The Flik's Fun Fair section of a bug's land at Disney California Adventure is like a spectacular county fair for insects, complete with carnival rides inspired by the stars of Pixar's a bug's life and seemingly cobbled together by the bugs themselves.
Clockwise from the entrance, we first come to Flik's Flyers. Leave it to the inventive Flik to have come up with a contraption that allows average bugs (and us!) to fly. The details here are about as fun as they come, from the straws and No. 2 pencils to the sticks lashed together to form fences. The marquee is my favorite. It's a paper airplane, but I especially love details like the torn edge of the notebook paper, the graphic drawn in pen and the crumpled nose of the plane where it landed hard in the ground.
The ride itself is no less elaborate. Although you may have seen rides similar to this in other parks, it goes to show there's no such thing as "off the shelf" here. Guests fly around in makeshift balloons fashioned from leaves and sticks, with baskets of cookie boxes, packs of raisins and Chinese take-out containers. The center of the mechanism is even dressed out to look like a tub of whipped topping and an aluminum pie plate.
The rides at Flik's Fun Fair are certainly designed to be enjoyed by small children, but adults are missing out if they don't choose to try them out, too. Flik's Flyers is really fun, as is the next attraction around the bend, Francis' Ladybug Boogie. The marquee here is actually an old, cracked 45 RPM record. Those of the generation that would remember such things also get a kick out of the added detail of the plastic insert that allowed 45s to fit on the pin of a 33 RPM player.
Close observers may also notice that "Ladybug Boogie," the title of the ride, is listed as the song on the record, but it's the B side. Step into the queue for the attraction, and you'll find the A side track, entitled "He's No Lady." The ride itself takes guests on a spinning, figure 8 course in little cabs designed to resemble the ride's namesake, Francis.
A leaky garden hose and spigot sticking up in the middle of the land form the centerpiece for Princess Dot's Puddle Park. Fans of the film will recall Princess Dot as a spunky little kid, just the sort who would enjoy splashing around and cooling off in this water play area.
Under the giant umbrella that forms P.T. Flea's big top, guests can ride and speak gibberish along with those acrobatic pill bugs on Tuck and Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies.
A string of Christmas lights illuminates the underside of the umbrella, with crayons and chewed-through leaves pointing drivers in the right direction as a fleet of little bugs crawl, creep and crash their way around the course.
The final attraction in Flik's Fun Fair is Heimlich's Chew Chew Train, inspired by the caterpillar who loves to eat tasty treats. Even the sign for the attraction is tasty: A partially-eaten cupcake on a plastic fork, complete with a little paper decoration of Heimlich himself.
Here, we ride along with Heimlich on his quest for more of his favorite food, candy corns. Along the way, he chomps through an apple and a watermelon, where passengers even get squirted by the juice and can smell the aroma of the melon.
A trip through a box of Casey Jr. Animal Cookies brings even more delicious smells, but at the point of the box Heimlich is also presented with a choice. Signs point the way to either Candy Valley or Brussels Sprouts. Hmmmm. Which way do you think he turns?
Even though the Brussels Sprouts come with "gooey sauce" and are from Eat 'Em Up Yum brand, Heimlich can't resist the temptation of Candy Valley. Sure enough, that where he discovers delicious candy corn, and our journey with him comes to an end.