As you may be able to tell we are Disney enthusiast, and we were thrilled to hear about the opening of the Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant at Disney's Hollywood Studios. We recently had the chance to check it out and wanted to give our honest review.
Location - Roundup Rodeo BBQ
Cuisine - Family Style BBQ
Rating - 3 of 5 Stars
Roundup Rodeo is an all you care to enjoy, family style backyard BBQ, located at Disney's Hollywood Studio in Toy Story Land. This new restaurant is located just past the larger then life Woody Sign at the entry point of Toy Story Land.
Location and Reservations:
Being that this is a brand new restaurant reservations are required and can be very hard to come by. We were lucky to get a reservation when they first became available. If you are interested in dining here we definitely recommend looking at when the booking window opens which is 60 days out. You may get lucky and find an available reservation before that if someone else cancels their reservation. While waiting we saw many families inquire about the restaurant and get turned away since they weren't taking walkups.
So let's get to it. With you reservation secured you can check in at the podium at the entrance to the restaurant or use the My Disney Experience App. You are allowed to check-in up to 20 minutes before your scheduled reservation time as long as your are close to the restaurant.
Using the app is our preferred method and it is very easy to do by going to your reservation in the app and following the prompts. Once checked in you will get a notification when your table is ready and to return to the podium.
The waiting area is themed to fit the land with larger then life toys, Christmas lights, and a giant belt buckle that you will soon learn more about.
When they are ready to seat you, one of toys will come out and call your name and give you an intro about the restaurant. Here we find out that we are honorary toys and that Andy has lost his belt buckle and may come around looking for it. But don't worry Sarge and his green army men are patrolling the area and will let us know if Andy is coming. Now let's go in.
Theme and Atmosphere:
For me, the standout feature of this dining experience is undoubtedly its thematic elements. The moment you cross the threshold, you are transported into the world of Toy Story, with life-size toys and decorations that are sure to delight visitors of all ages.
Upon arrival, you'll be directed to your table, and if you're lucky, you may even have the chance to take a ride on a hobby horse to your waiting spot. As you make your way to your table, you'll be surrounded by walls adorned with beloved characters from the movie franchise, including the lovable Rex, the fearless Buzz, and the quirky Aliens.
Along the way, you'll also encounter whimsical scenes like Jessie riding Trixie, Bo Peep tending to her flock of sheep, and, of course, Woody himself, the hero of the Toy Story movies. With so much to take in, it's impossible not to be enchanted by the immersive atmosphere and attention to detail. Every corner of the restaurant offers something new and exciting, making for an unforgettable dining experience.
Once you're comfortably seated, the immersive Toy Story experience only continues to unfold, with several opportunities for guests to fully immerse themselves in the fantastical world of the beloved film franchise.
Our dining experience was punctuated by three delightful and immersive experiences that added a playful touch to our meal.
The first started with Sarge giving us a warning that Andy was coming and that we would all have to freeze until he left. The second experience was a fun little dance party led by Rex in which the staff of toys would all start dancing throughout the restaurant. The last experience was a yard sale warning that turned out to just be a lemonade stand at the drive way.
All in all, these three experiences added a layer of fun and excitement to our dining experience, further enhancing the already enchanting atmosphere of the restaurant. It's clear that every detail of this establishment is designed to transport guests into the playful and imaginative world of Toy Story, making for a truly unforgettable dining experience.
Now for the part that you all are most interested, the food. The food is served family family style for the table with a selection of salads, meats, side dishes, and desserts.
You start by selecting from a complimentary beverage such as a soda or tea. There are several adult and kid themed beverages available for an extra price.
For our table we chose the sweet tea and I ordered Molly's Frozen Iced Tea as well. The sweet tea was not very very sweet, to the point which we had to ask if it was unsweet tea. It was in fact there sweet tea and they told us that their sweet tea is not the sweetest, which was kind of a disappointment.
Now the Molly's Frozen Tea was really good. It's a frozen tea with a mix of citrus flavors. No problem with sweetness on this beverage, and it fits in well with the backyard BBQ theme. I wouldn't mind finding this at other locations throughout the park.
Biscuits and Salads:
The first course you get is some cheddar biscuits with a pepper jelly and a selection of salads. The cheddar biscuits come out hot and were one of our favorite parts of our meal.
The three salads are a tomato salad, a romaine and kale salad, and a watermelon salad. The salads were all good and the watermelon was fresh and tasted good, however I'm not sure why it's considered a salad.
After you place your drink order your next step is to pick which of the 4 of the 8 side dish selections you are interested. Our table decided on the Married Spuds, the Cowpoke Corn on the Cob, Slinky Dog Mac and Cheese, and the Campfire Roasted Vegetables.
The Married Spuds are tater tots with a cheese sauce and a green goddess. We elected to get the spuds plain since we didn't want the green goddess sauce. We had asked for the cheese sauce on the side but were told that they couldn't do that, however the table next to us asked for the same thing and they did it for them. The tots were good and had a tasty seasoning on them similar to the tots at the Boma breakfast if you have ever been there.
The corn on the cob is street corn with an array of seasoning and cheese on it. This wasn't a big hit for our table as the seasoning seemed a little bit off. None of us would ask for this side again in the future.
Next up is the Slinky Dog Mac and Cheese. I love mac and cheese but this wasn't the best. It's a spiral pasta in a cheese sauce topped with crushed up goldfish. The goldfish topping was ok and added some crunch to the dish but the overall taste was pretty bland.
The roasted vegetables were average and tasted fine but not much to write home about.
The Main Course:
The meal features a family-style selection of four BBQ meats, namely ribs, brisket, sausage, and chicken, accompanied by an assortment of three BBQ sauces: classic, spicy, and sweet.
The standout item among the meats was the ribs, which were tender and had a tangy taste. On the other hand, the brisket was dry and overcooked, although the sauces helped improve its flavor somewhat. The sausage was average in taste and unremarkable, while the chicken, though not visually appealing, was moist and flavorful.
In terms of the BBQ sauces, the spicy and sweet varieties were the top choices. The spicy sauce had a mild kick, while the sweet sauce had a classic BBQ flavor.
Once you finish your meal you are able to select 1 of 5 available dessert per person. We all decided we wanted the Billy's Chocolate Silk Pie which we were told is the most popular of their dessert choices.
The silk pie isn't really a pie but more of a parfait in a small jar with a bottom layer of graham cracker crust, chocolate mousse, and topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. I love chocolate so this was a hit for me and one of the highlights of the meal.
The staff was very pleasant and played their roles as toys perfectly. Everyone played along and tried to keep the guests immersed in the world of Toy Story. During the different skits and interactions they were all out having fun and it showed they enjoyed their job. They were each an asset that brought the story to life.
The biggest issue I had with our dining experience was how long it all took. During our dining there were a few open tables so it wasn't excessively busy. With that said, it seemed like everything took an extended time to come out to the tables. We found this to be surprising since every meal is almost identical for every table. This could be because the restaurant onl recently opened but from the time our name was called outside to us leaving it was just under two hours. If I'm sending my day in the park spending 2 hours at a meal would not be ideal for me.
In my opinion, Roundup Rodeo BBQ provides an average dining experience, with the theme and atmosphere being the main attraction rather than the food, which was not worth the high price tag of nearly $50 per adult. The dishes were quite similar to what one can get at Whispering Canyon at the Wilderness Lodge or Boatwright's at Port Orleans, both of which are less expensive options.
However, Roundup Rodeo BBQ is a unique addition to the dining options at Hollywood Studios, and it's worth checking out if you're a fan of Toy Story. It's worth noting that this may not be the most suitable restaurant for younger children especially if they are picky eaters. Most of the diners when we visited were adults or those with older kids.
If you've tried Roundup Rodeo BBQ, please share your thoughts in the comments.