Walt Disney World to Welcome Dogs at Select Hotels

Soon Fido will be able to meet Mickey and the gang.

Beginning Oct. 15, guests will be allowed to bring dogs if they stay at select hotels at Walt Disney World. Travelers will be limited to two dogs per room, and dogs will be required to be leashed in public areas and have the proper vaccinations.

Guests who choose to bring their furry companions will pay a $50 fee per night at three of the hotels (Art of Animation Resort, Port Orleans Riverside Resort and the cabins at Ft. Wilderness Resort) and $75 nightly fee at the Yacht Club Resort. The fee will go towards extra cleaning for the rooms.

To make dogs’ stay more comfortable, Disney provide amenities for their four-legged guests, including a mat, bowls for food and water, an ID tag and puppy pads. Guests will also receive plastic disposable bags and maps of green spaces for dogs to walk around. The rooms will also come with a specific “Do Not Disturb” sign to alert hotel staff if a dog is in the room.

The move was likely driven by Disney’s competition with other Orlando-area resorts, said Melissa Halliburton, president and founder of pet-travel website BringFido.com. In particular, three on-site hotels at nearby Universal Studios which is pet-friendly. Halliburton said Orlando is in the top five most-searched destinations on her site.

“For years, families have struggled with the decision whether to bring their four-legged companions along on vacation to the Most Magical Place on Earth,” Halliburton said. Previously, visitors who wanted to stay on Walt Disney World property could bring dogs to the campgrounds at its Ft. Wilderness Resort. Service dogs are also allowed in the parks, and there are pet rest stations throughout.

The news was met with mixed reactions. Dog-lovers celebrated the change, while those with allergies and aversions to dogs were concerned about the implications.

Though Disney did not specify its plans, Halliburton said it’s likely the company will take precautions to ensure other guests are comfortable. “Most hotels set up a particular floor for pets, so people with allergies are never assigned a room on that floor and don’t deal with any residual dander,” she said.

Pet-friendly accommodations are a growing trend in the travel industry. Some 53% of travelers vacation with their pets, according to travel news site Skift, citing a TripAdvisor survey.

Millennials are driving this trend, Halliburton said. “They are choosing to have children later in life — but their dogs have taken that spot in their hearts, and they want to travel with them,” she said. For those looking to travel to Walt Disney World with their animals, Halliburton recommended they plan ahead to ensure they get a pet-friendly room and bring a copy of their vet’s records and a photo of their animal in case it gets sick or goes missing.

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Changes Coming to Disney’s Yacht Club Resort Dining Options

The Market at Ale & Compass is the first step in a major re-imagining of dining at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, including a re-imagined lobby lounge and new concept for the former Captain’s Grille.

The airy, new market offers a small merchandise area (which is set to open later this month) and 28 seats for casual dining. With both made-to-order and grab ‘n go, you can start the day with an egg white wrap, spinach and feta pastry, or sticky bun. Lunch and dinner include specialties such as grilled paninis, ham and Cheddar on a pretzel roll and a veggie sandwich with roasted broccoli and garlic, kale, almond, golden raisins and cheese on a whole-grain baguette.

A grab ‘n go selection offers sandwiches, salads and other eats, including kid-friendly items. For sips, there’s a Coca-Cola® Freestyle, beer and wine, and a specialty drinking station that offers both specialty coffees and smoothies.

A whole new Ale & Compass concept debuts at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort in October, when the lobby lounge is transformed with a new interior and expands to 58 seats, offering a new menu of classic cocktails and light bites. But the biggest change is the adjacent Captain’s Grille, which becomes Ale & Compass Restaurant.

The Ale & Compass Restaurant menu is still in the works, but the re-imagined restaurant will have a gastropub ambience with New England-inspired comfort food, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. An on-stage hearth oven is the focal point. Décor is inspired by the cozy warmth of a lighthouse, as a comforting respite from the outside world. The casual, table-service restaurant is on the Disney Dining Plan.

Disney Releases Room Only Discounts and Package Offers at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Along with the release of today’s Free Dining package, Disney has also released three more offers, including a room-only offer.

Room-Only offer

It’s the perfect time to stay in the middle of the magic! You can save up to 25%* on rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights Aug. 1-Oct. 7, 2017 when you book by Aug. 31, 2017.

With this offer, you can enjoy distinctive Disney Resort Guest benefits and amenities – including early access to Disney FastPass+ planning, Extra Magic Hours, complimentary Resort transportation, standard parking and entertaining amenities!

Plus, you can uncover a magical mix of new and unforgettable experiences when they add theme park admission, including Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.

Booking Window: April 24-Aug. 31, 2017

The following room types and Disney Resort hotels are excluded:

  • 3-bedroom villas
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows – Bungalows
  • Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Length-of-stay requirements may apply. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes 3-bedroom villas, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms and the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. 25% savings for select Disney Deluxe and Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts; lower savings may be available at other select Disney Resort hotels.
Travel Window: Aug. 1-Oct. 7, 2017

Enchanted Escape Package

You can enjoy a package that includes a 4-night stay in a standard room at a select Disney’s All-Star Resort and 4-day Magic Your Way base tickets for as low as $1,890.* Sample package price is valid for a family of 4 for stays most Sunday through Thursday nights from August 13 through October 5, 2017.

Late summer is a great time for you to sneak in a family vacation at Walt Disney World® Resort. Together, you can explore exciting experiences across all 4 theme parks—and still be among the first to visit Pandora – The World of Avatar, an all-new awe-inspiring land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® theme park.

Book through August 31, 2017.

Are you planning a longer stay or have more people in your party? Check availability for packages that can accommodate other lengths of stay and party sizes.

Booking window: April 24, 2017 – August 31, 2017
(Sunday-Thursday nights)

Travel window: August 1 – October 7, 2017

*Price based on 2 adults, 1 junior (ages 10-17) and 1 child (ages 3-9). The number of packages available at this rate is limited. Savings based on the non-discounted price of the same package. Tickets are valid for one Theme Park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required.

Kid-Size Enchanted Escape Package

You can explore a package that includes a 3-night stay in a standard room at a select Disney’s All-Star Resort and 2-day Magic Your Way base tickets for as low as $938*. Sample package price is valid for a family of 3 for stays most Sunday through Thursday nights from August 13 through October 5, 2017, when you book from now through August 31, 2017.

With this offer, you can uncover a treasure trove of fun together, including up-close encounters with Disney Junior pals, sing-along stage shows and more than 80 preschool-friendly attractions.

Are you planning a longer stay or have more people in their party? Check availability for packages that can accommodate other lengths of stay and party sizes.

Booking window: April 24, 2017 – August 31, 2017
(Sunday-Thursday nights)

Travel window: August 1 – October 7, 2017

*Price based on 2 adults and 1 child (ages 3-9). The number of packages available at this rate is limited. Savings based on the non-discounted price of the same package. Tickets are valid for one Theme Park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required.

 

Yacht and Beach Club Plans Convention Space Expansion

Walt Disney World’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort plans to expand its convention space with an additional 25,000 square feet.

That will bring total convention space at the resort to 100,000 square feet.

Reedy Creek, the Disney-controlled taxing district, filed a permit application with the South Florida Water Management District this week for the work. Construction will also include additional parking space across Epcot Resorts Boulevard. Plans show the convention space being expanded to the north, where there is now a parking area.

The work will start next month and be finished in spring of 2018.

Rooms at the resort will also be refurbished, a Disney spokeswoman said. That will start in January and take about a year.

There has been speculation that expanding the Yacht and Beach Club’s convention center could lead the way to demolition of meeting space at the Contemporary hotel to make way for more timeshare units there, said Tim Krasniewski, editor of DVCNews.com, in an email.

The Yacht and Beach Club, one of Disney World’s deluxe resorts, opened 25 years ago. Events held there include last year’s Economic Growth Summit that featured speeches by Republican presidential candidates.

From the Orlando Sentinel