***Help us gather information on Disney's policies on dogs at resorts***

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by Lynne M, Oct 18, 2017.

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  1. Lynne M

    Lynne M Moderator Moderator

    Nov 4, 2001
    I want to use this thread as a place to gather whatever factual information we can about Disney’s policies on dogs at the resorts. Things seem to be in flux at the moment, and I expect the policies will be refined as time goes on. So, if you’ve been given policy information by Disney, whether by phone, e-mail, or in person, please share it here. Ultimately, we’ll use the information gathered here to build a FAQ thread, like the ones we have for refillable mugs and smoking.

    Here’s what I’d especially like to see posted here:

    >> Rules for pet owners, such as how long pets can be left alone, how barking dogs or other behavioral problems are handled, the number/breed/weight of dogs allowed per room, etc.

    >> Specific sections of resorts where guests with dogs are placed. If you bring a dog with you, let us know the location of your room.

    >> Locations where dogs can be walked, and any accommodations like special receptacles for waste in the area. If you’re told by a CM that you can’t take your dog into a specific area, let us know about that, too.

    Here’s what WON’T be permitted in this thread:

    >> This is not a debate thread. It’s for trip-planning information ONLY. Posts about how you love or hate having dogs at resorts will be deleted without comment. There are other threads on the board where you can debate.

    >> Criticism of guests with dogs, or criticism of people who complain about dogs, will be deleted without comment.

    >> Please don’t get into long back-and-forth discussions about whether a certain policy is bad, dumb, etc. When we get a FAQ put together, you can discuss policy there, as we do on the other FAQ threads. What I’m after here is pure information gathering and sharing. Post your policy complaints on one of the other dog-related threads.

    >> Wild rumors and speculation don't belong here. Post things like "I saw on Facebook that Disney's going to allow people to bring Komodo Dragons!" on another thread.

    Hopefully, the information we’re collecting here will be helpful to guests who wish to bring their pets along. It will also be of use to guests who wish to avoid resorts and areas of resorts where they’re likely to encounter dogs.
  2. mercexe

    mercexe Earning My Ears

    Jul 14, 2007
    I was told by a CM at the Disney "exec office" that at YC all garden view rooms and lagoon view rooms are eligible to take dogs; excluding club level. There is no dedicated dog area of the resort, no dedicated floor, no dedicated rooms. Guests with dogs will be allocated any room in the resort within that category. She said the number of dogs in the hotel at any time will be capped but she would not tell me the number.
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  4. andrewilley

    andrewilley GNU Terry Pratchett

    Oct 17, 2007
    [I'm reposting this from the other thread as I think it's relevant here and the information came from a senior source directly at Port Orleans on Tuesday 17 Oct]

    So we are now a few days into the trial, and the public outcry on social media and via communications directly to Disney has taken everyone by surprise - heck, it even took me aback, and I know how vocal Disney fans can be. I think it's safe to say that Disney completely underestimated the passion that many people would have on this subject, and the initial plans are being modified and policies rewritten on the fly at the moment. This process will probably remain fluid over the next few weeks, and Disney is closely monitoring and listening to the feedback and will continue to adjust procedures to try to make this trial work for everyone.

    Initially, as will have been seen from the printed Dog Relief Area maps, it was intended that all these happy fluffy pets (which everyone would surely like) would be permitted in any type of guest booking at Riverside (which is the only resort I can directly comment on) and the early announcements did state that the whole resort - barring certain areas such as food & beverage and swimming pools - would be canine accessible as long as the animals were kept under control and on a leash. However over the last 48 hours that intent has been severely trimmed back and they are now aiming to try to restrict dogs to only Standard and Garden View rooms, and the current intention from the room inventory department at Riverside is to use building 24 as much as possible for any guests who book to stay with their pets. This building is well away from the common areas, is located right next to the parking lot to make getting pets to and from rooms easier, and has a nice grassy area nearby to allow dogs to be exercised.

    However, although the telephone Reservations Center is now advising guests who wish to bring dogs with them that this will only be possible for Standard and Garden View rooms, the initial announcements - and even the currently posted wording on the Disney website - do not require guests to book that way, nor to preregister their dogs. Thus it is entirely possible that people who have booked for other room categories using the Disney website, via travel agents, through Expedia, etc. will simply show up at the front desk accompanied by their pet(s) and ask to pay the daily fee. This could mean that, in the short term at least, dogs will still need to be accommodated in other areas of the resort in order to comply with existing bookings. This will of course be closely monitored and subsequent deep-cleans arranged for any affected rooms, but at this stage it cannot be guaranteed that other areas of the resort will remain completely dog-free.

    I have reached out to my contacts at Riverside who have said that so far (i.e. in the first three days of the program) they have not yet had a single dog staying at the resort. Over the next seven days there are currently just four one-night reservations with associated comments indicating that the guest plans to bring a dog with them, against more than 100 comments over the same seven-day period asking to be assigned to a room away from the dog friendly areas. Those four one-night reservations are apparently all from local Florida residents, and personally I would not be at all surprised to find that some or all of them turn out to be from social media aware guests, or even bloggers or website owners, testing out the new policies for themselves. If there have been any booking cancellations because of this new policy then they have already been replaced with new reservations, as Riverside is either sold out or very close to it for the rest of the month.

    Please remember however that we are still only three days into a year-long trial period and there is plenty of time for any of the above information to change in line with practical needs and guest comments and experiences.

    I have updated my FAQ page with all the latest information and will continue to note changes there, http://www.portorleans.org/faqs.php#Dogs

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
  5. Suziepeach

    Suziepeach Earning My Ears

    Oct 16, 2017
    I was told by a CM at Fort Wilderness Campground that dogs' will be allowed in all of the cabins. This is verbatim per CM.
    Lori Moore and Ensusieasm like this.
  6. Ceilidhscot

    Ceilidhscot Mouseketeer

    Jun 11, 2017
    Staying at Riverside next year. Here's the response I received from the travel agent about the dog policy when I asked;

    The Dog friendly rooms are only for Garden Rooms and Standard rooms. Only certain areas and also floors are allocated to the dogs.

    There are dog walking areas so it will not disturb the guests whilst walking around, they are also not allowed to go any where near the pool areas or lagoons due to safety issues.

    When a dog and owner check in the owner has to have documents stating that it has been trained, had all of their jabs and must be obedient at all times. If the dog is not then it will be asked to leave the resort.

    They also said that if the person had a severe allergy to dog's they could try and move them to French Quarter (though did not say location within the resort and would no doubt be dependent on availability).
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  7. P'colaBeachBum

    P'colaBeachBum Go 'Noles!

    Dec 31, 2010
    I sent an email this morning to Iger, etc .Just got a call ( didn't leave a phone number) and he answered "some" of my questions.
    On enforcement...the dog owners will have to read and sign a waiver that will spell everything out. CM's are being instructed to deal with infractions.

    All requests to not be near or in a dog room will be honored. There will only be certain areas of the hotel for dogs.

    On the 7 hours...they know when you leave and when you get back from your room.

    Dogs at the YC will not be allowed on the beach or the main walkways.

    They have been getting MANY emails from people about the policy. I requested that they take a good sampling of questions that have been asked and post them, along with answers, on their website. He said there will be an FAQ. He even mentioned he has a dog that barks so he would not bring his to the resorts.
  8. Wubar

    Wubar What's this?

    Oct 4, 2017
    I had posted this earlier, but this is what I was told when Disney called me this past Sunday, 10/15/17. Mind you, I have since sent an email with about 7 additional follow-up questions to the CM who had given me her direct information, and I will post her answers once I hear back from her.

    1. There WILL be specific areas and rooms that are set aside exclusively for dog owners and their dogs. This is also apparently the same case as with service animals, and the number of dog-friendly rooms per resort will be capped. I asked what if all the dog-friendly rooms at one resort were full and one more dog owner called them and asked to book a room? She said they would either have to find availability at one of the other dog-friendly resorts or not bring the dog.

    2. Every room that has been occupied by a service animal (and "regular" dogs going forward) will automatically be deep-cleaned by mousekeeping upon their departure. Apparently there are different levels of cleaning, regular, deep-cleaning, and an additional higher level "medical deep clean", which can be specifically requested by those that have dog allergies. I asked why that would even be necessary, as those with allergies would most likely ask for a "no-dogs-ever" room, and she said the medical deep clean can be performed on any room, not just those rooms that had been occupied previously by dogs.

    3. There will be dog rules and policies that must be followed by dogs and their owners, and owners are required to have certain conditions met (shots, proof of vaccinations, etc) as well as signing various waivers upon check-in. She was unable to tell me how they would be enforced, who would be enforcing them, and what penalties that will be incurred, other than something like Disney holds its guests to very high standards, and they don't foresee problems happening all that often. She stressed that dogs would not be overtaking the resorts and the parks as a result of the new policy.

    4. Confirmed that yes, as of right now, 2 dogs are allowed, with no weight or size limits. I said what would prevent a family of 4 from bringing two adult akitas, to which she said, I doubt that would happen. I said, there are no rules to prevent it from happening, so are you prepared for what could happen if it does? She responded yes, and reinforced the standards that Disney expects from its guests.

    5. I expressed concern over the short 48 hour notice, especially for those that had reservations booked many months in advance, and she noted that anyone who had a problem with the new policy, specifically dog allergies, would only have to call the hotline and they would try to be re-accomodated. I expressed that according to what people had been noting on this board that is often not the case, and she said Disney is trying to make it work for all. ????

    6. She said Disney is absolutely NOT doing this for monetary gain, as any gain in revenues from dog fees would be minimal, at most. Not sure I believe that either, but I did ask specific questions about it.
  9. Dean Marino

    Dean Marino DIS Veteran

    Jun 3, 2015
    I'll comment on all DVC Properties:

    READ your "Declaration of Condominium". If you have lost your copy, request a NEW copy from Member Services.
    Sandy and I are homed at VWL (renamed to BRV) The SIGNIFICANT section of our "Declaration of Condominium" is Section 12.9. MANY "Declaration of Condominium" documents, for different DVC properties, tend to be boilerplate.... BUT: DO READ YOURS. This is part of your CONTRACT.
    I've enclosed this section, captured from the "Declaration of Condominium" on file with the State of FL for VWL (renamed to BRV):

    Attached Files:

  10. Ensusieasm

    Ensusieasm DIS Veteran

    Feb 14, 2013
    I received a call from a CM in response to my questions about Yacht Club and its proximity to Beach Club Villas. She said no dogs would be allowed on walkways or beaches and cast members would make sure this would be enforced. She said I should contact the resort a few days prior to my visit to request a pet free room and a room away from dogs. But, these requests could not be guaranteed.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
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  11. Wood Nymph

    Wood Nymph DIS Veteran

    Sep 19, 2012
    Disney has revised the information in the Help section of their website.


    Do you have any pet-friendly hotels?


    Yes. Designated dog-friendly rooms will be available at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney Port Orleans Resort – Riverside and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and the cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and will include Pluto’s Welcome amenity, which gives dogs and their owners a collection of dog-friendly items. Certain floors or sections of a hotel will be designated as dog-friendly, while the majority of areas will remain canine-free to accommodate Guests with allergies or other concerns. While there are no in-room services available at this time, Best Friends Pet Care does provide services like doggie day care at its nearby facility on Disney property if our human Guests are enjoying our parks for long periods of time.

    Here is the information from the Overview section of the Yacht Club section:

    Dog-Friendly Accommodations
    Bring your pampered pooch to stay with you at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.

    Here at Walt Disney World Resort, we know that dogs aren’t simply pets—they’re members of your family. And since family is at the heart of everything we do, for a limited time, your furry friends are welcome to join you at select Disney Resort hotels. Let the tail wagging commence!

    Note: Limit 2 dogs per room. Restrictions and fees apply.

    How to Book
    To bring your dog along on your upcoming visit, please call (407) 939-7539. Guests under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian permission to call.

    Services for Guests with Dogs
    During your stay, Best Friends Pet Care can provide assistance with dog walking, day care and other pet services (fees apply). For details, please call (877) 4-WDW-PETS or (877) 493-9738, or visit bestfriendspetcare.com. Guests under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian permission to call.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  12. Wubar

    Wubar What's this?

    Oct 4, 2017
    Just got off the phone with the Disney CM who has been handling all of my emails and questions. This is what she had noted:

    1. Dog-friendly areas have been more tightly restricted to areas around the 4 resorts. Dogs are not allowed in restaurants, pools, and common areas. Only specific rooms, walkways, and designated relief areas.

    2. Going forward, there will be specific rooms/areas for dog owners to stay with their dogs. However, with the case of pre-existing reservations, those owners can decide to bring a dog that hadn't thought about it beforehand, and in those situations where there are "unplanned" dogs accompanying their owners, dogs may be placed in rooms that are not part of the dog-friendly zone if all of the dog-friendly rooms are already booked. That will not be standard protocol, and going forward the amount of dogs per resort will be capped. Owners with dogs making new reservations will have to look elsewhere to the other dog-friendly resorts or not bring their dog.

    3. Dog owners will be expected to sign a specific sheet with terms and conditions about the dog during their stay. I asked for a copy, and she said she didn't have a copy of the waiver available, but that although each waiver is resort-specific, it generally includes much of what had been noted before - dogs cannot be unaccompanied for more than 7 hours in the room, any situations where a noisy dog has been reported must be remediated within 30 minutes, dogs must be on leashes when walking around the property, and are only allowed in specific areas (maps are available online). Management DOES have the right to enter the room and remove the dog if situations are not remedied in a timely fashion. I asked about the 30 minute rule, and how it seems impossible to rely on since it can take much longer than that for owners to return to their room if they are at the park or at another resort, and she said, they signed a waiver based on the terms and conditions set forth by Disney, so if they don't think their dog can behave in a proper manner while they are gone, then they should not leave the room for any extended period of time.

    4. I asked about enforcement, and she said CMs at each resort are being brought up to speed as to the new rules and regulations regarding the dog policy. She said CMs are also held to a high standard and are expected to enforce the rules when necessary and hold dog owners responsible if they break them. She noted that Disney does have the right to expel guests who break the rules. I noted that I have seen lax enforcement from CMs when it comes to other matters, and she said while she cannot speak as to what may happen in the future, CMs will probably be extra diligent in regards to the dog rules and complaints because of all of the attention it has received from current and future guests. She stressed that dog owners will be held to the terms and conditions on the signed waiver, and will be well aware that expulsion can result if their dog causes any problems.

    5. No room in any resort can ever be guaranteed to have been dog-free in its history, due to service animals being allowed to be placed in any room in the resort. She noted any room that has been occupied by a dog is automatically deep-cleaned for the next guest, and guests can always ask for the medical deep clean (a higher level clean) if needed in case of allergies, medical conditions, etc.

    6. As this is a trial basis, rules and policies can continue to be tweaked and rewritten as time goes by in order to respond to trends or issues.

    7. Dogs must be crated when riding the DME and placed on a seat, so she imagines only smaller and medium sized dogs are probably going to be riding the bus. She was unaware as to the level of cleaning MEARS does perform on the buses as well as the frequency. She said that those with allergies or phobias are welcome to take the next bus if the current bus has crated dogs onboard, but there is no guarantee that they would not endure any reactions or breakouts on any bus, because of the uncertainty surrounding the level and frequency of bus cleanings.

    8. She did say the website should be updated with new language regarding the dog policy. I have not checked yet, so I don't know if that is true, or how extensive or detailed that language is.

    On a side note, I asked if my request for a medical deep-clean for my room as well as my preference for a refurbished room would most likely delay my actual room assignment, and she said from a logistical basis, most likely. However, since the refurbished rooms at Pop now have laminate floors, there isn't the normal wait that comes along with carpeted rooms because of the requisite drying time.

    If i think of anything else that was discussed during the call (my notes resemble chicken scratch, so it's definitely possible), I will note them in a future post.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  13. shoreward

    shoreward DIS Veteran

    Jun 25, 2014
    Thank you so much for the very thorough, updated information. It is so nice to have accurate information posted, from reliable sources!
  14. agavegirl1

    agavegirl1 DIS Veteran

    Feb 23, 2012
    I emailed Guest services with a cc to Bob and George and just got off the phone with a CM. I had concerns specific to allergies and my booked stay at POR. I am booked in a preferred room category. The first words out of her mouth were "I see that you emailed Bob and George". What I gleaned from the conversation.

    1. Dogs will not be permitted in my room category, period. A person showing up with their pet for a preferred room reservation will need to relocate to a different room. If none are available, they will be forced to kennel the pet at Best Friends or one of a number of boarding facilities in the area (list to be provided).

    2. Pet friendly reservations must be made using the phone number provided on Disney's website. Online booking is not available for a pet friendly room.

    3. Service animal owners notify the resort in advance and a deep clean is performed after checkout. There is no chance of someone "sneaking" a pet into a room. How she could make this assurance is beyond my comprehension.

    4. The CM repeatedly assured me that I will not have to worry. The preferred rooms will not be affected. Guests with dogs will be held to a very high standard or this "test" will be discontinued.

    5. I provided only my email and name. Disney knew when I was checking in, how long I was staying, how many times I had visited and for how long as well as my phone number. I sent the email last night and received the canned "someone will reply to you in 7 days" email within minutes. Someone is listening.
  15. shoreward

    shoreward DIS Veteran

    Jun 25, 2014
    Thanks for sharing this information.

    Disney is all-knowing, all-seeing, when it comes to its guests, especially with the MagicBands. They know where you are, onsite, at all times, how and on what you spend your money there, and what types of resorts, attractions, and dining you like. This is all part of their marketing and planning.

    When you check-in to a resort, and they say "Welcome back," it's because they can see you tagged as a repeat guest, when they pull up your reservation.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
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  16. Gryhndmom

    Gryhndmom Can't I just live at Disney ?

    May 21, 2012
    Thanks for both of these updates! I believe that what was stated is reasonable and should please both sides.
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  17. cakebaker

    cakebaker DIS Veteran

    Jun 27, 2013
    I emailed them last week, got a phone call from guest services. Regarding AOA- pets will be allowed in Little Mermaid and the Cars suites. No specific rooms or floors there. Walking areas are behind these locations and no pets in the common area. I also got the information about the waiver guests with pets sign and that any guest who wants to see that waiver may request at the desk to see it. The general information I got matches what others have posted here. Disney seems to be very consistent in what they are telling guests.
  18. Kindermouse

    Kindermouse DIS Veteran

    Mar 6, 2016
    I am wondering if anyone has heard anything about a cleaning policy in terms of a way to note on ones reservations that a person is very allergic to dogs and needs to have a room very very well cleaned with all bedding and pillows swapped out if a dog has been in it and to not be placed in a room near guests staying with furry friends.

    I stayed at Pop Century 10/1-10/7 and had a severe asthma attack that required treatment at Centra Care urgent care and was even sent on to Celebration Hospital for additional treatment. I had never had an asthma attack in my life that I could remember. When I got home I told my mom about it and she said that I had had asthma when I was very young until they got rid of our dog when the realized I was severely allergic. After that I never had a problem again, and I didn't even remember ever having asthma. This is making me believe that my asthma attack was caused by there possibly being a dog in my room before me or in a near by room and dander got in through the air vents. I dont know this for sure but I suspect thought I will never know for sure. I also opted in on the Gift Card offer to forgo housekeeping for the week which, had I known that there was a possibility of dog dander in the room I would not have done. I saw a lot of pictures of people staying at Pop with the pets during hurricane Irma and afterward but it didn't occur to me that this might happen. I guess I assumed that anywhere a dog had been would automatically deep clean-yeah yeah I know what they about assuming.

    So what is their policy for cleaning up dog dander and allergens? What is their policy for keeping guests informed about coming into contact with pet dander and allergen contaminates so they can keep themselves healthy and safe. I know they are great about food allergies and have well stated policies in place for that so how about for those of us with dog allergies now that they are opening their doors for dogs all the time? I think it may have been different if I had been informed from the onset that a dog had been in my room or was right next door.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  19. Kay123456

    Kay123456 Mouseketeer

    Sep 4, 2017
    You have to call in and request it. They will note that you want a dog free room, but cant guarantee it, because they have always allowed service animals. You also have to request a VIP or medical grade clean. You can also make sure to book a resort that isnt allowing pets yet.
  20. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2007
    Remember that even before this service dogs might have been in your room, so with a high level of allergy you could have always requested their allergy cleaning.

    But as has been mentioned...

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  21. andrewilley

    andrewilley GNU Terry Pratchett

    Oct 17, 2007
    A copy of the waiver document which guests need to sign when they check dogs in to hotels: http://www.portorleans.org/Disney's-Port-Orleans-Resort-Riverside_Pet-Agreement_13-Oct-2017.pdf

    A few interesting new bits of information - accurate for Port Orleans Riverside specifically. Some of these don't seem to tie in very well with details that guest relations have been giving out during phone calls, but the following is what is actually being applied at the resort as of Saturday 21 Oct:
    • So far, the room assignment department at Port Orleans Riverside has not been given any specific directions from Walt Disney World management to indicate that they should enforce the accommodation of all dogs into building 24 only, so they are still expecting that existing booking for other room categories will be assigned to one of the original four dog-friendly areas (buildings 15, 24, 80 and 95 on the map). Building 24 will definitely be their preferred choice wherever possible though. For example, if a guest had booked a Royal River View Room room six months ago, and they now state that they wish to bring a dog with them, they will be assigned a room in building 95 close to the originally marked Dog Relief area on the Dog Friendly Locations map. Similarly, someone who originally booked a Preferred Location room would be placed in building 15.
    • Any guest who has expressed a wish to be located away from dogs will be assigned a room as far away as possible from those original four designated areas.
    • As far as common areas go, at the moment dogs will be permitted - under control and on leashes - in all common areas of the resort except for Food & Beverage locations (such as Boatwright's Dining Hall, the food court and presumably the River Roost Lounge) and the fenced pool areas. The lobby and even merchandise shop are fine, as are all the public pathways. This policy is covered by the wording in point 12 of the waiver document.
    • The maximum seven hour 'alone-time' rule will be mostly left to guests' honesty, but in cases where there is concern the electronic door-lock system can be interrogated remotely to prove how long a room has been left unattended. Similarly, Disney are aware that there may be situations where the required 30-minute return time to attend to a barking dog may potentially be difficult to enforce when guests are away from the hotel.
    As before, the information above is correct at the time of posting, but could all change again before long!

    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
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