“a bug’s land” at Disney California Adventure – A Retrospective

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This week, we said goodbye to Disney California Adventure’s charming, yet sorely under appreciated “a bug’s land.” Tuesday, September 4, marked the end for this particular Pixar-themed area. Emotions run the gambit as we close the curtain on a delightful family gathering spot, making way for an altogether far more potentially thrilling Marvel-based land.

Love or remain mostly ambivalent regarding A Bug’s Life, the movie, and resulting DCA locale and attractions, though the enthusiasm currently surrounding Disney’s Marvel IP makes such a move essentially forgone. “a bug’s land” drew crowds. Children adored the theme and age-appropriate attractions. But, compare wait times with Guardian’s of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT since it opened and you will find there is, uh, no comparison.

Still, if you walked through “a bug’s land” on a day that wasn’t too busy, or too hot, and you weren’t struck by the comforting whimsy, then you need to spend more time being observant and intentionally appreciative. This is not a condemnation. This real estate had long become mostly a cut-through between BREAKOUT and Cars Land.

Like everything Disney, “a bug’s land” was for of all ages. Though many guests without children weren’t overly compelled to spend significant time here. A ride on Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train and a visit to “it’s tough to be a bug,” and you’ve essentially covered the highlights. Many will still remember it fondly, and will remain thankful for another collection of beloved Disney memories.

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Yesterday and Tomorrow

I am a sentimental individual, though begrudge Disney very little of its progress-minded decisiveness. I enjoyed exploring Bountiful Valley Farms, which first inhabited the area, but I wouldn’t surrender a square foot of Cars Land to bring it back. I already miss Heimlich, though will likely feel little guilt thoroughly enjoying the Avengers attraction that replaces it.

When something you love, or even enjoy a little bit, goes under the Imagineering knife, it’s natural to overreact. A few years back, simply enclosing a courtyard in New Orleans Square incited the passionate masses into a multi-day Twitter tirade. Again, it’s understandable. Disney is amassing a notable history. Their spirit of innovation, while an inarguable blessing, has produced some noteworthy disruptions. The removal of the Disneyland PeopleMover is the primary offense, and there have been others. Who doesn’t long for the Country Bear Jamboree? And, try mentioning Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat to a Walt Disney World Resort regular.

For decades, droves of Disneyland guests will mournfully belt out “Candy corn!” in our least convincing Heimlich voice every time we pass through its vacated space. I wonder how many of us can say with conviction we don’t enjoy Radiator Springs, Star Tours, or Splash Mountain, or that we wish the Monsters, Inc attraction had the Limousine overlay back.

Change comes at a price. Within a Disney park, where everything is arguably wonderful, anything that replaces anything else is going to have Mickey-Mouse sized shoes to fill, and a history to overcome. Consider your own feelings regarding the blasphemous Tower of Terror remodel. It’s hard to admit, but you’ve already kinda gotten over it, huh? How long do you think you will lament the absence of Francis’ Ladybug Boogie, especially in light of the amazing Avengers or Spider Man attraction that is slated to replace it?

Love Disney passionately. You are meant to. Do not fear the inevitable, unkind hands of time, as the Imagineers come for that ride you love because it has no line. And, yes, sometimes entire lands are soaked up into the squeegee of progress. It is an integral part of the nature of a business designed to captivate every living generation. Appreciate every lightning-bug lamp, and the cricket sounds in the background, while you have them. Maintain your nostalgic sentiments while remaining open to future developments. It is what Disney entertainment is all about, and is truly your best bet for getting the most out of the fantasy, today, yesterday and tomorrow.

Please visit and view the WDWNT “a bug’s land” video tribute.

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About the author

Christopher Schmidt

Christopher Schmidt is a former Disneyland Resort bartender and author of The Unofficial Walt Disney World Drinking Companion, The Unofficial Disneyland Drinking Companion, and The Complete Guide to runDisney - Disneyland Edition.
If it involves amusement, attractions, athletics, adventure, and responsible enjoyment of exotic libations, you will find Christopher in the middle of it, eager to tell you all about it.
Questions, topic ideas or improvements, and private correspondence? Drop me a message: [email protected]

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