Magic Kingdom Park
Main Street, U.S.A.
In the United States of America and across the world, discover where horses roam!
Walt Disney World Resort
Spot horse-drawn carriages (trolleys) on Main Street U.S.A., at Magic Kingdom park. To interact with majestic looking horses, take a smooth sleigh ride or a scenic jaunt along a trail at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. You can also see a variety of breeds including Quarter Horse, Percheron, Paint, Gypsy Vanner, Clydesdale, Belgian, Appaloosa, Arabian and Shetland ponies, at Tri-Circle-D Ranch.
Equids at Walt Disney World Resort
Look out for relatives of horses known as “equids.” These include donkeys and zebras at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park and zebras and Somali wild asses at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Horses In the Wild
North America, Eurasia and Africa are where wild horses roamed the open plains before being domesticated by humans more than 5,000 years ago. A bond between people and horses formed over a long history together and endures to this day.
Disney Conservation Efforts
The Walt Disney Company is passionately committed to the welfare of the horses that call Walt Disney World Resort home, the protection of their wild relatives and the preservation of the wild spaces they rely upon.
“We are giving our Guests an opportunity to connect with animals, nature and spectacular natural beauty.” – Dr. Mark Penning, VP Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment
While horses are widely domesticated and face few threats, their striped relatives in Africa need our help! Guessed that we’re referring to zebras? You’re right… but we’re also talking about the striped Somali wild ass.
Threats to African Equids
Habitat loss, competition for resources and hunting all pose threats to African equids, including zebras and wild asses. There are 3 zebra species: Grevy’s, mountain and plains. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists Grevy’s as “endangered” and the mountain zebra as “vulnerable.” The Somali wild ass is listed as “critically endangered.”
Disney Is Helping Wild Equids
Since it began in 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has contributed more than $40 million dollars to support conservation programs in more than 115 countries around the world including Kenya, where the fund has conducted numerous projects that focus on the monitoring and safeguarding of Grevy’s zebra populations.
While population trends for the Grevy’s zebra are currently stable, the world population of Grevy’s zebras decreased 55% between 1988 and 2007. To combat this decline, the DCF has supported nonprofit organizations focused on raising community awareness, reducing poaching, protecting and restoring critical Grevy’s zebra habitats and collecting data to better determine the success and impacts of long-term conservation plans.
Discover how Walt Disney’s passion for horses continues today at our theme parks and in film and television.
Main Street, U.S.A.
Look for draft horses, including Clydesdales, Percherons and Belgians, pulling the Main Street Trolley. Draft horses are the largest breed of horses and are bred to pull heavy loads. However, our Main Street Trolley is actually designed to be lightweight which helps us provide the best care and safety to our horses.
On the Ranch
Stroll around the barns at the Tri-Circle-D Ranch to see horses and visit with animal care experts. If you look closely at some of the photos throughout the ranch, you may even spy Walt Disney guiding horses throughout the theme park or playing polo.
At Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (available seasonally), look for our specially trained horses that carry the Headless Horseman in the Boo-To-You Halloween Parade.
Like many of the animals at Walt Disney World Resort, our horses provide a very important service—free fertilizer! All of this dung is sent to our compost facility and turned into nutrient-rich compost which is then used by our Horticulture team.
Top Notch Care
All of the horses and ponies across Walt Disney World Resort receive a balanced diet, daily bath, grooming, dental care, vaccinations, regular full physical exams and new horseshoes every 5 to 6 weeks. They have a team of animal care experts to assist them including ranch hands, veterinarians, blacksmiths and nutritionists.
Film and Television
For any Disney television or film production that includes the use of horses, Disney’s Animals in Film & TV team collaborates with professional horse trainers and monitoring organizations, such as the American Humane Association, to ensure the safety and welfare of horses on set. If you visit the lobby of Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, you can see a pictorial history of horses in Disney films.
Surprise yourself with some stunning facts about these partners for knights, cowboys and even kids.
A Diverse Group
There are 4 main groups of horses: light, heavy, pony and feral. Light horses have small bones and usually weigh less than 1,300 pounds (590 kg). Heavy, or draft horses, have large bones and can weigh up to 2,000 pounds (907 kg). Ponies are usually less than 58 inches (1.5 m) tall. Finally, feral horses, or mustangs, are wild or semi-wild.
They may be little and cute but a pony isn’t a baby horse. Ponies are actually full grown horses that are very small.
In Sync With Instinct
Ever wonder how people gained the ability to command and earn the trust of such a strong and free-spirited animal? Horses are herd animals that do what they can to avoid being an outcast by their herd’s leader. Due to their natural instincts, they will bond very closely with members of their herd and people.
Catching Some Z’s
Thanks to special tendons and ligaments in their legs, collectively known as a stay apparatus, horses can remain standing even when they doze off. They can lie down to take a nap but sleeping upright allows them to make a quick escape if a predator stumbles across them.
Long before paintings on cave walls depicted these majestic creatures, horses roamed the plains of Eurasia and America for centuries. Some studies suggest they may have been around as early as the last ice age—nearly 10,000 years ago!
Not Feet, Hands
The height of a horse is measured from the ground to its withers—the peak between their shoulder blades. The height is recorded in “hands.” One hand is equivalent to 4 inches (10 cm).
The Przewalski, also known as the Asian or Mongolian wild horse breed, once dwindled to roughly 15 individuals, due to hunting and habitat destruction. With human efforts, they were reintroduced. Now, they’re considered endangered—an amazing feat for a species that was practically extinct!
Helping horses and their relatives in the wild is easier than you may think.
Protect Nature and Choose Your Pets Wisely
Easy partner! While horses make excellent companions, you may not want one as a pet. The time and money needed to properly care for a horse is immense. Consider if you really have the resources that are needed. Also, adopt when possible.
Get Outdoors and Hit the Trails
Many barns and parks offer exciting outdoor excursions that allow you to interact with these beautiful creatures. If traveling by horseback isn’t quite your style, you can always go on an old-fashioned nature walk, hike or horse-drawn carriage ride. It’s a great way to spend time with family and friends while taking in the native wildlife and natural spaces near your home.
Visit the Websites Below
The Walt Disney Company is committed to protecting the planet and using resources wisely. We conserve nature and inspire kids and families to join us in caring for the planet. Explore the websites below to see how Disney is helping to make the world a better place—and learn about the many creative ways you can make a difference, too!
“I have learned from the animal world. What everyone will learn who studies it is a renewed sense of kinship with the Earth and all its inhabitants.” – Walt Disney