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Hoofing it at Tri-Circle-D Ranch

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Is that a draft horse? How big will he be when he’s full grown? How many hands high is he?

Hoofing it at Tri-Circle-D Ranch

These are just some of the questions I overheard guests ask during my recent trip to Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. It quickly became clear that when it comes to horses, I sure have a lot to learn – but Tri-Circle-D is a great place to start.

Hoofing it at Tri-Circle-D Ranch

Tri-Circle-D Ranch is home to 88 horses that pull the Main Street trolley, kick off the daily Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade at Magic Kingdom Park, or appear at special events and weddings on property. They’re also used for daily pony rides, trail rides, hayrides and carriage rides at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, and carriage rides at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside.

Hoofing it at Tri-Circle-D Ranch

The large team occupies two barns: the Trail Ride Barn houses the ranch’s smaller horse breeds, including Arabians, quarter horses and draft crosses that are used in the campground’s daily guided trail rides. The Draft Horse Barn, near Pioneer Hall, houses larger Belgian, Clydesdale and Percheron horses, which can be seen in parades or pulling carriage and hayrides.

Hoofing it at Tri-Circle-D Ranch

The Draft Horse Barn also features two unique nods to Disney’s horse history that can be viewed by guests. The first is the Walt Disney Horses room, which houses a collection of photos that shows Walt playing polo, and guiding a team of horses through Disneyland Park.

Hoofing it at Tri-Circle-D Ranch

A second historic highlight is the nearby Dragon Calliope, a horse-drawn musical instrument that Walt purchased from the Bradley and Kaye Amusement Park to use in the Mickey Mouse Club Circus Parade at Disneyland Park in the 1950s. The calliope also was featured in the 1960 film “Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus” that starred Mousketeer Kevin “Moochie” Corcoran. The calliope is still used on occasion for special events at our parks, and when needed, is pulled by as many as eight horses.

Guests can explore Tri-Circle-D Ranch during business hours seven days a week. For a riding experience, such as a carriage ride, hayride or trail ride, call 407-939-7529. Pony rides are available on a walk-up basis for guests age 2 and older.


  • Most people don’t realize that a Horse Department is on Disney property. My business involves horses and Tri Circle D Ranch has served as host for a couple of events for my company. Robin Walker and the cast at the Ranch made the experience so pleasant I try to visit them every time I travel to Disney World which is 2 or 3 times a year.

  • I love visiting Tri-Circle D!

  • I’m glad you featured the Tri Circle D Ranch, as Fort Wilderness is my favorite resort on property. I always remember the petting zoo as a kid and the obnoxious goats who would bump me on the behind and really be nosey. The only problem now is that the petting zoo is a ghost town it seems every time I visit? It makes me sad and I wish it were like it was when I was a kid, 15+ years ago… I understand they still do the pony rides, but there aren’t any other animals rolling around in the petting zoo anymore it seems…. shame.

  • Tri Circle D ranch is awesome. Visit it every time we go to Ft Wilderness. Tell Kevin and Cathy we said hello

  • I did a trail ride during my last trip to Walt Disney World and it was quite enjoyable. I am thinking it may become a regular part of my trips.

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