Published August 04, 2010
| Associated Press
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Pluto never had it so good: The next major attraction to open at Walt Disney World won't be for the kids — it will be for the dogs.
Best Friends Pet Resort, scheduled to open Aug. 27, will offer not just boarding, but also bedtime stories and a water park for dogs.
The luxury facility will accommodate way more than 101 Dalmatians. With more than 50,000 square feet of space, half of it outdoors, it has room for 270 dogs, 30 cats and assorted other animals, including birds, potbellied pigs and small mammals like hamsters and guinea pigs. (Sorry, no turtles, snakes or lizards.)
Standard indoor boarding for dogs runs $37 nightly. For additional fees, you can get services like doggy play group or bedtime stories for pooches accustomed to snuggling up with children while a parent reads aloud. (On the Best Friends reading list: "The Poky Little Puppy.")
Upgrades for dogs include vacation villas with outdoor patios and flat-screen TVs for watching videos like "Homeward Bound" ($59), or 226-square-foot luxury suites ($76) with private outdoor play yards and personal pet concierges.
Cats can choose between two- and four-story condos.
In addition to the water park, Best Friends offers play groups, outdoor runs, walking trails and areas for playing ball or Frisbee.
Pets can be left for the day without overnight boarding, and owners can drop by to visit or play on their way from hotels to the park.
"We know that people who bring their pets with them to Disney want to see their pets," said Deb Bennetts, spokeswoman for Best Friends, which operates more than 40 pet-boarding facilities around the U.S. "If they were simply going to board their pet, they would board their pet at home. They want to see and interact with their pet while at the resort, so we've made it easy for them to do that with all of this wonderful outdoor space."
The Best Friends resort will replace five existing kennels at Disney World and will be located on Bonnet Creek Parkway within the Disney complex directly across from the Port Orleans resort.