Dogs at Walt Disney World

Dogs now welcome at select Walt Disney World  hotels [© Disney. All rights reserved]
Dogs now welcome at select Walt Disney World hotels [© Disney. All rights reserved]

Many people like to take their pets, in particular dogs, with them when on holiday. A common question is “are dogs allowed at Walt Disney World?”. The Disney theme parks, water parks and Disney Springs only allow service animals, not dogs in general.

In the past, if you brought your pets with you on holiday to Walt Disney World, then you could take them to Disney’s Best Friends Pet Care centre.

Dogs are now welcome at four Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Best Friends Pet Care

At Walt Disney World there is the “Best Friends Pet Care” centre which offers a number of pet facilities including day-care and overnight stays for a variety of animals including cats, dogs and small pets like hamsters. The Best Friends Pet Care centre is ideal for holidaymakers who want to drop their pets off whilst spending a day in the parks.

Prices vary by the type of pet and type of service and amenities required. For boarding dogs, the price ranges from $41 to $83 per day for resort guests and a few dollars more for non-resort guests. Day care is between $37 and $91 for 6 hours or more, there are discounts for fewer hours.

There are a lot of “add-on” extras like additional play time (individual or groups), cuddles, special food and treats, upgraded beds, flatscreen TV and even a bedtime story!!

Cat prices start at $26 per day (boarding) and small “pocket” pets start from $11.

All animals must have the appropriate level of vaccinations.

Dogs Now Welcome At Select Walt Disney World Hotels

Whilst service animals have always been allowed in Disney’s resort hotels, up until now pet dogs have not been permitted in guest rooms except under exceptional circumstances like during the recent Hurricane Irma when some Disney guests had to be evacuated from the campgrounds where dogs have always been allowed.

Starting in mid October 2017, Walt Disney World is running a one year trial allowing pet dogs into four of their resort hotels. Note the trial is only for dogs, there are no restrictions on breeds or size but it does not include any other type of pet.

The four locations are Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney Port Orleans (Riverside section only, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and the cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and specific sections of each resort have been designated as “dog friendly” whilst the rest of the guest rooms remain “dog free” particularly to accommodate guests with allergies.

A maximum of two dogs are allowed per guest room and they must vaccinated, well behaved, must not bark when left unattended and be kept on a leash when in the public areas.

There is an additional pet cleaning fee of $75 per night at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and $50 per night at the other three resorts.

You will only need to supply your own food, Disney offers a Pluto’s Welcome Kit including a mat, ID tags, disposable bags, puppy pads and bowls. You also get a dog walking map (showing relief areas) and a special Pluto themed “do not disturb” sign to alert the hotel staff that there is a dog in the room. Hotel staff such as cleaners will not enter the room whilst you are out if there are dogs in the room.

Disney Transportation

With the exception of service animals, dogs are not allowed on the regular Disney parks transportation system; I.e. monorail, ferries, launches and buses.

Whilst dogs are allowed on Disney’s Magical Express airport transfer service, the new Minnie Van resort service and buses at Fort Wilderness and Port Orleans, they must be transported in a pet carrier.

Service Animals at Walt Disney World

Disney allow dogs and miniature horses at service animals throughout Walt Disney World including the theme parks, water parks and hotels.

Service animals must be kept under control at all times on a leash or harness and are not allowed to ride on some attractions, typically roller coasters and simulators. You should always check with a Cast Member.

Where service animals are not allowed on a ride, guests need to arrange for another member of their party to look after the service animal whist the guest rides, use a “Rider Switch” or put the animal in a portable kennel.

Note that Cast Members are not allowed to take control or look after service animals for guests.

There are designated service animal relief areas in each park.

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