Fort Wilderness Ponies: A Royal Ride for your Prince or Princess

smiling-child-riding-pony-fort-wilderness-tri-circle-d-ranch-disney-world-by-tommi-barrett-greenly-magic-kingdom-momma.jpg-v4

Yeehaw!

Well howdy there, pardner! Do you have a pony lovin' child in your household? If you do, and you plan to be in the Central Florida region sometime in the future, I highly recommend you mosey on over to one of the best experiences the area has to offer to young cowgirls and cowboys everywhere: The Pony Rides at Walt Disney Resort's Tri-Circle-D Ranch.

I discovered this gem of a place years ago, when, before becoming a WDW Passholder, I was exploring the Fort Wilderness resort with my family. It was autumn (one of the best times to visit) and the place was bustling with fall fun activities, from guests decorating their campsites for Halloween to horse-drawn wagon and carriage rides. I learned pretty quick that this is THE place to enjoy a "high-spirited hootenanny" at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review or to roast marshmallows on a stick at Chip 'N Dale's Campfire Sing-A-Long. There's a barn open to visitors where you can stop in and see the various breeds of beautiful horses (no petting or feeding, of course). These are the very steeds and stallions that pull the trolleys down Main Street, U.S.A. and Cinderella's Coach. Near the barn are the petite ponies; this is where my little ones saddled up and had their very first pony ride! 

Now since that time I've done a little bit of research on this place, and ya know, there's a whole lotta good information online about Tri-Circle-D Ranch. Despite that, though, I am downright flabbergasted at how many locals 'round these parts still don't know about it!

So, this here article is for all you tenderfoots out there with a little one who is ready to ride!

About Tri-Circle-D Ranch

Where It Is:

  • The Tri-Circle-D Ranch is located near Pioneer Hall at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground in the Magic Kingdom resort area of Walt Disney World.
  • Here is a helpful map.
  • Visitors need to know that the Fort Wilderness Campground and the Wilderness Lodge are two separate areas.
  • The campground is a large complex; you can get there by bus from the lodge, by WDW boat transportation, or drive and park directly there at the complex. The campground parking lot is quite a ways from the farm; if you park on site, you may want to take a bus from the lot to the ranch area to save some time.

Pony Ride Times:

  • Generally, daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST
  • No reservations needed, but there may be a wait in line

Cost:

  • Current cost is $8.00
  • Cash payments accepted only

Other Important Things to Know:

  • Riders must be-
    • At least 2 years old
    • Under 80 pounds (there is a scale present)
    • No taller than 48 inches
  • Children must be able to hold on by themselves
  • Children will wear protective gear provided by the Cast Member (helmet)
  • A parent or guardian must lead the pony at all times

Do's and Don'ts!

  • Nowadays we dotin' parents and guardians love snappin' shots of our little ones, but if you're leadin' and your child is ridin', ask somebody else to kindly hold your phone/camera and take the pics. The pony rides at Tri-Circle-D Ranch is hands-down a special experience, but it's one that warrants the full attention of an adult. Ya gotta watch yer kid and that pony at the same time, ya hear?
  • The Cast Members at the farm will give you and yours directions. They aren't complicated, but heed those instructions so y'all can have a fun ride.
  • Of course, respect those ponies. They are beautiful animals; show them kindness and a gentle lead during the ride.

One More Tidbit...

Before I wrangle up this here article...know that there are plenty of other recreational activities goin' on at the campground, just in case those pony rides don't work out, after all. My son was sadly turned away last year after he stepped on the scale, which was NOT a magical experience for us, to say the least!! So be ready for a backup plan if yer little pardner is too little or too big for those ponies. There is a playground nearby and a nice beach area. Fishing and archery could also be an option. But if y'all are set on a horse experience, wagon rides and carriage rides are available too, though they're a bit pricier. And for those older and bigger aspiring wranglers with a decent amount of change in their pockets, there is horseback riding. Visit the Walt Disney World's Sports & Recreation page for more details on activities, age requirements, cost, reservation information and more. 

Head 'em Up, Move 'em Out!

Well, looks like it's time for me to skedaddle, but if you're still hankerin' to learn more about the Fort Wilderness Pony Rides, just check out the links and articles below. But don't wait too long to visit Tri-Circle-D Ranch, pardnerGiddy up!


Articles

Disney World for Horse Lovers (Build a Better Mouse Trip)

Disney World 4 Le$: Pony Rides Under $10 (Amanda at Cheapskate Princess)

Lots of Fun Horsing Around at Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Walt Disney World Resort (Russ J. Stacey, Yellow Shoes Creative Group, Disney Parks Blog)

Saddle Up - Pony Rides at Fort Wilderness (Fancy Free Diva)

Recreation at Fort Wilderness Campsites (WDW Site)

Tri-Circle-D-Ranch (WDW Site)

Walt Disney World Pony Rides (WDW Site)

A Disney Cast Member kindly gets my little princess ready for her first pony ride.

 

This little city-slicker is ready to ride!

 


​Let's go, little cowgirl!

 


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