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Walt Disney World to start allowing dogs in hotel guest rooms

October 13, 2017, 9:29 AM · The Walt Disney World Resort will start allowing guests to keep dogs with them overnight at selected hotels in the resort, starting this weekend.

For dog owners, the move means that you'll no longer have to board your pets for your entire Walt Disney World vacation (though you might still need to place them at Disney World's pet care facility while you visit the parks). For people allergic to dog hair, however, you now know four resorts to avoid in the future.

Dogs will be welcomed at the Fort Wilderness Cabins, Art of Animation, Port Orleans Riverside, and Yacht Club Resorts. The surcharge for keeping a pet in your room will be $50 a night, or $75 at the Yacht Club. The charge technically is a cleaning fee, and covers up to two dogs in the room. But you also get "Pluto's Welcome Kit," which includes "mat, bowls, a pet ID tag, courtesy plastic disposable bags, puppy pads and dog walking maps." Each designated pet-friendly room will have access to outdoor green spaces for "pet relief."

"Pet friendly" hotels have developed into a strong niche within the upscale hotel industry, so allowing dogs in rooms is no longer a sign of cheap place to stay. However, allergen sensitivity also has become a much more prominent cause within the hospitality industry, so, yeah, we're all on a collision course here. But with more than 30,000 rooms on property, Walt Disney World should have more than enough accommodations for anyone's needs.

Disney is calling this a trial program and says that it expects guests keeping pets in their rooms to have them vaccinated, keep them well behaved, and keep them on leash at all times while in public areas. How well pet owners do this — while avoiding complaints from others — likely will determine whether this trial becomes standard practice at the resort, or even expands to other hotels on property.

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Replies (15)

October 13, 2017 at 9:58 AM · Yacht Club? Fancy!
October 13, 2017 at 9:59 AM · Finally!
October 13, 2017 at 10:08 AM · I would like to think Disney during this trial run would put guests that bring dogs on specific floors (preferably lower floors) to quiet the noise. Any mention of other pets like cats, birds, etc.?
October 13, 2017 at 10:15 AM · I'm not sure about having dogs on property, but I will not tolerate dogs in the eating areas like I saw when hurricane Irma was around. If they were service dogs yes I understand but dogs I seen were not service dogs in restaurant areas.
October 13, 2017 at 10:23 AM · Fascinating..... One of the reasons I became so fond of Universal's onsite hotels was their pet-friendly policies. I'll be curious to see how this plays out and if Disney decides to maintain the new policy... and if they have a size limit :-)

And to address a couple of the other comments -- the way Universal handles it at RPR, the first floor of one wing is designated as the pet-friendly rooms. They allow dogs everywhere -- lobby, walkways, etc. -- EXCEPT dining areas and the pool. I'd imagine Disney will implement similar procedures.

October 13, 2017 at 10:39 AM · Nooooooooo!
October 13, 2017 at 11:12 AM · I agree - it's about time. With that many guest rooms on property, there is no reason for a small percentage of them not to be pet friendly. Yes - they should all be ground level rooms with ease access to outdoor relief areas. Yes - those rooms should only be reserved for people traveling with pets and if used by anybody else, those guests should be informed of previous pet occupancy and the possibility of other rooms nearby having pets in house. NO - guests with actual service animals should NOT be relegated only to these rooms, but to any other room at the resort for which they are willing to pay and there should NOT be an additional room cleaning fee for those guests. THAT is where things will get sticky.
October 13, 2017 at 11:23 AM · Many rooms lack carpeting so it might work. Might not work if the next guest have severe allergies and they can’t clean the dog smell off sofas, drapes, and bedding. Thus, everything must be completely cleaned and changed. $75 a night could be enough, but many hotels make housekeeping clean a room in 30 minutes. This constitutes deep cleaning so they need 2 hours.
October 13, 2017 at 11:45 AM · "THAT is where things will get sticky."

Yup...There have been a number of stories recently about the increase in "service" animals. It seems as though people can be prescribed service animals for virtually any sort of malady, and while I don't begrudge those who may legitimately have the need for a service animal, it appears that some unscrupulous people are attempting to game the system, and causing perceptions to be formed against even those who may have legitimate needs, much like the accessibility passes at WDW.

October 13, 2017 at 12:04 PM · From a hotel guy: Pet rooms should be deep cleaned (including carpet and drapes) after each 4 legged guest departs. A $50-75 fee more than covers the extra cleaning cost including labor. A one time per stay fee like this makes sense. But the rooms are not deep cleaned every day during the stay, so a per night charge is a rip off. A one week stay at the Yacht Club will net the hotel an extra $525 for one deep clean. Holy profit margin, Batman!!
October 13, 2017 at 12:54 PM · Letting guest's bring their pets is just another quirk of a Guest that theme parks are willing to manage. I think it's kinda nice. Bring on whatever special need, dietary restriction, or even personal belief that you have, and they will do their best to try and accommodate it.

Unless it's money...

October 13, 2017 at 5:12 PM · Thank you for telling us which ones to avoid. With most of my family suffering from allergies, we now know where not to stay.
October 14, 2017 at 1:05 AM · Ridiculous! 100% behind Amanda.
October 14, 2017 at 3:54 AM · "Attention dog-lovers! Walt Disney World will now have four hotels for you to bring your dog! You can leave them in your room and leave really early for the parks, all the while telling yourself that your dog is the best dog in the world and isn't barking and whining, annoying the entire floor of the hotel you've chosen!"
October 14, 2017 at 5:11 AM · I have severe asthma and allergies and never had a problem in a Universal Studios Orlando pet friendly hotel. There are rules regarding the pets and they are strict. Barking dog all the time, dog gets put in the animal care facility for instance (also when guests are in the park).
I've never seen a huge amount of guests using this service but I have no idea how that 'll work at Disney.
Anyway, Disney is desperate to fill their rooms and try anything. I wish them well.

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