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Happy Villaintines Day from Disney Parks Blog

Resort Honors Disney’s Horse History

posted on May 17th, 2011 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

Today is the anniversary of Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, which opened its doors May 17, 2004.

If you’ve never visited this Disney Vacation Club property, its look and feel was inspired by the town of Saratoga Springs, NY – a place famous for horses and health spas.

When I looked into the resort’s history for today’s post, I found that the children’s area in the lobby is decorated with artwork of famous Disney horse characters, which caught me off guard at first. Sure Disney has tons of popular animal characters – mice, ducks, bears and so on – but Disney horses? My mind drew a blank.

1941 Disney Short 'How to Ride a Horse'

After a bit more research, it turns out we have a whole stable of horses in the Disney family. In fact, horse characters have been really important to some of Disney’s most popular animated films. Who didn’t smile when Woody reunited with his trusty sidekick, Bullseye, in “Toy Story 2”? Other horse characters have bravely ridden into battle with princes, helped princesses flee from danger or simply hung around to provide comic relief (like the horse featured above with Goofy in the 1950 short “How to Ride A Horse”).

In honor of the resort’s special day, let’s have some fun and name as many Disney horses as we can – especially those that can be seen around the Walt Disney World Resort. See if you can add to the list below.

    Horace in the 1931 Short 'Barnyard Broadcast'

  1. Horace Horsecollar (Disney shorts) – What may be Disney’s first horse character, Horace (pictured above/left in the 1931 short, “Barnyard Broadcast”), made his debut in the 1929 animated short, “The Plow Boy.” Guests currently can catch him “hoofing it” in the Frontierland Hoedown Happening that takes place at Magic Kingdom Park.
  2. Horse Major in 'Cinderella'

  3. Horse Major, mice Gus and Jaq (“Cinderella”) – Cinderella’s mice friends, Gus and Jaq, are temporarily transformed into horses to pull her pumpkin coach to the ball while the existing horse, Major, is changed into the driver of the coach. Gus and Jaq currently can be spotted giving an illuminating performance in the Main Street Electrical Parade at Magic Kingdom Park.
  4. Prince Phillip's Trusty Steed Samson in 'Sleeping Beauty'

  5. Samson (“Sleeping Beauty”) – Prince Phillip’s trusty steed accompanies him on all sorts of adventures in this 1959-flick, including meeting Briar Rose in the woods and joining him in the final battle against Maleficent. Guests can spot Prince Phillip, Samson and Maleficent in a new LEGO sculpture that decorates the LEGO Imagination Center at Downtown Disney Marketplace at the Walt Disney World Resort.
  6. Prince Charming Regal Carrousel at Magic Kingdom Park

  7. Prince Charming Regal Carrousel (Magic Kingdom Park) – This carrousel, originally built by the Philadelphia Tobaggan Company in 1917, was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in the late 1960s. The carrousel and it’s 90 horses debuted at Magic Kingdom Park on opening day in 1971.
  8. Bullseye from 'Toy Story 2' and 'Toy Story 3'

  9. Bullseye (“Toy Story 2” and “Toy Story 3”) – Bullseye arrived on the scene in “Toy Story 2,” when Woody ventures into Al’s collectible toy showroom. Guests can play games with Bullseye (and other “Toy Story” characters) at Toy Story Mania! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or spot him in the park’s Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun Parade.
  10. Khan from 'Mulan'

  11. Khan (“Mulan”) – This horse appeared in “Mulan,” which was the first of three feature films produced inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in the same building that currently houses The Magic of Disney Animation attraction.

Can you think of any to add to this list? I specifically left a few out!

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Filed: Disney History, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort



Chris on May 17th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

How about Maximus from “Tangled”?


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on May 17th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Great one!


Jose from CA on May 17th, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Maximus from “Tangled,” of course, and don’t forget Phillipe from “Beauty and the Beast!”


Jason from NC on May 17th, 2011 at 2:28 pm

The carousel horses from Mary Poppins! And somewhat relatedly, Julie Andrews’ horse on King Arthur’s Carousel.


Eric on May 17th, 2011 at 2:29 pm

We’ll assume you “specifically” left out Maximus, thank you.

(Also, there’s a rumor that the animators named every villain’s horse–Gaston’s, Frollo’s, Ratcliffe’s, Shan Yu’s–“Snowball”, in honor of the Headless Horseman’s. Whether that’s true or not, I can’t say.) :)


Tim on May 17th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Maximus is what I was going to say! It was sooo evident from the first time I saw ‘Tangled’ that Maximus was the BEST animated horse – or perhaps supporting character period! – that I had ever seen!! His personality, his timing and his movements were amazing in each and every seen. Besides the movie overall, I was most impressed with Maximus. Kudos to his creator(s)!


Jose from CA on May 17th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I always thought Mary Poppins’ purple carrousel horse was pretty iconic. You can see that same horse in the queue of The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on May 17th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Great one! I totally forgot about that. Here’s a hint for an additional one: Think Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and the special horse that makes his debut only during that time of year! Guests at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort or Tri-Circle-D Ranch also may have some answers!


Kammy from CA on May 17th, 2011 at 2:32 pm

And Phillippe from Beauty and the Beast! He’s my favorite!


Tiffany on May 17th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Of course Tangled’s Maximus! He’s hysterical.
Belle’s horse Phillipe- he’s pretty crucial!
There’s also Jasmine’s horse Sahara.
Achilles, horse of Captain Phoebus from Hunchback.
Captain from 101 Dalmatians.

You think Hercules’ pegasus counts!? I think he should!


Jose from CA on May 17th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Are “Alice in Wonderland” rocking horse flies out of the question? Pegasus from “Hercules” is somewhat of a horse. What about “A Cowboy Needs a HORSE” cartoon short?


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on May 17th, 2011 at 3:46 pm

A rocking horse fly? Good eye! I’ll have to watch some of the classic films again!


allen on May 17th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Achilles – “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
Captain – “One Hundred and One Dalmatians”
Pegasus – “Hercules”
What was the name of the horse from “The Aristocats”?


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on May 17th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Wow, I had to look this one up in our archives. The horse in the Aristocats was named Frou-Frou.


Emily on May 17th, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Philippe from Beauty and the Beast was always one of my favorites :)


Katherine on May 17th, 2011 at 3:03 pm

What about Achilles from the Hunchback of Notre Dame?


Jennifer from FL on May 17th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Achilles from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and Pegasus from “Hercules”.


Kathryn on May 17th, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Hercule’s fab friend, Pegasus!


Jason on May 17th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

I was going to add Maximus from Tangled. Probably one of my favorite characters from the movie, other than Pascelle.

Also while we’re honoring the carousel horses at WDW, how about the real ones that pull the trolly up Main Street USA, and over at Fort Wilderness?


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on May 17th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Yep. Those count!


Sherry from NJ on May 17th, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Pegasus, from “Hercules” (as well as the Pegasus family from “Fantasia”)


Tiffany from CA on May 17th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Phillipe from Beauty and The Beast and Jingles the Disneyland Carousel horse dedicated to Julie Andrews at DIsneyland’s 50th Anniversary Celebration are two that come to mind.


Sherry from NJ on May 17th, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Also Captain from “101 Dalmatians”


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on May 17th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Great one! There are still more – think “Home on the Range,” “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad” and the special guest who appears at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!


Madline on May 17th, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I am a Maximus fan also… Loved Tangeled but all the way home I kept saying wasn’t the horse funny, the horse had so much personality….. thank you Disney when you think of anything Disney you can’t help but smile :-)


Tanya from NJ on May 17th, 2011 at 3:37 pm

LOL! Looking at all the Maximus comments. I was looking for Max when I came to this blog. Too funny!!!


Chris on May 17th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Another Maximus fan here!


Jenny on May 17th, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Cyril Proudbottom from “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr.Toad”


Carol from ON on May 17th, 2011 at 4:00 pm

There is the horse that carries the headless horseman in the MNSSHP but I don’t know his name. There are also the small white ponies that pull Cinderella’s coach in parades. There are lots of horses over at the Tri Circle D stable in fort Wilderness.


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on May 17th, 2011 at 5:17 pm

You got tons of them!


Aydin from ON on May 17th, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Here’s a good, obscure one…
From Pete’s Dragon, there’s Victoria, the horse that is owned by the egg delivery man in Passamaquoddy.
“He scared my horse Victoria!”


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on May 18th, 2011 at 8:48 am

Wow, I haven’t seen this film in AGES!


Duane on May 17th, 2011 at 4:53 pm

There’s Cyril Proudbottom, Mr. Toad’s horse in “Ichabod & Mr. Toad.” In addition, the Headless Horseman’s horse in the “Sleepy Hollow” section of that film has a large, though unnamed role. Other Disney horses you have left out include characters from early Mickey Mouse shorts: “Thunderbolt” (The Steeplechase), “Tanglefoot” (Mickey Mouse comic strips); “Buck” the egotistical horse from “Home on the Range.” Plus if you include live-action, there’s “Hidalgo” and “Secretariat,” and even more.


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on May 18th, 2011 at 8:48 am

I just saw “Secretariat” – great answer!


John on May 17th, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Widow Maker from Pecos Bills Tall Tale Inn and Cafe!!!!

Probably the best horse EVER

(Former CP who worked in PBC)


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on May 18th, 2011 at 8:49 am



vanessa on May 17th, 2011 at 5:47 pm

I am collecting photos of horses from all over WDW property….Eventually I may make a book….


Sunni from AL on May 17th, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Cyril from Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
The horse from “Dude Donald”


Jason on May 17th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

How about the invisible ghost horse pulling the hearse in front of the Haunted Mansion?


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on May 18th, 2011 at 8:49 am

Jason, you got my vote for Most Creative Answer!


Ann on May 17th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Philippe, from Beauty and the Beast.

I’ve always noticed Disney’s horses. I love them!


Jason on May 17th, 2011 at 5:50 pm

On our last visit, we enjoyed dropping in on the horses living at the the Tri-Circle D at Fort Wilderness.


Shirley on May 17th, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Black Beauty!!!!! :o)


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on May 18th, 2011 at 8:50 am

I was waiting for someone to toss this out.


Sherry from NJ on May 17th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Lots of live-action ones! I go back even before Secretariat and Hidalgo — like Aspercel (“Horse in the Grey Flannel Suit”), Nautical (“Horse with the Flying Tail”) and Tonka, to name just a few!


Michelle from PA on May 17th, 2011 at 5:58 pm

The horses that pull the carriage for the Fairy Tale Weddings.


Sharon from CA on May 17th, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I was going to mention FrouFrou, and someone beat me to it.

Let me also add Cristobalito to the list of “live action” horses – from “Cristobalito, The Calypso Colt.” Cristobalito is a Paso Fino; you get to see the famous “champagne class” in a big horse show scene.

My husband and I are very fond of J.D. and Minnie Moose from Florida’s Tri-Circle D, BTW. :-)


Holly from MI on May 17th, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Well, there’s Pecos Bills’ horse, Widow-Maker. And Zorro’s horse, Toronado.


Alison on May 17th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

What about the Seahorses that pull King Triton? Also, Ariel had Stormy the seahorse in one of the Adventures of the Little Mermaid movies.


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on May 18th, 2011 at 8:50 am

I guess seahorses count…another creative answer!


Janice from TX on May 17th, 2011 at 6:32 pm

I was going to mention the ghost horse in front of the Haunted Mansion, but see someone finally caught it. I always LOVED the magic/ghost horses in Bedknobs and Broomsticks! Also, there are little horse heads w/ rings in their mouths (for tying up real horses) in various places around the park & resorts, & don’t forget Port Orleans horsies too :)


Erin on May 17th, 2011 at 6:32 pm

What about the horse that pulls the carriage when Ariel and Eric are touring the kingdom?


Alessandra on May 17th, 2011 at 6:44 pm

PHILLIPE! From Beauty and The Beast! Belle would have never found her father without him :)


Amanda from TN on May 17th, 2011 at 6:50 pm

The “now you see him now you don’t” skeleton horse in the Not So Scary Halloween parade.
The pegasi family in Fantasia
Silver -Lone Ranger
Do donkeys count? If so Eeyore!
Secretariat the live action & statue @ SS
Bluejeans from Hannah Montana
Phillip, Edmund’s horse in Chronicles of Marnia

That is all I can think of that aren’t already here!

I was going to put Aspercel that is one of faces!


laura on May 17th, 2011 at 7:17 pm

what about the amazing clydesdales that march in mickeys very merry christmas party! I cant believe no one mentioned them! They are perhaps the stars of the show! And what about buttercup the unicorn in toy story 3? And the sea horses in finding nemo AND the little mermaid! Horses in the parade in Aladdin (and when apu is turned into a horse then the elephant!)


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on May 18th, 2011 at 8:51 am

I LOVE the clydesdales! Did you know they were one of the first breeds of horses selected by Walt to feature at Disneyland Park? Buttercup is a great creative answer, too!


Katelynne on May 17th, 2011 at 8:03 pm

I noticed that no one said anything about Flash. Does he count?


maria on May 17th, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Umm the black stallion!!!
Figure from “justin morgan had a horse”
Holy Smoke From “run appoloosa run”
Tonka Wakan from “tonka”
But my favorite is pegasus from hercules.


Kristina on May 17th, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Sandy, Princess Mia’s horse in The Princess Diaries 2
The Black, in The Young Black Stallion
The 7 Lippizzan Stallions in the Miracle of the White Stallions (An amazing tribute to the real stallions!)
and of course
The horses in the King Arthur Carosel in DL

(I have to say I love Maximus too! and I want them to make more adult, Tangled-themed decor!!!)


Brian from CA on May 17th, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Hey the horse from Zoreo.


Katie on May 17th, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Does Seranado the Wonder Horse, from the old Mickey Mouse Club Circus that ran at Disneyland count?


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on May 18th, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Of course!


Stephany on May 18th, 2011 at 12:31 am

Noone ever notices this Horse from The Little Mermaid! But He jumped over a cliff! 😀 So awesome! :3


Stephany on May 18th, 2011 at 12:34 am

Also all the Horses at the Boardwalk Hotel (Especially the Chandeliers with the Hippocampi!(Mer-Horses?))


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on May 18th, 2011 at 5:04 pm

I’m surprised no one picked up on the miniature carousel that sits atop the bench in the lobby. It spins and lights up and everything!


Brian on May 18th, 2011 at 2:16 am

How about llamas? In my opinion, The Emperor’s New Groove is one of the funniest, most underrated Walt Disney animated features. I love it! Please put Kuzco (in llama form, of course) in It’s a Small World with the llamas on top of the mountains in the South America scene! PLEASE!!!