Where to Find Dogs at Disney World

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If your kids are like mine, from time to time they’ll latch on to a topic and become completely consumed by it. For some kids, it’s trains or dinosaurs, for others it’s pirates or monkeys. (At my house we had the year of the ring-tailed lemur). One of the more common childhood fixations is dogs. If your young ones are in dog obsession mode, here’s where they can get their fix.

This pirates REALLY want this dog to give them the key.

The pirates REALLY want this dog to give them the key.

Character Meals and Meet & Greets

Disney has many films which feature dog characters, but only two of them can be reliably found in the parks on a regular basis: Goofy and Pluto. These two hounds appear at character meals, as well as in the parks.

For example, find Goofy at:

Small World poodle.

Small World poodle.

Find Pluto at:

  • Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary, breakfast¬†and lunch
  • Garden Grill at Epcot, dinner
  • ‘Ohana at the Polynesian, breakfast
  • Near the Flagpole at the Magic Kingdom, check the free Times Guide for details
  • Near the Sorcerer Hat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, check the free Times Guide for details
  • Appearances in many parades and stage shows.

When Disney releases new animated films, typically the key characters from the new release will appear at a special, limited time meet & greet. In somewhat recent memory, characters including the dog Bolt (from Bolt) and Dug (from Up) have appeared at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If a new dog-centric film appears, look for additional meet & greet opportunities to appear.

Topiary Lady & the Tramp

Topiary Lady & the Tramp

Additionally, some folks consider the Stitch character to be an alien dog. I’m not personally in this camp (to me, once an alien, always an alien), but if your child is in a “Stitch is a dog” phase, know that you can find him at:

  • ‘Ohana at the Polynesian, breakfast
  • Near the central DVC sales booth at Animal Kingdom, check the free Times Guide for details
  • In Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, check the free Times Guide for details
  • Near the park entrance at Epcot, check the free Times Guide for details

Hotel Themeing

A true dog obsessive will want to stay in the 101 Dalmatians area at the All-Star Movies Resort. You’ll find MUCH larger than life statues of Dalmatians Pongo and Perdita, which are perfect photo backdrops, as well as a smaller puppy statue and puppy illustrations running across the hotel walkway railings.

You’ll also find giant Lady and the Tramp statues at the 50s section of the Pop Century Resort. Those are some BIG dogs.

Your Spaceship Earth future might include a pet dog.

Your Spaceship Earth future might include a pet dog.

Restaurant Themeing

Tony’s Town Square in the Magic Kingdom takes its themeing cues from the dog-centric film Lady and the Tramp. Look for a lovely statue of the eponymous pups in the center of the room, as well as illustrations from the movie on several of the walls. If you order dessert, you may find that your plate bears a picture of Lady and the Tramp, rendered in chocolate.

Typically, the Lady and the Tramp movie will run on a continuous loop in the lobby area of the restaurant with several comfy couches nearby. This is a great place for a dog lover to rest in air conditioned comfort, even if you’re not dining at the restaurant.

Attraction Elements

Many of the Walt Disney World attractions feature at least one dog in their pre-show or show area. A dog fanatic child might love a scavenger hunt of sorts to find all the dogs that are part of rides at the parks. Look for the following dogs:

Big lady at the Pop Century resort.

Big Lady at the Pop Century resort.

  • The Barnstormer, Magic Kingdom. Goofy imagery throughout.
  • Peter Pan’s Flight, Magic Kingdom. The Darling family dog, Nana, appears near the beginning of the ride.
  • Jungle Cruise, Magic Kingdom. Not really dogs, but there are dog-like hyenas.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean, Magic Kingdom. A few dogs scattered in the village scenes. The most famous non-character dog is the one keeping keys away from the pirate prisoners.
  • Dumbo, Magic Kingdom. No dog, but there is a doghouse in the new interactive queue area. Climb inside!
  • Liberty Square Riverboat, Magic Kingdom. There’s a dog located in a fishing scene on the shore.
  • Haunted Mansion, Magic Kingdom. Ghostly night watchman with skeletal mutt. Others too.
  • “it’s a small world,” Magic Kingdom. Pink poodle in the France scene and another pup near a boy with a boomerang.
  • Stitch’s Great Escape, Magic Kingdom. Stitch throughout (if you consider him to be a dog).
  • Space Mountain, Magic Kingdom. Robot dog visible as you exit.
  • Carousel of Progress, Magic Kingdom. Faithful dog in every scene.
  • Spaceship Earth, Epcot. Some versions of “You in the Future” contain a dog pet.
  • Living with the Land, Epcot. Dog on a farm near the beginning.
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Eric’s dog Max appears.
  • Disney Junior – Live on Stage, Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Goofy included in several scenes.
  • Toy Story Mania, Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Puppy illustrations on the Golden Books in the exit area.
  • Great Movie Ride, Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Toto appears in the Wizard of Oz scene. Lassie appears in the video montage. (Also Lassie’s paw prints are in the pavement outside.)
Dog Goofy rockin' out at the Disney Junior attraction.

Dog Goofy rockin’ out at the Disney Junior attraction.

Oddly, I couldn’t recall any depictions of dogs at the Animal Kingdom. While of course there are animals aplenty at the AK, they trend heavily to non-domesticated species.

In addition to rides, you’ll also find Disney dogs depicted in topiary form if you visit Epcot during the annual spring Flower & Garden Festival.

Merchandise

Tee shirts, toys, figurines, and pins featuring Goofy and Pluto are found in nearly every Walt Disney World merchandise location. Keep an eye out on the racks of plush animals, you’ll often find stuffed representatives from the 101 Dalmatians and Lady and the Tramp films.

The LEGO Store at Downtown Disney has featured a life-sized LEGO dog walker. And the World Showcase country stores at Epcot often sell plush toy dogs that are not Disney character branded. For example, while merchandise stocks vary, you may find a stuffed German Shepherd in Germany or a corgi in the UK. And don’t forget that Goofy is the mascot of the Disney house-brand candy – Goofy’s Candy Company.

There a dog house in the Dumbo queue.

There a dog house in the Dumbo queue.

Food

There several locations in each of the theme parks that sell hot dogs. These are obviously not canines (ewwwwww), but the name fits the theme.

If You’re Visiting with Your Own Dog

Service dogs are welcome in almost all Disney resort and theme park situations. If you’re traveling with a non-service dog, you have three options: stay at pet-friendly off-site accommodations, stay in a pet-friendly loop at the Fort Wilderness resort and campgrounds, or board your animal at the Best Friends kennel on property. I’ve heard great reports about the care there.

So dog lovers, this was ruff, what did I miss? Should I have mentioned the “lab” in Journey to Imagination? Feel free to hound me in the comments below.

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Posted on March 13, 2014

3 Responses to “Where to Find Dogs at Disney World”

  • In January Dug from Up was doing meet and greet at Animal Kingdom. My husband and baby were most excited about this one.

  • Hi Erin, Over Feb. break just now we also met Stitch in DHS on the central plaza right by the steps to the pin trading store! We also don’t consider him a dog, but my daughters had to buy plushies of him, and are definitely treating the plushies like a “pet”….:-)

  • Nice job! Or as my Malamute might say “Woo-wooo!”. Now we need an article on all the horses that can be found on property. Better yet, give me a chance, I’ll research it and write it! (Oh, come on, throw me a bone!) :)