October 26, 2017
Disney World guests are accustomed to seeing dogs like Goofy and Pluto roaming about. But starting yesterday, Disney World resort hotels have started opening their doors to more four-legged friends, allowing guests to bring their dogs to stay with them in the resort hotel rooms. This development may be raising a few questions for dog-lovers and non-dog-lovers alike.
The pilot program is currently limited to only four Disney World resorts: Art of Animation, Port Orleans Riverside, Yacht Club, and Fort Wilderness. Moreover, dogs will only be welcome in designated sections/floors of the hotel, leaving most guest areas canine-free.
Guests wishing to bring their furry companions will pay a $50/night pet-cleaning charge ($75/night at Yacht Club). You will be limited to 2 dogs per guest room. The dogs should be well-behaved, properly vaccinated, and must be leashed when in public areas. Owners will need to be present in the room for housekeeping to enter. There are also additional rules regarding how long a dog may be kept unattended in the room and the owner is responsible for responding quickly if the dog creates a noise concern.
(Alternatively, pet owners of all kinds—not just dogs—may choose to send their pets to the Best Friends Pet Center near Port Orleans Riverside where they will be well taken care of while their owners spend time in the parks.)
While this may seem like a wonderful option for dog-loving Disney fans, we’re left wondering how many will take advantage of this program. The additional per-night charge, the limits on how long a dog may be kept unattended, and the requirement that guests be present for housekeeping to service a room will add additional costs and constrain the guest’s flexibility when spending time in the parks and at Disney Springs.
But what about those who aren’t so excited about dogs on Disney property? Even guests who love their dogs may have allergies or other valid concerns about staying in a hotel that welcomes dogs.
As mentioned, only 4 Disney World resort hotels are part of the program and only certain floors/sections of the program hotels are welcoming dogs. If you do not wish to stay in those sections, you should be able to request a room that suits you better. And even if you find yourself staying in a dog-friendly area, know that the rooms will be deep-cleaned (thus the $50/$75 nightly charge) to remove all evidence that a dog has stayed there.
If you have any concerns regarding this pilot program, we encourage you to contact your travel advisor and/or contact Disney at 407-W-DISNEY to get more information on this program.