I can’t believe that it’s been three weeks since I said I’d be back with more Disneyland summer information. Since most of my readers are moms, you know how it is, life just gets in the way. Between a big project I’ve been working on at work and wrapping up the redesign of Babes in Disneyland (the site), I’ve been swamped.
I’m excited to tell everyone about a new dining experience back at Big Thunder Ranch. For those of you who aren’t well acquainted with Disneyland, Big Thunder Ranch is nestled along Big Thunder Trail, which is the trail that curves behind Frontierland and leads to the west entrance of Fantasyland. Over the years, Big Thunder Ranch has held a number of functions–from a petting zoo to a corporate picnic area to an outdoor theater for the Hunchback show back in the ’90s. Throughout the ages, it has also served as a barbeque restaurant from time to time, and that’s exactly what it’s back to today. Currently, Disneyland is featuring a new dining experience called, Celebration Roundup and Barbeque. At the recent Disneyland summer kick off event, I dined at the barbeque and enjoyed it’s ongoing entertainment offerings.
Many of you may recall the short-lived Aladdin’s Oasis lunch/dinner show of the 1990s. The food was excellent, as was the show, but it just didn’t make it. Price, coupled with hard and fast show times, seemed to sink it. The Celebration Roundup and Barbeque is the same basic concept–entertainment and a meal. Here’s the major difference. The shows and character interactions are ongoing. There is constantly something going on and there is not set show time. Guests can come and dine as their schedules see fit and will never “miss” the show. The price is still a bit steep in my book at $28.99 for 10 and older and $12.99 for ages 3 to 9.
Don’t get me wrong; the food was fantastic. We dined on tender chicken and pork ribs, corn on the cob, corn bread, watermelon, and beans. We also tried the vegetarian option of vegetable and barbequed tofu skewers. Delicious! The dessert presentation was nothing short of amazing. (See picture.) The desserts themselves were unbelievable. They are waffle cones filled about halfway with a mousse or other creamy concoction and then on top of the mouse is a cupcake topped with frosting. Seriously, it’s pretty out of control. On the plus side, we were told that Disney uses low fat cream cheese and they do not add extra
sugar to the icing or the cake. I thought it was a joke, but they were serious. Outside of Disneyland, I probably wouldn’t
be so concerned with the cost of this meal, but when the average family factors in the cost of admission tickets, this might be more than they can swing. I have a feeling this might become pretty popular with annual passholders who come all of the time and have already forgotten about the pain of paying for admission (and get a discount when dining at the park).
The meal is served family style with big bowls and platters brought to your table by happy cast members. And although it’s family style, everyone need not order the same thing (i.e. not everyone needs to each vegetarian, etc.) And in true family style, guests can eat until they are full.
I suppose if you pig out at a late lunch, you could just snack for dinner, which in the long run could save a little money. Reservations can be made in advance by calling (714) 781-DINE. Walk-up reservations are also available.