The most popular
vacation resort area in the United States is undoubtedly Orlando.
Thrust into prominence when Disney chose nearby Kissimmee as the
location for Walt Disney World, Orlando found itself with one major
attraction after another. Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World
and more. Now, none of these major attractions will allow you to bring
your dog inside unless it is a service or assistance dog. So Orlando
has a mixed reputation as a dog-friendly destination. However, downtown
Orlando, with Lake Eola, and Winter Park are quite
So you can have a dog-friendly vacation in the area if you are
comfortable with your dog at a nice, air conditioned and monitored day
kennel while you take in the major theme parks.
Your dog may not be able to go with you into Disney World, but they can
join you at some top
of the line resort hotels.
Universal's Hard Rock, Loews Portofino
Bay Hotel and the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort are three top of the
line dog-friendly choices. There are others for various price ranges
including a number of pet-friendly La Quinta Hotels throughout the
area, Comfort Inn International, a number of Best Westerns and Red Roof
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel offers
a VIP Pet Program for canine
visitors. This includes a gourmet room service menu for Fido, bedding,
a toy, treats and more. A similar program exists at the Hard
Rock as well. For those of you
seeking more space for you and your
pup, there are many extended stay hotels in the area where you can get
studio, one and two bedroom suites. There are Candlewood Suites,
Extended Stay America, Residence Inn and others. These hotels typically
have a larger one time pet fee so consider them for longer stays and
not for shorter ones.
The area is home to many,
many vacation rentals. For
people who like to stay in a home away
from home there are many pet-friendly Orlando area vacation rentals.
Near Disneyland is the Idyll Mouse with a fenced in dog yard. Also in
Kissimmee are Indian Wells Villas, offering 2 and 3 bedroom homes,
Caribbean Villas, a House at Disney and many other vacation
rentals in Kissimmee and throughout the Orlando region.
Many people travel
to Orlando in a Motor Home of Travel Trailer.
You and your dog can
stay in Disney World's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. There is
an off-leash dog park on the premises. Dogs are only allowed to stay in
RVs and not in tents at Fort Wilderness. There are three area KOA
campgrounds, the Themeworld RV Resort and the Tropical Palms Resort as
well. For tent camping there is the Wekiwa Springs State Park, Turkey
Lake Park and Blue Spring State Park.
For years, visitors to Disney World had a day kennel to leave their
pets at right on the premises. This has now been replaced by Best
Friends Pet Care at Disney's Port Orleans Resort
at 2510 Bonnet
Creek Parkway. This huge 17,000 square foot doggie day care
facility also has a secure 25,000 square foot outside dog park. Of
course it is air-conditioned and supervised at all times. Sea World and
Universal also have their own air conditioned and supervised day
kennels as well.
When you are not at the Theme Parks we suggest that you take your dog
to some of the more
welcoming areas in Orlando for
them. Winter Park is a very
dog-friendly neighborhood. For dog-friendly shopping this is a great
stop. There is also a large off-leash dog park here known as
Fleet Peeples Park. It is fenced with a pond for swimming.
Downtown Orlando hosts Lake Eola Park with a one mile walking or
jogging trail circling the lake. The Disney created town of Celebration
is also dog-friendly with shops, patio dining and many annual events to
take your dog to.
There are a number of other things to do while in the Orlando area with
your dogs. Historic Sanford is a nice area to walk and has an off-leash
park. There are also other off-leash parks throughout the region. For
hiking, camping and exploration of Florida State Parks try the Wekiwa
Springs State Park and the Blue Spring State Park. The
Air Museum may allow your well-behaved dog to view the air exhibits.
For indoor dog swimming as well as aquatic therapy for dogs there is
the Hip Dog Canine Aquatic Rehab and Fitness Center. There are one hour
swim times available for visiting dogs. Small dogs that can be carried
can ride the LYNX Orlando buses.
Orlando can be said to be the center of the Florida "doggy
dining" revolution. When Florida
health inspectors began blocking
restaurants here from allowing dogs at patio seating legislation was
passed and signed by the governor permitting Florida dogs at patio
restaurants when approved locally. It has been approved locally in most
of Florida now. Orlando has many outdoor restaurants where you can take
your dog. A partial guide is located in the DogFriendly.com
directory. You can find
dog-friendly restaurants in Kissimmee,
Winter Park, Orlando and Sanford.
Nearby dog-friendly trips from Orlando include the very pet-friendly St
Pete, the Space
Coast and Daytona.