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In the Know – Bringing Animals To Walt Disney World

Some of the most wonderful creatures on earth are service animals. These lovingly patient and trained animals befriend those who need the calming presence of an animal companion, and the effects service animals have on those who need them are astounding. Such animals have always been permitted at Walt Disney World. But other animals have not been allowed at Disney—until October of 2017 when Disney World began to allow canine pets—not just service animals—to stay with their owners in selected Walt Disney World Resort hotels. For many Guests at Disney, the ability to bring Rover and Max with them to the most magical place on earth makes their vacations even more magical! If you’ve considered bringing your canine companion to Disney, here are a few things you should know.

7. Only a few resort hotels allow dogs.

While Disney now permits dogs, they don’t permit them at all Disney Resort hotels. The Disney hotels that do permit canine fur babies are Disney’s Yacht Club, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort—Riverside, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds. At each of these resorts, pets are only permitted in designated areas.

6. Fees apply

If you choose to bring your dogs to Disney, you will be charged a pet cleaning fee of $50 to $75. This charge applies to each night of your stay, so if you’re staying in the resort for 5 nights, your total fee will be between $250 and $375. This fee is in addition to the nightly rate at your resort hotel.

5. All pet friends receive a warm welcome!

Disney makes sure each canine visitor feels as welcome as possible! When you arrive, your pet will receive “Pluto’s Welcome Kit,” which includes a mat, bowls for water and food, a pet ID tag, disposable plastic bags (please be sure to clean up after Fido), puppy pads, dog-walking maps and a Pluto “Do Not Disturb” door hanger.

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4. Disney makes a few requests of your canine companions.

If your dogs go on vacation with you to Disney, they’ll need to be on their best behavior and considerate of others at the hotel. Disney permits only two dogs per resort hotel room, and they must be leashed when not in the room and quiet when you and your family are out of the room. Only service dogs are permitted in food areas, pools, fitness centers and other common areas. Housekeeping will not visit while your pets are in the room without you. Be sure to use the Pluto door hanger when you leave your room so housekeeping knows not to enter.

3. Furry family is only allowed in certain areas of the resort hotel.

Even though Disney permits pets in certain resort hotels, there are still areas within the hotels that are off-limits for them. You won’t be able to go for a swim with Rover at any of the resort hotels’ pools, and he won’t be permitted in restaurants or other food service areas. And if you’re planning to work out while at the resort, Rover will have to do calisthenics in the hotel room by himself because he won’t be permitted inside the resort hotels’ fitness centers either.

2. Never leave your pet in your vehicle.

Disney does not permit pets in any of its four theme parks. Only service dogs are permitted. Be sure to leave your furry loved ones in your resort hotel room while you visit the parks. And never, ever bring a pet to the parks and leave him in your vehicle while you enjoy the parks—not at any time of the year, even if it seems cooler to you. Pets can become very ill and even die in parked cars due to heat, stress and anxiety, lack of water and other factors. Again, never leave an animal in a parked car.

1. Best Friends Pet Care is available

If you don’t want to leave your fur babies in your hotel room while you visit the parks, or if you are staying at a resort that doesn’t permit pets, but you never leave home without yours, Disney still offers another option. Walt Disney World has partnered with Best Friends Pet Care, which is an on-site pet daycare, hotel and spa. Leave your pet here for the day, overnight or for the week. He will be loved and cared for, played with, fed, involved in activities and more. For more information on services offered and a pricing schedule, visit www.bestfriendspetcare.com/waltdisneyworldresort.

About Rebekah Tyndall Burkett

Rebekah grew up in Forney, Texas and lives just outside of Dallas. She’s been a Disney superfan since childhood, experiencing the magic at Walt Disney World for the first time at the age of 11. Journeys to Neverland are at least a yearly occurrence for her, her husband and her four children (the Fab Four). When they go to the parks, they stay in Florida for three weeks at a time. Rebekah loves exploring the history of the parks, the genius behind the Magic in the person of Walt Disney, and she is intrigued by all things Disney World and Disney Imagineering. When in the parks, Rebekah and her husband Scott make the most of their time by enjoying every minute with their Fab Four, by delving deeper into Walt’s vision for the parks and into the history behind the Walt Disney World Resort, and by photographing the many different types of architecture at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and on the World Showcase at EPCOT. When she’s not in the parks, Rebekah is excitedly setting travel dates and planning her family’s next adventure to their happy place deep within the Sunshine State. On breaks from planning her next trip, Rebekah is a writer, journalist and children’s author, penning children’s books about kids with special needs that she affectionately calls “believement-achievement” stories. Her hobbies include creative writing, paper crafting and interviewing Imagineers. She is also an advocate for Autism Awareness and for children with developmental disabilities of all kinds.