Review: Road Trip Saved By Disney Junior App

w: Johnathon E. Briggs

Review: Road Trip Saved By Disney Junior App

— August 5, 2017 —
Review: Disney Junior App
Dad Approval Rating:  
Three years ago this month, my wife and I began a journey of parenthood with the birth of our daughter (a.k.a Sugar Smacks). In her characteristic way, she has brought us immense joy—and a never-ending subscription to the Disney Junior channel.

So when I decided to take Sugar Smacks with me to a family reunion in Detroit last month, I was presented with a potential disaster: the hotel we’d be staying at for three nights did not offer the Disney Junior channel. Oh sure, they had Disney. They had Nickelodeon. They even had the Cartoon Network. But no Disney Junior. Mickey was MIA. This was, as the lovely ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha would say, “A serious matter. A very serious matter.”

See, y’all don’t understand. My daughter reclaims ALL her time when it comes to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.


Sugar Smacks can watch back-to-back episodes for hours. She has watched her favorite shows so many times she has practically memorized the dialogue and, when excited, can act out entire scenes. (These Leo babies are so dramatic).

If Smacks could create a greatest hits compilation of her favorite Clubhouse episodes, her top three would no doubt include: “Minne’s Bee Story” featuring Buzz-Buzz the Bee (she gets a kick out of his buzzing cuteness); “Road Rally” that follows the adventures of Mickey and his Clubhouse pals on a wild road trip; and “Secret Spy Daisy” in which a James Bond-inspired Daisy is sent on a mission to protect Clarabelle Cow’s secret recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies from Pete the Cat. (The fact that I can summarize these episodes so succinctly lets you know I’ve seen more episodes than any 42-year-old man should).

Before hitting the road to Detroit, I downloaded the free app to my iPad from iTunes (it’s also available on Google Play) and went on my merry way. I’d forgotten to take the login credentials for our cable provider (AT&T U-Verse), but that problem was quickly resolved through a text message home to my wife. Note: This app will only work if Disney Junior is included in your TV subscription package.

App Highlights

Three things I like about this app:

  • It offers a library of 40 shows. Everything from Doc McStuffins and PJ Masks to Octonauts and Miles From Tomorrowland. Sugar Smacks only has eyes for Mickey, so the expansiveness of the offerings was lost on her. When I handed her my iPad, she swiped straight to Mickey. #Loyal.
  • It groups Clubhouse episodes by character (Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Minnie, Daisy) and type (Whole New World episodes, Time to Celebrate episodes, Mickey’s Adventure episodes, etc.) which makes it incredibly easy to find what you’re looking for.
  • It automatically plays episodes back-to-back, so I was actually able to take a shower and get dressed one morning while Sugar Smacks was preoccupied with the Clubhouse gang. #DontJudge

Surprisingly, the app crashed only a few times over the days we used it through the hotel Wi-Fi. Overall I was impressed by the high-quality video it delivered.

So if your child is like mine and can’t live without their favorite Disney cartoons, do yourself a favor and download this app before your last road trip of the summer. #WinParenting

Father on,

554 words


Johnathon E. BriggsA 40-something dad with a penchant for wingtip shoes and statement socks who blogs about the "4 Fs": fatherhood, food, fitness, and fashion. #DadBlogger #Parenting #MensLifestyle

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Six weeks before my 40th birthday, I became a first-time father. This life-changing moment made me think about my own dad, who became a father at 44. As my parenthood journey unfolded, I noticed that most of my friends had become parents earlier in life yet, here I was, changing diapers and battling sleep deprivation at (nearly) 40. I told my wife, “Parenting is definitely a young man’s game.” But is it really?

Where most of my friends were preparing for their children’s middle and high school graduations, I was mastering the art of the swaddle, perfecting the one-hand baby wipe, and learning to decipher my daughter’s gurgles and whimpers. It occurred to me that I had so much more to offer my daughter at the sure-footed age of 40 than I did at, say, 28, when I was still coming into my own. In this awareness I gained appreciation for where I am in life and the idea for Fatherhood@Forty was born.

Fatherhood@Forty is a parenting blog that chronicles my adventures (and misadventures) as a mid-life dad. It is a creative outlet for me to share my experience of fatherhood and to inspire other (relatively) late-in-life dads. It’s been said that each child is their own assignment and I believe each parent’s journey is its own destination.

Here are a few factoids about me, Johnathon Briggs, the editor behind this blog:

  • I am a former journalist (Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune) who appreciates the power of storytelling.
  • I live in the western suburb of Naperville, but love exploring Chicago and the Midwest with my family.
  • I am thankful for my “dad bod” and remain on a constant quest to stay fit through charity 5Ks, weight training and intermittent fasting.
  • I support charities that fight HIV, uplift families affected by incarceration, and ensure African American boys graduate from college.
  • In my spare time I enjoy reading The New Yorker and comic books, binge-watching House of Cards and Luke Cage, experimenting with photography, and shopping on Gilt (guilty pleasure)
  • I am a child of the ‘80s, so please expect references to the Golden Age of Hip-Hop, School House Rock and Scooby-Doo.

As a reporter for daily newspapers, I had the opportunity to interview fascinating people and to test out great products and brands for my readers. I hope to do the same for you as I blog about the moments that make up this thing called fatherhood.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts about the “4 Fs”: fatherhood (Pop Life), food, fitness, and fashion. Please email me if you’d like to collaborate or have ideas for a blog post:

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Disclaimer: Fatherhood@Forty may contain affiliate marketing links, which may result in commission on sales of products or services I write about. My editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.