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Dogs Now Welcome at Select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

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Ok, I don’t say this often, but this is some game changing news. Starting October 15, select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels will begin allowing dogs to stay with you on your vacation. Four Walt Disney World hotels have been designated at dog friendly are going to allow no more than two of your fur babies per guestroom to visit with you.

The resorts that will offer dog friendly accomodations will include a pet-cleaning fee that must be paid per night of your stay. The following are the resorts available, plus the fee:

  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort $50/night
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort $50/night
  • Cabins at Disney’s Ft. Wilderness Resort $50/night
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort $75/night

Each Guest room will have easy access to outdoor pet walkways for exercise and green spaces with pet relief areas. 

In addition, Dog lovers will find plenty of Disney amenities and special touches for their four-legged friends that will be available to them. First, when you check in to your resort, you’ll receive Pluto’s Welcome Kit which will include a mat, bowls, a pet ID tag, courtesy plastic disposable bags, puppy pads and dog walking maps.

There will also be a special Pluto-themed “Do Not Disturb” door hanger that will need to be used indicating to hotel staff that a pet is in the room. Keep in mind that housekeeping service in Guest rooms with dogs is only available when Guests are present. You will need to dial the Housekeeping button on your in-room telephone to schedule a cleaning time at your convenience.

Dogs should be supervised at all times while staying on Resort property and should not be left unattended in your room for more than 7 hours. Dogs that stay in Guest rooms will be expected to remain well behaved and if left unattended in your room, you will be called to address any noise complaints within 30 minutes.

Dogs must be leashed in all public resort areas and properly vaccinated; up-to-date vaccination records must be available upon request. Dogs are not allowed on furniture in public areas.  Guests are responsible for the proper care, behavior and waste maintenance of their dogs throughout the Resort. Keep in mind that only licensed service animals are allowed in Food & Beverage locations, the Club Lounge, Pool Areas, Fitness Centers and other public Guest areas.

Guests with dogs will be allowed to use some Resort transportation services, including Disney’s Magical Express and the new Minnie Van service, however, dogs must remain in pet carriers for the duration of transit. All other Resort transportation are available to Guests with licensed service animals only.

In addition, Dogs are not permitted to join their owners in the theme parks, nor are they allowed at Disney Springs. Unless, of course, they are licensed service animals.

Also, unfortunately, only dogs will be allowed at the Walt Disney World resort hotels; so, I can’t bring my kitties with me. 🙁

Should you need to be away from your pet for a longer period of time, Disney does have a great kennel called the Best Friends Pet Care. This is an on-property full-service facility that can provide assistance with pet daycare and other pet services for a fee.

The opportunity is currently a trial, so it is currently only available to Guests with reservations from October 15, 2017 through October 15, 2018.

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Rikki Niblett

I am a co-host of the Be Our Guest Podcast and do lots of other fun Disney stuff all around the interwebs! You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram at @RikkiNibs or on Facebook at

62 thoughts on “Dogs Now Welcome at Select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

  • Oh my goodness. I think this is a TERRIBLE idea. I am a dog owner, and I LOVE my dog. In fact, I love animals period. I feel like this is sad for the dogs, and even worse for guests with asthma, animal allergies, etc. It’s bad for the barking, the odor, the potential unresponsible owner who doesn’t watch their dog closely enough, etc. I really get the argument that unruly kids could be worse, but this is crazy. I also am in complete agreement with Andy, that the service dogs are so needed, and Disney should absolutely provide rooms for guests who need them. It just seems like this is opening a can of worms. Can’t Disney have certain rooms at resorts set aside as “service dog” rooms, and the rest of us, who are fortunate enough as to not need a service dog, should make accommodations for our dogs at home, or whatever we already do. This also makes me think…I sure hope Disney is not charging an “upcharge” for guests to bring their service dog. I hope they are already doing these special extras for these animals and their owners.

  • I like dogs, but I HATE HATE HATE this new policy. I have no desire to listen to dogs barking all night while I’m on vacation and trying to sleep. I get enough of that at home with my neighbor’s dogs. I also don’t care for the smell while on vacation. Dog’s pee and poop smells . . . it will get on stuff . . . it will be on sidewalks and all around. People pay A LOT of money for a Disney vacation and now a whole part of that vacation, hotel stay, is going to be tainted, if not ruined b/c the hotel is allowing dogs. We are staying at the AoA Cars and was SO excited. When we called, we were told Cars is the area dogs will be allowed and if we wanted, we could switch to Lion King. So now we have to decide which means more … being away from the dogs or staying in the Cars area. Just not happy. This is a pain for those already having reservations and had trip planned since April and now we’ll be there in 4 weeks and they change our outlook on our hotel. Not nearly as excited to stay there.

  • As much as I love my pooch,With two pets, who are loved always walking them, keeping them clean and picking oops inside the house, and outside dogs are unpredictable that’s the reality, I don’t want to step into poop, or urine on the floors, nor do I want to listen to barking and lets not forget about the odors please, why should I pay money on my vacation to disney to be concern about this. It really isn’t fare to others who would like to enjoy themselves without worrying about other guest pets its not right and I wouldn’t do that.

  • The negativity of all these comments is actually pretty astounding. Who knew?

    Call me crazy, but this offering really seems oriented at people who are already coming to WDW with their service dogs, and as a result tend to stay off-site. If service dogs are welcome in a few on-property hotels, Disney can capture the hotel revenue from those folks that they’re currently missing out on.

    I know that this ‘test’ isn’t specifically limited to service dogs, but really, do you actually think a *significant* number of families are going to bring their dogs to WDW, just to leave them locked up alone in a hotel room all day? I’m sure a few families will enjoy having their dogs at night, and drop them off at the kennel on their way to the parks in the morning, but not so many that it affects the larger guest experience.

    • “do you actually think a *significant* number of families are going to bring their dogs to WDW”

      Well, you know, why wouldn’t they, if Disney is making it possible? I see people bringing their pets to all sorts of places that people had never brought them to in times past — the mall, the grocery store, restaurants, etc., etc. It seems to me that there had been unwritten social rules about where pets were not welcome, but being unwritten, an increasing number of people are testing social tolerance for pets everywhere. Now that Disney is specifically welcoming them, I don’t see why people wouldn’t act on it.

      • Why wouldn’t they?
        -Because Disney is only “making it possible” for $50 a night ($75 at Yacht Club)
        -Because, unless you’re at FW (which already allows dogs), non-service dogs aren’t actually welcome anywhere but your room and the walking paths
        -Because daycare at the Best Friends kennel is CRAZY expensive compared to just boarding your pets at home

        I get what you’re saying about dogs at the mall and grocery stores, but that costs $0 – not an apples-to-apples comparison.

  • Do you at Touring Plans ever get the chance to pass on concerns? I hate this idea and it has already taken the shine off a forthcoming stay at Yacht Club.

    • DO contact them, especially if this will cause problems for you (such as allergies). This is supposed to be a trial run, so they need as much information as possible about how it’s working. Just as a note, someone on an FB group I follow posted that they were able to have their stay changed to a different resort because of severe allergies.

      • Thank you. I have.

      • I feel sorry for the people who can’t change their reservations now with the busy Holiday season coming up. Disney is no longer a customer oriented company. You don’t just spring this on your guests and tell them “Oh it’s okay, it’s just a test”. This isn’t the resort we made a reservation for. What about the stress this is causing people who have had plans for months and now have to change them? This isn’t about the overall guest experience this is about money they want to tap into. I think this is going to backfire on them. I’m not staying at a resort that has pets because of allergies no matter what floor or building. And I know for a fact in campgrounds the biggest complaint is barking dogs.

      • Did anyone point out to the person in your FB group that service dogs have been allowed to stay in Disney hotel rooms for a long time now, so allergen-wise, this is nothing new?

      • Guys don’t worry Andy has all the answers just ask him if you don’t believe. Andy you are right service dogs have always been welcome out of my 15 years of going to Disney I have seen ZERO dogs on my Magical Express or Resort. Saying that, do you not think that the chances for me seeing/smelling a dog have not gone up? If you take a straw poll of comments right here you can easily see that 90% of people don’t want the hassle. We are paying a premium price for a premium experience. You can not predict what a dog will or will not do. One sloppy dog owner can make dozens of other guest dis-satisfied with there stay because of a dog. It is not worth it, thank goodness this is not happening at my DVC Resort. I feel that could be a lawsuit.

      • Sure, the chances have increased from “really low” to “quite low.” I agree that 90% of the commenters are saying they “don’t want the hassle,” but my whole point is: “what hassle?” A handful of people with extra money to blow are going to bring their dogs on vacation so they can sleep together at night and drop them at Best Friends in the morning. How does that handful of people affect the tens of thousands of people at WDW any more than the existing service dog population? Is your trip really ruined by seeing someone walk their dog at your hotel? Really?

        I get that people don’t like *the idea* of this, but all the “worst idea ever” hullaballoo is absurd, and doesn’t jive with reality. Lots of people making grandiose assumptions about how this is going to ruin their vacation when dogs have been staying at WDW hotels for years and they – even after 15 years – never even noticed it.

        Lastly, a lawsuit? Huh? Someone’s going to sue Disney because they stepped in dog poop? What do you mean?

  • Sorry Disney ~ this is NOT magical! Bad idea

  • I have a lot of concerns about this, but I also have a lot of trust in Disney. And on another hand altogether, as the parent of two CMs who love dogs, I wonder if Disney is going to offer a service to walk/play with dogs that are staying in the rooms… for yet another fee, of course.

  • I have to agree with the skeptics on this one. It seems like an okay idea at Ft. Wilderness, but I’m not so sure about the other resorts. It’s not good for the dogs to be alone for 7 hours, especially not in an unfamiliar place, and that rule is unlikely to be enforced unless the dog starts getting upset — which is too late imo. Like others here, I also have cleanliness concerns in the rooms and on property more generally.

    • Service dogs have been allowed at the hotels for a long time now, so this isn’t really a change from the “cleanliness” perspective. Just a way for them to take something they already offer ADA folks and monetize it for the masses.

  • So you’ve paid an additional 50 bucks a night to bring your furry friend with you on holiday, you’ve put up with them in a car for hours, you’ve packed their belongings as well as yours… and then you leave them in the room for 7 hours whilst you’re in the parks? It doesn’t make sense to me, I feel like the people who can’t bear to board their pups then wouldn’t want to leave them alone for 7 hours. Am I being thick?

    • I think the idea is that you’re allowed to leave them in your room if you’re going out for a meal or something, but if you’re doing a full day at the parks, you have to take them to the Best Friends kennel for daycare.

  • As a dog lover and owner I am opposed to this new change. 7 hours is a too long time to leave a dog unattended in a new environment. And who is going to be monitoring the time?

  • This is what seems most odd to me- Most pet friendly hotels I’ve stayed at have strict rules about not leaving your pet unaccompanied in your room at all. Disney is saying up to 7 hours is fine? Even a normally very well behaved dog might get freaked out when left alone in a strange place with strange noises outside. It seems like it might be wiser to pair dog-friendliness with some sort of easy access to the Disney kennel for when families want park time. There’s a business where I live that runs a “dog bus” that picks up dogs to go to doggie daycare- seems like Disney could have fun with something like that.

  • I don’t have an issue with pets at the resorts but I have three family members with dog allergies and two of them have asthma. As long as they are in designated buildings I don’t mind because we can choose to stay in a different building but the Magical Express does concern me. They don’t clean the bus after every run and I don’t expect them to but my family could end up in a closed space with a dog or where a dog just was. This would not be a good start to our vacation.

    • Service dogs have been riding on the magical express buses and staying in Disney hotel rooms for years now – nothing has really changed here. Don’t worry, everything will be fine!

  • Wow, when I saw the words Port Orleans I panicked. I’m staying at the French Quarter later this month thankfully. This is such a bad idea in so many different ways. What about all of the folks that have reservations at one of those four resorts? Where they warned of this upcoming change when they booked? Not likely as we tend to book so many months in advance. I would have wanted the choice to decline a resort where unfamiliar pets would be sharing my surrounds. Disney customer service must be having a hell of a time right now.

    • We are arriving at the cabins in Fort Wilderness in 3 weeks and just received an e-mail last night with the new changes of allowing dogs in guest rooms. My wife has severe allergies so she went from excited about our upcoming trip to anxious. I really hope there aren’t any dogs on the Magical Express. We’ll ask about staying in a cabin that has not had any dogs to avoid any issues.

      What frustrates me the most is the Disney policy of making changes that are effective immediately, when guests are required to plan months in advance. Had we known about the policy change we simply would have picked somewhere else to stay. We can’t make any changes now.

      • It’s entirely possible that, even without this policy change, service dogs would have stayed in that cabin before you, or been on your Magical Express bus. Nothing has really changed here – don’t worry, everything will be fine!

      • Andy, speaking about possibilities and not actualities is not helpful to anyone. It is also possible every cabin in the 2300 loop will house German Shephards simultaneously. We have stayed at the cabins 7 times previously (because we are a family of 5 and it is one of the few standard room options. We have used the magical express 7 times as well and have not had a service dog on any bus. We have also made sure to request a deep cleaned cabin to avoid any potential reactions with service dogs. You can’t seriously think this policy change won’t have a real impact on people with severe allergies. If so you are either ignorant or delusional.

      • If you have already figured out how to mitigate the dog exposure issue (i.e. requesting a deep-cleaned cabin), what does it matter if a previous visitor’s dog was a service animal or merely a pet?


  • Many European hotels welcome dogs, as do some restaurants. The Kimpton chain here markets their pet friendly policies, and their rooms aren’t cheap. Universal has allowed this. If we lived a little closer and weren’t DVC, we would totally take advantage of this. I’m surprised by the doom and gloom. If it works elsewhere, why can’t it work at Disney?

  • Nope, nope, nope.
    I adore most dogs, understand how they become a part of the family, but the best place for them is back at home, not in a hotel room. If anyone absolutely must travel with their pups then I suggest they rent a travel trailer and book a Pet loop site at Disney’s Fort Wilderness.

    I also love cats, but I think we can all agree that cats do not travel well at all.

  • Well, we start our next visit at POR on Nov 12, so we won’t be bothered by this, but we wouldn’t think of bringing our dog on vacation. She is left at home, watched over by our son & grandson, who live with us, so not a problem. However, we would board her at our vet’s for a week rather than traumatize her with a flight & busride in her crate, both ways! Just to leave her in a strange room, with unrecognizable noises outside . . . That’s bordering on cruel. My bet: it won’t fly. Better to build a seperate resort that allows pets exclusively, than forcing no pet guests to put up with the possible noise & mess.

  • I agree with Marc, and as a pet owner who has traveled many times with my two dogs, I have found that more often it is children running, yelling, and slamming doors that keeps from having a relaxing time. Also, the pet rooms are limited in number and are only used for families with pets. I would most likely board my dogs, but like that the option is available.

  • I don’t understand the hoopla. It’s a limited number of rooms at 4 resorts. There are hundreds of rooms at these resorts and 20+ resorts so there are plenty of options. Seems perfectly reasonable to designate a small percentage of rooms to people who want to bring the dogs. It’s a test, so if it starts to affect the experience for other guests I’m sure it’ll come to an end soon enough.

    • Right now, Disney cast members are saying (both onsite and by phone) that there are no specified “dog-friendly” room blocs. Any room can have a dog during this test period, at least. I realize this is limited to four resorts, however, for families of 5+, “losing” Art of Animation 2-bathroom suites is tough. They are the most “affordable” option for families of five who don’t want to stay at All-Stars (because All Stars may as well have dogs–at least in our prior experience, our rooms were quite…unhygienic).

  • It’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out. For the most part, I don’t think that WDW is place that most people will want to bring their dogs: transporting a dog long distances only to lock it in a room (while declining housekeeping) while owners play in a theme park does not sound awesome, so this may not be super-popular.

    That said, if people are willing to pay a $50 or $75/night surcharge to bring their dogs, that’s real money for Disney. And there are 30,000+ rooms on property, so I hope things can be arranged in such a way that dogs don’t significantly impact the experiences of those who’d prefer to avoid them. Plenty of hotels manage to accept dogs (including all of them at Universal Orlando) without scaring off all their customers.

    As with some of the odd “premium” offerings over the past year, this seems like another way to try to get more money out of existing assets. This move makes me wonder whether a parking charge or “resort” fee is far off for WDW hotels.

  • I don’t think pets should be allowed on Disney property unless it is a service animal. I would definitely avoid any resort allowing dogs in the rooms.

    • Dogs have been allowed at Ft. Wilderness for many years now.

      • Yes, but they have not been allowed in the cabins. That is a big change.

      • But service dogs have been allowed in the cabins for years. Not actually a big change.

      • Yes, but the increase in quantity of dogs between service dogs only and Disney resorts opening up to all dogs is a big change.

      • Only allowed at a small group of campsites in one area……and they are a nuicance. We have friends that stay there….barking all day….no way someone can get from park to site in 30 min.

  • We’ve used Best Friends Pet Care a few times and I can’t say enough good things about it! Personally when I’m on vacation I love getting a break from my normal responsibilities (cooking,cleaning,walking the dog) but my guess is that they will have a limited number of designated rooms in a particular area at each resort especially since this is a trial. My preference would be that they build a pet friendly resort rather than allowing some at various resorts.

  • I just got off the phone with Guest Services at the AoA. We have a reservation for the resort in mid-January, 2018. I’m definitely concerned about dogs being allowed in the hotel. I was told by Guest Services that they will be allowed in only certain rooms in certain buildings. I was also told that there have been many calls about this issue by people who don’t want to be in those hotels if dogs are going to be allowed. I’ve been awakened by barking dogs when I’ve had the misfortune to be in the room next to one. I’ve also stepped in their mess when their owners didn’t clean up after them. I just don’t see how Disney is going to enforce anything if the owners aren’t around. I’ll be monitoring this situation closely since the trial begins next week and my reservation is still a ways out. It may come down to us changing our reservation to go to a different hotel which is unfortunate. The AoA is our favorite.

  • Does this include all/most breeds? I can see people having issues with certain breeds.
    I’m happy that they are at least trying this out. We love dogs! Would be neat to see the “dog rooms” decorated dog themes (Lady & the Tramp….)
    Over 20 years ago we had 2 dogs stay at the kennel during day nearby the park entrance. It was nice & the dogs received certificates that I grabbed when we got home. Nice memories.
    We usually stay at SOG but perhaps when we get a dog this will be an option to consider

  • I agree with almost everyone here. We have a room booked at Riverside in February, and I can’t imagine my room smelling like an animal has been there. We have severe dog/cat allergies, and even if you clean a room where a dog has been, the smell and dander remain for weeks and will activate my allergies. Come on, Disney. You have to be better than this.

    • If every other hotel chain can manage Smoking/Non-smoking rooms, I think Disney can manage which rooms are used for families with dogs.

  • Wow, lotta Debbie Downers here. I can’t envision a situation where I actually bring my dog to Disney with me, but I’m looking forward to meeting some new pooch friends next time I visit one of these resorts.

    • Neil,

      I’m guessing you are fortunate enough to never have been attacked by a dog. I hope you enjoy meeting some new friends. I’ll be staying as far away from them as I possibly can.

      -Debbie D.

      • What a glib, condescending response. Here’s mine:
        “Glad you’ve never been struck by lightning. Enjoy being outdoors.”
        “Glad you’ve never been hit by a bus. Enjoy using Disney’s free transportation.”
        “Glad you’ve never had food poisoning. Enjoy eating.”

        Being attacked by a dog is awful, but ascribing that to all canines is as foolish as ascribing an assault to all humans.

  • This has awful written all over it. The one thing worse than smokers who choose to not limit their noxious addiction and discarded butts to designated areas are pet owners who think the noise and smell of their furry friends is so adorables.
    Add me to the list of Guests who will avoid these resorts.

  • Are there specific rooms or buildings that will be designated for pets? How can they possibly enforce rules about keeping pets off furniture or not leaving an animal alone for more than 7 hours? What kind of magic are they using to get people from a park to a resort in 30 minutes to respond to a noise complaint?

  • I was thinking about booking Port Orleans Riverside for a couple of days in January but I am having to reconsider. I really don’t like dogs and will look at a resort that doesn’t accept them.

    • I hope they are never allowed into parks – except licence service dogs!

  • As a dog owner…I’m not happy about this. I don’t want other people’s pet hair in my room. I don’t want other people’s pets on the bus with me, or in the store with me, or anywhere else with me. Your pets stay home. If you can’t board your pet, or find someone to watch it, you don’t leave home…that’s the price you pay to be a pet owner!

  • This is an awful idea. I come to WDW to get away from dog poop all over the sidewalk.

  • Any ideas where we can leave feedback on this trial? As in, “Any hotel in this trial gets crossed off my family’s list of options”. And allowing them on Magic Express? I’m hoping that means “under the Magic Express”.

    • This is ridiculous and I’m a dog owner. Use the kennel or board them at home. I agree, won’t be staying at any of those resorts.

    • I’m not a dog person so I too will be avoiding these resorts while dogs are permitted.

      • What about Minnie Express too. How do we know if a dog has been in one?

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