Universal Orlando Resort vacations are frogtastic — from the magical delights of the Wizarding World to the hilarity of Minion Mayhem — you don’t have to tell us twice! Hanging with the family, hopping through Hogsmeade and getting a thrill (or two) from the many amazing attractions the park offers are just some of our favorite things. But sometimes it seems something is missing when you arrive back at your hotel room ... could it be your furry friend?
If you worry about your pet when you leave home, feel like you can’t find a pet facility or sitter you can rely on or even depend on your pet for emotional support, you’ll love Universal Orlando’s pet-friendly policies.
We know the feeling of missing a pet while on vacation. Don’t fret, though! If you’re planning a trip to Universal Orlando and staying at one of its fabulous on-site Loews hotels, your furry friends are welcome, too. Here, we’ve laid out some of the groundwork and tips for traveling with your pets at Universal Orlando.
Bringing Your Pets to Universal Orlando? Here’s What You Need to Know Before You Go!
Universal Orlando is made of several toadally amazing theme parks and on-site hotels; each location has different rules regarding pets and companion animals. Service dogs that help someone with a disability navigate the parks safely or that assist in another official capacity are welcome almost anywhere on Universal Orlando Resort property (the sole exceptions are rides that don’t offer pet-safe experiences and harnesses). The entire resort, from theme parks to hotels and shopping districts, complies with the ADA and ensures that service dogs are not only allowed, but welcomed.
Therapy animals, emotional support animals and companion pets are not included in the resort’s service dog policies, but they are welcome in many areas on the property. Learning where you can and can’t take your pet — and discovering what they can do while you enjoy the rides at the park — will help you both have an outstanding experience.
Pets and Universal Orlando’s Theme Parks
Pets and therapy animals are not permitted inside any of the theme parks at Universal Orlando Resort. This is for safety reasons and for the enjoyment of all guests. Working service dogs are permitted in any location and Universal Orlando recommends your dog be equipped with a vest and identification for safety. City Walk, while not a theme park, also restricts pet access and allows only service animals.
Pets at Universal Orlando Hotels
Great news for pet owners — your furry family member is welcome at your hotel when you stay at some of Universal Orlando’s resort premier hotels or Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. The hotels charge a one-time pet fee with a maximum of two dogs per room. The one-time pet fee is $100. You will need to bring along an updated shot record for each pet you bring; your veterinarian can provide this for you before you leave home.
If you bring your pet, the Universal Orlando hotels provide you with a placemat, water bowl, collar tag, doggie pick-up bags and more. You should also bring some items from home to ensure your pet's comfort.
Details about each Universal Orlando hotel are listed below; each has a slightly different approach to pets, so review your chosen destination before you leave home.
Tips For Having Pets at Universal Orlando Resort
Pack Any Favorite Toys, Treats and Food
Just like when packing for the tadpoles, you'll want to pack a favorite toy or item of your pet's to keep them busy and comfortable while you're gone for the day exploring Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida. If they sleep on their own specific bed, it would be wise to pack that as well. It's especially important to remember any medications, food or necessary items while you're on vacation. Furry friends have necessities, too!
Make a "Pet List" when you're making your own list for vacation packing. This way, you're able to avoid forgetting any necessities and can check things off as you pack. Of course, you can always pick things up at local stores that you forget, but some things are more difficult (and expensive) to find (such as medications, special food, etc.).
If your pet happens to be a dog, and they have a lot of excess energy, it might be wise to give them a good workout before leaving on the trip! Take them for a nice walk or jog or even play a favorite game (fetch, anyone?). This could help burn off their excess energy so they aren't as panicked or wound up during the traveling portion of your trip. And if you're flying, be sure to check out the airline's policy on pets well beforehand!
Stay with Your Pet at a Universal Hotel
Half of Universal's hotels are pet-friendly. This includes Loews Royal Pacific Hotel, Universal's Hard Rock Hotel, Universal's Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando. The hotels offer the Loews Loves Pets program, which provides amenities (for a fee) made especially for our four-legged friends. Some of these amenities include:
- Specialized bedding, leashes, collars and litter boxes with litter and scoopers
- Special treats
- Water bowls, place mats, dog-walking route maps and much more
You can even request a gourmet room service menu for both cats and dogs if you really want to take it to the next level! You should be aware, though, there is a $10 per hour fee if a pet is left unattended and needs to be removed from a guest room (i.e. excessive barking). The hotel will attempt to contact you first, but if they cannot reach you or you do not return in a reasonable amount of time, your dog may be moved from the room and placed under the care of the hotel's pet-sitting services. Ask for a map of the dog-friendly walking trails located on Universal Orlando Resort property so you can enjoy an evening walk with your furry pal.
Check out our tour of Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando!
If you aren't staying on-site, there are other pet-friendly hotels in the Orlando area. You'll just need to verify their pet policies with them. You can check out (and book) more Orlando hotels with us here!
Keep Pets at the On-site Kennel at Universal Orlando Resort While You're at the Parks
There are kennels located on-property for $15 per pet, per day. However, kennel services are not available right now. Once services resume, the kennels operate on a first-come, first-served basis (which means no advance reservations). We previously chatted with the kennel, and they said that they rarely fill up. Still, if you're visiting over a busy weekend or holiday, we suggest getting there right as they open at 8 a.m every day! You must also return once during the day to take your furry friend for a walk; you're welcome to leave blankets, toys or any other comforting objects with your pet to make them feel at home!
Make sure you also bring proof of vaccinations; these are required for your pets to stay at the kennels. Oh, and the kennels are only for dogs and cats. No exotic pets! (Here's looking at you Bearded Dragon Lizard owners!)
Options For Off-Property Guests
If you're not staying on property at Universal Orlando, you may still board your pet at the Universal Orlando Resort. If that doesn't work, then you can try a local pet resort. Also consider a sitter! Through sites such as Rover, you could find a nearby sitter and have your pal stay in a house rather than in a kennel for a few hours.
Do you take your funny friends on your theme park visits? What are your tips for having pets at Universal Orlando Resort? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!
Related: The Best Time to Visit Universal Orlando in 2023 and 2024