There was a 25 year gap in visits to Disney in my life. The first was when I was in first grade. Maybe I am dating myself a bit, but Epcot wasn’t even open yet. It was under construction. You could see the big dome in the distance, but the park wasn’t open yet. In fact, I was there a mere several two months before it was open to the public. Great timing, huh? I am not sure if myself and my three year old brother would have quite appreciated Epcot when we were given the choice between the big dome and the mad teacup ride. Don’t forget the flying Dumbo ride.
It was a big deal to some kids to go shake hands with Mickey Mouse. At the time, Bernard and Bianca, the mouse stars of The Rescuers were a bit more important to us as the movie had just come out in the past few years, and we had seen it every time the library showed it. In retrospect, I should have had a sit down with Pluto and Goofy, as there are burning questions. Is Goofy a dog? If so, why does Pluto act like a dog, and Goofy acts like a person (sort of). What does Pluto think about that, or does it not dawn on him? Perhaps Goofy was a genetic mutation or his Grandma was Little Red Ridinghood’s Granny and his Grandfather was the Big Bad Wolf. Heck, Kermit and Miss Piggy got married, so why not?
When I went twenty-five years later, I took my own five year old with me. My dog! Believe it or not, Disney is friendly to dogs. In the front of all or most parks, there is a kennel. You can leave your furry kid there during the day while you explore the park. The kennel was very clean and the dogs were all kept inside. The set up was more like a vet’s office bank of cages versus a kennel with runs. The dogs are not allowed to stay overnight. The opening and closing of the kennel coincides with park hours.
During the day, you yourself go and walk your own dog outside of the park. It easy to plan your jaunts around various parts of the park to three to four hours at a time. I found that seeing my pup was a welcome break, and it helped me beat the fatigue of running around. You will need to bring your dog’s blanket and any desired toys or food with you. They don’t supply them, which is no problem. It is better to have the comforts of home anyways. I think it also keeps the facility extra clean, and keeps the staff’s eyes on your pets versus the laundry. When I picked up my dogs for the final time that day, he gave the lady at the desk a big kiss.
You can pay per day, or you can buy a package where you dog can “park hop” right with you. After you buy your Disney Tickets (I found some great package prices at orlandofuntickets.com), be sure to call the kennel a few days before to make sure they have room. It was relatively empty when I went, but I am sure it will catch on.