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In The Know — Bringing Animals To Walt Disney World

Whether you have a service animal or a pet with wanderlust, you may be wondering what it takes to bring your furry friend with you to Disney World. There was once a time when doing this was quite difficult. However, in recent years Disney has been much more welcoming to pets, meaning bringing Fluffy or Spot along is totally feasible with a little bit of planning. Here’s what you need to know if you plan on taking your favorite animal to Disney World Resort.

Flying with Pets

The first thing to consider is how you will be getting to and from the most magical place on earth. If you will be driving your own car, you shouldn’t have any problems. However, flying is also possible, and in some cases it may be the more logical option. If you’re looking to fly with your pet, go in knowing the following:

  • Vaccinations must be up to date, and proof of such is required.
  • You’ll need a carrier. Soft-sided is fine if your pet will be allowed to ride in the cabin. Otherwise, hard-sided is necessary.
  • Airlines have varying pet rules. Be sure you know your airline’s rules before booking.
  • Feed your pet about four hours before the trip and ensure he/she uses the potty before heading into the airport. This will help prevent illness and accidents.

Getting to Your Hotel

If you do decide to fly in, you’ll need to find a way to get to your hotel. Fortunately, those who are staying at a Disney resort have the option of taking Disney’s Magical Express, which does allow animals as long as they are in a carrier that will fit into a seat on the bus. Another option is to get a ride from Uber or Lyft. Both have certain drivers that are willing to cart pets around with their owners; just be sure to specify that your animal will need a ride as well.

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Pet-Friendly Disney Hotel Options

Wondering which resorts will welcome your furry friend? A recent pilot program at Disney World Resort gives dogs the opportunity to stay in a Disney hotel now through October 15th, 2018. This program allows up to 2 animals per room, meaning you can even bring your best friend’s best friend. Once the program has ended, Disney will re-evaluate and may or may not maintain their pet-friendly options. Listed below are the four Disney hotels that allow pups to make themselves at home through this pilot program:

  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • The Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort

Guests staying in one of these resorts with a doggie will be charged a $50-per-night cleaning fee and must present proof of vaccination during check-in. They will receive a package of items for their furry friend which includes puppy pads, poop bags, a mat, bowls, and more. All pets are expected to be leashed and well behaved in public areas.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground Pet Policy

Of course, there is also the option of camping with your pet. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground is an amazing place to do so. It offers tons of amazing amenities and activities, and is just a short ride away from the four theme parks. Best of all, the campground is 100% okay with guests who will be staying in an RV bringing their furry friends along. The cost to bring Fido along is a mere $5 per night, making it a much more affordable option for those on a budget. Once again, pets are required to be leashed and well behaved in public areas, and camping dogs will also receive a welcome package. Fort Wilderness does have designated pet loops, so be sure to let the agent know you’ll be bringing your pup when you book.

Pets and Cars

In Florida, it is illegal to leave pets in cars unattended. This is especially important to remember in Florida due to the higher temperatures that can create dangerous situations for pets who are left alone in vehicles. Please remember this when making your vacation plans and make sure you have a safe place to leave your animal friend while you visit the parks.

On-site Pet Sitter

Whether you’re looking for overnight boarding or daycare for your pup, you’re sure to love the options Best Friends Pet Care has to offer. The folks at this facility are well trained, and all pets are very well taken care of. Best of all, Best Friends is located on Disney Property, making it easy to drop your furry friends off before you head to the theme parks.

Service Animals

Lastly, we should discuss the subject of service animals. Guests who require assistance from a trained service animal are allowed to bring their furry friends along on any airplane, into any hotel room, and even into the Disney theme parks. That said, some hotels and airlines may ask for proof of vaccinations and training before allowing your service animal to enter. Additionally, while the Disney World parks themselves don’t ask for proof of training, they do require that all service animals be leashed. They also require that guests clean up after their service animals, making sure to leave the park clean for other guests. Finally, it is important to note that service animals will not be allowed to ride certain attractions. Please see a cast member before boarding any ride with a service animal.

As you can see, bringing animal friends to Disney World is definitely an option. Use this information to plan carefully, and you’ll be well on your way to an amazing trip with your furry friend.

About Chelsea Gonzales