Is Universal CityWalk Pet Friendly?
We’re always looking for fun activities to do with our Sweetie Pies, from hiking and bicycling, to traveling and eating out. And we usually take Margo the Tiniest Chihuahua with us because she is SO easy to travel with. Margo fits snugly into my little carrying sling and is no problem to carry. She doesn’t fuss, doesn’t whine, and feels happy and secure.
And because the carrying sling closes tightly, I can hide her away if I’m not too sure about the particular pet policy of wherever we’re going, and most importantly, Margo doesn’t mind. She feels nice and snug and secure in the pouch.
So it becomes interesting to discover what places are pet friendly, and how easily it is to sneak Margo in to places we’re not too sure of.
Recently, I decided to have a go at the world-famous Universal Studios Hollywood CityWalk. I honestly looked for their pet policy, both online and at the CityWalk entrances. I found nothing. No policy, nothing posted, nothing buried deep in their website, and with that thought, hey, this is a breeze. CityWalk must totally support and embrace pet owners as valuable customers.
Or so I thought.
A Warning from Valet
The first red flag was with the parking attendant at valet parking. He gave us a gentle heads up that management might not be so keen on allowing pets in as we had thought. The attendant said he wasn’t for-sure-positive, but thought security might just stop us as we walked around.
Well, that’s what the snug sling pouch is for. First making sure Margo was ok and had everything she needed, I gently closed up the opening and strode in. As we passed the entrance, I saw a sign that stated some general policies for CityWalk, such as no smoking, and other sundry policies. But nothing about pets, service animals, leashed dogs, etc.
Margaritaville, no Problem!
So far so good. We decided to start with lunch and walked in to Margaritaville. The manager greeted us at the counter. I obviously had a dog with me including my soft-sided crate with dog bone-patterned material and my carrying sling. But the manager never said a word. I asked if he had outdoor seating, and he said yes but it was uncovered and in the bright, direct sun. Again, another clue that he didn’t A) notice or B) care.
We sat down in a booth and proceeded to take Margo out of the carrying pouch. We gave her water and some kibble and enjoyed our luncheon. At the end, I asked the waiter about the pet policy at CityWalk and he said that, yes, he thought there was one but it was not really enforced, as far as he could tell.
Proceeding outside, we walked about some exploring CityWalk. It was a beautiful warm day, early spring, and quiet, being a Tuesday afternoon. Along the way we encountered several security guards and police officers. Not one word from any of them. Again, Margo was tucked away out of site and that might account for not being stopped.
Nectar Bath Treats Manager and her Emotional Support Bird
We spoke with the manager at Nectar Bath Treats and she reiterated that, yeah, there might be a policy, but there was no signage and nobody seemed to care. She had an emotional support bird and she told us the story of being confronted by a security guard at one point but she shut down the conversation by explaining the “Pikachu” was her emotional support animal and that at that point the issue was dropped.
Here Comes Security! Uh-Oh!
We felt emboldened and decided to put Margo’s harness leash on and just go for it. Out we stepped and began strolling with Margo, but not 30 steps into our walk we were confronted! A very polite security guard informed us that there was a no-pet policy. He was honestly more concerned with us than with enforcing the unposted policy. He believed, or was worried at least, that we had come a long distance to go to Universal Studios Hollywood not knowing dog were not allowed. That would have been an expensive problem and perhaps Universal should either reconsider their no-pet policy or at last have it listed clearly for all to see. Just a suggestion, Universal!
In the end, we learned that, no, Universal CityWalk is NOT pet friendly. But that’s part of the beauty of Chihuahuas. They can sometimes get into places that they’re not allowed to because they are SO small and good at being hidden by an enterprising human. Margo is perfect for that. She is happy to just be in my little pouch, like a kangaroo and her joey, and just enjoys the ride. Margo doesn’t bark and doesn’t make a seen, easy breezy!
As we were leaving, we stopped in to Voodoo Donuts and consoled ourselves with some exotic donuts! Ooooo, donuts! The manager at Voodoo also repeated that dogs are welcome inside. She even offered Margo a treat. What became clear was that CityWalk management so a strong “NO” to pet owners, although without any posts, notices, or policy statements online. However, the individual shops, stores, and restaurants set their own rules once inside. The trick is to get through the CityWalk without being noticed, and then once inside your shop location, your a free to go, FREE THE DOG! Overall we enjoyed our experience of Universal CityWalk with our little Margo, the tiniest Chihuahua, but I hope everyone knows the rules once inside. I guess I could have raised a stink, but that’s not my style.