June 22, 2018

By: Festiva Getaways

Disney Magic Without Paying Theme Park Admission: Tri-Circle-D Ranch

Walt Disney World can be very guarded about how it makes the magic every day in the parks. They don’t really want you to peak behind the curtain too much. But, they are anxious to share the stables for the horses who regularly make appearances in the Magic Kingdom, and those stables are on the Tri-Circle-D Ranch.

Located near Disney’s Fort Wilderness, the Tri-Circle-D Ranch is home to Cinderella’s Ponies and the majestic horses of Main Street, U.S.A. The ranchers will be more than happy to take your family on a tour where you can watch the blacksmith make horseshoes and affix them to horses’ hooves and get a glimpse of the Dragon Calliope—the horse-drawn musical instrument that Walt Disney purchased for the Mickey Mouse Club Circus Parade at Disneyland Park in the 1950s. It’s an amazing piece of Disney history!

The smaller members of your family may wish to hop on the back of a pony and go for a spin around the ranch. The Pony rides are offered daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM near Pioneer Hall at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Riders must be at least 2 years of age, under 80 pounds, no taller than 48 inches and able to hang on by themselves. A parent or guardian must lead the pony at all times. This activity costs $8, for which you will need cash – the ranch doesn’t accept those new-fandangle debit cards.

There are a few ways to tour the campgrounds and wilderness around the resort, either by a carriage, a wagon, or on horseback. Wagon rides are available on a first-come, first-served basis, wagon rides depart daily at 6:00 PM and 8:30 PM (weather permitting) from the front of Pioneer Hall. These 25-minute wagon rides cost $12 for Guests ages 10 and up, and $8 for Guests 3 to 9 years of age.

If you’d rather sit atop a horse, you can experience a 45-minute horseback trail ride for $55 per person. Now, this is a popular attraction so you will need to reserve your spot in advance by calling (407) 939-7529.

Your family can spend a fun-filled day in the “wilderness” surrounding Disney’s most popular theme park, the Magic Kingdom.