Beginning Sunday, October 15th, 2017, the Walt Disney World Resort will welcome guests – and their dogs – to four of its resort properties, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.
Guests at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and the cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will be permitted to have up to 2 dogs in their resort room for an additional charge.
Each property’s per night / per room pet-cleaning rate is:
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort $50/night
- Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort $50/night
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort $75/night
- Cabins at Disney’s Ft. Wilderness Resort $50/night
While Disney states that the guests are responsible for the proper care, behaviour and waste maintenance of the dogs, I struggle to see how it will be enforced.
The rules indicate that the dogs must be well behaved and should not be left unattended in the room for more that 7 hours. If the dog is making noise while you are out (at the parks enjoying your vacation) they will call you to address the issue within 30 minutes. Given that Disney recommends up to 90 minutes to travel on property for dining reservations, I’m not sure how they expect owners to come back to their resort within 30 minutes to address ‘noise’.
I must admit that when I read the announcement, my first reaction was “NO”, this is not a good idea. I love some dogs, but I’m afraid of big ones – I have been all my life, so the thought of a big dog being in the hallway with me at my resort makes me very uncomfortable. There are people with severe allergies who would be concerned about checking in to a room where the previous occupant had 4 legs, but that is an issue today with service animals.
I know that Disney will do whatever they can to make ALL of their guests happy, but I think I may have to reserve judgement on this one until I see it in action. I was not affected adversely by any of the dogs on property during Hurricane Irma, it was quite the opposite. I loved seeing them playing around outside of the resort and they were all lovely, gentle dogs that I had the pleasure of being around.
On the other hand, I know that not all pet owners are responsible and not all dogs are well behaved. My sister has 2 west highland terriers, and while I love them dearly – they bark at their own shadows. That’s not a metaphor or exaggeration – if there is too much sunlight, it drives them CRAZY and they will spend hours barking at their own shadows. I will reiterate again, I do love them – but I wouldn’t want to be in a resort room next to them… especially on a sunny day!
Disney Facebook groups and Twitter have been very active with people sharing their opinions. Guests feel very strongly both for and against it, but it’s big news! Even People picked up the story today!
Service animals have been in the parks and resorts for years, and while there has been some chatter about people taking advantage of the ‘service animal designation’ – the volume of animals was pretty limited. How will this change with this new policy? Only time will tell.
I believe it will still be a small number of guests who will pay the cleaning fee in addition to their resort reservation to bring their dogs with them. Who would want to pay $50 per day to leave your dog at the resort while you’re at the Magic Kingdom? Why not have them at the Best Friends Pet Care Centre where they would not be alone and have plenty of activities to keep them entertained?
While the logistics of how this will work are still to be seen, it will be interesting to watch how Disney handles the negative feedback to this and multiple requests for ‘deep cleaning’ of the rooms before check in. Many resorts outside of Disney have this option and it’s a positive thing for many whose kids have 4 legs. The question is how Disney will manage it. Will Mousekeeping be overloaded trying to thoroughly clean the rooms? Will the landscaping crews find more than just dirt around the flowers? Or will everyone be responsible, respect the other guests, follow the rules and enjoy having their dogs with them at the happiest place on earth?
We shall see… but just so you know – my sister’s dogs (Dug and Angus) will NEVER be on vacation with me 🙂
For full details – please see the official information here
Will you take your dogs on vacation to Walt Disney World? What do you think of this decision?