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Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue

After years with the space left empty Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue brings barbecue back to Disneyland. The all-you-care-to-eat food is served family style in an outdoor picnic setting and includes BBQ chicken and ribs with plenty of side dishes. Live musicians perform throughout the day to keep everyone entertained.

General Information - Hide Section
  • Location: On the trail between Fantasyland and Frontierland, near the Big Thunder Petting Zoo.
  • Date Opened: April 2, 2009
  • Seating: Outdoor covered picnic tables
  • Service Type: Table service
  • Children's Meals: No
  • Vegetarian Options: Seasonal vegetable and tofu skewers with barbecue glaze
  • Annual Pass Discount: 15% with Premium pass; 10% for all other passholders.
  • Reservations: Reservations recommended. Call (714) 781-3463 or in person.
 
Menu Information - Hide Section

Menu as of February 2014

All dishes are served family style and in quantities scaled to the size of your party. Adults are $19.99 for lunch, $24.99 for dinner, and children are $9.99. Your server will take your initial orders and you'll need to request any additional servings, though dessert and drinks are extra.

Main Items

Barbecue Chicken and Ribs
Vegetable Skewer - Vegetarian option
Smoked Sausage (dinner only)

Sides

Cole Slaw
Ranch Beans
Cornbread
Corn Cob Wheels (dinner only)

Dessert

Old Fashioned Ice Cream Floats - Root beer "sarsaparilla" or Fanta Orange "50/50" float made with Dreyer's vanilla bean ice cream. $5.99
Chocolate Flourless Mickey Cake - Mickey-shaped chocolate cake layered with chocolate mousse and served with whipped topping. $5.99
Ranch Hand Sundaes - Traditional Hot fudge sundae in a waffle cup served up "ranch-style" with your choice of Dreyer's vanilla bean or chocolate ice cream. $5.99
S'mores Bake - Warm chocolate brownie topped with roasted mashmallows, graham crackers, and hot fudge. $9.99
Chef Cookie's Deep Dish - Choose from a traditional chocolate chip cookie or our ranch hand seasonal cookie, each served with Dreyer's ice cream and drizzled with the Chef's favorite topping at your table. $9.99
Seasonal Fruit Cobbler - Featuring the freshest fruit of the season baked in our rustic skillet topped with Dreyer's vanilla bean ice cream. $9.99

Drinks

Soda - Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta Orange, Light Lemonade, Barq's Root Beer, Iced Tea. $3.49

If a menu is presented here it is for guidance purposes only. Menus can change without notice and at some restaurants daily. If you have specific dietary needs or questions it is best to contact the restaurant directly for information. If you'd like to notify us that a menu has changed, or you can provide the complete information, please let us know through our email form.

Reader Reviews - Hide Section

The following are recent reviews for Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue from our Reader Review system. Click the Show All Reviews link to see every review for this location. To browse all reviews in the system, please see this page.


Average Reviewer Rating: 4.4 out of 54.4 out of 54.4 out of 54.4 out of 54.4 out of 5
Number of Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue Reviews: 9
Show All Reviews
5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   July 4, 2010
Reviewer: Goosegirl Grass Valley, CA     July 08, 2010
We ate there on July 4th for dinner and it was fabulous.
We had made reservations in advance for 5:30 pm. When we got there, there was quite a line waiting and we were given a beeper thing that would go off when our table was ready. We were told that they were running about 15 minutes behind of reservation times but it was actually closer to 25 minutes before we were seated.
My younger daughter is allergic to corn syrup and food dyes so the server brought the chef out, along with a binder of all the labels and recipes so we could see what she could eat. Thankfully, there was very little she could not have and everyone was happy to accommodate us. My hubby is a guitar player and I sing, so we really loved the cowboy music entertainment. The singer, Miss Chris, invited our little one up on stage to sing and dance with her and she enjoyed that. They congratulated our older daughter on her graduation and fussed over her. Miss Chris and Tex were really friendly and the music really was good. I don't remember the name of the piano player but he was good too.
The food was good and very plentiful. It was all-you-care-to-eat and they wrapped up extras for us to take with us, even though we were really full.
I really liked the ribs and beans. My hubby loved the chicken and sausage and beans. And the kids loved the ribs and corn wheels. My picky 5 year old ate more there than any other restaurant in Disneyland. We did not order dessert because we were so full from the dinner.
The atmosphere is relaxed and much calmer than other areas so it is a nice place to get away from the busy park. My 5 year old is very active and has sensory issues, but she did really well in the outdoor setting. The area is surrounded by lots of trees, which act as sound masking to filter out the park sounds. It was perfect, even with how crowded the park was on July 4th. We loved it.
I think the meals were $24.99 for all you can eat, which was not too bad for Disneyland. The servers were friendly and helpful and we really liked the setting. We would eat here again.
 
6 out of 6 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   7 Apr 09
Reviewer: abfamily Alberta     December 06, 2009
This is a little late since the review wasn't available when I did our other reviews. We went when it 1st opened.

We had a wonderful time. The food was great. We all love ribs + chicken and this was very well done. You do have to ask for more servings. They don't bring any extras unless you ask. One of our better meals inside the park.

The music is old western; so some people might not find it to their taste. My wife and son loved it. Some of the Toy Story characters were there (Woody, Jessie etc..). Jessie was definitely the best. She spent a lot of time going to all the tables and entertaining the kids. They also bring up different kids onto the stage to help out with the entertainment. It was a fun meal.

This is a hidden gem that most people visiting the park don't know about. We'll definitely go back on our next trip.
 
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   10/07/2009
Reviewer: jacandjan Oregon     October 11, 2009
First let me say that we were big fans of the old Big Thunder BBQ so we were very glad to hear that they were reopening this area for dinning again. We thought it was not only one of the best meals in the park but a great vaule.

We were there on a Wednesday about 5pm. There were only 4 other tables taken so no reservation were needed. The place looked great, and the singing cowboy was entertaining.

The service was good and the ribs & chicken were great. The only thing that bugged us was the corn on the cob was cut in about one inch pieces, what a waste, they could at least cut a full ear into 3 pieces.

Now to the one real negitive, the price !
For 2 of us it was $60.86 with tax plus a $10 tip. Although we enjoyed the meal we feel this is way to expensive for what your getting.

 
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful
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History and Trivia - Hide Section
  • At this location: Until 1986, this area was backstage and not open to the public. When Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opened in 1979 it opened up the back pathway connecting Frontierland and Fantasyland. For years the area remained unused but eventually it was decided to open a live petting zoo in the park, which eventually became Big Thunder Ranch. In conjunction with the new ranch was this space as a restaurant and Big Thunder Barbecue opened on December 14, 1986. When the Big Thunder Ranch was closed in 1996 to make way for the Hunchback of Notre Dame show, "Festival of Fools," the barbecue was rethemed and renamed Festival of Foods. The course was reversed again an on May 30, 1997, it returned to being Big Thunder Barbecue until finally closing for good on January 20, 2001. The location then remained vacant, used for private parties mostly, until the opening of Celebration Roundup & Barbecue. The name was changed back to Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue after the end of Disney's "What Will You Celebrate?" promotion.
  • The Restaurant's History: Initially opened as a character dining experience involving the cast of Toy Story. However, attendance did not meet expectations and within a few months, Woody and Bullseye were moved back out into the general walkways of Frontierland.
Links of Interest - Hide Section

MousePlanet Links

  • The Preview — First impressions from Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix's staff blog.

Offsite Links (we cannot vouch for their accuracy or timeliness)



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