In 2011 I took the plunge in summer and drove to Florida for the first time. The drive from Ontario was about 22 hours, and I was pleasantly surprised that it really didn’t bother me at all. I now complete the journey at least once a year. When I drive south it’s a family affair, and included in that is my four-legged fur-baby Biscuit. Many times when I have been in Florida, I have considered a quick overnight or even day trip to Walt Disney World, but what to do with Biscuit? I have always been hesitant to trust him with “just anyone.”
I remembered a while back seeing kennels located outside the gate of the Magic Kingdom, so decided to do some research. Indeed there used to be kennel facilities at each of the Walt Disney Parks.
In August 2010 all the kennel facilities were merged into one big new center called Best Friends Pet Care. The state-of-the-art facility is located at 2510 Bonnet Creek Parkway. The facility is an impressive 27,000 square feet, and provides a caring home-away-from-home for your best friends: dogs, cats, birds and pocket pets including hamsters and fish. Included in the total area is 17,000 square feet of dedicated air-conditioned indoor space. There is also 10,000 square feet of outdoor covered play areas and runs, and a fabulous 25,000 square foot dog park. Best Friends Pet Care operates 365 days a year, and follows Walt Disney World’s hours including Extra Magic Hours. Daily hours of operation are 1 hour prior to park opening to 1 hour past park closing and the facility is staffed 24 hours a day. (You are able to visit your pets anytime during daily operating hours.) Best Friends Pet Care is not exclusively available to resort Guests, however discounts for services are offered to resort Guests.
Accommodations for dogs include:
- Indoor Suites – 36 sq. ft. suite. Includes 2 potty walks daily.
- Indoor/Outdoor Suites – 32 – 48 sq. ft. suite allows your pet to go inside/outside at their leisure. Includes 1 potty walk daily.
- Vacation Villa – 72 sq. ft. suite. Package includes flat screen TV, playgroup and a turndown biscuit. Includes 1 potty walk daily.
- VIP Luxury Suites – 226 sq. ft. suite. Package includes 2 potty walks, 2 playgroups, flat screen TV, webcam, bedtime story and bath after 3 days.
Extra services to pamper your pup available at additional cost include:
- Bottled Water
- Bedtime Story
- Ice Cream Break
- Holiday Meal
- Premium Bed
Facilities for cats include:
- 2 Level Condo
- 4 Level Condo
Extra Services to indulge your kitty available at additional cost include:
- Cookies and Milk
- Tuna on Ritz
- Activity Toy
- Deluxe Kitty Bed
Services for Pocket Pets:
- Owners must provide enclosures for their pets including birds, rodents and reptiles. Prices are based on the sizes of the enclosures. No venomous pets or primates will be permitted.
Both overnight and daycare options are available. For daycare guests, the same suites and condos offered to overnight guests are used, as well as the same amenities and services. Best Friends Pet Care also offers full grooming services from a quick shampoo to a full groom complete with “pawdicure.”
Dana Whatley is a reader of Magical DIStractions who lives in Mobile, Alabama and has used Best Friends Pet Care several times for her dog Niko. Dana has used both the overnight and daycare options and gives rave reviews on the care Niko has received. Dana tells me they were all treated like family. She was very impressed with the cleanliness of the center; telling me that “when you walk in, unless you hear their guests, you’d have no idea that it was a kennel,” and that “to us, it’s better than a lot of childcare centers I’ve seen.”
Dana told me that during one visit, Niko was not drinking his water as usual. The staff moved him to his own suite at no additional charge and provided him with bottled water. The suites have “doggie doors” so the pups can go in and out to private patios during the day. Dana said they informed her of the situation immediately, and gave her regular updates to let them know how Niko was progressing. She was very pleased with how the Cast handled the situation.
Dana tells me that the outdoor dog park and walking path are very well maintained and include a water pad (like the ones found in Epcot) to play in.
DIStracted Tip: All guests at Best Friends Pet Care must provide proof that their pets’ vaccinations are up-to-date. If your pet requires a special diet you must provide it; otherwise food is provided. Other items to pack include special medications, collar and leash, toys and any special treats. All bedding and bowls are provided at no additional cost. Be sure to ask about discounts that are offered for boarding multiple pets.
Looks like the next time we want to get a quick Disney fix, we will be able to introduce our Biscuit to our love of Disney as well! Best Friends Pet Care at Walt Disney World looks like a great option for making sure that our best friend will be well taken care of while we enjoy some Disney magic. For more information, you can visit their website at www.bestfriendspetcare.com or at 1-877-493-9738. Be sure to look for their offer of a free day or free night for new customers.