Horseback riding at Disney World's Fort Wilderness : Allan Oakley's Guide to everything Orlando

Hello from Sunny Orlando, Florida;

My name is Allan. I guess you can say  my family is comprised of the ultimate fans of Walt  Disney World. We first visited  Disney World days after they opened EPCOT.It took a load of visits before we decided in 1989 that Orlando felt more like home then our actual town in Canada. Yes, we moved from North Bay, Ontario  to Orlando in 1996.That was after we had enjoyed a lifetime of Orlando adventures.


I hope you enjoy our website. Living here offers you a unique perspective on life in the shadow of the mouse. Our house is literally 3 miles south of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. So close that we hear the fireworks almost every night of the week. During the cooler winter months we see them most nights. My intention is to document our adventures and post  new events of interest as they happen here. Kind of a memoir,somewhat of a history but at the heart of this a viewpoint you’d never see  or hear about living anywhere else.
Best wishes for today from Sunny Florida
Horseback Riding at Fort Wilderness
July 26th,2009
It was our son Elliot's  26th birthday.Each year we plan a day of fun .He never knows what will happen so this time we  told him to be ready at 9 AM. Elliot rose early in the day and headed to the special ticket window at Disney's Animal Kingdom.As annual passholders he was entitled to a $75 gift card as part of the "What will you Celebrate" events. From there he came to our house and we headed to Disney's Fort Wilderness. Right till we drove on the property he had no idea what we were doing.
Tri-Circle-D Ranch & Farm  is the actual name of the stables at Fort Wilderness.
Description: Enjoy wholesome family fun at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground with 45-minute guided trail rides on horseback or carriage through the scenic natural woodlands of Central Florida.

The idyllic setting of Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is also home to Cinderella's Ponies and the majestic horses seen on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom Park . Younger children can head to the farm for a stroll through the stables and get up close and personal with these gentle steeds.

For more information, please call (407)WDW-PLAY or (407)939-7529†; Guests under age 18 must have parent or guardian permission to call.

†Guests under age 18 must have parent or guardian permission to call.

Reality: we had all rode horses before but they do not factor this in to your group.When we arrived 3 of the 12 riders  in our group had never been on horses before. In spite of our request  to gallop a little the two group leaders would have no part of that.This was a gentle ride at a very slow pace through the pine and cedar forests around Fort Wilderness. We saw loads of birds and squirrels but none of the anticpated deer we had heard about. This is a very safe and effortless trail ride.By the end of the ride we actuially clocked 55 minutes. Guests are asked to arrive thirty minutes prior to departure during which they are introduced to their horses and  given a few rules of the trail before setting out. Each horse has a proper name.Each rider must fill in and sign a waiver form releasing Disney and the guides from any accidental liability.Departure is from Fort Wilderness Trailblaze Corral at Tri-Circle D Livery. This is located at Fort Wilderness Campground guests services. When you enter Fort Wilderness tell the gate keeper you are heading over to the  trail rides. You will be asked for the drivers photo id but as of july 2009 they no longer charge a parking fee.

Rides offered daily at 8:30 am, 10 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:00 pm

Ride times may vary seasonally but average 45 to 60 minutes

Cancellation of rides may occur due to inclement weather.

Riders must be 9 years of age or older
Children 9 to 16 years of age must use a supplied helmet.17 and older and this is optional.

Maximum weight of 250 pounds (113kg) per rider

No double riders are permitted

For your  comfort and safety I suggest you include:

Hats are not recommended except for baseball style caps

Cameras and pocketbooks not recommended but can be  carried during the ride if in a case or waist belt

Knee lenght shorts or full length jeans.

Closed shoes  or runnig shoes must be worn.Sandals not practical

TIP: be prepared for a less then familiar experience.By the end of your ride you may be saddle sore so dress accordingly.

 Well worth the $42 cost ( as of July,2009 )



Wendy suffers from minor mobility issues but the Disney tour guides had the perfect horse for her.


Each horse has its own name and I can assure you they all have different personalities. Don't be shy to tell your guide you can handle a wild one or you need a real gentle ride. They have horses for everyone.

Richard Lloyd-Roberts was raised on a horse.His family managed a trail riding operation in England during most of his youth.He was very familiar with riding horses so the guides selected the perfect horse for him.

Thomas was ready for anything
Our group included Richard,Wendy,James and Thomas Lloyd Roberts from England. Allan,Lorraine and Elliot Oakley from Kissimmee, Florida.


Not excited about horseback riding but enjoy being outdoors?
Tri-Circle-D Ranch has these other fun activities.

Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is home to the  Disney's world-famous Percheron horses. The Ranch offers a variety of recreational activities for the entire family.

Hayrides - Relaxing, 45 minute hayrides wander the trails of Fort Wilderness, the shores of Bay Lake and through Disney's Sherwood Forest. 7:00pm and 9:30pm nightly.Weather permitting. $8 adults, $5 children. Tickets are purchased from the driver.

Pony Rides - Pony rides are available with a rider weight limit of 80 pounds, from 10:00am- 5:00pm daily, for $3.

Carriage Rides - A relaxing and intimate 25-minute carriage ride through Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground or Disney's Port Orleans Resort. The carriage holds 4 adults or 2 adults with 3 small children. The first ride departs at 6:00pm with the last ride departing at 9:30pm (weather permitting). Cost for each ride is $35. Advance reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 407-WDW-PLAY

Wagon Rides - Take an old-fashioned, horse-drawn wagon ride . A 45-minute scenic tour around  through the resort. Rides depart at 7:00pm and 9:30pm nightly (select evenings, a fireworks ride will replace the 9:30pm ride). The rider cost is $8 per adult and $5 per child (ages 3-9).  Children under 3 are complimentary. Children 11 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Reservations are not accepted as rides are given on a first-come- first-served basis.

Group Wagon Rides - For large groups of 30-35 people per wagon.Prices start at $300 per hour.
Advance reservations must be made by calling 407-824-2832

TIPs: The horseback riding experience is best reserved for the mornings.Florida's typical afternoon summer rains can cancel your ride with little to no notice. The horses respond to a more vigorous ride earlier in the morning.

Free Fun at Fort Wilderness : when your trail ride is over you can hop on the free bus and head towards the main campground and beach. There  you can enjoy hours of fun with virtually no cost to you.

The pony rides are ideal for young children. After the ride the neighboring horse stables offer  the now excited child a chance for a near face to face experience with many of Disney's finest horses.Next to the stables there is a small petting zoo with affordable feed for purchase. After that  Fort Wilderness has a wonderfull children's playground .How about an ice cold drink from the cooler at the General Store? Rocking chairs await you.From there you can rent a bicycle or even a golf cart for a day of motorised  trail riding.

Relax on the beach and enjoy a family pic nic
Children will love the white sandy beach.Teenagers can enjoy the volleyball court
The entire family can enjoy the boat rentals

Not thrilled about your own boat?

Scheduled boats to the Magic Kingdom,the Contemporary resort and Wilderness Lodge allow you to enjoy a free boat tour.
This is not reserved for Disney guests only. ID is never requested

When it is all over a nap on the beach may be all you can handle.

Food and Meals:  the general store is perfect for light snacks and drinks

Trails End is the very affordable family restaurant
TIP: the luncheon menu is a real money saver.Skip the evening meal and enjoy the buffet lunch.Combine this restaurant with some other activities for a half day of fun.

or for a greater meal and dinner show the Hoop De Doo Musical Review
Typical of a Disney diner show.Exciting, boisterous and two hours of mayhem. Nothing will offend anyone but you will come away well fed and exhausted from laughing.

Allan's Opinion : Fort Wilderness offers you an excellent opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you access Fort Wilderness by a boat ride from the Wilderness Lodge or the  Contemporary resort or drive direct to the campground's vast parking lot there are very few restrictions that await you.Fort Wilderness offers you an affordable family experience.Even if you are not staying at the Disney resort. Fort Wilderness does not generate a lot of excitement compared to most Disney resorts.Whether you spend a half day or full one there is plenty to see and enjoy.Plan your day and Fort Wilderness  can  bring you and the family hours of enjoyment.


Email me your thoughts or experiences at
I always enjoy hearing from other fans of any Disney experience.



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