Chances are, you have probably heard the word “Disneyland” at some point in your life. Did you know there are several of them? To make matters even more confusing, Disneyland and Disneyworld are not the same thing at all! The main Disneyland is in Anaheim, Cali, while The Disneyworld is right beside Orlando, Florida. Both places bear similar purposes – making dreams and fantasies of kids a reality, submerge adults in the memories of their childhood, witness how animated films and movies are created and have a grand ol’ time!
Disney is not the only company, however, that started pumping out entertainment resort complexes. Universal Studios Florida is an amusement park created, and owned by, as you might have guessed, Universal Studios, and is located right here in Orlando, Florida. Popular movies like Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Transformers, and many others come to life here.
The presence of both amusement complexes in such proximity to one another only plays into the hands tourists that come to visit Orlando. Despite dogs not being allowed in either of these parks, there is no doubt that both Universal Studios and Disneyworld played a crucial part in the development and transformation of the city, making it a very popular tourist destination.
Let’s take a closer look at the city, as we have a lot of things that we would like to show you!
A Dog-Friendly Guide to Orlando – Routes and Landmarks
We will start our journey from International Drive, the “Broadway” of Orlando. This street is almost 19 kilometers long, and is basically hotels, restaurants, shops, and places filled with adventure the whole way. We realize that 19K is a fairly large distance to cover on foot in a day, so we recommend splitting the journey up into several days.
Once your head starts spinning from all the adventures, come and see the Wonder Works upside down house. The premise of this structure is quite clear from its name, the foundation of the building is on its roof and its roof is, well, on the ground. The house is also flipped not only from the outside, but also from the inside. Legends say that this house got caught in an artificial tornado, created by mad scientists when they were doing some wacky experiments. This legend is confirmed further by the presence of a museum with various scientific inventions and discoveries inside. In case you are wondering, yes, you will have to walk on the ceiling, right between the chandeliers and hanging lights.
While walking through the Orlando downtown with your pet, you may accidentally stumble upon a short nine-story building. The structure oddly fills the air around it with a feeling of comfort, and upon further inspection, for good reason. The architects of the building specifically wanted to create a structure that was welcoming and hospitable to visitors. In practice, the building is the Orlando City Hall, but it has a gallery that’s free to the public, refreshing water fountains and some gift shops inside.
When planning your further route, make sure you include the First United Methodist Church of Orlando into it. This structure is the result of a multi-million-dollar construction projects, created in conjunction with Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. The building is, indeed, a work of art; modern geometry, glass and concrete harmoniously combine with elegance and minimalism. When looking at its façade, your head becomes clearer, and you gain a sense of clarity. Just as the building creators envisioned!
Our next stop is going to be the Old Town in Kissimmee. Here you will find places where you will be able to shoot a revolver, visit a saloon, sing karaoke, see a magic show or marvel at a parade of retro automobiles. Kissimmee’s Old Town captures the spirit of the old United States with its atmosphere, shops, bars, and attractions. Walking these streets with your canine companion, you begin feeling like a hero from some old westerns.
If you enjoy movies with a darker atmosphere, head to Church Street Station. This place is a true western tourist center, complete with a disco area and a horror show, perfect for tickling your fright fancy or enjoying a refreshing beverage. After visiting Church Street, any doubts about Orlando being the world’s center for entertainment should taper off rapidly.
After visiting the magical and energetic parts of the city, let's visit some natural landmarks and enjoy some greenery.
You will be surprised to find out that the center of Orlando holds a majestic park. Proximity of streets and office buildings did not hamper the Leu family to acquire some 160 square meters of land and create a true oasis of nature and beauty.
Presently, the Harry P. Leu Gardens astonishes its visitors with a cozy atmosphere, winding paths, thematic sections of the park and collections of various exotic plants. Your canine friend will be able to accompany you inside the park and is sure to find the abundance of butterflies a brilliant feature. The park also features sections with crawling vines, a flower clock, and a subtropical fruit greenhouse.
Another great park we can recommend is the Bok Tower Gardens. This garden and bird sanctuary combines visual pleasure with auditory sensations to create an unrepeatable experience. The garden’s attractions include a “Singing Tower” that reaches almost 60 meters in height and holds a carillon (a musical instrument) consisting of 60 bells. Every day around 1pm and 3 pm the tower starts to “sing” for 30 minutes, filling the air and hills around Lake Wales with a dazzling melody. The gardens also house enough plants to get lost in; hundreds of ferns, camellias, and jasmines surround you at any given time. Various exotic and fearless birds inhabit the area and pretty much domesticated swans roam the lake.
It may sound odd at first, but adventures can be exhausting! We have compiled a list of hotels, which will be happy to host you and your canine companion.
Dog-Friendly Hotels in Orlando
This is the perfect dog-friendly hotel for folks that enjoy adventures as much as they enjoy shopping. The hotel is located right beside the Florida Mall, which means that more than 230 shops and boutiques will be at your arms reach. The hotel features an open swimming pool, hot-tub, 24-hour fitness center and a plethora of restaurants in the area.
All suites will have a mini fridge, a TV, a coffee machine, and your own bathroom with all necessities. The hotel grounds are pleasant and enjoyable to walk around and give the hotel a “homey” feeling.
If you wish for your canine companion to join you at the Florida Hotel & Conference Center, there will be a solitary pet surcharge of $75.
This hotel features everything you will want from a comfortable and relaxing stay. It has a business area, should you need to get some work done; a lounge area with a soft atmosphere, should you need to a minute to unwind, a swimming pool, a fitness center and even a BBQ center!
If you need a minute or two to be alone, all the hotel suites have air conditioning, a cozy corner, a TV, a kitchen with a dining area and your own bathroom. Let’s not forget that rooms also come equipped with a small work desk and a coffee machine.
The hotel staff will be happy to have you and your canine companion move in, so long as his/her weight does not exceed 35 kilograms, and you are not planning on brining more then two pups per suite at one time. Pet food and water bowls will be provided upon request. There will also be a solitary pet surcharge of $75 for the entire duration of your stay.
This unique dog-friendly hotel has a distinct Caribbean design, creating a lively and energetic atmosphere. Hotel hallways and suites transport you far away from everyday city life to some distant tropical resort. The hotel grounds are massive and an excellent area for walks with your furry friend.
The hotel suites are also excellent with free Wi-Fi, TV, an iPod docking station and your own bathroom. The windows offer a great view of the lagoon or the swimming pool and create an overall pleasant atmosphere.
The resort features an array of amenities, including a games room, a fitness center and a firepit.
When planning on staying at Sapphire Falls, make sure your pet does not exceed 34 kilograms, and note that the hotel will collect a solitary pet surcharge of $75 for the entire duration of his/her stay. Pet food and water bowls will be provided upon request.
Soft accents, dim lighting, and spacious walkways. There are no better words to describe this dog-friendly hotel. Rosen Center is located a brief walking distance from the Pointe Orlando shopping center and has several various restaurants nearby.
Modern suites come with everything to guarantee a comfortable stay and the hotel offers various amenities, including a fitness center and a swimming pool.
Another stand-out feature of the hotel is the Sky Bridge, which connects Rosen Plaza with the western Orange County Conference Center (an architectural landmark of Orlando in its own right).
To have your pet accompany you, make sure his/her weight does not exceed 22 kilograms. The hotel will collect a $150 returnable damage deposit and a $150 solitary pet surcharge for the entire duration of your stay. Pet food and water bowls will be provided upon request.
Crowne Plaza is a comfortable hotel with cozy suites, which will not only help you recuperate, but also assist you in winding down and relaxing. If you want a peaceful and quiet hotel, this one is for you! A hot-tub and a day of lounging by the open swimming pool will restore your energy and a tiki bar will warm your soul (or cool your temper, depending on the mood). The hotel lounge area is comfortable and will help you take in the warm southern weather.
All hotel suites come with free Wi-Fi, a TV, work desk, some coffee and tea brewing necessities and large windows.
There are no weight limits for your pups at this hotel, but there will be a weekly $50 pet surcharge.
Its hard to imagine what the world would be like without cinematography. Despite Hollywood being the center of movie production, Orlando is the place where you go be in a movie, meet your heroes or become one for a brief time. The city will stay in your memory for a long time, thanks to its cozy atmosphere, smiles, and laughter pretty much wherever you look. It’s a great place to feel like a kid again, if only for a little bit, and fill your heart with childhood warmth and joy.
Come to Orlando with your furry companion, create a movie storyline of your own life, full of positive emotions and bright memories!
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