REVIEW Roundup Rodeo BBQ at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Mar 24, 2023 in "Roundup Rodeo BBQ"

Roundup Rodeo BBQ restaurant tour and food
Posted: Friday March 24, 2023 9:50am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios is finally home to a table service restaurant, and we sat down on the opening day to try out all the food and find out if it should be part of your next Walt Disney World vacation.

Roundup Rodeo BBQ is built on previously backstage areas, with an entrance just inside the main entrance to Toy Story Land. The check-in podium is outside, and there is a small waiting area under the marquee sign.

A Cast Member welcomes each party outside, and takes you inside the rodeo to begin the Toy Story dining experience.

The story goes that Andy has created a new rodeo arena for all of his favorite toys, featuring game pieces and iconic "Toy Story" characters, stickers and more. Disney says that its Imagineers worked closely with Disney Pixar Animation Studios to bring the space to life, developing unique designs and artwork that can only be found in this restaurant.

Like in the rest of Toy Story Land, when guests step into Roundup Rodeo BBQ, they become Andy's honorary toys. Arriving in the dining room, you enter a scene depicting a toy rodeo in full swing and come face-to-face with life-size figures. Jessie and Trixie take the reins in the first dining space, while Bo Peep and her sheep command center stage in the second.

Watch the video below for a quick overview of Roundup Rodeo BBQ.

If you have been inside Toy Story Mania, the dining rooms have a very similar feel. It is colorful and detailed, with both flats and 3D set pieces throughout the space.

The seating isn't going to win any awards; it is basic tables and chairs with no plush booths or anything exciting. Some tables are grouped quite closely, while others are spaced further apart. A handful of tables are positioned beneath some of the giant set pieces, which is a nice touch for those seated there.

Each table is set with plates, silverware, and BBQ sauces. Paper napkins are provided, along with wet wipes to help with what can be messy BBQ eating.

Roundup Rodeo BBQ has the same family-style menu for both lunch and dinner, priced at $45 for adults and $25 for kids (plus tax and tip). See the full Roundup Rodeo BBQ menu.

Each meal begins with cheddar biscuits and is accompanied by a sweet pepper jelly. Ours tasted like they just came out of the oven, and were excellent. The jelly is a nice touch, and works really well with the buttery biscuits.

Served alongside the biscuits are three different salads: Rootin' Tootin Tomato Salad - Cucumbers, Pickled Red Onion, White Balsamic Vinaigrette; Rex's Romaine and Kale Salad - Apples, Dried Cranberries, Pumpkin Seeds, Green Goddess Dressing; Wheezy's Watermelon Salad - Fresh-torn Mint.

The salads were all very good. In particular, the Tomato Salad had a great balsamic vinaigrette tang. Considering this is a BBQ restaurant, the meal gets off to a healthy, but tasty start.

Next up is the main event, the platter of smoked meats. Every table gets the same platter (unless you choose the plant-based option) of ribs, brisket, sausage, and chicken.

Barbecue, like pizza, is one of those foods that everyone has wildly varying tastes for. It seems safe to say that Disney has gone with a very safe barbecue style at Roundup Rodeo, and offered 4 basic meats, prepared very well, in a way that we think the vast majority of people will really enjoy.

The brisket is by far the star of the show. Our platter was made up of mostly the brisket point - fat-heavy, with tons of flavor, and a melt-in-your-mouth bite. It didn't really need sauce, but each table has a choice of classic, sweet, and spicy. We would recommend trying each to find your favorite - all were very good. And the spicy, while packing a little heat, is still very family friendly.

The chicken is probably the best we have had at a Disney restaurant in recent times. Full of smoked flavor, extremely moist (there is some clever stuff happening with preparing this chicken - chef's secret), and very meaty. Works really with the classic sauce and is likely to be a guest favorite.

The pork sausage didn't really impress. There is nothing wrong with it, but compared to the chicken and the brisket, it was average.

Finally, the ribs, and this is where Roundup Rodeo BBQ disappointed. These ribs have very little meat, 95% bone, and you have to really work to get that little bit of meat. We checked with some friends at another table, and theirs were the same. It may be a supply issue, and this will be improved, but for now, this is not a great rib experience.

Each table can choose four sides to go with the platter, and there are lots of good options here. Standouts were the veggie slaw, which has a vinegar-based dressing instead of mayo, and is light with a good crunch. The baked beans are plant-based and have various veggies mixed in. The loaded potato barrels were perhaps not as exciting as they sound, largely tater tots with a sauce on top, not really "loaded." Our favorite side was the fried pickles.

Moving onto desserts, each person at the table can choose their own dessert in a jar. Options include a Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake, a Chocolate Silk Pie, Apple Pie, and a Peach-Strawbeery Pie. We tried them all and gave a slight edge to the Cheesecake, but all are good options. The Peach-Strawbeery Pie is extremely sweet if that is or isn't your thing.

Gown-up toys will appreciate a good selection of cocktails. They are all priced around $16 and cover all the bases, including whiskey-based, tequila-based, and rum-based. The Rattler Rum Punch and Snake Eye Margarita were two favorites. Like all Disney drinks, they are heavy on syrup, and a little light on alcohol, especially for the asking price.

There are also beers, ciders, and wine on offer, along with non-alcoholic specialty drinks for both adults and kids.

One question that repeatedly surfaced from the pre-opening photos was just how noisy this restaurant would be. With no soft furnishings, and two reasonably compact dining rooms, it looked in pictures like it would be deafening. Based on the opening day, this thankfully proved not to be the case. With the restaurant around 85% full, the noise level was on par with other restaurants, and you could easily hold a conversation and enjoy some peace and calm. This, of course could vary based on the guests in the restaurant at the time, but it appears Roundup Rodeo BBQ is not the equivalent of eating inside the Toy Story Mania standby line as many had feared.

Disney typically offers excellent service at its restaurants, and this is the case at Roundup Rodeo BBQ. Our server was knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the food, which added to the experience. He was also keen to play along with some of the celebration moments.

There are no characters appearing at Roundup Rodeo BBQ, but there are a few "celebration" type moments. Audio played in the dining room prompts the servers to dance or freeze for an "Andy's Coming" moment. Roundup Rodeo BBQ has a lot of family-friendly appeal and is a great option for dining with kids. The food is very accessible, with the family-style serving allowing kids to eat as much or as little as they want, and there is plenty on offer to try. There is a lot for kids to look at, and the familiar Toy Story music playing in the background completes the experience.

Considering the cost, Roundup Rodeo BBQ is priced reasonably well in our opinion. You get a lot of food that is well prepared, and you can ask for more if needed. Be aware that the cost can rise rapidly with the addition of alcohol. No discounts are currently on offer.

Overall, Roundup Rodeo BBQ exceeded our expectations. While the decor was exactly as we imagined, the food and ambiance were a step above our expectations. Toy Story Land has needed an indoor, air-conditioned space since it opened, and this is a very strong addition. We highly recommend making a reservation for your next trip, especially if you like barbecue and the idea of a fixed-price family-style dining experience. It is a particularly strong option for guests with kids, and Roundup Rodeo BBQ has become our number 1 choice for table-service dining with children at Disney's Hollywood Studios. If the ribs could be improved, this may become the best barbecue restaurant at Walt Disney World.

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Coaster LoverMay 05, 2023

Just not complete unless John Ratzenberger is your waiter...

MagicHappens1971Apr 28, 2023

It actually gets turned into fuel for the Disney busses.

No NameApr 28, 2023

Is that a problem? There’s no shortages of food.

JohnDApr 26, 2023

I have to admit, the overhead PA system stuff was clever especially when "Andy's coming"? Everyone - servers and guests - all pause. It's actually fun.

pdude81Apr 26, 2023

Well the non-teachers might appreciate having a big, over-themed room. Or not. While you shouldn't eat glue, I would suggest the adults drink the PB&J.

The Great GonzoApr 26, 2023

The atmosphere is a bit disappointing. It looks like my old kindergarten room... which isn't a good thing. I've got some bad memories from that place. Did you know you're not supposed to eat a whole supersized jar of elmers paste?

JohnDApr 26, 2023

When I say a lot, I mean A LOT.

AylaApr 26, 2023

How nice they throw away wasted food they don't need to give you in the first place. 🙄

JohnDApr 20, 2023

I suspect you'll still get more food than you can eat. It's a LOT.

NelleBelleApr 20, 2023

As vegetarians, we are definitely looking forward to trying the vegetarian offerings. Looks like they have a lot and the reviews have been pretty good.

ToTBellHopApr 20, 2023

I enjoyed the food but we agreed we wouldn’t spend over $200 to eat there again. You can find better BBQ elsewhere at WDW. Sides were good, though, and we liked the theming in there. It was a fun time. You definitely don’t leave hungry.

JohnDApr 20, 2023

So here is my quick review. I went solo and the amount of food you get is the same whether a party of one or a party of five. They assure me they compost what isn't eaten. Anyway, here is what you get (drinks are separate): A minimum of three biscuits Three separate salads A skillet of chicken, brisket, ribs, and sausage Your choice of 4 of 6 or 7 sides, each in a large bowl. I chose corn on the cob, potato salad, baked beans, and Mac and cheese. Your choice of up to 4 or 5 small cups of dessert. I choose cheesecake, apple pie, and tort, similar to mousse. For a party of two, why pay $90? $45 is plenty for two or even more. You can't, BTW. The cost is per person. Food is great but too much for one person. You've been warned.

Magenta PantherApr 01, 2023

Some people diss on Applebee's, but it makes a great Perfect Margarita.

MisterPenguinMar 31, 2023

Have we found a Pixar Ball, Luxor Lamp, or Pizza Express car yet, too?