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Should I Bring My Pet to Disney World?

by Mommy Frog on May 16, 2022 20 Orlando

Bringing a Pet to Disney World - PinterestYour dog is toadally terrific, and a part of the family, but should you bring him on your Disney World vacation? There are some important factors to consider to make sure your pet is welcome at your hotel, that he has somewhere safe to spend the day and that you have everything you need to stay on-site at the Walt Disney World Resort.

In most cases, you can make bringing a pet to Disney World work, but only you can decide if it is truly a good idea for you both. Consider your pet, the complexities of traveling together and his attitude toward travel to decide if this option is right for you. If it is, then everything you need to know for a frogtastic trip to Disney World with your pet is detailed below!

Service Animals vs. Companion Animals

All Orlando hotels, theme parks and attractions comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act when it comes to service animals. While dogs are the most common service animals seen in the Orlando theme parks, other true service animals are welcome, including miniature horses. Your service animal can stay with you in your hotel, accompany you to most rides and destinations (roller coasters are an exception, due to safety restraint requirements) and go wherever you do. Here is the full frogtastic scoop on traveling to Disney World with your service dog.

While service animals are welcome everywhere, companion animals are not. Both Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort consider pets and emotional support dogs to be companion animals, so they are welcome in some but not all locations. This is for the safety of your pet and the enjoyment of everyone who visits the Orlando theme parks and hotels. Most Orlando hotels and attractions follow the big parks’ lead, but you should always call ahead to any hotel you are considering to confirm its pet policy.

Staying with Pets at Walt Disney World

You have two options when it comes to staying on-site with a companion animal at the Walt Disney World Resort. You can book your hotel at one of four pet-friendly locations and have your pet join you in your room each evening, or you can use a local boarding facility. We prefer the on-site boarding and daycare at Disney World for pets; animals get plenty of attention in a caring environment and you get peace of mind that your pet is safe. Other facilities are further from the attractions and may have mixed reviews and levels of service.

Dog-Friendly Hotels in Disney World

Disney's Art of Animation - Bringing a Pet to Disney World

In 2017, Disney World made some changes to its long-standing pet policy and decided to allow dogs at four of its on-site resorts. The policy only covers dogs — cats, reptiles and other pets will still need to stay home or at a boarding facility.

Dogs are welcome at the following Disney World hotels:

There are some restrictions you should be aware of when it comes to dogs at Disney World. While these hotels welcome dogs (and offer some toadally magical amenities for them), they do so on select floors only. To protect guests with allergies, a select number of rooms or cabins are available, so if you do want to bring your dog, you should book your stay as early as possible. There is a limit of two dogs per room. Each of these hotels has an additional pet cleaning fee if you bring your dog with you. It is $50 per night, per room (with $75 per night at Yacht Club).

Every dog that checks in gets a frogtastic welcome — a Pluto-themed kit to make your stay easy and fun. Pluto’s Welcome Kit includes:

  • Pet identification tag
  • Food mat
  • Food bowl
  • Water bowl
  • Bandanna
  • Map to walking paths
  • List of dog-friendly areas

Rules for Dogs in Disney World Hotels

Tips for Bringing a Pet to Disney World - Dog-friendly hotels

The room policy includes rules for keeping your pet on property with you. Keep in mind that these rules cover companion animals only. Your service animal is welcome in all resorts and theme parks in Orlando.

  • Dogs may not roam the grounds and must remain on a leash at all times. There are designated rest areas at each of the four resorts specifically for your dog and each of the dog-friendly rooms are close to pet walking and rest areas.
  • You may bring up to two dogs per room; there are no breed restrictions.
  • Bring your own food, toys and bedding, but you’ll also receive Pluto’s Welcome Kit when you check in, a toadally fun bunch of goodies for your dog.
  • Dogs are not permitted in pools, ponds or fountains.
  • Your dog can still spend the day at the on-site Best Friends Pet Care for exercise, pampering, grooming and more, even if he stays in the room with you at night.

What To Pack For Your Dog at Disney World

Bringing a Pet to Disney World - Packing supplies

Any time you travel to a hotel or other pet-friendly destination, you will need to bring along proof of vaccinations. You should provide your hotel with this information in advance and bring a copy with you just in case.

While Disney provides you with a cute doggy welcome pack with an identification tag, your pet should also have a tag with ID, just in case. Bring your own pet food with you. While food and treats are available at each of the dog-friendly Disney World resorts, your pet will likely be most comfortable with his own diet.

You can find costumes, leashes, toys and more in the gift shops at each of these designated resorts. You’ll also find pet gear in many on-site shops in the parks and hotels but bring along any important toys your dog needs or wants to have with him.

Your dog needs a sturdy leash, plus a collar and/or harness, for safety and to comply with Disney World resort rules.

What to Do With Your Dog During the Day at Disney World

Best Friends Pet Care Disney - Bringing a Pet to Disney World

You want to head out to the theme parks, but your pet won’t enjoy staying in the room all day. Consider using the on-site Best Friends Pet Care. You can book this in advance so you know your pup has a fun place to stay during the day. Best Friends Pet Care is right across from the dog-friendly Port Orleans Resort - Riverside and has over 75 staff members to make sure your pup gets plenty of attention each day.

If you’re staying at the hotel for the day, your dog can hang out with you in your room or enjoy a walk in one of your resort’s designated areas.

Best Friends Pet Care at Disney World

Bringing a Pet to Disney World - Minnie themed tennis ball

Best Friends Pet Care is a toadally impressive resort just for pets — offering over 50,000 square feet of amenities, spaces and fun. A sprawling dog park makes it easy for your pup to get out and run, while cool and crisp air-conditioned spaces allow him to wait in comfort as you enjoy the theme parks and attractions. There are also some designated outdoor play areas and runs that your pet can enjoy.

You’ll find this sprawling pet complex just across from Port Orleans Resort - Riverside. Best Friends hours vary seasonally; it opens an hour before the theme parks each day and closes an hour after the parks to give you time to drop off or visit with your pet. You should make a reservation in advance for your pet by calling 877-4-WDW-PETS or visiting the Best Friends Pet Care website.

Best Friends also offers daycare, grooming and pampering for your pets (cats and other animals are welcome here). Best Friends offers several grooming packages, ranging from simple bathing to a full spa treatment complete with massage. Nail clipping, tooth cleaning and even shed reduction treatments are available and can be booked at check-in. VIP programs offer extra care and attention and offerings change regularly; current “VIP” Vacation Villas for Dogs include a fun playgroup, flat-screen televisions and even a turndown service for your dog.

Rates range from $41 per night per dog for a resort guest using standard services and $97 per night for the deluxe Vacation Villas.

If you are staying at one of the Disney World hotels with your dog, he can stay at Doggy Day Camp each day. You’ll be able to check in by webcam as you have fun in the theme parks, and your dog can enjoy all the amenities of the facility but stay with you at night. Expect to spend $27 per day at Doggie Day Camp and build in extra time for drop-off and pick-up each day.

Veterinary Care in Orlando

While there is not a veterinarian on-site at the Disney World resort, there are several emergency vets that accept walk-ins as needed in the Orlando area. Opinions and reviews are available on Yelp. Use these to get up-to-the-minute details and contact information for 10 of the area’s top emergency vets.

Should You Bring Your Dog to Disney World?

Bringing Pet to Disney World

You can bring your pup to Disney World if you enjoy spending time together, but in most cases, you’ll spend more money to do so than you would on a pet sitter or boarding facility at home. The resorts that welcome pets do so happily, and you’ll see other dogs and owners out on the walking paths. Visiting Disney World with your dog can be a magical experience and is worth exploring, but it is not for everyone.

Leave your dog behind if:

  • He does not travel well, is aggressive toward or afraid of other dogs or people, or simply prefers to stay at home, leaving him at home is a better option. Travel can be stressful, and visits from a pet sitter or a stay at a kennel at home may be a better idea.
  • He is unwell or elderly. The stress and excitement of travel may be too much for him, so take his current health into consideration before booking.
  • Affordability is a concern. Weigh the extra pet fee and possibly the daycare fees against the cost of boarding your pet at home. One option may be less expensive than the other.

Bring your dog along if:

  • Your dog is healthy, active and loves meeting new people. You’ll have a blast spending time together at your Disney World resort!
  • You have other destinations to head to after your Orlando vacation that are pet-friendly as well.
  • You’re interested in traveling with your dog and want an excellent first experience for you both.

You can have a toadally awesome trip with your dog, provided you book at the right resort, make reservations in advance and bring along everything your pup needs to travel in comfort.

Do you take your furry friends on your theme park visits? What are your tips for bringing a pet to Disney World? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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Jan 25, 2023 at 6:18 a.m. Jasmine Says...

At this time we have 2 dogs but are most likely getting a third in just a couple of months we are planning a trip to Disney World in February of 2024 and we are trying to find a place to board them and what the price rates are going to be our 9 year old gets a bit food aggressive because of the soon to be one year old keeps taking her food and toys but she usually does really well with other dogs aside from that I've been trying to figure out how much every thing is going to cost a year in advance so we can save a prepare for the trip.

Jan 25, 2023 at 8:10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jasmine!

Are you planning to bring your dogs with you to Orlando? There is a doggy daycare and boarding center on Disney World property called Best Friends Pet Hotel. You can find more information on its website, or you could call 407-209-3126 for pricing details.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jun 26, 2022 at 11:03 p.m. Gammie Says...

Hi we are staying in rv at fort wilderness camp grounds this fall and are considering bringing our 2 dogs with. I was just reading about the amazing daycare Disney provides and I was wondering if there any doggie day care facilities at the campgrounds and if not what the closest dot day care on Disney property might be? Thank you

Jun 27, 2022 at 2:49 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Gammie!

There aren't any pet care services at the campground, but the closest facilities would be Best Friends Pet Care! Here's the website, and the phone number is (407) 209-3126.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jan 23, 2022 at 7 p.m. Jennifer Says...

We are planning a trip with our dog to port orleans riverside. We will have a car. How long should I plan to get back to the room to let him out midday from the parks? We have done Disney many times but never with our dog or our car.

Jan 24, 2022 at 9:32 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jennifer!

We'd suggest at least an hour (or as long as 90 minutes). Some of our estimates are generous, but depending on the theme park, you'll need to allow time that it takes to walk to your car (the parking trams are still only operating at Magic Kingdom, though you'll still need to allow time for the monorail or ferry boat to TTC). This could take anywhere from 5-20 minutes or so. Then it'd likely take another 10-15 minutes to drive back to Port Orleans. Also allow time that you spend walking to your hotel room and taking your pup out. Double all of those times, and that's how long we'd recommend planning for. Luckily, it shouldn't take very long to get through the parking toll booths, security check and entrance touchpoints, as there are barely any waits (if at all) for those midday!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Dec 31, 2021 at 11:45 p.m. Sharon Says...

Hi! I just booked a room at the yacht club and am planning on taking my Goldendoodle. I can’t really find any information on where exactly my dog can go on property at the yacht club. Is she only aloud in the designated pet relief area or can she walk the path to Hollywood studios for example? Thanks so much!

Jan 4, 2022 at 8:40 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sharon!

On Yacht Club property, you will have easy access to outdoor walkways for exercise and pet relief areas, but you should stick to these dog-friendly areas. For instance, the nearby BoardWalk District does not allow pets, except for service animals.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Nov 16, 2021 at 6:11 p.m. Kimberly Schley Says...

I have a 5 lb Yorkie, that goes everywhere with me. We live in Orlando, so we won't be staying at any overnight accomadations. But, can my Yorkie, enter Walt Disney World and other Disney parks (Except the water parks) without any problems? Or does he have to stay at Best Friends Day Camp?

My Yorkie, i not aggressive to other dogs or humans either. He is a kisser and very affectionate. I am trying to plan our annual pass and many trips to Disney!

Nov 16, 2021 at 12:27 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kimberly!

Unfrogtunately, pets are not permitted in the Disney World theme parks, water parks or Disney Springs (trained service animals are the only exception). If he cannot stay home alone, then we'd suggest bringing him to Best Friends Pet Care (or any other day care for pets) or hiring a pet sitter.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Apr 26, 2021 at 11:48 p.m. lillybee Says...

Is a cat allowed in a Disney property hotel? I was thinking of a large room such as the Villas at the Grand Floridian

Apr 27, 2021 at 9:26 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Cats are not allowed at the Disney World Resort hotels, but Best Friends Pet Care accepts cats for boarding at its Disney World location.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Apr 11, 2021 at 2:07 p.m. Michelle Says...

I am a little confused as to if I can bring my 5lb yorkie into which theme parks. She will be in a stroller that has a zipper for her to see out. Do I need paperwork from vet stating she is an ESA?! I am staying at an air BNB not in the resorts

Apr 12, 2021 at 11:10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michelle,

Only trained service animals are permitted inside the parks at this time. If you have any questions, you can call Disney's Disability Services at (407) 560-2547 to discuss your specific needs.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Mar 24, 2021 at 6:03 a.m. Honeybee Says...

I’m looking into staying at port Orleans riverside. We were thinking about leaving our dog in our room all day.

But if we did decide on boarding, would that be located in the same hotel? Or is it a separate place? I’m trying to figure out if it would be worth our time to board our dog.

Mar 24, 2021 at 7:40 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Best Friends Pet Care is a separately located kennel, but it is located across the street from Port Orleans - Riverside, so it wouldn't be too far away from you.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jan 7, 2021 at 5:08 p.m. Destiney Rhoades Says...

Hello can we bring our dog and while we go to the park for the day would we be able to leave the dog in the room while we go to the Disney theme parks?

Jan 8, 2021 at 8:07 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Destiney!

Yes, certain resorts are dog-friendly so that you cam bring your dog along! Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

and Fort Wilderness Resort all have dog-friendly accommodations; be sure to note it on your reservation when you book! There is also on-site boarding that can help take care of pup if you don't want them alone in the room, called Best Friends Pet Care. They offer daily daycare. Hope this helps!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Dec 14, 2019 at 12:15 p.m. Rose Slaton Says...

Good information! I love my pet and Disney. Good to know I can now bring her along with me if I plan accordingly.

Dec 16, 2019 at 7:39 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Thanks for hopping by, Rose! If you do decide to visit, we hope you and your pet have a wonderful trip!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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