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One of the BEST Experiences Is Hiding at a Disney World Hotel

by Staff

We might shock you with this news, but there’s soooo much more to Disney World beyond the theme parks.

Horseback Riding

When you vacation at Disney World there’s always plenty to do outside of purchasing a park ticket. We’ve spent time relaxing by the pools, doing some shopping at Disney Springs, and even watching a savannah sunrise greet your balcony if you’re staying at the right hotel, but we’ve got to tell you — it will be hard finding something else that tops this Disney World experience!

Disclosure: We were invited by Disney to attend their outdoor sports media event weekend. This did not affect our reporting of the event — our opinions are our own.

We recently had the opportunity to explore a sampling of the outdoor recreational offerings that are available to book at Disney World. Our search for our next adventure led us over to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

This hotel and property spans for miles allowing those that stay here the comforts of truly connecting with the great outdoors while nestled right in the heart of Disney. Here you can do things like hang out with Chip n Dale at a campfire sing a long, take in a seasonal golf cart parade, and even catch a rootin’ tootin’ meal at Disney’s Hoop Dee Doo Revue (Disney World’s only dinner show)! We’ve even tried out a few other less conventional things to do here like biking, archery, and camping just to name a few.

Golf carts help you get around here

However, this adventure was something of a different animal (quite literally). We were invited out for an early morning trail ride by horseback! The Tri-Circle D Ranch found right on property at this hotel offers horseback riding on real Disney horses several times each day — all you need to do is make a reservation in advance by calling Disney or booking on the My Disney Experience app 60 days or less before your ride (or be lucky to catch an open spot as a walk-up if you’re just finding out about them)! These rides are available for ages 9 and older and will cost you $65 for a 45-minute trail ride. Riders must also be 48 inches tall and less than 250 pounds to participate.

Check-in times for rides

We arrived a little earlier than our time slot to allow for plenty of time to check in, sign security waivers, and weigh in to be fit to a horse that was capable of carrying our weight individually. The Tri-Circle D Ranch check-in can be found towards the main parking lot as you’ve first entered the property making this one of the first spots you see as you’re arriving.

Tri-Circle D Ranch

Once we were done at the check-in, we walked over towards where the horses were corraled by the bus stop that will take you deeper into the sections of Fort Wilderness. Here we received the rest of our safety spiel for rules to follow during our ride, were provided electronic lockers to hold our belongings while we were on the trail ride, and were fitted with a riding helmet. Then we walked up the short flight of steps to mount our horse and begin the experience!

Ready to ride

Disney asks that while you’re on horseback for the trail ride you either keep your phone stored in the locker just before you saddle up on your horse or keep it in a secure pocket (no horse selfies while riding). This is to keep your focus on their horse and trail and keep you from veering off course from the group. So, we were only able to capture pictures before we officially started our tour and ask we were getting ready to hop off of our horses.

Horseback riding!

Our trail ride was beautiful though! We were led on a trail that was about a mile long from start to finish and it took us right up the side of the Fort Wilderness property, through the trees, around a few bends, and we even saw a few wild deer along the way. During our trail ride, we were flanked by two experienced Disney trail guides who were very eager to talk about the horses, their care at Tri-Circle D Ranch, the horses’ strict diets, and even filled up in about Disney’s adoption program for horses that are retiring from service at Disney World.

Tri-Circle D Ranch barn

Before we knew it, it was time to head back and say goodbye to our new animal friends. If you ever find yourself attached to the horses during your ride, don’t worry, you’ll be able to visit them at the Tri-Circle D Ranch barn sitting on the back corner of the Fort Wilderness property grounds near the Settlement Outpost and you can even request to ride the same horse for the next horseback riding tour you book!

Thanks for joining us

All in all, we had a very relaxing time taking in all the sights and sounds of nature that were all around us during this trail ride, and made us question why we’d never done this at Disney World before now if it was so easy! Disney’s process was super smooth from start to finish and would make for a great option for big animal lovers even if you’ve never ridden a horse before in your life!

We’re always talking about the cool things you can do at Disney World hotels besides just visiting the theme parks so be sure to check back with us to learn more about all of the recreational offerings at the different hotels!

We Bet You’ve Never Seen Better HIDDEN Disney Hotel Details in Your LIFE!

Did you know about horseback riding at Disney World? Tell us about your favorite Disney World recreation option in the comments below!

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