Does Disney World Allow Dogs? Rules for Dogs at Disney World Resorts

by | Sep 22, 2021 | WDW Blog, WDW Resorts

Here’s what you need to know about fees and rules for dogs at Disney World Resorts.


Once upon a time, when I went to the Walt Disney World Resort for the day, I’d bring Calypso, my long-hair dachshund, with me. For the bargain price of $10, I could board her in a kennel at whatever park I chose to visit that day. Throughout the day, I could come to check on her and walk her.

But then, in 2010, WDW Resort closed the kennels at the individual parks. Instead, they opened Best Friends Pet Care

🐶 Best Friends Pet Care

Best Friends Pet Care at Disney World Exterior_Best Friends Pet care

Best Friends Pet Care is in the Disney Springs area of WDW Resort. Photo courtesy Best Friends Pet Care

While there’s no argument it’s a far more luxe facility (the VIP package includes a turndown service, webcam monitoring, and a bedtime story), Best Friends lacked the most important thing to me: easy access to Calypso during the day, because Best Friends is in the Disney Springs area.

To the delight of everyone at WDW Magazine, anyone can tune in to see what the daycare doggies are doing at Disney World right now.

Click here to view the live Best Friends pet cams!

That’s why I rejoiced when WDW Resort announced an ongoing pilot program that allowed guests to have their dogs with them in certain WDW resorts. 

Calypso and I tested this out, along with my friend Nicole and her slightly larger (I like to think of him as a Tramp-sized dog, compared to Calypso’s Dachsie-size, a la Lady and the Tramp.) Here’s what Nicole and I learned, and what you want to know if you’re considering bringing your dog to the Walt Disney World Resort.

🐶 Dogs at Disney World Resorts

Calypso the Dog at Walt Disney World_Salustri

The author’s dog, Calypso, takes a magic carpet nap at Port Orleans Riverside Resort. Photo by Cathy Salustri

Aside from the campgrounds at Fort Wilderness – which have always allowed pets in RVs, provided campers reserve a pet-friendly loop – four Walt Disney World Resort hotels currently allow dogs: 

  • The Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort (Moderate)
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (Value)
  • Disney Port Orleans Resort – Riverside (Moderate)
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort (Deluxe)

This means no matter what level of lodging you choose, you’ll have an option to bring your pup. Each hotel has designated potty spots for your pup, too.

🐶 Not All Areas are Pet-Friendly

Make no mistake: The Cast Members are wildly pet-friendly. When Calypso and I walked into the lobby of Port Orleans, everything ground to a halt while she graciously accepted pets. 

That doesn’t mean dogs have carte blanche on the property.

The Walt Disney World Resort limits which floors of its pet-friendly hotels allow pets, and pets can’t go in restaurants, pool areas, or recreational-type places (so no letting your Newfie down the waterslide, OK?)

Goodie Bags from Pluto

Calypso the Dog at Disney World Resort_Salustri

Calypso guards her elaborate goodies from Pluto. Photo by Cathy Salustri

When we checked in to the dog-friendly Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, each pup received Pluto’s Welcome Kit

Calypso and I have stayed at plenty of dog-friendly hotels where the “goodie bag” was a roll of dog bags and a single dog biscuit. Not so at the Walt Disney World Resort! 

The Disney World Resort goodie bags included Disney-themed dog bowls, a Pluto placemat, and yes, a roll of dog poop bags – but they came in a yellow dog-bone shaped holder that clipped to the leash. 

We also received a door hanger alerting housekeeping about our pets. I’m going to be honest—I was a little jealous. 

🐶 Dog Rules at Disney World Resorts

Aside from not being able to bring your dog to certain places, people who bring the dogs to a Walt Disney World Resort hotel enjoy more lax rules than many other Florida hotels. 

1. Time in the Room

I travel with Calypso a lot, and it’s standard for a hotel to have rules that make me feel like they’re pet-tolerant rather than pet-friendly.

Such rules include not being able to leave your dog alone in the room for more than 45 minutes, not allowing your dog on the bed, insisting you keep your dog in a crate when you leave the room for those 45 minutes… the list goes on and on. 

When Calypso and Dougal and Nicole and I stayed at Port Orleans Resort –Riverside, I was impressed that the Walt Disney World Resort allowed Dougal and Calypso to stay unattended in the room for up to seven hours.

2. Number of Dogs

Pet-Friendly Walt Disney World Resorts allow up to two dogs.

Beyond that, WDW basically asks you to be courteous. Not a lot to ask for the privilege of bringing your dog on your next Walt Disney World vacation.

3. You’re Clean-Up Crew

The dog-friendly rooms at Disney World hotels are chosen for their easy access to a lot of places to walk your dog.

And of course, Pluto included those poop bags for a reason. Guests are expected to clean up after their pets before a toddler comes rollin’ through that same patch of grass.

4. No, Stitch!

Beyond the rules above, WDW basically asks you to be courteous. Dogs should be kept on a leash, able to behave themselves around others, and be fully vaccinated. Not a lot to ask for the privilege of bringing your dog on your next Walt Disney World vacation.

🐶 Pet Fees at Disney Resorts

Dougal the Dog at Disney World_Nicole-Spence

Dougal chillin with Tiana at Riverside Resort. Photo by Nicole Spence.

Again, Calypso and I stay at plenty of Florida hotels, and I’ve seen hotels charge up to $75 per pet, per night AND a one-time cleaning fee. When my husband and I travel together with Calypso and her Pluto-sized sister, Banyan, that adds up… fast. But we found Disney World’s Dog Fees to be much more flexible.

Walt Disney World Pet Fees Per Resort:

  • $5.00 Fort Wilderness Campground Pet-Friendly Sites
  • $50.00 Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • $50.00 Disney Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • $75.00 Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

As with so much of what the Walt Disney World Resort offers its guests, dog-friendly resort stays offer dog lovers a special kind of magic

Of course, you still have the option of bringing your pet to Best Friends Pet Care while you’re in the park, or staying overnight – but for dog-lovers like me and Nicole, it was convenient, easy, and inexpensive to have our pups with us during our vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort.

🐶 How to Bring Your Dog to Disney World

Disney World likes to have a heads-up when dogs are along for the magic. They pack a lot of star power after all, and Mickey’s gotta prepare for all the head pats and “who’s a good boy?” banter. So you’ll have to call Disney at (407) 939-7539 to secure your Stitch a spot.

Since you’re making a call anyhow, we recommend you contact our friends at Destinations to Travel instead.

Their services are FREE and they will plan your dog’s entire vacation to perfection. And if anything goes wrong, they are right there to fix it, even while you’re at the resort.

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Written by Cathy Salustri

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Cathy Salustri's formative years—by which she means her teens and twenties—revolve around Walt Disney World, whether it was having an OG annual pass (four months out of the year only!), wearing acid-washed denim to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party with her hard-rock wannabe sort-of boyfriend, or working as a walking tour guide at the now-defunct Inside the Magic attraction at the then-Disney-MGM Studios. She loves all of Florida, too, not just Disney—her Florida travel narrative, "Backroads of Paradise", earned her an interview in the New York Times, and she freelances for all sorts of Florida publications. Look for her and her husband at EPCOT, usually feasting on food at Morocco, or at Animal Kingdom Lodge, sharing a post-Disney scotch at Victoria Falls. Follow her travels on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, listen to her Florida Spectacular podcast, and sign up for her monthly feel-good Florida newsletter.
Cathy Salustri

Written by Cathy Salustri

Cathy Salustri's formative years—by which she means her teens and twenties—revolve around Walt Disney World, whether it was having an OG annual pass (four months out of the year only!), wearing acid-washed denim to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party with her hard-rock wannabe sort-of boyfriend, or working as a walking tour guide at the now-defunct Inside the Magic attraction at the then-Disney-MGM Studios. She loves all of Florida, too, not just Disney—her Florida travel narrative, "Backroads of Paradise", earned her an interview in the New York Times, and she freelances for all sorts of Florida publications. Look for her and her husband at EPCOT, usually feasting on food at Morocco, or at Animal Kingdom Lodge, sharing a post-Disney scotch at Victoria Falls. Follow her travels on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, listen to her Florida Spectacular podcast, and sign up for her monthly feel-good Florida newsletter.

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