Touring Disney World’s new ‘luxury pet resort’

Tongues (and tails) were definitely wagging as Walt Disney World Resort opened the doors to its newest addition: Best Friends Pet Care.

Billed as a “luxury pet resort,” this pet kennel facility is definitely more luxurious than any I’ve ever seen. I have used a couple of the five existing pet kennels at Walt Disney World, and I would describe them as clean and utilitarian, but certainly lacking in Disney magic.

The new digs for dogs range from a standard suite that is all indoors to a VIP (Very Important Pet) suite that has a 16×9 tiled bedroom, raised platform bed, flatscreen TV and a private, covered outdoor play area.

You can treat your dogs to add-ons such as a playgroup ($15), an ice cream break ($4) or a bedtime story ($6).

Although this pet resort is run by Best Friends and not by Disney, there are Disney touches everywhere. Pluto’s paw print graces the front lobby. Lady and the Tramp was being shown on the TVs in the dog suites during my visit, and I’m told that the bedtime stories read to dogs feature 101 Dalmations in heavy rotation.

A 25,000-square foot dog park includes grassy areas and water sprays for puppy play, as well as benches where owners can come to sit and visit with their pets.

%Gallery-101549%Cats can stay in their own 2-level condos in “Kitty City,” where they all have their own so-called “private relief area.”

You can treat your feline to cookies and milk ($3) or tuna on a Ritz cracker ($3).

And unless your small pet is venomous, exotic or a primate, ferrets, rabbits, hamsters and the like can even hang out in the pocket pets room during your Disney trip.

Best Friends Pet Care is offering daycare rates for pets, as well as overnight accommodations. That’s because even nearby residents often choose to use the Disney kennels during a long day at Walt Disney World, rather than leave their pets at home for 12 to 16 hours.

The new pet resort opened Sept. 1 at Walt Disney World, and the five existing kennels at the resort were closed over Labor Day weekend.

But all this new luxury does come with a price. Overnight rates for cats start at $23 and doggie lodging starts at $37. A VIP suite will run you $76 per night. For comparison’s sake, a night in a standard room at one of Disney’s value resorts (for humans) will run you $82 during slower weeks this fall.

Disney says the VIP suites are already booked up on weekends through the end of the year, so I guess that price is not a deter

There are small discounts on the pet lodging for guests staying at Disney resorts.

Best Friends Pet Care is on Bonnet Creek Parkway, directly across from Disney’s Port Orleans-Riverside Resort.