Best Friends pet resort at Disney World offers royal treatment

Doggy Day Camp at Best Friends Pet Resort at Walt Disney World

Pet Care Associate Whitney Jansen lets the dogs out, photo by Garth Vaughan

I left my two beloved pet companions, a Yorkie named Milton and a Westie named Susie, at home with a neighborhood pet sitter when I traveled to the Walt Disney World Resort recently. I had a magical time, but my happiness would have been more complete if I hadn’t been worried about Milton and Susie while I was touring the theme parks. I missed them, and wished so much that I could have brought both of them with me.

Turns out, I could have.

On September 1, 2010, Best Friends Pet Care Resort opened at Walt Disney World Resort, across from Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-Riverside. Pluto, Mickey Mouse’s favorite pet, was on hand to welcome the pet resort’s first guests. Plenty of tail wagging ensued.

Having stayed at some of WDW Resort’s deluxe properties–Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and Disney’s Polynesian Resort–I can attest that the accommodations at these properties are indeed luxurious.

But Milton and Susie could have stayed in a pretty posh place, too. In fact, some of the amenities at Best Friends Pet Care Resort rival the ones at the Disney deluxe properties for human guests.

Grooming at Best Friends Pet Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Groomers Olga Kudinova (left) and Shelley Hanna (right), photo by Garth Vaughan

Do your pups love to be pampered? Well, Best Friends Pet Care is the best place for that. The resort’s grooming salon offers haircuts and “go-home-fresh” baths.

Pet parents can choose from a variety of accommodations, including VIP (Very Important Pet) suites and Vacation Villas. The most luxurious suites have plush raised bedding,  flat screen TVs (at doggy-eye-level), and  private outdoor yards.

Best Friends Pet Care Resort

Best Friends Pet Care Resort, now open at WDW Resort, photo by Garth Vaughan

The one-of-a-kind pet resort offers 17,000 square feet of air-conditioned indoor space, 10,000 square feet of covered outdoor runs and play areas, and a 25,000-square-foot dog park exclusively for the use of Best Friends clients and their pets.

Splash Time

Splash, Shake, Repeat! Photo by Garth Vaughan

Dog guests at the Best Friends Pet Care luxury pet resort can have a blast running through the canines-only splash-and-play area of the resort’s private dog park. Pet owners who stop by to walk and visit with their dogs can stroll the fenced walking trail with their pets or watch them play in the park. (Yes, I could have easily gotten my Milton-and-Susie “fix” when I wasn’t visiting the theme parks!)

Bedtime Story at Best Friends Pet Care

Doggone Good Story! Best Friends Pet Care associate Whitney Jansen reads a bedtime story to Moxie. Photo by Garth Vaughan

But the pooch pampering goes even further. At bedtime, dogs can enjoy “tuck-in” stories (101 Dalmatians seems like an obvious canine choice). They can also watch TV shows on “Animal Planet” or  enjoy DVDs like “The Adventures of Milo and Otis” or “Homeward Bound.” Other amenities include Ice Cream Treats, Puppy Cuddle Time, Bottled Water, Doggy Day Camp, and Premium/Orthopedic Bedding.


Pluto, Dennis Dolan, and Phil Bernard

Pluto, Dennis Dolan (CEO of Best Friends Pet Care, Inc.), and Phil Bernard (VP of Operating Participants for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts). Photo by Garth Vaughan


But Best Friends Pet Care resort also accommodates cats (who enjoy their own comfy “kitty condos” and special treats like “Tuna on a Ritz”) and other animals, including birds and “pocket pets,” such as hamsters, rabbits, and turtles. (One special guest was a rooster!) So I could have brought my guinea pig, Otto, along, too.

Is your pet looking over your shoulder and pawing wildly at this Web page? Maybe it’s time for Fido or Fluffy to have their own Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Make reservations at Best Friends Pet Care or by calling 877/4-WDW-PETS.