Disney Resort Guest Denied Entry Tells All

in Hotel, Walt Disney World

Port Orleans Resort -- Riverside bayou

Credit: Disney

With rising doggy daycare prices, many Walt Disney World Resort guests opt to bring their furry friends on vacation. Luckily, four Disney Resort hotels in Central Florida currently welcome canine guests. But a devastated family warns that one, Port Orleans Riverside, isn’t the place to book a pet-friendly room.

Dog-Friendly Rooms at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside is just one pet-friendly hotel at Walt Disney World Resort. Guests can also bring up to two dogs on vacation to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, and The Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort.

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“These rooms have easy access to outdoor walkways for exercise and to green spaces with pet relief areas,” Walt Disney World Resort writes. “Upon arrival, dogs and their owners will be greeted with a complimentary Pluto’s Welcome Kit. At this time, dogs are the only pets allowed, with a maximum of 2 permitted per Guest room. Dogs are expected to be well-behaved, leashed in public areas and properly vaccinated.”

finding nemo family suite art of animation
Credit: Disney

“While certain floors or sections of these Disney Resort hotels are designated as dog-friendly, the majority of areas remain canine-free to protect Guests with allergies or other needs,” they continue. “Other than service animals, dogs are not permitted in theme parks, water parks or common areas such as restaurants, pools and recreational spaces.”

Related: A Complete Guide To Service Animals at Disney Parks

Guests not staying at a pet-friendly hotel should consider Best Friends Pet Care on Walt Disney World Resort property. The luxurious overnight boarding service cares for pets of all kinds!

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside is best known for its Royal Guest Rooms, fully refurbished with furnishings inspired by Princess Tiana from Princess and the Frog (2009). Located a boat ride from Disney Springs, the moderate Disney Resort hotel offers speedy bus transportation to Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

port orleans riverside lobby
Credit: Disney

“From the stately white-column mansions of Magnolia Bend to Alligator Bayou’s quaint backwoods cottages, delight in a picturesque setting that evokes the romance of rural Louisiana,” Walt Disney World Resort writes. “Take a short walk along the Sassagoula River to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter, known for Southern specialties like gumbo, jambalaya and beignets.”

Related: Angry Guest Attacks Service Dog While in Line at Disney World

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside boasts five leisure pools – two in Magnolia Bend and three in Alligator Bayou – on top of Ol’ Man Island, a 3.5-acre refuge with a swimming hole, three wooden bridges, and a 95-foot water slide. Dining at the Disney Resort hotel includes the Riverside Mill Food Court, River Roost, Muddy Rivers, and Boatwright’s Dining Hall.

Not-So-Dog-Friendly Guest Experience

A recent visitor alleged that Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside isn’t the pet-friendly accommodation it claims to be. According to Reddit user u/IkarosArkadia, the Walt Disney World Resort hotel didn’t follow its posted pet policy.

port orleans riverside pool
Credit: Disney

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The guest’s family brought their elderly dog along to a wedding at Walt Disney World Resort. They booked their pet-friendly Disney Resort hotel room more than a year in advance and called to confirm their reservation multiple times.

“Submitted all the paperwork and confirmed it wouldn’t be a problem to get our room earlier so that we could head to the parks and meet up with the wedding party,” the guest recalled. “Week before our stay, we called again and confirmed the hotel had all necessary information and we could get a room early in the day.”

Upon arrival at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, their promised room wasn’t ready. Disney cast members gave the family their complimentary Pluto’s Welcome Kit, which included a sign to warn housekeeping that a pet was in their room. But after being denied entry, they had to find somewhere to take their dog.

port orleans riverside exterior at night
Credit: Disney

“We had to wait over four hours at the McDonald’s on property, which ultimately caused our elderly dog to not want to walk since laying on the hard ground caused old injuries to act up,” the guest said.

When the family’s room was ready, it wasn’t in the pet-friendly section or near the dog relief area. Additionally, it was on the second floor, ignoring their request for a ground-floor room that would better suit the elderly pup.

“Our dog can’t go up/down stairs and they were afraid of the elevator,” the guest explained. “We tried walking them to the dog area to do their business, but we were placed no where near the dog area and they couldn’t walk that far.”

The interior of a Royal room at port orleans riverside.
Credit: Disney

The trouble didn’t stop there. Despite booking a pet-friendly room and receiving a Pluto’s Welcome Kit, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside accused the guests of sneaking their dog into the hotel.”

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“We got a call from the hotel manager claiming that we had snuck a dog in and that they needed to room inspections every day of our stay,” the guest said. “We were told to schedule a time to do the room inspection and someone would come and do a quick walk through. It took them over two hours past our scheduled inspection time to show up, which caused us to miss time with the wedding party. It was like this our entire stay.”

The inspections made the family miss a Disney Park day, losing money on a day ticket for a family member without an Annual Pass.

Cinderella walking toward Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World Resort eventually refunded the Disney Park ticket but offered only an apology for their Port Orleans Riverside experience.

“We refuse to stay at Port Orleans now due to the poor treatment we received thanks to their screw up with the room,” they concluded.

Have you stayed in a dog-friendly Disney Resort hotel room? Share your experience with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on a personal Disney Parks Guest experience. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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