Disney California Adventure
Bountiful Valley Farm
February 2001 - October 2011
The small gardens in Bountiful Valley Farm once contained seasonal crops (oranges, tomatoes, ragweed, etc.), demonstrating actual farming practices and the variety of California's contribution to agriculture. Crops were planted using modern equipment, picked and packaged by abused, underpaid migrant laborers, and used in overpriced restaurant food.
Today, the gardens are themed to characters from A Bug's Life. Each garden contains plants laid out in a pattern reminiscent of its character, and is home to actual insects. For example, Francis the ladybug's garden is composed of red and black plants appropriately arranged, all of which are crawling with aphids that serve as food for thousands of ladybugs. It is recommended that all guests -- particularly children, the elderly, and people who are not in good health -- not get too near Rosie's garden for obvious reasons.
A large modern tractor sits in the farm. Kids are welcome to climb in the cab and imagine that they're plowing the fields. Adults who want a more realistic experience can check out the vehicle's keys from the nearby tractor-themed outdoor vending cart and take the tractor for a little spin (insurance waiver and massive deposit required).
Bountiful Valley also has a small, complicated-looking water park. As part of the area's ecological theme, all water in this park is non-potable, and much of it is recycled farm runoff.
The Valley also has a small stage on which appears a variety of productions. At the time of this writing, The Ugly Bug Ball stage show (named for the unforgettable song in one of Disney's most popular classic films, Summer and Her Magically Ugly Bug) plays there daily, telling the story of a ball made of ugly bugs. Various farming and husbandry demonstrations have also been featured here, but most of them were judged too educational and have been eliminated.
Trivia: This portion of Disney California Adventure was paid for largely through the sale of caterpillars.
It's Tough to Eat a Bug!
A both entertaining and educational, It's Tough to Eat a Bug! is one of Disney California Adventure's premier attractions. The 3D film is accompanied by a variety of in-theater effects, including scents, stings, gigantic animatronic insects, and copious disturbing flavors.
The attraction may be a little intense for sensitive adults, but small children generally enjoy watching grownups' uncomfortable reactions as various grub and chitinous uglies describe how delicious they can be if properly prepared. Don't forget to stay until the very end and the rain of real fried earwigs!
Note that the attraction's original introduction, hosted by an animatronic John the Baptist (who once lived on locusts and honey), has been removed in response to several million letters of protest.
Early next year, It's Tough to Eat a Bug! will be renovated so that its exit empties directly into an appropriately themed candy shop and restaurant ("It's Tough to Eat Here!").
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