Episode-140-Universal-Studios-Trip-Review

140: Universal Studios Hollywood Review

 

Megan & Kris took a trip to the “Dark Side.” We visited Universal Studios Hollywood and had a blast! (Don’t tell Mickey Mouse.)

Listen as we talk about our first experience there after 20 years and our children’s first visit.

 

Trip Review of Universal Studios Hollywood

In this trip review of Universal Studios Hollywood, we touch on the following topics:

 

Preparation

We pretty much prepared for this the same way we prepare for our Disneyland trips. We packed our lunch and snacks and everything else we thought we’d need. We should have packed a change of clothes for Kit though…

 

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

We were in complete awe! This place is amazing and all-encompassing down to the smallest detail. We can see how it’s giving The Mouse a run for its money. And teh butterbeer is so delicious!

 

Olivander’s Wand Shop

Ginny got to participate in this experience and got to have a wand “pick her.” We were a little apprehensive when she was singled out since she has a condition called selective mutism, but she did very well and the Wand Maker was very good with her even though she couldn’t talk.

 

Back Lot Tram Ride

This has changed a lot since we visited last and it’s definitely not kid-friendly. The King Kong and Fast & Furious portions were terrifying for our kids, and Kit said, “I never want to go on that again.”

 

Animal Actors Show

We actually visited this show twice. It was a very fun and educational show involving trained animals. Very family friendly and had some wonderfully humorous moments.

We mentioned how Megan’s sister, Rachel, trains dogs and actually uses dogs to herd sheep. Check out this video on what she does! It’s very interesting.

 

 

Super Silly Fun Land

We mainly visited the playground and water play area which we weren’t prepared for. Kit got drenched and we had to figure out what to do with him.

 

Waterworld Show

We loved this show, especially Teddy and Kit. It was a great stunt show with action on the water and some fun surprises.

 

Final Thoughts

This park isn’t really a place for families with young children. There’s really not very much that young kids can do, ride-wise, other than the Dumbo-style ride in Super Silly Fun Land. It’s better to visit when your kids are a little older. It’s more aimed at teens, tweens, and young adults.

Our favorite things were the shows we experienced and how they handle their rider swap. In fact, if Disneyland adopted this method, it’d be a lot better for families.

 

Conversations with Kit

Kit talks about how he liked the trip to Universal Studios Hollywood.

 

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Visiting Disneyland & Disney World with Kids — Go Mouse Scouts

 

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Email us at fun [at] gomousescouts [dot] com, find us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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Planning a Disney Vacation?

Are you planning a Disney vacation? Let us help you out! We’ve teamed up with Goldgell Getaways and they can help you with all of your planning details and since they’re paid by Disney, they can do it at no additional cost to you!
Their amazing agents will work with you directly to make sure you’re getting the best rates possible on lodging and admission, and will even keep their eyes peeled for other discounts or bonuses to add to your trip as they come up!
There’s just so much to consider when planning a vacation to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or even a Disney cruise. Let Goldgell Getaways take care of it for you so you can know for sure that nothing will get missed and you’ll have a wonderful, magical trip!
Plus, if you book a trip to Disneyland, you’re entitled to a free digital copy of our Guide to Visiting Disneyland with Young Kids!
For a free, no-obligation quote, visit www.gomousescouts.com/quote, and have fun on your trip!

 

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Episode-138-Maximizing-Time-Disneyland

138: Maximizing Your Time at Disneyland on a Crowded Day

 

Megan & Kris talk about how to maximize your time at Disneyland during a crowded day!

Also, we’re trying out a new format for our show. Starting with this episode, we’re going to be combining the park tips and conversations with Kit into one episode and release those once per week. The reason for this is to attempt to cut back on the amount of work it takes to put out an episode. I talk more about it at the top of the show. If you like this change or have any other suggestions, please drop us a line and let us know!

 

How to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland

Have a plan, but be flexible.

You don’t want to just “wing it” when visiting Disneyland. We each pick our “must do’s” for the day and make those our priority. You also want to make sure to be flexible. It may be that somebody’s “must do” is closed, or maybe minds are changed. Your plans aren’t set in stone, so be prepared to change things up.

 

Start early, stay late

Do as much as you can before everyone gets there and after everyone leaves. Try to get to the parks before Rope Drop and/or stay late. If the park opens at 8:00 am, you usually have a few hours before the big crowds arrive to get in as much as you can. We’re frequently able to hit five or six attractions before 11. Crowds will usually start thinning too around 10 pm if you can wait them out.

Also, consider doing attractions that have long lines in the sun early when it’s cooler. Peter Pan, for example, has wait times of 45–50 minutes with a good portion of the queue out in the sun. Don’t blame us if you get heat stroke while waiting for Peter Pan.

 

Use FASTPASS

Use FASTPASSes on popular attractions like Space Mountain and Indiana Jones. (Try combining them with rider swap, if you have young kids or babies, for more value.)

 

Use mobile apps

Use apps like MouseWait and the Disneyland App to gauge wait times and adjust schedule when appropriate.

 

Take it slow during the day

Take things slow once the big crowds get there. After all, you’ve already checked off most of the things on your list in the morning, right?

 

Conversations with Kit

Kit talks about The Magic School Bus and a really cool educational kit that he got that helps him learn about the human body.

 

Join us on Facebook!

Come join our Facebook group where you can ask questions and share your advice on visiting Disneyland with your kids…or even just to geek out over Disney!

Visiting Disneyland & Disney World with Kids — Go Mouse Scouts

 

Get in Touch with Go Mouse Scouts!

Email us at fun [at] gomousescouts [dot] com, find us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Subscribe in Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle Play, and iHeart Radio.

 

Planning a Disney Vacation?

Are you planning a Disney vacation? Let us help you out! We’ve teamed up with Goldgell Getaways and they can help you with all of your planning details and since they’re paid by Disney, they can do it at no additional cost to you!
Their amazing agents will work with you directly to make sure you’re getting the best rates possible on lodging and admission, and will even keep their eyes peeled for other discounts or bonuses to add to your trip as they come up!
There’s just so much to consider when planning a vacation to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or even a Disney cruise. Let Goldgell Getaways take care of it for you so you can know for sure that nothing will get missed and you’ll have a wonderful, magical trip!
Plus, if you book a trip to Disneyland, you’re entitled to a free digital copy of our Guide to Visiting Disneyland with Young Kids!
For a free, no obligation quote, visit www.gomousescouts.com/quote, and have fun on your trip!

 

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Episode-136-Five-Family-Disneyland-Tips

136 Park Tip: Five Family Disneyland Tips

 

In this episode, Megan & Kris give Five helpful tips for families visiting Disneyland.

 

Five Family Disneyland Tips

Tag your stroller for easy ID at a distance.

There’re a couple ways we do this. Our favorite way to do this is to drape a blanket over the top and the stroller handle. This does two things: it makes our stroller stand out visually from the others and it also covers up what we may have in the stroller. We never keep any valuables in it, but why provide temptation to anyone to go snooping, right?

 

Save on souvenirs by purchasing them before your visit.

This is a great way to save money at the parks. Instead of buying souvenirs there, buy them before you go, at places like Target, the Disney Store (clearance), or anywhere else, locally, that might have Disney merchandise. Then, bring them into the park with you and give them out while you’re there! Your kids don’t need to know that you didn’t purchase them on Disney property. Here’s the magical phrase: “Hey, look what I got you!”

 

Write your phone number on your children.

The bottom line here is to make sure you can be contacted if your kids get lost. This can be done in many ways. You can buy bracelets that you can write contact and identifying information, use a sharpie to write your number on the hem of their shirt, or a pen to write on their arm.

 

Free Samples!

Both Ghirardelli and the Boudin Bakery give free samples when you walk in. Feel free to visit the bakery, grab a sample of freshly baked sourdough bread, and learn how it’s made by watching the instructional video and observing the cast members work. Then, walk across the way into the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate shop where you’ll receive a free chocolate square for dessert! (Also feel free to buy one of their delicious creations!)

 

Free Ice Water!

Free ice water can be found in the Disney parks from restaurants that offer fountain drinks. Just go in and ask! Filtered water spigots are available in the Baby Care Centers at both parks as well as at Rancho del Zocalo, the French Market, and Tomorrowland Terrace restaurants. Still tasted gross, so bring water flavoring.

Also, filtered water spigots are available in the Baby Care Centers at both parks as well as at Rancho del Zocalo, the French Market, and Tomorrowland Terrace restaurants. Note: It still tastes “tappy,” so bring water flavoring!

 

Come Join Our Facebook Group!

Come join our Facebook group where you can ask questions and share your advice on visiting Disneyland with your kids…or even just to geek out over Disney!

Visiting Disneyland & Disney World with Kids — Go Mouse Scouts

 

Get in Touch with Go Mouse Scouts!

Email us at fun [at] gomousescouts [dot] com, find us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Subscribe in Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle Play, and iHeart Radio.

 

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Episode-133-Feeding-Picky-Kids-at-Disneyland

133 Park Tip: Feeding Picky Kids at Disneyland

 

Kris & Megan talk about where you can find your kids’ favorite foods at Disneyland and give some general tips for feeding picky kids there.

 

Feeding Picky Kids at Disneyland

Feeding kids can require a certain amount of finesse. Here are our tips

on making it as easy as possible.

• Eat early. Having lunch around 11am and dinner around 5pm can help you avoid the more crowded times, meaning less waiting and better seating choices.

• Kids’ meal sizes are on the small side. The toddler meal is small enough for a one-year-old but really too small for a two-year-old (unless yours eats like a bird). At seven years old, our oldest has nearly grown out of the kids’ meals.

• Split an adult meal between two kids. It won’t come with a drink like the kids’ meals, but they can split a burger and fries, pizza, chicken strips, or something more adventurous for some extra food for them and a little savings for you.

 

Most quick-service eateries have some pretty standard kid dishes.

Burgers:

• Galactic Grill (Tomorrowland, Disneyland Park)

• Hungry Bear Restaurant (Critter Country, Disneyland Park)

• Red Rose Taverne (Fantasyland, Disneyland Park)

• Smokejumpers Grill (Grizzly Peak, DCA)

 

Pizza:

• Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta (Paradise Pier, DCA)

• Daisy’s Diner (Mickey’s Toontown, Disneyland Park)

• Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port (Tomorrowland, Disneyland Park)

• Red Rose Taverne (Fantasyland, Disneyland Park)

 

Chicken Nuggets:

• Galactic Grill (Tomorrowland, Disneyland Park)

• Golden Horseshoe (Frontierland, Disneyland Park)

• Hungry Bear Restaurant (Critter Country, Disneyland Park)

• Smokejumpers Grill (Grizzly Peak, DCA)

• Stage Door Café (Frontierland, Disneyland Park)

 

Turkey Sandwich:

• Flo’s V-8 Café (Cars Land, DCA)

• Galactic Grill (Tomorrowland, Disneyland Park)

• Jolly Holiday Bakery (Main Street, Disneyland Park)

• Pacific Wharf Café (Pacific Wharf, DCA)

• Pluto’s Dog House (Mickey’s Toontown, Disneyland Park)

• Red Rose Taverne (Fantasyland, Disneyland Park)

 

Power Pack: (yogurt, sliced apples, carrots, banana, and whole-grain Goldfish crackers):

Disneyland Park

• Harbour Galley (Critter Country)

• Hungry Bear Restaurant (Critter Country)

• Troubadour Tavern (Fantasyland)

• Clarabelle’s (Mickey’s Toontown)

• Golden Horseshoe (Frontierland)

• Stage Door Café (Frontierland)

• Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner (Main Street)

• Galactic Grill (Tomorrowland)

 

DCA

• Smokejumpers Grill (Grizzly Peak)

• Award Wieners (Hollywood Land)

• Pacific Wharf Café (Pacific Wharf)

 

Toddler Meals:

Disneyland Park

• Hungry Bear Restaurant (Critter Country) – Cheesy Macaroni

• Red Rose Taverne (Fantasyland) – Cheesy Macaroni

• Rancho del Zocalo (Frontierland) – Arroz con Pollo (rice and chicken), Arroz con Frijoles (rice and beans)

• Galactic Grill (Tomorrowland) – Cheesy Macaroni

• Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port (Tomorrowland) – Cheesy Macaroni

• Pluto’s Dog House (Mickey’s Toontown) – Cheesy Macaroni

 

DCA

• Smokejumpers Grill (Grizzly Peak) – Cheesy Macaroni

• Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill (Pacific Wharf) – Arroz con Pollo

• Pacific Wharf Café (Pacific Wharf) – Cheesy Macaroni

• Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta (Paradise Pier) – Cheesy Macaroni

 

Other:

• Bean and cheese burrito – Rancho del Zocalo (Frontierland, Disneyland Park)

• Chicken taco – Rancho del Zocalo (Frontierland, Disneyland Park)

• Turkey hot dog – Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner (Main Street, Disneyland Park)

• Macaroni and cheese – Jolly Holiday Bakery (Main Street, Disneyland Park)

• Spaghetti and meatballs – Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port (Tomorrowland, Disneyland Park)

• Turkey hot dog – Pluto’s Dog House (Mickey’s Toontown, Disneyland Park)

• Macaroni and cheese – Flo’s V-8 Café (Cars Land, DCA)

• Roast Beef sandwich – Flo’s V-8 Café (Cars Land, DCA)

• Turkey hot dog – Award Wieners (Hollywood Land, DCA)

• Bean and cheese burrito – Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill (Pacific Wharf, DCA)

• Chicken quesadilla – Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill (Pacific Wharf, DCA)

• Chicken and brown rice – Lucky Fortune Cookery (Pacific Wharf, DCA)

• Turkey meatball sandwich – Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta (Paradise Pier, DCA)

• Spaghetti and meatballs – Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta (Paradise Pier, DCA)

 

Water

• Drink plenty of water, especially when it’s hot.

• Any place with fountain drinks will give you a cup of ice water or ice for free.

• Refill your water bottles at drinking fountains throughout the parks. Try flavor packets or drops if you’re picky about the taste of the Anaheim tap water.

• Consider a water bottle with a built-in filter to improve the taste.

 

 

Come Join Our Facebook Group!

Come join our Facebook group where you can ask questions and share your advice on visiting Disneyland with your kids…or even just to geek out over Disney!

Visiting Disneyland & Disney World with Kids — Go Mouse Scouts

 

Get in Touch with Go Mouse Scouts!

Email us at fun [at] gomousescouts [dot] com, find us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Subscribe in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and iHeart Radio.

Also, catch us on DiS-Versal Radio!

 

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Episode-130-Fantasmic-Dinner-Package-Review

130 Park Tip: Fantasmic! Dinner Package Review

 

Megan & Kris recently took advantage of the Fantasmic! dinner package at the River Belle Terrace at Disneyland. In this episode, they give their review both on the package, food, and the updates to the show.

 

Come Join Our Facebook Group!

Come join our Facebook group where you can ask questions and share your advice on visiting Disneyland with your kids…or even just to geek out over Disney!

Visiting Disneyland & Disney World with Kids — Go Mouse Scouts

 

Get in Touch with Go Mouse Scouts!

Email us at fun [at] gomousescouts [dot] com, find us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Subscribe in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and iHeart Radio.

Also, catch us on DiS-Versal Radio!

 

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Episode-127-Making-Disney-Memories

127 Park Tip: Making Disney Memories

 

In this episode, Megan & Kris talk about some ways to make great memories at Disney parks!

 

Making Disney Memories

Here are five ways you can capture and make great Disney memories:

  1. Take lots of photos and have Disney cast members take photos for you too! (Hint: they’ll even use your own camera or cell phone too, just ask!)
  2. Be present with each other. Don’t constantly be on your phone or let your kids have their earbuds in all the time. Enjoy each other’s company!
  3. Plan and do something nice for a cast member or another family. This can be anything from genuinely thanking them or passing forward an act of kindness. Get creative! Doing something nice for someone else as a family will give you that wonderful memory and bring you closer together.
  4. Have a nice meal together and reflect on what you’ve done so far. People connect when dining together.
  5. Look for “magic moments” that are in abundance at the Disney parks! Things like playing musical chairs with Alice and the Mad Hatter near Coke Corner and other interactions with cast members.

 

Come Join Our Facebook Group!

Come join our Facebook group where you can ask questions and share your advice on visiting Disneyland with your kids…or even just to geek out over Disney!

Visiting Disneyland & Disney World with Kids — Go Mouse Scouts

 

Get in Touch with Go Mouse Scouts!

Email us at fun [at] gomousescouts [dot] com, find us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Subscribe in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and iHeart Radio.

Also, catch us on DiS-Versal Radio!

 

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Episode-125-Top-Five-Disney-Wins

125 Park Tip: Our Top Five Disney Wins

 

In this episode, Megan and Kris talk about their top five Disney wins!

 

5. Flying to WDW with two kids and a baby.

4. Sitting front row at the Festival of the Lion King and Kit getting to go up and interact with the cast including Timon.

3. Dressed Kit up as Peter Pan and being there for when Pan arrived in Fantasyland

2. Megan taking all three kids at once

1. Engagement at Disneyland

 

Come Join Our Facebook Group!

Come join our Facebook group where you can ask questions and share your advice on visiting Disneyland with your kids…or even just to geek out over Disney!

Visiting Disneyland & Disney World with Kids — Go Mouse Scouts

 

Get in Touch with Go Mouse Scouts!

Email us at fun [at] gomousescouts [dot] com, find us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Subscribe in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and iHeart Radio.

Also, catch us on DiS-Versal Radio!

 

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Episode-123-Avoiding-Meltdowns-at-Disney

123 Park Tip: Avoiding Meltdowns at Disney!

 

Kris & Megan talk about the top 5 reasons your kids might have meltdowns and how to avoid them.

 

Avoiding Meltdowns at Disney

Here are the top five reasons your kids might have meltdowns while visiting Disneyland or Walt Disney World.

 

They’re Hungry/Thirsty

Just because you’re at the Disney Parks doesn’t mean your kids will ignore their normal eating schedule. Keep this in mind and try to have snacks ready for their normal eating times if your next meal is going to be a little later than normal.

 

They’re Tired

Same thing here. If your young kids and babies are used to a nap schedule, keep this in mind. You may not be able to get them to nap at the parks, but at least it’ll give you some understanding as to their behavior. We’d suggest having some “quiet time” and finding an out of the way area to get away from all the busyness of the park.

 

They’re Hot/Cold

Try to keep your kids body temperature in mind while you’re at the parks. Especially if you’re babywearing or if your kids are in hot costumes.

 

They Need to Run Around

Sometimes your kids will need to get out and expend some energy. Especially if they’ve been sitting in a stroller or up in a baby carrier all day. Let them down to walk along with you if they’re able or find a play area like Princess Dot’s Puddle Park in DCA.

 

They’re Overstimulated

There’s so much to see, smell, taste, hear, and feel at the Disney parks, it’s easy for young kids to get overstimulated. Be aware of that and try to find ways where your kids can tune to the outside world, like in the stroller, or to be able to turn inward to you if they’re being worn.

 

Come Join Our Facebook Group!

Come join our Facebook group where you can ask questions and share your advice on visiting Disneyland with your kids…or even just to geek out over Disney!

Visiting Disneyland & Disney World with Kids — Go Mouse Scouts

 

Get in Touch with Go Mouse Scouts!

Email us at fun [at] gomousescouts [dot] com, find us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Subscribe in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and iHeart Radio.

Also, catch us on DiS-Versal Radio!

 

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Episode-121-Character-Dining-at-Disneyland

121 Park Tip: Character Dining at Disneyland

 

Kris & Megan talk about the different character dining options available at Disneyland Resort. Listen to the episode on the player above.

 

Come Join Our Facebook Group!

Come join our Facebook group where you can ask questions and share your advice on visiting Disneyland with your kids…or even just to geek out over Disney!

Visiting Disneyland & Disney World with Kids — Go Mouse Scouts

 

Get in Touch with Go Mouse Scouts!

Email us at fun [at] gomousescouts [dot] com, find us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Subscribe in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and iHeart Radio.

Also, catch us on DiS-Versal Radio!

 

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Episode-119-Our-Top-Five-Disneyland-Fails

119 Park Tip: Our Top Five Disneyland FAILS!

 

Megan & Kris reveal their humanity as they list off their top five Disneyland fails! For better or worse, they’ve made the mistakes so you don’t have to.

 

Our Top Five Disneyland FAILS!

Listen in as we talk about us not taking our own advice in our Top Five Disneyland fails! Do as we say, kids, not as we do. 🙂

Food Fails – Here’s a couple instances where we’ve screwed up in the food department. Bread is important if you’re making sandwiches, right!?

Security Antics – Kris is always messing this one up … and of course there was the one time he inadvertantly ditched Megan & the kids…

Failure to Plan Ahead – Here’s a pro tip: always check out the blackout day calendar.

Failure on the Way Out – Leaving the park is easy, right? Not if you forget one very important piece of information …

Waiting in Line Fails – Megan shares two stories, one of which there was NO ESCAPE!

 

Come Join Our Facebook Group!

Come join our Facebook group where you can ask questions and share your advice on visiting Disneyland with your kids…or even just to geek out over Disney!

Visiting Disneyland & Disney World with Kids — Go Mouse Scouts

 

Get in Touch with Go Mouse Scouts!

Email us at fun [at] gomousescouts [dot] com, find us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Subscribe in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and iHeart Radio.

Also, catch us on DiS-Versal Radio!

 

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