Magic Kingdom went to the dogs over the Labor Day Weekend. Walt Disney World Resort threw its first-ever “Disney Side Dog’s Day” event. Disney hosted 101 canines and their owners at the event, which took place before the park’s regular operating hours.
“Disney Side Dog’s Day” focused on the proud pet owners helping their pooches demonstrate their Disney Side. Saturday’s event began with a dog-centric “Show Your Disney Side” costume contest. Dogs – as well as some of the owners – portrayed a diversity of Disney characters, including princesses and pirates, heroes and villains. There was even a Dalmatian dressed as Cruella de Vil. Perhaps the best costume, though, belonged to Lily, a Labrador-Catahoula with a natural Mickey Mouse marking on her coat who has been featured on the Disney Parks Blog in the past.
The costume contest was followed by a walk, led by Goofy, around part of Magic Kingdom and through Cinderella Castle. The morning of four-legged fun featured dogs walking the “green carpet,” a look made complete with fire hydrants, and showing off their moves in a dog jam dance party. The special also offered attendees doggie treats.
Naturally, there were other Disney characters that appeared at the event. In addition to Goofy (who may or may not be a dog), the biggest Disney stars on Saturday were those who just happen to be dogs: Pluto, Bolt and Dug. But other A-list Disney characters appeared, such as the Evil Queen and Stitch.
“Disney Side Dog’s Day” was a private event, open to a limited number of animals, owners and guests. Dog owners participated in a “Show Your Disney Side” online photo context, one that encouraged owners to dress their pets in various Disney costumes. (Other restrictions applied. For instance, owners needed to be Florida residents and spayed or neutered dogs that weighed no more than 70 pounds.)
Saturday’s event is part the production for Animal Planet’s upcoming TV special “America’s Cutest: Disney Side Howl-O-Ween.” The show will feature portions “Disney Side Dog’s Day” and be hosted by actor John Hurley (“Seinfeld,” “Family Feud”); Hurley attended the Magic Kingdom event. “America’s Cutest: Disney Side Howl-O-Ween” will premiere Oct. 18.
The timing for “Disney Side Dog’s Day” overlapped with Disney’s announcement that Disney Tails, a new line of pet products, will debut spring 2015. The initial line will focus on a small assortment of dog products, including bowls, toys and apparel. The products will be available at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.