Park of the Week: SeaWorld San Diego

New 'luxury pet resort' coming to Walt Disney World

December 4, 2007, 2:09 PM · Okay, I'm way out of my area of experience here, but this item struck me as interesting nevertheless.

Walt Disney World has announced that it has contracted with a company called Best Friends Pet Care Inc. to build a new, luxury 'pet resort' at Walt Disney World:

Pet guests will enjoy such amenities as luxury suites with television and raised bedding, activities such as nature walks and playgroups, and pampering services ranging from ice cream treats to bedtime stories. The state-of-the-art facility will be located on Bonnett Creek Parkway in the Walt Disney World Resort, and is expected to open in mid-2009.

Full disclosure: I don't have pets, never had had one, don't particularly like having them around in the hotel where I'm staying. That said, if folks want to take their pets along on vacation and have them well cared for, they ought to have that option.

I just have no clue whether this is a great idea, or totally over the top, or how it compares with pet care at other vacation destinations. Pet owners, please chime in with a comment offering your thoughts about pet accommodations during your theme park vacations.

Replies (9)

December 4, 2007 at 2:56 PM · Thanks for letting me know...i'll have to stay as far away as possible from this hotel since i am highly allergic to cats and dogs. I love dogs too and this new pet resort really isnt a bad idea...wish i could go there.
December 4, 2007 at 5:41 PM · haha bet time stories to cats and dogs come on now??? I think this might be good for disney but i just think its way over the top! Not one dog or cat is going to understand a bedtime story haha i find that pretty funny! oh and dont you think ice cream treats will be pretty unhealthy for a cat or dog???
December 4, 2007 at 5:40 PM · Not really much of a surprise for me! The pet industry is HUGE!!! I used to manage a small pet store company while I attended college before I graduated and got a job in the amusement industry. I can't begin to tell of how I saw first hand the way people treated their pets!
I also have a sister-in-law that recently woke up to the reality that the pain her dog was taking on was just truely un-just! She use to spend over 400 a month just for medicines for her over aged dog to just stay alive! Not to mention the thousands of dollars she spent in operations on her dog just to try to help the poor thing deal with it's older age! I never could understand the connection, but still respected her on how she handled things. Me, .....personally I would have had the dog put down. I couldn't stand to see the poor thing hurting when it walked, bumping into walls, doors, etc...yet she felt it was ok to just have the dog alive for her when she needed it.
For the record, I'm an animal lover. I just think there is a fine line that needs to be crossed for the sake of the animal. She finally had her dog put to rest only because she was afraid that close family friends from over seas were coming for a visit and she didn't want them to think she was being cruel to her dog.

OK....enough!!! Story told, just one way I saw first hand on how some people may go out of their way to treat their pets. If this is any indication of how the majority of pet owners feel towards their pets, and include the billions of dollars spend annually in the pet industry, and you have your answer as to whether or not this "luxury pet resort" will be a hit?

December 4, 2007 at 7:34 PM · I just read the article and found it to be quite interesting. I myself do not own any animals but my parent's own a cocker spaniel named "Sable" which I love. Since they brought the dog, I have found out there is doggie insurance available (works just like our insurance, only covers medical costs & prescriptions for dogs) which was a surprise to me. Also, when we go on vacation, they place Sable in a resort. It is a money-maker believe me. The place is always jam packed. They do walks, treats (they have peanut butter cones for an additional $5 a day) and other amenities. Also, the peanut butter cone holder is plastic and "glows-in-the-dark." When I inquired why, the young lady who works there told me in case a dog eats it, it will show up on x-ray. I think the television is a little over the top, but to each his own.
December 4, 2007 at 7:58 PM · Not suprised! Its a little strange, but it seems to be all the rage today. Funny Disney didn't think of this before.
December 5, 2007 at 5:31 AM · Interesting idea. I have stayed at the Loews Hotels in the past in Orlando and they offer pets a gourmet menu and goodie baskets for your pet. It may seem a bit over the top since I think that they will charge for many of the extras such as bed time story etc. If they can maximize the experience for all pet owners i.e. rabbits/ferrets etc could you imagine the smell?? I am curious as to whether it will be more of a boutique hotel vs. the behemoths that are currently on Disney property. Either way it will be interesting to see how it turns out--I am sure Disney will make it magical in some way...
December 5, 2007 at 6:39 AM · I think some of you are reading this incorrectly. It isn't a traditional hotel for people and their pets, it's a pet hotel (like a luxury kennel for pets only). They are becomming increasingly popular in the US and Europe as pets become more a member of the family. People aren't as inclined to want to put their beloved dogs in a kennel anymore, and pet hotels are the answer. I've actually boarded my two terriers at one while on vacation, and I have to say, the extra expense is worth it. They come home well fed, exercised, playful, and happy. The one time I left them in a kennel they nearly starved themselves to death worrying that they'd been abandoned. Pet hotels provide personal attention,comfort (the tv in the room is to make the place seem like home, and to provide some noise to keep dogs company - some dogs even like to watch tv - who knew?!), and interaction with other dogs.

One pet hotel my dogs stayed at while I was at a job interview (the company REALLY wanted me to come work for them so they offered to put the dogs up in a luxury pet hotel while I was staying overnight at a luxury golf cottage!) actually had an indoor swimming pool. After one night, I came to pick the dogs up for a walk, and when I dropped them back off, they ran back into the place like they'd already forgotten who I was! My one dog has separation anxiety when I leave him overnight, but he loved the place and wagged his tail every time we drove past it after we moved there (yes, did you think I wouldn't take a job that wanted me so badly they pampered my spoiled pets?).

I think it's a great idea and it will make a fortune! (I wonder if they're hiring?)

December 5, 2007 at 2:02 PM · That's rediculously great news for people with the extra money to spoil their pets, these are the same people who put the pets in their will.
December 5, 2007 at 6:29 PM · I guess its good for people who spoil their pets, and there must be a market for it....personally I dont think it will matter that much to a creature who's biggest joys in life are buttsniffing and rolling in their own poop.

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