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Dog jaunt: Visiting Disneyland with a dog

One of the places you can’t bring a dog is the Happiest Place on Earth. (Theoretically, you could get your dog in, since the bag check happens before you reach the plaza containing the ticket booths and the Disneyland Kennel, but some of the rides I like would unnerve a small dog in a carrier.) Happily, the Disneyland Kennel is a pleasant and safe place to leave your dog. In March 2009, we ended up there twice in three days, and on both visits Chloe seemed perfectly content.

The kennel is located near the entrance to Disneyland itself — if you’re standing in the plaza where you buy tickets, put your back to California Adventure and face Disneyland. The kennel is at the far right.

There is an attendant on duty whenever the kennel is open. It’s air-conditioned, and the large window onto the plaza is tinted so the pets can look out but not be bothered. The cages are large and clean, and the attendant will follow your directions about offering food and water to your dog (they write them on the large cardboard bowls provided for pets’ use). If your dog arrives in a carrier, they will keep it for you.

There are two outdoor relief areas: the official one is gravel-lined and securely fenced; the unofficial one is behind the row of tall shrubs to the right of the kennel. You will need to return to your dog from time to time for bathroom breaks.

There is a $20 daily fee (your pet may not stay overnight). Reservations are not required. The kennel opens a half hour before the park opens, and closes a half hour after the park closes. Bring your dog’s shot record with you, since the kennel needs written proof of rabies, distemper, and hepatitis vaccination. Also be sure to bring bedding (I brought a pad and a towel), food, and a toy and chew toy to keep your dog comfortable and occupied while you’re looking for Jack Sparrow.

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