Calling all Disney fans who love horses! Is that you? Do your kids just adore the equestrian world or enjoy riding recreationally? We’ve got great news. You can safely ride together with the whole family during your WDW stay!
Where are the horses at Disney World?
If you and your family love seeing the horses that walk through Main Street, U.S.A. and appear in the parades at Magic Kingdom, then we have some pretty awesome news for you. You may not be aware, but horseback riding is available for guests at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.
Any guest can explore the Tri-Circle-D Ranch, regardless of if you are staying at a Disney Resort or not. There’s not even an entrance fee to see the museum room and walk around. If you want to book a ride, you’ll want to call and reserve a time, through the Disney Reservation line: (407) WDW-PLAY. Tickets for trail rides are currently $55 per guest before tax. Guided trail rides are typically offered five to six times a day. Be sure to always check the My Disney Experience app or WDW’s website for specific times. Guests who plan to ride must be over the age of 9, over 48 inches tall, and under 250 pounds. If you meet the requirements, you are all set to ride through the trails of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. You’ll get to enjoy plenty of beautiful scenery and animals on Disney’s property! What could be more special than that?
How long is the horseback riding at Disney World?
The great news is that you don’t have to be an experienced rider to participate. Disney has over 30 ranch hands working in the stables. They are also there to guide guests through the rides through the trails! The trail rides will last for approximately 45 minutes. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort’s stables are known as the “Tri-Circle-D Ranch.” Are you sensing a thematic element to that name? Us too. Tri-Circle refers to Mickey Mouse! His face is made up of three circles. So clever!
How many horses does Disney own?
Did you know that Disney World is currently home to over 85 beautiful horses? (That includes ponies too!) If you know your horse breeds, Fort Wilderness is home to Appaloosas, Clydesdales, quarter horses, Shetland ponies, and more!
Perhaps your kids love horses but aren’t ready to ride one through a trail. No problem! Tri-Circle-D ranch also offers Pony Rides, Carriage Rides, Wagon Rides, and Holiday Sleigh Rides (seasonally operated of course.) During the month of December, the Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides are an absolute treat. The sleighs are decorated in festive garland and the ride is about 25 minutes for a $75 ticket that covers one sleigh ride. Typically, a small family of 4-5 will fit in a sleigh, and if you have a larger group, you can try expanding into 2 or 3 sleighs! This will definitely be a photo moment.
How much is a carriage ride at Disney World?
According to Disney’s official site, currently the Wagon Rides and Holiday Sleigh Rides are not being offered. Don’t be disappointed, though! You can still partake in a delightful horse-drawn carriage ride at both Fort Wilderness Resort and Port Orleans – Riverside. These are offered in the evenings, which adds a dreamy and magical atmosphere! Each ride is $55 per carriage, but if you have to cancel make sure you cancel at least 24 hours out, or you could be subject to additional fees for cancellations. It’s easy to book horse-drawn carriage rides the same way you would a guided trail. Use the Disney Reservation Line: 407-WDW-PLAY. If you want to see if they have openings on the same day try calling 407-824-2832.
How do you get to Disney’s stables?
To get to Tri-Circle-D ranch, it is possible to drive your car and park in the Fort Wilderness Resort parking lot for visitors. Once you’re on site at the resort, regardless of whether you drove, took a boat ride, or a bus to get to the Fort Wilderness Resort, you should then take a Fort Wilderness-specific bus to the Settlement Depot Stop. You can always check with a cast member if you have trouble finding the right bus!
A few location details to know in advance:
Trail Rides are higher in demand, and a reservation is a good idea.
Pony Rides can be found close to Pioneer Hall.
Horse-Drawn Carriage rides begin by Crockett’s Tavern at Fort Wilderness and by Riverside Levee Marina at Port Orleans Resort – Riverside.
How Do You Work for Disney horses?
So, just how do these lucky ranch hands get to work in the Disney World stables? If you love horses and taking care of them, if you think you could lead trail rides daily in the heat, and if you’re over 18 years old, you might be eligible to work at the Tri-Circle-D ranch! Applicants also must have at least a year’s experience riding horses, truck-driving, and saddling experience. Among other requirements, applicants will also need the ability to lift heavy objects up to 70 pounds. For more information on how to get hired to work with the oh-so-admired Disney horses, check the Disney Careers site along with LinkedIn to find job postings!
Tri-Circle-D Ranch has recently been updated and renewed with a brand-new barn, as of 2020! The updates include larger stalls and new features. You’ll see a display of the tack used for Cinderella’s ponies in the “Wedding Harness Room”. You’ll also find the famous and beloved “Dragon Calliope” from 1907, not to mention a museum that exhibits WDW horses from the past.
The Dragon Calliope is kind of a big deal. In the 1950’s, Walt Disney actually selected this “Circus Wagon” along with others, to be part of the Mickey Mouse Club Circus parade. How neat is that? For those of you who may not know, a calliope is a small musical instrument, essentially. In Disney’s case, it’s a steam calliope. You will sometimes see this kind of instrument on old steamboats! It’s super special that this Disney treasure is available on display at Tri-Circle-D Ranch. If you have extra time, make sure to check it out! You can even play a magical rendition of “When You Wish Upon A Star” for yourself.
FYI: You might be surprised to find this out, but you actually cannot bring horses with you to Disney’s Campgrounds. There just isn’t enough room in the stables!
How Much are Pony Rides at Fort Wilderness?
The pony rides are also an adorable option for the kiddos. At only $8 per guest, pony rides are a great activity whether you’re staying at Fort Wilderness Lodge, or simply want to enjoy some Disney fun outside of the parks. Another fun fact: you don’t need a reservation for pony rides! Be sure to check the WDW site for specification requirements of height, weight, and age for pony rides. Safety first!
Something fun that The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort offers is a chance to see Cinderella’s ponies at the Tri-Circle-D Ranch! Cinderella’s ponies actually lead Cinderella’s coach when they’re needed for a Magic Kingdom parade or event. Imagine having your own Disney Fairytale Wedding and riding away in a carriage drawn by Cinderella’s Shetland ponies! Can you say, where dreams come true?
A fun fact from Disney World’s blog: In March of 2019, a new Shetland pony was born, “Lilly” named after Walt Disney’s wife. Awwww!
If you’ve always dreamed of going horseback riding at Walt Disney World resort, this is your avenue to make those dreams come true!
For information about reservations, you can check out Disney’s page for further details: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/recreation/campsites-at-fort-wilderness-resort/horse-trail-rides/