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How to give your pets the vacation they deserve while you’re in the parks

Your house, a cage, the hand that smells like other animals and only greets you when it’s time to eat and use the bathroom. It’s dark, cold, and there’s not much time or space to stretch your legs or do much of anything but lie there. Your family is gone, and time passes by more slowly than it ever has as you wonder in your loneliness whether or not anyone will ever return or care about you again. The only sound you hear is the incessant barking of dozens of other dogs packed into cages around you.

Not every kennel is quite such a dark experience, but for your pets, it’s certainly not the magical vacation you’re spending all of your time at. Rather than locking your pet up and worrying about them for a week, Best Friends Pet Care, located on Walt Disney World Resort® property, will look after your pets in their resort while you play in the parks.

The facility has 17,000 square feet of air-conditioned indoor space, 10,000 square feet of covered outdoor runs and play areas, and a 25,000-square-foot dog park. It’s 45-member staff are trained animal fanatics who work around the clock to tend to the pets’ needs. The pets can stay overnight, but the resort is open from one hour prior to park opening to one after closing.

If you just want your pet to stay the day, though, the center also offers a day care in which the animals get the same access to everything they would during an overnight stay.

All of the indoor-only rooms available for dogs include a cot and are climate-controlled, so there’s no need to worry about the Florida heat. There are rooms that are exclusively indoors, and are either a size of 4’ x 7’ or 4’ x 8’, There’s a walking trail and a park on the premises, so if the two walks each day for the pets in these accommodations aren’t enough, guests are welcome to visit and take them out themselves.

At the next level and price, there are two-room suites with both an indoor bedroom and an outdoor patio. The patios are protected from the weather, although during the hottest days of the summer the patio doors are opened four times during the day instead of giving pets the usual all-day access. The bedrooms of these accommodations are either 4’ x 4’ or 3’ x 4’, while the patios are either 3’ x 8’ or 4’ x 8’. Due to the access of the patio, the dogs who stay here are given one walk a day instead of the two offered by the indoor-only rooms.

The enormous vacation villas are a much more limited accommodation, as there are only 14 available. There’s an 8ft x 9ft tiled bedroom, a raised platform bed instead of the usual cot, a television set, and a 4ft x 7ft patio. In addition to the one usual walk, there’s also an included group play session and a turn-down service every day and night, which is overseen by a pet concierge. If that’s not luxurious enough, there four suites available with 16ft x 9ft bedrooms that include all the features of the villas. The patios offered with the other accommodations are full-blown play yards, where their families or a personal concierge can visit and play with them. It’s the only set of rooms other than the indoor-only accommodations that offers two walks, and is the only one that offers two group play sessions and a bedtime story each night. Dogs in these suites get a bath before going home, so long as their stay is at least three nights long.

The accommodations for cats are quite different, as they occupy a wing of the complex completely separate from the dogs. Kitty City, as it is called, has room for up to 24 cats, where there are options of windowed two-room and four-room condos. Guests worried about their cats sharing space with other animals should find relaxation in the knowledge that each condo has a private relief area.

Smaller pets are accepted as well, such as ferrets, guiniea pigs, and hamsters, but guests must provide their own housing and care supplies. Venomous pets like snakes are not accepted.

Prices for dogs range from $41 to $109 a night depending on the accommodation chosen, and guests staying at a Walt Disney World® Resort Hotel will get slightly cheaper prices than other pet owners. Prices for cats range from $26 to $40. There are bonus meal options and services offered at varying price points, some of which are included with the more expensive accommodations, and others that are not automatically included whatsoever. Pocket pet prices start at $11 a night for the smaller animals, and climb up to $25 for the larger ones.

The Best Friends Pet Hotel in Walt Disney World® Resort is just one of 42 different centers, which are spread across 19 states.

It’s essential that guests book as early ahead of time as possible, as the more luxurious spots are more limited than the most prestigious dining reservations on park property. You can click here to get to their contact page.

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