Many visitors frequently find themselves looking for a relaxing yet entertaining way to wind down their day at Disney World’s many parks, or as an escape from a day cooped up inside their resort.
This desire often leads individuals to Disney Boardwalk, a quarter-mile waterside oasis that offers a variety of carnival-style games, shopping, street performers, dining, and nightlife options reminiscent of Atlantic City or Coney Island.
If you’re like most pet lovers and view your canine companion as just another member of your family, then the prospect of heading out for an evening of fun on the town without your beloved dog may not sit well with you. You may wonder if you can bring them along with you to experience the sights and sounds alongside you.
If you’ve tried researching “Are dogs allowed at Disney Boardwalk?” without much success, then hopefully, the information below will provide you with better answers.
What Is Walt Disney World’s Policy Regarding Pets?
The expansive Orlando area entertainment venue has long prohibited pets from entering its water and theme parks, riding on Disney transportation, staying in its resort hotels, and visiting its pools and restaurants. This policy means that dogs are not allowed at Disney Boardwalk – even though it’s an open-air, outside venue.
While Disney’s no pet policy has long been in effect, like all rules, there are a few exceptions to this one.
Exceptions to Disney’s No Pet Policy
Like any regulations, there are a few instances where your dog can accompany you. There are two instances where Walt Disney World’s leadership allows for pets, specifically dogs, on its premises.
When a Dog Is Working as a Service Animal
Disney World does have a Service Animal policy in place. It allows individuals to visit and enter many company premises establishments with a service animal in tow.
So, provided that you have a service animal, it’s unlikely that you’ll have any problem taking them to the Disney Boardwalk. You also shouldn’t have any difficulty traveling around on Disney’s many transportation options to and from your trip there.
When Staying at Disney World’s Pet-Friendly Resorts
Disney launched a pet-friendly pilot program at four of its 26 resorts in 2017. Those four resorts include:
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground Cabins
- Disney Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Each of the above-referenced Walt Disney resorts has specially designated sections or floors where dogs are permitted to stay with them and go on walks outdoors for exercise or to relieve themselves without disrupting other guests who may have allergies or other aversions to canines.
It’s important that you always keep your dog on a leash when moving around outside. You should also follow posted signs for cleaning up after your dog after they use the restroom.
Walt Disney World limits resort guests to two dogs per room.
While Disney World’s current pet policy gives some vacationers comfort in knowing that they can take their dog with them on their holiday, it can be a bit limiting if visitors have their mind set on staying in certain places or visiting specific venues.
For example, taking your dog for a stroll on Disney Boardwalk may be virtually impossible unless your dog is a designated service animal.
The good news is that if you happen to stay at one of the pet-friendly Disney resorts listed above, you can expect to find various pet relief areas strategically dispersed around these resorts to ensure your dogs also have an enjoyable vacation, just like you.
Does Disney Offer Kennels for Disney World Visitors’ Dogs?
Disney is well-known for its top-notch hospitality and its efforts to accommodate and please its human visitors. The Orlando area tourist attraction runs Best Friends Pet Care, which employs more than 75 animal care providers.
Best Friends Pet Care boasts:
- An air-conditioned indoor space that is 17,000 square feet
- Over 10,000 square feet of outdoor play areas, including runs and coverage from the sun
- A dog park spanning 25,000 square feet
This Walt Disney World pet care facility’s hours vary. Best Friends Pet Care opens one hour before the park’s opening and closes one hour after they shut down for the day.
However, they can also host up to 300 dogs, small pets, and cats as overnight guests with prior reservations.
Accommodations Dog Owners Can Choose From at Disney’s Best Friends Pet Care
Best Friends Pet Care offers fantastic accommodation options for dogs checked in at the facility. Whether they plan to be there for a day while their family is visiting Disney Parks or entertainment venues like Disney Boardwalk or as overnight guests for multiple days, they receive the same high-quality care and attention.
Accommodations options available for dogs at Best Friends Pet Care include:
- 32-square-feet to 48-square-feet indoor/outdoor suites
- 36-square feet exclusively indoor suites
- 72-square-foot vacation villas
- 226-square-foot VIP luxury suites
Each of these accommodations comes with potty walks, premium beds, meals, an optional snack, playdate opportunities, television and webcam access, bedtime stories, and baths.
Activities Dogs Enjoy at Best Friends Pet Care at Disney World
Dogs who spend the day or the entirety of their family’s vacation at this Disney World kennel may also enjoy a variety of enrichment activities while housed there, including:
- Cuddle sessions
- Exploratory walks
- Bedtime stories
The facility also offers holiday meals if a canine’s visit overlaps with certain celebratory times of the year.
What Documentation Do I Need To Pack if Traveling With My Dog to Disney World?
Whether you’re planning to check your dog in at Best Friends Pet Care kennel, taking part in the pilot pet-friendly resort program, or you intend to bring your canine with you as a service animal to Disney World’s many different attractions, it’s imperative you have the necessary documentation with you.
Keep in mind your pet’s behavior, too. Disney warns against bringing poorly-behaved pets on the premises.
You Must Bring Proof of Vaccination
Don’t forget to bring proof that your dog is up-to-date on their vaccinations with you. Best Friends Pet Care and some of the pet-friendly resorts listed above require your veterinarian to submit that documentation before check-in as a safety measure for all furry friends.
You should also keep any proof of vaccination on hand as you travel about Walt Disney World’s premises with your dog as a service animal. Any documentation that details your dog’s training as a service animal can also come in handy.
Know Your Rights When Considering Visiting Disney Boardwalk With Your Dog
If you’ve researched “Are dogs allowed at Disney Boardwalk?” you might have read a lot of conflicting information. Florida Statute 413.08 describes the state’s service animal laws. They entitle you to take your dog into certain public establishments under specific circumstances.
It can be helpful to have a printout of that Florida law with you as you navigate Disney World’s theme parks and entertainment venues like Disney Boardwalk or Disney Springs. You can pull it out when using transportation options, such as watercraft, monorails, or buses, and entering restaurants if needed.
This information may make all the difference if someone alleges that you’re doing something you can’t. Keep your proof nearby and stay informed.
Factors To Consider When Visiting Disney Boardwalk With a Dog
As in any scenario, you should carefully weigh the pros and cons of taking your dog with you to visit Disney Boardwalk before traveling there with them. An influx of people visit this attraction, which may not be ideal for your dog if they tend to be the unsocial type.
Also, remember that since Disney Boardwalk was designed to mimic a waterside area, grassy areas are limited, and wood plank decking abounds. Know that finding acceptable areas for your dog to relieve themselves may be challenging. Bring bags and anything else necessary for clean-up.
Additionally, know that you’ll need to keep your dog on a leash during their visit to Disney Boardwalk. So, ensure that your dog is acclimated to being on a leash for an extended period if you plan to take them with you to this attraction.
Your visit to Disney Boardwalk can make you feel like you’ve turned back time on the clock to yesteryear or escaped to a different venue somewhere long and far from sunny Florida. You don’t want to dampen your vacation by not thoroughly thinking through the ins and outs of your visit if you plan to bring your dog with you.
You may find it helpful to call around to some of the venues you plan to visit at Disney Boardwalk to verify that they’re on board with your plans to bring your pet. Simply ask them if they allow dogs at Disney Boardwalk or wherever else you plan to go.
As long as you plan ahead of time and carry your necessary documentation with you, things will go just fine! This will give you the peace of mind to enjoy your trip to Disney World, the most magical place on Earth.
More about our TFVG Author
A seasoned traveller, Dad, and avid sports tourist, James foundered The Family Vacation Guide to share his expert vacation experiences- especially when it comes to being a travelling family man.
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