A new tour is now offered on select dates at the Tri-Circle-D Ranch Horse Barn at Ft. Wilderness Campground in Walt Disney World. One of the best parts is that IT'S FREE!
The tour includes a very informative guided walk-through of the barn with one of the Cast who cares for the horses of Walt Disney World. During the tour, we learned about Walt's love of horses. In fact, at the Ranch, they say "it all started with a horse."
The tour explores:
Mini Walt Disney Horses Museum
1907 calliope purchased by Walt used very rarely for special events. Guests may push a button and hear the music from the calliope.
Some of the working horses.
Our guide, Sam, also took us into backstage areas including the harness room, veterinary clinic, food storage area, and stalls of additional horses (no photography is permitted in backstage areas.) We learned about the care and feeding of the horses as well as how they are prepared to work special events, such as the Headless Horseman ride during the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Parade and pulling Cinderella's carriage for weddings. At the end of the tour, Sam brought out one of the horses for us to pet and pose for pictures. They are absolutely stunning animals.
No reservations are required for the tour. However, since the tours are only offered on select days, confirm tour times prior to attending. The barn, including the museum, the calliope, and several of the horses are available for Guests to visit daily even when no tours are offered. Pony rides are also available across from the barn entrance.
PLEASE NOTE SIGNS PROHIBITING GUESTS FROM FEEDING OR PETTING HORSES!
Ft. Wilderness is easily accessible by boat from the entrance of the Magic Kingdom and is a great place to take a quiet afternoon break from the parks. Also, they offer wonderful food at the Trail's End Restaurant. See details of the AMAZING weekend brunch HERE.
*Special thanks to Sam for the wonderful tour and for answering all of my questions after the tour.
*The Barn is moderately handicapped accessible. Paths leading to the barn are mulch covered, not paved. The museum and most of the tour are handicapped accessible. However, the harness room and veterinary clinic room each have a slight 2 inch step up into them. This may prohibit entry unless a Guest is able to transfer and step up into the rooms. The door remains open during those parts of the tour so it is possible to sit outside the open doorway.
*Retired horses of Walt Disney World are adopted to Loving Forever Homes. Guests may request the horses. A very strict application process is required.
*Follow Jeanie on Twitter @PrincessPapers on Facebook @ThePrincessPapers and you can also find her on the Disney Dream Girls Podcast Twitter @DisDreamGirls and Facebook @DisneyDreamGirlsPodcast