Fact Sheet: Tri-Circle-D Ranch and ASE at Walt Disney World Resort

Filed in: Recreation, Walt Disney World Resort

Who is ASE?

Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment (ASE) is comprised of almost 1,000 Cast Members including professionals in the fields of science, conservation, education, nutrition, animal husbandry and animal health.

ASE’s mission is to LEAD Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to CARE for animals and the environment, CONNECT people to nature and CONSERVE our natural resources.

ASE at Walt Disney World

ASE cares for more than 5,000 animals encompassing over 300 species across Walt Disney World Resort. While most of the ASE team resides at Walt Disney World Resort, ASE Cast Members can be found globally including California, Hawaii and The Bahamas.

Tri-Circle-D Ranch

Tri-Circle-D Ranch is home to Cinderella’s ponies and the majestic horses of Main Street U.S.A. Around 90 horses and ponies reside at The Ranch and there are nearly 40 Cast Members that care for the animals, educate Guests and lead Guest programs including trail, pony, wagon and carriage rides.

Fun Fact—In 1951, Walt hand-selected Owen and Dolly Pope to oversee the company’s first “animal program” at the Disney Studio in Burbank, California. Owen and Dolly moved to Florida in 1971 to supervise the building of Tri-Circle-D Ranch at the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. Owen and Dolly remain the only Cast Members ever to live on Studio and Walt Disney World Resort property.

DisneyAnimals.com Horses Content:

Before being domesticated by humans some 5,000 years ago, horses roamed the open plains of Eurasia and Africa. And unlike any other animal, horses have taken on an almost legendary status—playing an important role in human history and storytelling.

Today, Walt Disney World Resort is a horse lover’s paradise. You’ll see big, beautiful Percherons, Clydesdales and Belgians pulling the trolleys down Main Street, U.S.A.

And you’ll find even more breeds at Tri-Circle D Ranch at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. Here you can saddle up for pony rides and trail rides. Or climb aboard a carriage ride or even a sleigh ride during the holiday season.

At Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, you can settle back for a scenic carriage ride along the Sassagoula River.

And during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, the Headless Horseman—riding our specially trained mount—is a highlight of Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade.

A Magical Home on the Range

Walt Disney’s personal passion for horses continues today at our theme parks and in Disney movies and shows.

Top-Notch Care: All the horses and ponies at 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. Our dedicated team of animal care experts includes ranch hands, veterinarians, blacksmiths and nutritionists.

Even the Main Street Trolley is constructed to be lightweight to ensure the safety of the draft horses that pull it.

Disney’s Horses “Give Back”: Like many of the animals at Walt Disney World Resort, our horses provide free fertilizer! Their poop is turned into nutrient-rich compost, which the landscaping team uses to keep the Resort’s extensive gardens blooming beautifully.

Galloping onto the Silver Screen: From Black Beauty to Secretariat, horses have played a major role in Disney film history. During any Disney television or film production that features horses, our Animals in Film & TV team collaborates with professional horse trainers, riders and stunt coordinators to ensure the safety and welfare of horses on the set. Horse and movie fans are invited to visit the lobby of Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa to enjoy a pictorial history of horses in Disney films.

Disney Conservation: Protecting Horses of All Kinds

Habitat loss, competition for resources and hunting all pose threats to wild equids, including wild horses, zebras and wild asses.

The Walt Disney Company is committed to saving wildlife and protecting the magic of nature together as a global community. The Disney Conservation Fund* (DCF) supports organizations and communities working to protect spaces for people and wildlife across habitats around the world that are home to a variety of equine species.

Disney has also supported nonprofit organizations that rescue domesticated horses in the aftermath of emergencies like fires and floods.