Dog-friendly Travel to Kissimmee & Orlando, Florida

cartoon dog on beach - Dog friendly Kissimmee Florida

Kissimmee is the area in Florida south of Orlando, close enough to Orlando’s iconic attractions including Walt Disney World, Universal, Gatorland Theme Park and Wildlife Preserve and SeaWorld that it’s a popular travel destination for multi-generational travel, families, girlfriend getaways, couples and individuals … all possibly taking the pets along.

So, just how dog-friendly is Kissimmee, Florida?

I’d like to know. Taking my dog on a road trip to Florida is on my list – I missed the opportunity with my previous dog, but won’t with my new puppy Victoria! However, two things need to happen before I can take the dog to Florida: the puppy needs more training and the US/Canadian border needs to open.

Right now, both seem like pipe dreams.

But I’m optimistic. So optimistic we’ll be able to road trip with the dog to Florida soon, with the help of Travel Kissimmee, I’ve researched a potential dog-friendly trip to Kissimmee, Florida.

Here it is – the dogtrotting.net taking to the dog to Kissimmee road trip dream (sort of luxury) vacation:

Where to stay: Dog-friendly Resorts near Kissimmee, Florida

Is Margaritaville Resort Orlando pet-friendly?

It won’t matter if it’s 5 o’clock or not at Margaritaville Resort Orlando, because this mega resort complex is built for escaping the nine to five, even if you have your small dog with you. Select between hotel guest rooms with balconies or any of the cottage rentals (preferable with a pup) ranging from one to eight bedrooms in size and all with full kitchens.

wet black dog sticking tongue out beside swimming pool
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The resort features the Sunset Walk shopping district, waterpark, several restaurants and comedy club on weekends.

Margaritaville Resort Orlando is partially dog-friendly – partially because the size restriction rules out many breeds: According to the company’s policy, dogs less than 30 pounds can stay at the resort – one per hotel room at a cost of $75 per night (to a maximum of $300), which is high or $40 per night in the cottages, which is more reasonable. Cottages allow up to two dogs per stay.

The resort suggests pets should not be left unattended, even in the cottages, which means other arrangements must be made on days when you want to visit the major theme parks (see kennel info below). Like many Orlando resorts, Margaritaville offers free pre-booked shuttle services to major theme parks, and unlike many Orlando resorts, Margaritaville has Barkley Park, an off-leash dog park on site.

Is Bear’s Den Resort Orlando pet-friendly?

If luxury accommodations overlooking a golf course are more your style, try the Bear’s Den Resort, another Rentyl Property. Fifteen different luxury houses, most with a completely fenced property (good for dogs) and a pool, are available for three days minimum stay ranging in size from four to eight bedrooms – some with movie rooms and pool tables.

You’ll need a car to stay here, though. No convenience of shuttles or concierge assistance, but most are dog-friendly if you make advanced arrangements.

Rentals start at about $800 per night depending on time of year and size of the property. Dogs are an extra $40 per night; there’s a 30-pound limit and it’s not recommend they are left along. According to policy, dog owners will be charged for damages.

Are Jeeves properties pet-friendly?

Jeeves Florida Rentals is the largest rental property company in central Florida so it’s not surprising there are many options to choose from. Jeeves represents 500 properties in eight different destination resorts ranging from 2-bedroom condos to 13-bedroom luxury homes with arcades, bowling alleys and golf simulators. Features include themed rooms, keyless entries with assigned codes, and heated pools.

Most important: many homes and rental properties Jeeves represents are pet-friendly, some allowing dogs of all sizes and weights and some with fenced yards.  

Dog-friendly Motels and Hotels in Kissimmee, Florida

Renting your own self-contained accommodation is clearly the most comfortable idea, especially with the dog, but there are plenty of pet-friendly hotels and motels in the area (including some Disney resorts … see below).

Clean, Comfy Rooms from $49.99 at Select Locations

Red Roof Inn (an affiliate on our site) is always dog-friendly no matter where you are and there are Red Roof accommodations in both Kissimmee and Orlando – though unlike most articles on this site, we haven’t visited them personally, so check out the reviews … Our dog-friendly Kissimmee visit is still a dream.

Book now and save 15% Off your next stay at Red Roof Inn with VP code 614872.

Kissimmee and Orlando, Florida Theme Parks and Dogs

The Kissimmee area, near Orlando, is known for destination attractions and theme parks, including the almighty Disney – in this case, Disney World. Everything in Kissimmee seems to claim a short 10 to 20-minute drive from the happiest place on Earth.

No surprise, you can’t take your dog (unless he’s a registered service dog) to theme parks, but several of the major ones offer kennels services while you visit. (Side note: if you’re looking for a dog-friendly theme park elsewhere, check out this one – click here)

Are there pet kennels at SeaWorld, Orlando, Florida?

Yes, there is a dog kennel at SeaWorld Orlando (7007 Sea World Dr., Orlando) called The Pet Care Center located outside the main entrance on the righthand side. Get there early though – the 31 kennels are assigned on a first come first serve basis and range in size from small to extra-large. Cost is a reasonable $15 per day, or $10 for pass members. Only credit card payments accepted.

The Pet Care Center is enclosed, attended and air-conditioned, though you can check on your pet throughout the day. Bring your own bedding, bowl, and food.

Are there dog kennels at Universal Orlando?

white and black siberian husky in cage
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Universal Orlando (6000 Universal Blvd., Orlando) offers daytime kennel services for both dogs and cats with proof of vaccinations. Drop your pet off as early as 8 am and attending staff remain until two hours after the park closes for pick up. If you plan to party late, you can buy an extended stay and leave your pet unattended until 3 am. A buzzer outside the door allows for late night pick up.

Kennels are assigned first-come-first served and cost $15 for a regular day stay. Large dogs stay in outdoor covered kennels with fans; small dogs and cats stay in the air-conditioned indoor kennel.

Bring bedding, dishes and food. Staff will provide fresh water. You will have to walk your dog at least once during the day, and the facility is located near the RV and camper parking lot (follow signs).

Are there dog kennels at Disney World, Orlando, Florida?

Of course, dog kennels at Disney World (1375 E Buena Vista Dr.., Orlando) are the grand-daddy of them all: Best Friends Pet Care at Walt Disney World, Orlando is a 50,000 square foot, full-service pet boarding facility that, according to Disney, can accommodate 300 dogs, cats and yes, pocket pets (if you are travelling with your guinea pig).

dalmatian on pet bed
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Sitting services vary in type, cost and choice of pup accommodations. Daycare over 6 hours ranges from $37 to $91, depending on suite – suites start with the VIP suite (four in total) or Villa (14 in total), which have TVs and VIPs staying overnight get a bedtime story. Others are more basic canine accommodations, but all include daily walks. Otherwise, doggie camp is $27 per day, but entrance interview is required to determine if they play well with others.

Outside the main lobby is a fenced 25,000 square foot dog park, available to Best Friends Pet Care clients only.

Want to stay at Disney World Orlando with your dog?

happy girl sitting beside black dog
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It’s possible, but only at select resorts: Disney’s Yacht Club Resort; Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside; Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Only dogs (not other pets) are allowed in the resorts, maximum two per room and must remained leashed on property and show proof of vaccinations at check in.

There’s a fee – $75 per night, which is steep but does include a Pluto Welcome Kit: mat, bowl, ID tag, poop bags, puppy pads and dog walking map, so there’s a few things you don’t have to pack. Note: because non-service dogs aren’t allowed in the park, you’ll have to also pay to board your pup during the day at Best Friends Pet Care (see above).

Where can you take your dog in the Kissimmee/Orlando, Florida area?

If you don’t want to leave your pup at the kennel every day, here are some non-theme park, dog-friendly options in Kissimmee, Florida.

Where to shop: dog-friendly in Kissimmee and Orlando, Florida

blonde woman in black skirt and white dress shirt walking her dalmatian dog
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The Mall at Millenia (4200 Conroy Road) in Orlando, Florida is a popular upscale two-floor shopping experience. With 150-stores, three anchor department stores (Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Macy’s), seven restaurants and three cafes, it’s a compact way to find the brand names you’ll looking for.

But the most important question: can you bring your dog to The Mall at Millenia? Well, some people can, depending on the size of their dog. Handbag dogs – dogs in closed totes – and dogs in covered strollers are allowed in the mall, but clearly that’s a limited size of dog.

However, the dog-friendly Nieman Marcus allows well-behaved dogs of all sizes into its store, and so does Bloomingdales. Both luxury department stores carry luxury pet gear that’s a vacation splurge for your pooch (and you), including handcrafted nature-inspired stainless steel and oxidized brass dog bowls designed by Michael Aram.

Stroll with your dog through Old Town

Old Town (5770 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway) Kissimmee is retro experience for those who want to experience Florida decades ago, and walk around with your leashed dog. This open-air entertainment district is 18 acres of tree-lined streets, 70 stores and restaurants, free live music four times per week and a Saturday night classic car parade and show that hasn’t missed a Saturday in 30 years.

New to Old Town is a Ferris wheel, a year-round haunted house, Great Magic Hall and a Ninja Challenge Course – but none of these are dog-friendly.

Where to play: Paddle with your dog along Shingle Creek

If you’ve ever seen Instagram images of well-balanced people stand-up padding with their dogs, and thought ‘where can I try that?’ The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek (4266 W. Vine St.) in Kissimmee, Florida is the answer.

Rent a single to tandem double kayak, canoe or stand-up paddle board and explore the nature of Cypress Forest from the vantage point of Shingle Creek – instructions provided with rentals. Guided two-hour kayaking ecotours are an option because medium-sized leash dogs can join you in the tandem kayak or canoe, but there are gators lurking in the water.

Where to run off-leash: Dog parks in Kissimmee, Florida

Partin Triangle Dog Park (2830 Neptune Rd., Kissimmee) – A neighbourhood dog park with two fenced grasses patches, one for big dogs and one for small dogs. Some trees and benches. Not large.

funny fluffy dog with red leash in mouth
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Shingle Creek Regional Park (925 S Bass Rd., Kissimmee) dog park – Fenced dog park inside a 40-acre regional park with separate big and little dog areas, water source, bathing area, treed with picnic tables.

Cumbie Canine Court at Mill Slough Park (2138 Agate St., Kissimmee) – the Disney of dog parks, this one has it all: fenced big and little dog runs, agility equipment, water fountains with ground stations for dogs, shade trees, and even grooming stations with brushes, free parking and even free obedience classes offered at random times thorough out the summer.

TRAVEL GUIDE:

SeaWorld Orlando, 7007 Sea World Dr., Orlando – Only service dogs allowed in SeaWorld but there is a pet care centre where your pup can stay while you’re in the park.

Universal Orlando, 6000 Universal Blvd., Orlando – Like other theme parks, only service dogs are allowed but day stay dog kennels are available on site.

Disney World, 1375 E Buena Vista Dr., Orlando – No pet dogs allowed, but near Disney is a full-service pet boarding facility including day and overnight stays.

The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek, 4266 W. Vine St., Kissimmee – take you dog kayaking with you.

The Mall at Millenia, 4200 Conroy Road, Orlando– small dogs are allowed in the mall if they fit in enclosed carry totes or strollers.

Old Town, 5770 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee – old school, open air entertainment district where leashed dogs are allowed.

Bear’s Den Resort (1-407-426-4861) – fifteen fenced-yard luxury houses, most dog-friendly.

Margaritaville Resort Orlando (1-855-995-9099)–allows dogs under 30 pounds and has a dog park.

Jeeves Florida Rentals (1-407-704-8986) – More than 500 properties starting at two bedrooms and several are pet-friendly, no size limit, with fenced yards.

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