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The Disney Dog Secret That No One Talks About

Pluto. Lady. Tramp. Bolt.

Who doesn’t love Disney’s array of canine friends?

It’s always lovely at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom to see dogs enjoying their best life at Disney’s theme parks. 

Service animals are always welcomed at Walt Disney World, with one recently causing Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to come to a screeching halt due to a misunderstanding.

But what about the dogs that live inside Disney’s rides and attractions? We have a fun fact that may surprise you!

pirates-disney-caribbean

Credit: Disney

Well, for all dog lovers out there (or fans of Disney history), we have a fun fact about a particular set of dogs at Walt Disney World in Florida.

Let’s start with Carousel of Progress, the famous rotating theater stage show located in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom theme park, which features a set of clever audio-animatronic characters that discuss progress and technology in family life.

The innovative theater show was designed by Walt Disney as part of the 1964 New York World’s Fair, and moved to the Magic Kingdom in 1975 after a short stint at Disneyland in Anaheim. It is one of the oldest attractions in the Walt Disney World Resort and the oldest attraction at Walt Disney World to have been touched by Walt Disney himself.

One of its audio-animatronics is a dog called Rover, which features in each of the four periods of history. In each scene throughout each decade, Rover lies on the floor near his owner, John. In the final scene, he is sitting and wearing a Christmas bow.

carousel-progress-walt-disney

Credit: Disney

And Rover here has some special connections in the Park.

Over in Pirates of the Caribbean, the beloved prison dog is well-known for teasing pirates with his set of jail keys. This dog is in fact the same animatronic as the one used for Rover in the Carousel of Progress!

Furthermore, you may even recognize Rover on Living with the Land at EPCOT, as the dog barking on the farmhouse porch. He even makes an appearance as the Caretaker’s dog in the Haunted Mansion.

Disney apparently used the same animatronic for all the dogs, which as Disney fans may know is a frequent occurrence with Disney’s animatronic characters.

Interestingly, back in the 1990s, Walt Disney World Cast Members created an unofficial story that Rover was from a litter of five puppies with each of the different scenes’ dogs in Carousel of Progress being a different dog: Rover, Queenie, Sport, and Spot who lived in the attraction.

living-with-land-dog

Credit: Kaela Celeste

These dogs were the sibling of Bony, the Caretaker’s dog from the Haunted Mansion. They were the grandpups of Master Gracey’s pet, Hellhound, and also descendants of the dog from Fort Sam Clemens on Tom Sawyer Island and the Prison Dog from Pirates of the Caribbean.

So, next time you go to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, look out for Rover and his twins all over the Resort!

More on Service Dogs at Walt Disney World

pluto-dog-character

Credit: WDW Live

Disney’s website provides a full list of attractions and experiences that dogs can enter, as well as restricted locations, and states that:

At Walt Disney World Resort, a service animal is a dog or miniature horse that is trained to do work or perform tasks for, and to assist, an individual with a disability.

Service animals must be under the control of the owner at all times and should remain on a leash or in a harness. Cast Members are not able to take control of service animals.

Due to the nature of some attractions, service animals may not be permitted to ride. At these locations, please ask a Cast Member about available options, including Rider Switch with a member of your party or a portable kennel.

Service animals are not allowed in the water—including water features and fountains—or closer than 4 feet to the water on wet decks.

For more information, please contact Disability Services at (407) 560-2547 or email disability.services@disneyparks.com.

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who loves to enjoy Disney's theme parks with a Mickey Premium Bar in hand! A British native, she has traveled the world seeking new experiences, and now resides in Florida with her Air Force pilot husband. Find her children's book at @thebearandthehug_book