Ken-L Land Pet Motel

Hosted by Ken-L Ration

“Ken-L Ration Dog Food, for All Breeds”
Ken-L-Land at Disneyland

Photo by Roger J. Runck, 1964, courtesy of Robin Runck

Ken-L Land Pet Motel

Sorry. You can’t take your pet into Disneyland. So let your pet stay at the Ken-L Land Pet Motel.

Look for the wide building with Dutch doors at both ends. The doors are yellow—just like Fido, the beloved mascot of Ken-L Ration. There are plenty of windows to provide natural light.

Ken-L-Land at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 1967

A convenient place for humans to meet too

Ken-L-Land at Disneyland

Advertisement in Vacationland, Summer 1960 © Walt Disney Productions

“Park your pets”

While you enjoy lunch inside the park, your pet will feast on Ken-L Ration. Or choose from Ken-L Meal, Ken-L Biskit, Ken-L Treats, or Puss-N-Boots Cat Food. A trained, uniformed attendant will feed your pet according to your instructions.

Now, sing along…

My dog’s faster than your dog;
My dog’s bigger than yours;
My dog’s better
’cause he gets Ken-L Ration;
My dog’s better than yours.

The Ken-L Land Pet Motel opened at Disneyland on January 18, 1958. The kennel’s name was sometimes spelled Ken-L Land (consistent with the usual hyphenation of the sponsor’s name) and sometimes Ken-L-Land (with an extra hyphen). Disneyland nomenclature was less exact in those days.

Over the years, five different pet food brands sponsored the pet kennel. The kennel continued to operate in the same building until Disneyland’s Covid-19 shutdown in March 2020.

Sometimes Ken-L Land showed up in Disneyland advertising:

“Man’s best friend” has not been forgotten when the family visits Disneyland, thanks to Ken-L-Ration’s deluxe Pet Motel, Ken-L-Land. The courteous, competent staff sees that your pet is provided with an individual “suite” and all the comforts of home. A complimentary feeding of Ken-L-Ration is served your pet, if you so desire.

— Disneyland display ad, Los Angeles Times, June 14, 1959

In 1965, the price for a full day at Ken-L Land was just 25 cents, including a can of food:

Ken-L-Land, an air-conditioned dog motel, is 100 feet outside Disneyland’s main gate. Your dog will love his individual “suite.” Entrust your pet to our experienced handler whose specialty is tender, loving care. The 25c all-day fee includes a free can of Ken-L-Ration… at Ken-L-Land.

— Disneyland display ad, Los Angeles Times, June 14, 1965

The Ken-L Land Pet Motel name lasted until 1968. Then Kal Kan took over sponsorship. The name changed to the “Kennel Club.”

By 1975, the price had doubled to a still very reasonable 50 cents. According to the Disneyland Guide, Summer 1975:

You may leave your pet in an airy, individual enclosure at a cost of only 50¢ for the entire day. This charge includes a choice of Kal Kan pet food. This facility, sponsored by Kal Kan, is located to the right of the Main Gate Ticket Booths. Sorry, pets cannot be left overnight.

Kal Kan’s sponsorship ran until 1977. From 1986 until 1991, Gaines sponsored the “Pet Care Kennel.”

Ken-L-Land at Disneyland

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2002

The Kennel Club, hosted by Friskies—the same building from 1958, but with an updated look

Ken-L-Land at Disneyland

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2002

Clever sign suggesting a rather classy club

On January 1, 1993, Nestlé USA Inc. and The Walt Disney Company began a multidivisional strategic alliance, which included “participation” (sponsorship) at Disneyland Park and the Walt Disney World Resort. Carnation (acquired by Nestlé in 1985) and Stouffer’s (acquired by Nestlé in 1973) already had relationships with Disneyland. These brands were joined by other Nestlé brands, including Hills Bros., Contadina, Toll House, Nestea—and Friskies.

The kennel at Disneyland once again had a sponsor. Friskies brought back the name “Kennel Club.” So what if Friskies was a cat food brand and the kennel was primarily for dogs? It was an opportunity to promote a Nestlé brand.

Ken-L-Land at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2002

The Kennel Club, hosted by Purina

On December 12th, 2001: Nestlé acquired Ralston Purina. With Nestlé owning a real dog food brand, the Purina logo replaced the Friskies logo on the Disneyland Kennel Club.

The 50¢ price of 1975 was a distant memory. According to the Disneyland official web site in Summer 2002, the price was much higher:

Indoor Kennel facilities available for a charge of $10.00. Kennel is located to the right of the Main Entrance of Disneyland park. Sorry, there are no facilities for overnight accommodations.

By 2006, the price had risen to $15.

Ken-L-Land at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2007

A guest about to spend $20

The next price jump was to $20. According to the Disneyland official web site, January 2008:

Do you have pet accommodations?

The Disneyland® Kennel Club is available for day use. The cost is $20.00 per pet, per day and reservations are not necessary. No overnight accommodations are available. Please note the Hotels of the Disneyland® Resort do not permit pets.

The Disneyland® Kennel Club and County of Orange requires rabies, distemper, and hepatitis vaccination certificates from your vet in order to board dogs over four months of age. Cats over four months old need proof of vaccination for rabies, distemper, hepatitis, panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis and calicivirus.

For further information or questions, please contact Disneyland® Resort Guest Information at (714) 781-7290.

The Disneyland Kennel Club took other pets too. If you felt a need to take your hamster, parakeet, or goldfish with you when you went to Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure for the day, you could leave it at the Kennel Club (although why anyone would have wanted to do so is another question). But if your pet was poisonous—forget it. And forget it if your pet was illegal in California—including ferrets, which are perfectly legal in most of the United States.

Ken-L-Land at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2007

Still a classy couple

Ken-L-Land at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2007

No longer 25 cents

For more than fifty years, the kennel had been a prominent structure near the main entrance.

On January 12, 2010, the Disneyland Resort opened a new consolidated facility for stroller, wheelchair, and electric convenience vehicle rentals. The convenience vehicle building hid most of the kennel, with only one of the dutch doors and a new, smaller sign showing. It was still the original building from 1958—although guests wouldn’t know it by looking at it.

Disneyland Kennel Club

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Disneyland Kennel Club hidden behind new structures

Disneyland Kennel Club

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Former Disneyland Kennel Club marquee hidden from view

The left Dutch door served as the spot to drop off and pick up pets. It hadn’t been “Fido yellow” in decades.

The now-blank marquee that once held the Disneyland Kennel Club sign and a sponsor’s logo are hidden behind the convenience vehicle building.

Disneyland Kennel Club

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

“Suites” for Fido

Disneyland Kennel Club

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Pet food in 2013

In 2013, the daily fee still included a serving of pet food. In those days, the Disneyland Kennel Club served Pedigree dry dog food, Mighty Dog canned dog food, Friskies cat food, and dog treats.

Some time before the end of the decade, the kennel stopped providing food. According to the official Disneyland website in 2020:

Also, please be aware that attendants are unable to feed pets. Guests are welcome to leave food with their pets or feed them when they return. A water dish will be provided and attendants will monitor the water level. If they are unable to reach the water dish, attendants will call to inform you.

The price in 2020 for a day in the kennel was still $20—possibly the only thing at Disneyland still priced the same as in 2007. Even so, it was a much better deal during its early years. Using an online U.S. Consumer Price Index calculator, 25¢ in January 1958 is equivalent to $2.25 in January 2020. The 2020 price of $20.00 substantially exceeded inflation over that period, even more so when you consider that it no longer included food.

The parks of the Disneyland Resort closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic on March 14, 2020. Of course, the kennel closed too. It would take more than a year—until April 30, 2021—for the parks to begin their phased reopening at a reduced capacity. Not surprisingly, the kennel did not immediately reopen.

As 2021 progressed, the kennel remained “temporarily unavailable.” Pet owners began to wonder if it would ever reopen.

Disneyland Kennel Club

Photo by Chris Bales, 2022

Rentals (left) and convenience vehicle building (right), with closed door between them, March 2022

Disneyland Kennel Club

Photo by Chris Bales, 2022

A closer look at the closed door, March 2022

By early 2022, it seemed that the Disneyland Kennel Club had permanently “gone to Yesterland.” The Guest Services page of the official Disneyland website no longer mentions kennel services. Yelp indicates “Yelpers report this location has closed.” Google shows it as “permanently closed.”

If the kennel is defunct, you would expect its sign to be removed. As of March 2022, the Disneyland Kennel Club sign is still up. There’s not even anything indicating that it’s temporarily closed. There’s still a sign next to the door stating that the “Disneyland Kennel opens 30 minutes before Disneyland Park opening,” with a doorbell to “ring for attendant.”

The answer to the question of whether the kennel will ever return seems to be “maybe, maybe not.”

Disneyland management could decide to reopen the Disneyland Kennel Club tomorrow, next month, a year from now—or never. The longer it’s closed, the less likely it is to reopen.

Pluto at Disneyland, 1974

Photo by Werner Weiss, 1974

Pluto, a dog who is always welcome inside Disneyland Park

How about taking a dog into either of the parks? Sorry. Dogs are not permitted. There are two exceptions. Service animals—“any dog or miniature horse trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability”—are welcome. And so is Pluto.

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Updated March 25, 2022