a great theme at work here with the ant tunnels leading to the theater, and it's that theme that leads me to put a new E-ticket attraction here: Escape From Ant Mountain (name subject to change). The ride itself would be an indoor roller coaster with show elements. The story would lead guests into the tunnels, where Flik has built a new transport system through the tunnels. Show elements at the beginning of the ride would be similar to the Mummy and new Gringotts coaster, with the crickets showing up to cause trouble, leading to a high speed chase through the ant tunnels. And, like those coasters (and Big Grizzly Mountain in HKDL), the ride would go backwards after quick story segments. A FP distribution area could easily be set up in the small flex area in front of the entrance to Flik's Fun Fair, and the outside of the show building could be rethemed to look like an ant hill (with the top kept low enough so that it isn't seen from Buena Vista Street/Hollywood Land).

    Your Turn

    Now I invite you guys to share your thoughts on the Bugs Land area. Anything you'd like to see added or removed or fixed? Sound off below.

  2. #2

    • Nic
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    Re: Let's Talk About: A Bug's Land

    By putting the large E-ticket there, I feel as if it'd anchor Bug's Land forever. I love the land, but if they think of something ten years down the road that's better for that demographic, it'd be hard to justify getting rid of the land with the E-ticket there.
    Fear of the unknown.

    They are afraid of new ideas.

    They are loaded with prejudices, not based upon any reality, but based onÖ if something is new, I reject it immediately because itís frightening to me. What they do instead is just stay with the familiar.
    You know, to me, the most beautiful things in all the universe, are the most mysterious.











  3. #3

    • Not the Hawkguy
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    Re: Let's Talk About: A Bug's Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Chesire View Post
    By putting the large E-ticket there, I feel as if it'd anchor Bug's Land forever. I love the land, but if they think of something ten years down the road that's better for that demographic, it'd be hard to justify getting rid of the land with the E-ticket there.
    Yeah, I went into this operating under the assumption that Bugs Land won't be going away, and really it doesn't need to. Obviously, there are other options for the area, including replacing the entire land with something else, but putting a high-quality E-ticket to go along with an innovative, interactive C-ticket, should be more than enough to keep this land around for a long time.

  4. #4

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    Re: Let's Talk About: A Bug's Land

    I'd personally just get rid of a Bug's Land all together. I feel there's way too much of a Pixar presence in DCA that it's starting too seem a bit overwhelming. In it's place I'd put a black and white themed area. Centered around old mickey shorts! There would be a steamboat willie flume boat ride, a Mickey v. Pete roller coaster E-ticket, skeleton dance dark ride, etc. something that establishes the 1930's era way better.

  5. #5

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    Re: Let's Talk About: A Bug's Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Nirya View Post
    Francis's Ladybug Boogie is....an interesting ride. The problem here is the ride vehicle, where I guess you're spinning around inside Francis? Honestly, the biggest problem with this ride is how divorced it feels from the rest of the Flik's Fun Fair theme in the land.
    Isn't that the same thing as Heimlich's and Tuck & Roll's, where the vehicles are the actual bugs?

    I think A Bug's Land works perfectly fine for now. Not worth it to make any major updates or expansions. Down the line I think it should be used for a completely new land, with a large E-ticket show building going in that back corner parking lot.

  6. #6

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    Re: Let's Talk About: A Bug's Land

    How about a re-theme so that the land has at least SOMETHING to do with California? Anybody? Anybody?
    Disneyland Wooooh!

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  7. #7

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    Re: Let's Talk About: A Bug's Land

    There is room there for a two D tickets or one big new ride

    For me I'd rather them make rides people care about over the carnal rides

  8. #8

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    Re: Let's Talk About: A Bug's Land

    I love the ideas, including putting in an E ticket. My thing is perhaps something can go in that would be more on par with POTC, instead of a roller coaster.

  9. #9

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    Re: Let's Talk About: A Bug's Land

    See how people think about Disney now days. "Maybe in 10 or 20 years they might think about doing something with that space" ..... meanwhile over at Universal... Actually, do you ever wonder what Universal would do if they had control of the park? They'd at least have 2 more E-Ticket attractions and Bugs Land would probably be on the chopping block for something slightly more cutting edge than nicely designed carnival rides. Disney=Lowered Expectations.

  10. #10

    • Not the Hawkguy
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    Re: Let's Talk About: A Bug's Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Davidson View Post
    See how people think about Disney now days. "Maybe in 10 or 20 years they might think about doing something with that space" ..... meanwhile over at Universal... Actually, do you ever wonder what Universal would do if they had control of the park? They'd at least have 2 more E-Ticket attractions and Bugs Land would probably be on the chopping block for something slightly more cutting edge than nicely designed carnival rides. Disney=Lowered Expectations.
    Hi! The topic of this thread is an overall discussion of Bugs Land. Now, I can't force you to stay on topic instead of saying an incredibly dumb thing, but if you could maybe perhaps try to stick to the topic, I'd really appreciate it.

  11. #11

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    Re: Let's Talk About: A Bug's Land

    So I pass through Bugs Land every day I work in Cars Land and a couple of CMs at Racers, Luigi's, and Maters also know Fliks and Muppets/Bugs so I've gleaned some good information about Bugs Land.

    It's hard to have a conversation about Bugs Land without having a conversation about Hollywood Land. The Animation Academy building, Disney Jr., Tower of Terror, and the Red Car Trolley depot all box in Bugs Land in terms of expansion. You could squeeze a dark ride show building in an awkward configuration from Tuck and Roll to the parking lot behind Luigi's while dodging the trolley depot but this would be far from ideal. I'd have no problem taking away Disney Jr. and the Animation Academy building and using them for a Bugs Land expansion but that's probably more feasible for whatever eventually replaced Bugs Land.

    There's a frequent comparison of Luigi's to Tuck and Roll. Is there a need for both? Is there even a need for one? Tuck and Roll has several disadvantages to Luigi's. It has a 36'' height requirement rather than Luigi's 32''. Each bug can only hold 1 small adult and 1 small teenager/child comfortably while each tire at Luigi's can hold 2 average adults and 1 small teenager/child comfortably. Next, the restraints at Tuck and Roll are less flexible for larger guests than the restraints at Luigi's. The bugs also move much slower than the tires, especially if you know how to control your tire and get them going at full speed. Believe it or not, Tuck and Roll does have a couple advantages over Luigi's. Tuck and Roll requires fewer CMs to operate, partially due to the position of Flight Instructor at Luigi's. Even though Luigi's has more CMs collecting flags than Tuck and Roll, Tuck and Roll can load faster since CMs aren't required to make guest pull up on the lap bar restraint at Tuck and Roll. Luigi's, like any seat belt attraction, requires the CM to see every seat belt pulled on. Loading guests with disabilities is also much faster at Tuck and Roll since, unlike Luigi's, CMs don't have to move a bug to a special loading area before and after each cycle. Guest concerns about maneuverability are less frequent at Tuck and Roll since first time guests struggle with steering the tires far more than they struggle with steering those slow bugs. Another slight advantage Tuck and Roll has is that heavy rain won't cause a 101, unlike Luigi's where a large enough cloud of water hovering above the tires can obstruct a Console CM's vision enough to cause a 101. Personally I'd axe both Tuck and Roll and Luigi's and replace them with something better but claiming Tuck and Roll is just a low budget Luigi's is naive.

    Francis' Ladybug Boogie is often compared to Maters and Teacups so I'm going to list some advantages and disadvantages. Maters and Teacups are far more thrilling and better themed. Teacups has insane capacity/potential capacity that neither Maters nor Francis will ever be able to match. Francis is covered so that gives it a huge advantage over Teacups, which can't operate in the rain, and Maters, whose floor gets extremely hot in the summer. Francis and Teacups also have no height requirement or restraints, which are huge advantages over Maters. Francis and Teacups both only require 1 CM but due to different wheelchair loading procedures, Teacups will sometimes have a 2nd CM to help with wheelchairs, increasing labor costs. I mentioned this before but Francis probably holds the record for shortest queue distance of any attraction when you measure from the exit to where you board.

    It's getting late but I'll probably post some more observations/ideas about Bugs Land later.

  12. #12

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    Re: Let's Talk About: A Bug's Land

    I think Bugs' Land is good for what it is, a place for the little kiddies. And they deserve to have that place. I usually only go there for ITTBAB, cutting over to ToT, and the bathroom. I guess I feel not everything at DCA has to be 'for me'. But it does seem to be pretty 'underused' even by its intended audience.
    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

  13. #13

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    Re: Let's Talk About: A Bug's Land

    I've always felt like "A Bug's Life" wasn't the best movie to theme an entire section of DLCA around... Anyhow, my kids love it, and I feel the kiddos need their own spot.


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    Re: Let's Talk About: A Bug's Land

    Quote Originally Posted by cruise View Post
    How about a re-theme so that the land has at least SOMETHING to do with California? Anybody? Anybody?
    I partially agree... California has a lot of agriculture, so I guess the land if kind of connected to the theme? My idea to fix the land and complete the park is to create a new land. Now, how do you fix a land by adding a completely new land? Well, my proposed plan makes a bug's land smaller by getting rid of Francis' and Tuck and Roll (which are pretty bad kiddie rides) and makes up for the loss in kiddie rides by having kiddie rides in the new land.
    Name:  Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 12.50.00 PM.png
Views: 313
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    This is a map of DCA, and I have outlined in white the boundaries of this new land. The proposed land could have one of many California themes, such as The Gold Rush, The Pacific Coast Highway, a San Francisco themed area, etc. This space is large enough to house an amazing E-Ticket attraction and multiple kiddie rides. The land takes up all the current unused backstage area and also takes up the space where Tuck and Roll/Francis currently sit.

  15. #15

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    Re: Let's Talk About: A Bug's Land

    Quote Originally Posted by nerdycm View Post
    , unlike Luigi's where a large enough cloud of water hovering above the tires can obstruct a Console CM's vision enough to cause a 101.
    Safety aside, that sounds cool. I wish I could see that.
    Just sayin'

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