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by Fancy Free Diva

Do you travel to Walt Disney World with children? If you do, and some of those children are too short to ride some of the rides that the other kids can go on – rides like Expedition Everest, then you know all about the heartache and disappointment that can ensue. Well, there is something special you can do for those little ones, something that only they can do that the tall kids can’t – you just need to head on over to Fort Wilderness and the Tri Circle D Farm.

Diva Tip: Probably the easiest way to get to Fort Wilderness (unless you’re staying there) is to get transportation to the Magic Kingdom and take the boat from there.

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Disney’s Tri Circle D Farm located at Fort Wilderness

The Tri Circle D Farm is located right in front of Pioneer Hall (home to the Hoop De Doo Musical Revue – read Cruisin’ Diva’s review here). They offer pony rides from 10am-5pm daily, and the cost is only $8 (as of July 2015). In order to be able to ride one of the ponies at the farm, you must weigh under 80 pounds and be under 48 inches tall. There is a scale and a measuring stick to verify each rider’s information – that’s why this special attraction is the perfect way to make it up to those little ones too small to ride the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.

Diva Tip: You don’t need to make reservations for this experience, and on the day we were there, there was no one in line ahead of us.

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Pony ride guidelines as of July 2015

When we arrived, a very friendly cast member greeted us, and the girls were able to meet the ponies. After their information was verified, the girls donned their riding helmets and saddled up! It’s recommended that riders wear pants, but Fancy Free Daughter was able to ride in shorts and felt no discomfort. Close-toed shoes are a must, though, as are a riding helmet and the presence of a parent or guardian to guide the pony.

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Fancy Free Daughter in the saddle

The day that we visited, Fancy Free Daughter got to ride Blaze, a 7-year-old pony with beautiful braided hair, while Fancy Free Niece rode Herbie, a 12-year-old pony who seemed very sweet. Both girls, aged 4 and 5 respectively, had a ball. Fancy Free Daughter had a huge smile the entire time. It was her first time on a horse, and this was a great first experience. The ponies were calm and well trained, and the course was clearly laid out. The ponies walked very sedately around a predetermined path designed that offered optimal photo opportunities for the parents. It was ideal for our family to have two grown-ups present: one to lead the pony by the reins, and the other to take all of the pictures.

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Fancy Free Daughter and Husband pose for a pony picture

The whole experience took approximately half an hour, and it gave our family a much-needed respite from the hustle of the theme parks. If you’re looking for a little fun that’s off the beaten path, if you have a little horse-lover in your family, or if you have a little one that you want to do something special for, the Tri Circle D Farm pony rides are not to be missed.

Also, the Farm is located close to a working blacksmith shop and the draft horse barn, home to the horses that work on property.

Diva Tip: Enjoy a pony ride, go play on the playground a little bit, and then dine at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ or at the Hoop De Doo Revue to make a whole evening out of it.

Please note that the Tri Circle D Farm (located by Pioneer Hall/the Settlement) is different from the Tri Circle D Ranch (located at the Outpost/resort entrance). There, riders age 9 and older (yes, that means adults, too) can experience 45-minute trail rides. Call 407-WDW-PLAY to purchase tickets for the trail ride experience or to take the hassle of making your reservations, contact our travel agent, Patricia with All for Dreams Travel, for a free quote and extra help planning your vacation.

Hi! I'm Stephanie, aka the Fancy Free Diva. I'm a mom from Maine, and when I'm not in the classroom teaching irony using clips from Frozen and Mulan, I can be found playing with my own kids and planning our next Disney trip. I'm an Annual Passholder at WDW and a DVC member, and on cold winter nights I'm usually dreaming about summer vacation when I can take my family back to Florida and be fancy free!