Roundup Rodeo BBQ is the newest table-service restaurant to open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the first to open in Toy Story Land. Since the expansion inspired by the 1995 Disney and Pixar animated film opened in 2018, guests have been hoping for more dining options, and this year, the park delivered.
Andy’s backyard has been home to Woody’s Lunch Box, a quick-service dining location between Toy Story Mania and Slinky Dog Dash known for its classic kid-friendly (but still delicious) lunch options like grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, and “totchos,” (tater tots topped with chili, cheese, and sour cream). The quick-service spot also serves up Toy Story Land’s homemade take on Pop-Tarts in a seasonal rotation of flavors and breakfast in a park that seriously needed more options for guests looking for early morning eats.
The theming at Woody’s Lunch Box is essentially the same theming you see in the rest of the land. It’s adorable, with Babybel cheeses making up some of the tables and chairs and a large-scale lunchbox comprising the windows where guests order and pick up food. But it’s also outside with sort of limited seating depending on the park’s crowd levels in a land that, despite continuous additions of umbrellas, never seems to have enough shading (never mind air conditioning.)
Roundup Rodeo BBQ is here to change that with indoor, family-style barbecue offerings in an atmosphere kids are sure to love and most adults (at least the kind who would go out of their way to book reservations at such a restaurant at a Disney park) would also enjoy.
Theming & Concept of Roundup Rodeo BBQ
Before we get into the eats, let’s talk about the atmosphere and theming of Toy Story Land’s new eatery. Just like the rest of Toy Story Land, guests dining at Roundup Rodeo BBQ are “honorary toys,” with all of the sets around them being larger-than-life representations of things Andy would have used to create a rodeo-inspired restaurant for his toys.
As such, you’ll see walls covered in stickers, plus playsets featuring several characters from the Toy Story films. (I have to stray from the restaurant’s “official” storyline to point out that, like the rest of Toy Story Land, the restaurant uses characters not featured in the movies when Andy had the toys, like Trixie the dinosaur, who is prominently displayed in the restaurant. But I get why they do it, and why including the characters nonetheless would come before continuity here, so I digress…)
The interior of Roundup Rodeo BBQ is adorable. It’s windowless, but it doesn’t feel…Okay, I honestly thought it was going to feel tacky, but really it doesn’t. I was worried it was going to feel like the inside of a Chuck E. Cheese, but I guess a much less gross, more “Disney” level version of it, but it really isn’t the case at all. I guess you’d need to like the theming of Toy Story Land in general to like the restaurant’s atmosphere, but if you’re worried about sitting in a windowless box, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how detailed the space is and how much it just feels like another immersive Toy Story experience.
Family-Style Menu at Roundup Rodeo BBQ
Roundup Rodeo BBQ is sort of similar to other family-style restaurants around the Walt Disney World Resort, at least in concept, though this location arguably serves a greater quantity of food at a (sometimes) lower price point.
In terms of similar restaurants, I would liken this to Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, as it’s a sort of comparable style of food, and the cast members at both locations are in on some fun antics throughout the experience. The main difference (food-wise) between the two is that both are all-you-care-to-enjoy experiences, but Roundup Rodeo BBQ provides you with more food to start off with than if you were to order a skillet at Whispering Canyon Cafe (which is probably great for families and larger groups who want to try more variety of food, but I point this out especially as I recently dined here by myself and it was a lot.)
Like any all-you-care-to-enjoy restaurant at Walt Disney World, iced tea and soda are included. The menu features several specialty beverages as well that come at an additional cost, so I opted for the Whinnyin’ Whiskey Lemonade off the “Grown-up Drinks” section.
This cocktail, priced at $15.50 came with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Aperol Liqueur, Strawberry Puree, Lemonade, and Basil. I don’t love overly sweet drinks, and while this had the potential to go in that direction, the flavor of the whiskey really shined and balanced out the strawberry puree and lemonade so that it was just refreshing and tasty.
Roundup Rodeo BBQ starts every meal off with The Prospector’s Homemade Cheddar Biscuits with Sweet Pepper Jelly. These were amazing. Like I said, I was on a solo Disney World trip when I dined here, and knowing it was going to be a lot of food going into this experience, I didn’t want to really eat more than one of anything, so I’d be able to try everything offered, but these were so delicious I had to eat two.
I didn’t love the pepper jelly, to be honest, but that just isn’t something I would have expected to like, so I’m guessing that’s just a personal preference. I have heard from friends who liked the jelly that it worked well to spread on some of the meats later in the meal, so I think that was just me! The biscuits, though, 10/10.
Next up are the salads: Rootin’ Tootin Tomato Salad with Cucumbers, Pickled Red Onion, White Balsamic Vinaigrette, Rex’s Romaine and Kale Salad with Apples, Dried Cranberries, Pumpkin Seeds, Green Goddess Dressing, and Wheezy’s Watermelon Salad with Fresh-torn Mint.
Rex’s Romaine and Kale Salad was actually one of my favorite parts of the meal (which I feel is sort of surprising given that the place is billed as a barbecue restaurant.) I’m sort of surprised I liked it with the dried cranberries and apples as I’m overall much more into savory flavors than sweet, but the kale and Green Goddess dressing really balanced out the flavors here and it was delicious.
The watermelon salad was also good, and if I had unlimited stomach space, I’d have eaten more of it, but it didn’t feel like something I needed to fill up on at the start of such a large meal.
I’m iffy on cucumbers (again, totally a personal preference thing, so don’t take this to mean the cucumber and tomato salad was bad), but it was too cucumbery for my liking, so I largely passed on this one.
The menu at Roundup Rodeo BBQ features several sides, of which your table can order four to start with. What this means (at least during my visit, you may want to double-check at the restaurant in case this changes) is that you are basically selecting four sides initially, and when it comes to the all-you-can-eat aspect, you are actually welcome to order a “second” of a side you didn’t initially order.
Available side dishes include:
- Mean Old Potato Salad: Homestyle Red-skinned Potatoes
- The Married Spuds: Loaded Potato Barrels
- The Claw! Veggie Slaw (Plant-based)
- Force Field Fried Pickles
- Campfire-roasted Vegetables (Plant-based)
- Slinky Doooooooooog’s Mac & Cheese
- Buckin’ Baked Beans (Plant-based)
- Cowpoke Corn on the Cob: Grilled Street Corn
Since the first serving of everything was already too much food for one person, I never got to seconds and only tried my first choice of four sides. I went with The Married Spuds, Force Field Fried Pickles, Slinky Doooooooooog’s Mac & Cheese, and Buckin’ Baked Beans.
Perhaps worth noting: They were out of the Mean Old Potato Salad during my dinner here. I’m not sure if that’s a regular problem, or just an off-day (or the fact that I was there pretty late. My reservation was for 8:30 p.m., and the restaurant was about 2/3 empty, perhaps because of a pretty bad storm that came through the parks around that time.)
Getting into the sides, though, The Married Spuds were by far the best. The “loaded’ factor of these tots was a drizzle of (I think) some kind of ranch, but whatever it was, the flavors complimented the tots really well and made for a unique take on an otherwise standard side dish.
The Force Field Pickles were fine, but nothing special, and with other options I haven’t gotten to try as of this writing, I would definitely skip them next time and order something else. They weren’t bad. If you just really want to have fried pickles, I’d say order them, but I know there are better-fried pickles at Walt Disney World (and even at Hollywood Studios as Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater’s are better than these, in my opinion.)
These pickles were fine, but the batter didn’t stay as crispy as I would have liked, and as a result each bite was pretty messy (and…juicy?) as the innards of the pickle sort of fell apart with the batter. (And it really needed ranch or something to dip it in.)
Slinky Doooooooooog’s Mac & Cheese is probably the dish I’ve seen the most mixed reviews on, so I was curious to try it for that reason. It’s a springy pasta to capture the look of Slinky Dog that’s topped with crushed Goldfish crackers. I didn’t love the Goldfish crackers after the first bite, but they kind of grow on you. I’ve heard from other reviews that this mac and cheese is kind of dry, and I suspect it’s the Goldfish that’s to blame.
I noticed a little way’s into dinner that if you keep mixing up the pasta and picking up the cheese sauce that’s fallen to the bottom, it’s a pretty solid mac and cheese, but if you’re just spooning it off the top, you may be disappointed. That’s obviously an issue as it should be good without the added step, but once I figured this out I actually really liked it and would order it again.
The Buckin’ Baked Beans were also really good. I prefer the baked beans at Whispering Canyon Cafe, but these were tasty and went really well with the smoked meats platter and mac and cheese. 8/10, would order these again.
For mains, guests can choose from a platter of traditional smoked barbecue meats or a plate of plant-based alternatives. While not listed on the online menu, there is a grilled salmon dish also available that guests can order by request. If I had some help working through the rest of this food, I would have ordered this as I’ve heard it’s really good, but again, I already had too much food for one person.
For meats, I tried:
- Evil Dr. Smoked Ribs
- Buttercup’s Beef Brisket
- There’s a Sausage in my Boot – Fire-grilled Pork Sausage
- BBQ Chicken – with Style!
Evil Dr. Smoked Ribs were good, but if you are thinking this is going to be mindblowing “barbecue,” that’s simply not what it is. (This would end up being my thoughts on the meal as a whole.) I enjoyed the ribs, but I’m honestly not sure that they were much different than other ribs served at Walt Disney World, (and to be specific, I have to wonder if they’re actually the same ribs as the St. Louis ribs served at Flame Tree Barbecue in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, albeit with a different sauce.)
Now, I love Flame Tree’s ribs, but they get extra points for being a quick-service restaurant. So again, these ribs are good, but if you’re thinking this is going to be a standout traditional barbecue experience (especially if you’re from a part of the country that has really good barbecue) it may disappoint.
The ribs, as well as both Buttercup’s Beef Brisket and There’s a Sausage in my Boot really improved when you added sauce to them, which I will say was another standout of Roundup Rodeo. Again, I don’t think this is excellent barbecue, but the three tableside sauces were well, excellent.
The flavor of the brisket was pretty great, and it didn’t need the sauce as much as the ribs or sausage did. But again, I feel the need to point out that I am from Massachusetts and I am not a brisket or barbecue snob. I don’t think it was the most tender, best-cooked brisket I’ve ever had, but for the price of the whole meal and the way it was seasoned, I really enjoyed it and would love to have it again.
The sausage was probably the most disappointing of the meats, at least if you’re expecting that standout barbecue experience. It wasn’t bad by any means, and I may have been more critical due to the fact that even just tasting a piece of everything when you have this much food by yourself is a challenge, but the sausage didn’t have a noticeable smoky flavor or anything like that, and it really needed the sauce to bring it to the next level.
The chicken, on the other hand, was delicious. If Roundup Rodeo ever moved away from the family-style model, or moved to a family-style optional model like Whispering Canyon Cafe, I would order the chicken on its own as an entree. I’m still not sure it was “barbecue” to be technical, but it was so well-seasoned with a savory, smokey flavor, that I really enjoyed. It didn’t need the sauce unless you just liked the sauce and wanted to use more of it, and in my opinion, it was easily the best of the meats.
Did this meal really need desserts? NO. I was so full by this point, but since I didn’t order seconds of anything else, my waiter encouraged me to try just a taste of two desserts so I obliged.
Dessert options include:
- Bo’s Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake
- Billy’s Chocolate Silk Pie
- Goat’s Apple Pie
- Gruff’s Peach-Strawberry Pie (Plant-based)
- Cupcake à la Forky: For Lil’ Riders, Gooey Chocolate Cake, Graham Cracker, Buttercream, Sugar Cookie
I tried the lemon and blueberry cheesecake and the chocolate silk pie. Both come served in small jars (similar to some of the desserts at Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort if you’ve tried those), and they were good. I preferred the chocolate, but that isn’t surprising since I’m not a huge cheesecake person in the first place.
Like most table-service restaurants, I’d prefer to get a dessert later in the park as there are plenty of snack kiosks with desserts I know I’d love, but if I somehow saved room for dessert next time I eat here, I would either order the chocolate pie again or try the apple.
Finally, the last thing you need to know about Roundup Rodeo BBQ is that it’s one restaurant where the cast members are going to play along with the storyline and there are some skits and little things that happen that add to the experience of dining in Andy’s rodeo creation.
For instance, there is audio that plays suggesting that Andy is coming, and when this happens everyone freezes. It was really cool how everyone played along (though again, the restaurant wasn’t full when I was there), but this was also…just a little odd while I was dining alone.
There are a couple of other smaller skits and things that cast members do, but they aren’t nearly as over the top as restaurants like Whispering Canyon Cafe or 50’s Prime Time Cafe on the other side of Hollywood Studios. They don’t have the coasters that you can flip over if you “don’t want to play along” with the antics like some other restaurants at Disney have, but I don’t think this element is ‘intense’ enough here to warrant it.
Aside from the audio that Andy’s coming and a few other bits, most of this was made up of cast members acknowledging guests’ special occasions (like honeymoons and birthdays), but not in any overly embarrassing way if they were to do more with your table specifically. Basically, if you’re afraid someone at your table will ask for ketchup at Whispering Canyon, you can dine in piece, knowing nothing like that will happen here. On the flip side, if you really want that immersive, more involved experience, I think the cast members will pick up on that and play it up more with your table.
Final Thoughts on Roundup Rodeo BBQ
Roundup Rodeo BBQ is an excellent value in terms of Disney’s family-style, all-you-care-to-enjoy restaurant lineup. At $45 for adults and $25 for children, this is a ton of food. I barely ate the rest of the day, and was starving when I arrived, and I finished less than half of the food at my table. (I’m not sure they have the portion sizes down for one person, but still. If you’re torn between this and ‘Ohana, or a character buffet if you can get your group on board with an experience that doesn’t have characters that is still fun and uniquely themed, I think the price is surprisingly reasonable by Disney standards.)
You should dine at Roundup Rodeo BBQ if:
- You or your kids love Toy Story, you already spend a lot of time in Toy Story Land, and you’re just looking for the next special experience you haven’t done that everyone in your group who loves the movies would enjoy.
- You have multiple tastes in your group and are looking for a restaurant with enough variety (and maybe one that offers a comparable experience for plant-based diets). This point is even more important if you’re looking for that variety in a restaurant that isn’t a buffet.
- You’re a Disney theme park fan interested in checking out a new-to-you restaurant. While not everything on the menu is outstanding, there is so much variety that you’re sure to find something you’ll really like, and if you’re into theme park design, it’s worth dining here just to check out the theming and atmosphere.
You may want to skip this one if:
- You’re on a tight budget or can’t justify spending $45 per person on this kind of cuisine or experience (when you could spend slightly more for something like a steak at a signature restaurant.)
- Character dining is more important to your family. Again, for slightly more, you could opt for a meal that has live characters rather than the characters simply being part of the audio and decor.
- You’re a barbecue snob. I would liken this food more to elevated camping food than traditional barbecue, if that makes sense. The meats taste like they were smoked over a campfire, and while the sides complement this well, the salads offer a refreshing balance. I know it literally has “BBQ” in the name, but if you think of this more as a campfire-inspired dining experience, I think the food is pretty good. If you’re really familiar or particular with actual, non-theme park BBQ, and go into Roundup Rodeo thinking that’s what you’re going to get, I think you may be disappointed here.
I enjoyed Roundup Rodeo BBQ and would love to go again with Josh or some friends, but I will certainly not be coming back during a solo trip. It’s too much food, and the antics can be a little awkward when you’re alone, but I did enjoy most of the food and look forward to trying it again.