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Best Friends Pet Care Opens At Walt Disney World

Today, September 1, 2010, the Best Friends Pet Care Luxury Resort opened at Walt Disney World. Located on Bonnet Creek Parkway, across from Disney's Port Orleans Resort, this brand new, 50,000 sq ft state of the art complex is the cats meow. (Sorry, but I couldn't resist that.) Seriously, this new pet care center is like the Grand Floridian for pets.

Best Friends Pet Care sign

For those of you who don't know, the five kennels on WDW property have been operated and staffed by Best Friends for the past two and a half years. Those five kennels will be closing very soon and afterward all "on property" pet care will be handled at this new facility.

This new pet resort offers over-night boarding, daycare, grooming services and doggy day camp. WDW resort guests can bring their dogs, cats and "pocket" pets (such as rabbits, hamsters, fish, etc.) to use the facilities. Unfortunately, no snakes, spiders, etc. will be accepted here.

This very large complex consists of the following:

- 17,000 sq ft of indoor air conditioned space
- 10,000 sq ft of covered outdoor patios and play areas
- 25,000 sq ft private dog park
- Two, 1,100 sq ft doggy day camp rooms
- Can accommodate 300 dogs, cats and pocket pets

I know you're interested in what this all costs. I will post the services and rates at the end of this blog. It's probably a good idea you get a feel for the place first.

Here's some pictures of the outside of the new Best Friends Pet Center:

Front of Best Friends

Front of Best Friends

Front of Best Friends

Front of Best Friends

Since this was the Grand Opening of the facility there was a brief ceremony to kick things off. Vanessa Rosas, WDW Ambassador, started by welcoming everyone to the new facility. She then introduced Phil Bernanrd, VP Operating Participants, Walt Disney World and he was followed by Dennis Dolan, CEO of Best Friends. Once everyone finished with their comments, Pluto joined everyone on the stage and counted down to the opening. Here's a video of that ceremony.


Pluto and friends

There were lots of media and Disney executives in attendance and everyone got a guided tour of the facility. To make things more manageable the tour groups were quite small. This worked out really good because some of the areas weren't very large. Anyway, I was fortunate to have Kristin Krumpe, VP Marketing for Best Friends as my tour guide. She had a great personality and was very, very knowledgeable. Also, there were dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters and a fish in the facility today. However, none of them belonged to Disney guests; they were pets of either Disney Cast Members or Best Friends associates.

Tour guide Kristin

The first place we got to see was the 25,000 sq ft Dog Park. This park consists of the following:

- 600 ft walking trail
- 3,300 sq ft artificial turf play area
- 4,500 sq ft grassy knoll play area
- 1,300 sq ft "splash and play" area
- Two 1,400 sq ft areas where owners can sit and play with their pets

Here are some pictures of the Dog Park:

Dog Park

Dog Park

Dog Park

Dog Park

And of course there are rules that must be obeyed.

Dog Park Rules

The top of the line accommodations for dogs are the VIP (Very Important Pets) Suites. There are four of these 226 sq ft luxury suites that feature a flat panel TV, raised platform bed and a private, covered outdoor play yard. By the way, the movie being shown today was Lady and The Tramp.

VIP Suites

VIP Suites

VIP Suites

In addition to the VIP Suites there are 14 72 sq ft Vacation Villas that include flat panel TV, 28 sq ft private outdoor patio and raised platform bed. And 36 48 sq ft Indoor/Outdoor 2 Room Suites that include indoor bedroom with cot and an outdoor patio.

Vacation Villas

Vacation Villas

Vacation Villas

Vacation Villas

There is a large room for cats. Each kitty room has an adjacent litter box area that's separate from the sleeping area. Some of the kitty rooms have two levels and others just one level. I should mention that all the rooms in the facility are air conditioned.

Kitty rooms

Kitty rooms

The Pocket Pet area is basically shelves. If you want to bring a "pocket pet" here you must bring your own cage and food.

Pocket Pet room

And finally, they do provide grooming services for your pet.

Grooming services

Vaccine Requirements: Dogs must be current on Rabies, DHPP and Bordetella. Cats must be current on Rabies and FVRCP. Written proof from a vet is required.

There are no veterinary services provided at this facility. They do have a number of outstanding local vets that could be called in if an emergency arose.

There are web cams so you can watch your pet as long as you have access to the internet.

OK, what does all this pampering and luxury cost? Well, here's the current pricing structure:

Dog Boarding

Indoor Boarding
Includes two potty walks.
Standard $37.00
Resort Guest $34.00

Indoor/Outdoor Boarding
Includes one potty walk.
Standard $40.00
Resort Guest $36.00

Vacation Villas

Includes one potty walk, playgroup, a flat screen TV & a turn-down biscuit.
Standard $59.00
Resort Guest $53.00

VIP Luxury Suites

Includes two potty walks, two playgroups, a flat screen TV, webcam,
bedtime story and a Go Home Fresh bath*
Standard $76.00
Resort Guest $69.00
*Go Home Fresh Bath requires a minimum 3 paid overnight
boarding stay and is limited to one pet in suite. Haircuts are extra.

a la carte

Playgroup $15 for 30 min
Playtime $8 for 10 min
Cuddletime $8 for 10 min
Walk & Explore $8 for 10 min
Bottled Water $5 per day
Bedtime Story $6 per story
Ice Cream Break $4 each
Holiday Meal $5 each
Premium Bed $5 per day

Cat Boarding

Cats - Two Level Condo
Standard $23.00
Resort Guest $21.00

Cats - Four Level Condo
Standard $32.00
Resort Guest $30.00

a la carte

Playtime $8 each
Cookies & Milk $3 each
Tuna on a Ritz $3 each
Activity Toy $3 per day
Deluxe Kitty Bed $5 per day

Pocket Pets

Standard Resort Guest
Small $12 $10
Medium $16 $14
Large $20 $18
X Large $23 $21
*2nd and 3rd pets sharing Standard suite will receive 30% off
**2nd and 3rd pets sharing Villa or Luxury suite will receive 50% off


Daycare

Up to 6 Hours Over 6 Hours
Indoor $16 $27
Indoor/Outdoor $18 $30
Vacation Villas $30 $53
Super Suites $46 $69
Cats - Two Level $15 $18
Cats - Four Level $21 $26

Daycamp

Full Day $27

Value Point Packages (1pt = 1visit)

5 Point Packages $125

20 Point Packages $480

I was told that the VIP Suites are pretty much booked on the weekends this fall and that the weekdays are beginning to fill up. Disney guests love to pamper their pets and this is the place for them to do that.

This new facility is very impressive and should be extremely popular among pet lovers who come to visit Walt Disney World.

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Well, that’s all for now. As my good friend says, “see ya real soon”….DizneyMike

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The previous post in this blog was "Must Have" Items That You Purchase At Walt Disney World .

The next post in this blog is Where Are Your Special "Quiet Places" In Each Of The Disney Parks?.

Comments (28)

Cindy Hershey:

Thank you so much for this blog! Our dog, Katie, is booked for a VIP suite in October. It's nice to see actual pictures of the facility and the rooms.

Dennis:

My family and I travel to WDW with our daughter's service dog. On the days we go to the Animal Kingdom we have always borded the dog in the kennel there because of the many restrictions they have for dogs. All of which I agree with. We fly to WDW so we never have a car. Is Disney going to run some kind of shuttle to and from the hotels to the new kennel?

DizneyMike replies: Dennis, great question. According to the FAQ on the Best Friends web site they do not offer a pickup or drop off service to hotels. (Do you provide pick up/drop off to my hotel? We do not offer transportation services.) Also, I suspect that there isn't any Disney bus service to that location. However, I'm sure that your hotel concierge will be able to arrange transportation to and from the kennel for you. However, I will do some more research and will let you know what I find out...Mike

Pat:

Flat screen TV? Bedtime story? Webcam? Bottled water?
Isn't this excessive?

DizneyMike replies: Pat, obviously there is a market for that type of pampering. To many people their pets are their children so they treat them really well...Mike

Vanessa Gordon:

The cat boarding looks like cages on the wall, did I miss something? I would want my 2 cats to share a VIP room with a tv- yes they watch tv they love baseball and Disney movies. ( Must be the bright colors).

DizneyMike replies: Vanessa, there really wasn't anything special their cat boarding facilities. This place is pretty much centered on dogs. I'm sure the reason is because more people travel with dogs than they do with cats and other pets...Mike

Sue Van Vleet:

I am thrilled with the new resort. I'd only be getting the basic care if my regular dogsitters can't take my boy. And I'd rather board my cat here if she needs meds every day than at the vet. For cats the price is basically the same as my vet. I live within driving distance of Disney so this is a great new option. PS - my dog watches TV so he'd love a VIP suite, but my wallet wouldn't!

Catherine:

Nice to see that the rates are about the same as what we would pay for the same services at our local Best Friends here in MD. I expected it to be more expensive since it's Disney.

Cindy Seaburn:

Thanks so much for the info! Do you by any chance have photos of the indoor/outdoor dog "rooms"? If not, any thoughts on them? Thanks!

DizneyMike replies: Cindy, I will email you some information...Mike

Riley:

Will there be a shop were you can buy Disney pet collar's and other goodies?

DizneyMike replies: Riley, yes you will be able to purchase pet collars and other goodies there. The day I was there they had the lobby/reception area set up for the opening ceremony. I understand that normally that area will contain lots of different pet items for sale....Mike

Wendy:

Their cat accommodations are very unimpressive! Didn't they think that cats might want to go outside and enjoy the outdoors as well? For the price they must have spent on this facility, I would expect more than what I can find at my local animal shelter (actually, the local animal shelter is better).

DizneyMike replies: Wendy, I do agree with you. I must admit I was surprised as I took the tour to see that the cat accommodations were so blah as opposed to what they did for the dogs....Mike

Tessa:

I had the chance to see this amazing facility up close this past Wednesday as we were in Orlando and our dog was one the first "customers." Our little chiquaqua is our baby and thouroughly enjoyed her VIP suite and all the extras! Disney has been needing this for a really long time as I've always refused to board my baby in a kennel! The people there were awesome and we just loved it as did our dog and we already have reservations for our trip in January!!!

Joshua_me:

Great blog !

The facilities for dogs are so over the top, it cracks me up ! But, hey - if you've got the money, why the heck not ?

But, the poor kitties ! Those "rooms" look like they are waiting to have experiments performed on them... We'll leave our Simba at home.

Ron Wills:

We are very disappointed at the high rates at the new facility. They have DOUBLED the rates over the old kennels! We have been coming to WDW several times a year since 1991, and have used the kennels for our dogs whenever we come down. The old kennel facilities were very nice and the rates were affordable. With the new, excessive rates, boarding our dogs at WDW would about equal the cost of another hotel room – per night! So, for the first time in over 15 years, we are considering NOT staying at a WDW Resort hotel, but rather staying off property at a Marriott Residence Inn where we are allowed to keep our dogs in the room with us for only $75 for the entire length of stay. I could understand a small increase in rates for the new facility, but not a 100% increase in the nightly boarding rate.

I actually expected the prices to be higher - not that I could or would pay for it, but in the Twin Cities where I live there are plenty of rather plain old kennels that approach $30 a day. If people can afford a deluxe resort on a regular basis then they can afford this and likely would use it to have their pets close to them on vacation, I would assume. It does bother me a bit when so much emphasis is put on higher end 'things' - resorts, restaurants, amenities, etc., - my family is more than happy to stay at POP, eat at Casey's or Cosmic Rays and just enjoy being there. It goes back to when I was a kid, I guess, and there was only MK and I always appreciated the little things. We hope to get back in the next couple of years. I so enjoy your blog!

Laurie S:

I, too was disappointed with the significant price increase. I agree it is nice to have the higher-service accommodations available but with two dogs and no multi-dog discount (even if sharing one kennel), we have just been priced out of this option.

That is a shame, as we have been quite pleased with the people at Disney to whom we have entrusted our pets on prior trips. As DVC members within driving distance, we often take last-minute trips, something that will be more complicated to arrange going forward.

Sarah:

Thank you so much for this information! I have had a service dog consistantly since 1994 and usually it's too hot for them or I don't want them rained on (smelly wet dog, not my favorite). Now I have a place they can go during the day while I'm at the park and I know they will be well takin care of! Thank goodness they finally opened a nice place like this!

Stan:

Does anyone know if they have breed restrictions?

DizneyMike replies: Stan, I was told that they do NOT have any breed restrictions. Whether or not a dog socializes with other dogs depends on the owners feelings and a quick test that they do....Mike

Linda:

Hi our dog Pepino is an in home dog to say the least.. he does not go outside even to poo.. my daughter puts down a pee pee pad for him and he goes on that everytime no accidents at all.. but hes not an outside dog at all..he loves people and will be very good so do you think that they will take him here? we are going to Disney in Oct. and I would like to know before I call there.. thanks..Linda

DizneyMike replies: Linda, I think that they would take Pepino without any problem at all. However, you do need to check with them just to make sure....Mike

Francina:

Hi! Thanks for the great information...as always!

Wondering if "Pocket pets" includes birds, too?

DizneyMike replies: Francina, my guess is that they will take birds, but you definitely should check with them first. Here's what it says on their web site "Our facility provides a safe little haven for “pocket pets” such as hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and ferrets. Pet parents must provide their own housing/cage and all supplies (food, bowls, litter, etc.) for their pocket pet. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate venomous pets or primates of any kind."...Mike

Jeanne Connell:

We just made our reservations for our "Boys" very spoiled they are they have never been boarded so this was a very difficult decision for US. Knowiing we will only be around the corner and able to visit them anytime is very comforting.
Not much info on the indoor/outdoor accommodations has been provide so we will let everyone know how that goes.
Someone also stated no multiple pet discount, we got 30% off for our second dog.
Looking forward to our trip and thanks Disney for making more magic for us!

Sharon S:

I hope this is better than my previous experience with the kennels at AK. Since my dog cannot have shots (is allergic), the boarded her in the cat aisle....which was fine. However, there were no windows in the facility, so the only lights were what was turned on. They would turn all of the lights off by 5:30 pm...except for the center aisle. That left my poor baby virtually in the dark from 5:30 pm until whenever someone came in in the morning. That was totally unacceptable to me, and I discussed it with management and was told it would be taken care of....it never was.

The prices at the new facility are comparable to what I pay to have a dogsitter come and stay at my home.

Meagan:

The kitty condos look REALLY small and not very plush :( If i was a kitty i would like some room to stand up comfortably and a nice soft blanket or towel to lay on.

Jeanette:

I am excited to see the doggie accommodations. The rates are actually cheaper than what I pay locally!

I know many people would consider some of the ammenities to be over the top, but our dog is like a child to us. We want him to be as comfortable and happy as possible while we are apart. We would definitely pay for the VIP Luxury Suite. The extra attention is worth it.

Kat Rudolph:

I work at a local animal shelter in PA and though our cat "condos" are also small (actually smaller than Disney's), the cats do get let out of the cages during the day to frolic and socialize within the cat room. Do you know if the Disney cats will be allowed out of their cages during the day?

DizneyMike replies: Kat, no I don't know if they'll be let out of their cages. It didn't sound like they offered that service, but I can't say for sure....Mike

Jodi:

I think the pricing is totally ridiculous - - it's doubled from what I've paid in the past!! I was content with the boarding facilities in the past and the convenience of having several locations to choose from. Now my dog will be boarded near home.

JD:

The pricing is comparable to what we pay locally, so no shock there. I'd board my dogs, but not my cats unless I knew they got out to play some during the day.

As previous poster mentioned, there are discounts for multiple pets. The second pet is 30% of regular rooms and 50% off VIP suites.

Lora:

I am disappointed in this change. As a Fort Wilderness RVer we would leave our pups in the kennel for daycare while in the parks and have them with us at night. Possible loss of air-conidtioning etc. makes it unsafe to leave your dogs behind in your RV. Now they have closed that location and essentially taken away the opportunity for us to vacation there.
Many RVer have dogs, it's one of the reasons many pet lovers own them. I am not going to unhook my RV every day to bring them to this new kennel and the new fees have doubled. I wish Disney would of had Best Friends update the exsisting kennels to be more modern in accomodations rather than inconvenience its guests by closing the other locations to ensure this new one stays adequately booked.

Ragina:

Do have a picture of the indoor rooms and their patio?

DizneyMike replies: Ragina, sorry but I don't have any other pictures other then those in the blog...Mike

Rhonda:

I would like to know also if there is any transportation to the kennel from the Campsite at Fort Wilderness, my parents will also be bringing a dog, and would not be convenient for them to unhook their Motor Home every day to drive their pet to the kennel. Please advise as soon as you can find out!!!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 1, 2010 4:06 PM.

The previous post in this blog was "Must Have" Items That You Purchase At Walt Disney World .

The next post in this blog is Where Are Your Special "Quiet Places" In Each Of The Disney Parks?.

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