My Solo Dining Review of the Roundup Rodeo BBQ at Disney's Hollywood Studios
The Roundup Rodeo BBQ is one of the newest dining experiences at Walt Disney World, located in the Toy Story area of Disney's Hollywood Studios. I was able to snag a last-minute reservation for one (solo travel, for the win!) and am excited to share my experience with you.
The restaurant is located at the entrance to the Toy Story attractions, and is right next to Slinky Dog Dash. Since it's the newest dining option on property at Walt Disney World, AND it's Toy Story, as you might imagine finding reservations can be a challenge. I wasn't able to get a reservation before I left home, but on a whim while I was at Epcot earlier that day, I checked and there was a dinner reservation for one available! Score!
The Roundup Rodeo BBQ is a family style meal, and Disney refers to these as "all you care to enjoy." (I'm sure because that sounds much nicer than, all you can eat, LOL!) For $45 per adult, you get a selection of salads, sides and LOTS of meat to choose from, as well as a dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage of your choice. If you'd like an adult beverage, those are available and they're adorably referred to on the menu as Grown-Up Drinks.
For my beverage, I went with the Whinnyin' Whiskey Lemonade. I'm not much of a whiskey drinker, but I asked my server (who was a total delight, by the way) what she would recommend, and without hesitation she recommended this one. It was super good, and (dangerously) didn't taste too strong.
I was seated at a table right in the middle of the action, which was great. The ambiance is SO cute, and the theming is on-point. You're one of the toy, and every so often there is an announcement from one of the characters, but the most fun is when you hear "Andy's Coming!" and everyone stops dead in their tracks. And I mean everyone. It was fun to play along, but also to watch the servers and staff come to a complete standstill on whatever task they were completing. It was super fun!
I was given some Prospector's Homemade Cheddar Biscuits to start; these were served with sweet pepper jelly and butter. No shock here - completely delicious. 10/10.
You then are served a portion of each of their Greens options - a Rootin' Tootin' Tomato Salad, Rex's Romaine and Kale Salad, and Wheezy's Watermelon Salad. The romaine and kale was a bust; it had way too much dressing, was watery and was no longer crisp or refreshing. I had a later evening reservation, and I imagine it had just been sitting too long. The watermelon salad was...well, watermelon, but it was fresh and very good. The standout here for me was the tomato salad - tomato, cucumber, pickled onions...YUM. A perfect summer salad. If I go again on my own, I will likely just get that tomato salad and ask that they don't give me the others so as not to waste it.
After my salads, it was time for the Reach for the Sides. (They took a theme here, and RAN with it! So cute.) You can choose up to four for the table; I chose three, and knew even then I wouldn't of course be able to finish them all but wanted to try some of the options. I chose the Married Spuds, which were tator tots (what Disney calls potato barrels) loaded with some sort of sauce and I think bacon. They were fine and I love a tater tot, so nothing hugely special but good. I also chose the Campfire Roasted Vegetables - this was a disappointment. I had the same feeling here as I did with the kale and romaine salad. The veggies had been cooked within an inch of their lives and were limp, not very flavorful and all around blah. Again, I blamed that on the time of night at which I ate, and that they probably cooked a huge batch of them hours before, and they'd been sitting there in the warmer. My final choice was the Slinky Dooooooog Mac & Cheese. And no, I didn't hit too many O's there - that's how it's written on the menu! No shock here, this was delicious. A very creamy and cheese macaroni and cheese, with a crunchy topper.
The entree (pictured above, in the middle) is a section of meats. You get ribs, beef brisket, BBQ chicken, and sausage. You can also request a cedar plank salmon, and they also have some plant-based meat selections if you're vegan or vegetarian.
Everything on the meat platter was delicious; I especially liked the sausage and brisket. As you can see in the pictures, it was a TON of food. I felt sort of guilty and talked to the waitress about the portion sizes; I felt bad about leaving so much behind! If I'd had a room with a kitchen or been there longer, I likely would have taken some with me for later. My server said they had been trying to encourage the managers to make the plates for 1 smaller, which I totally agree with. It's all you can enjoy, so if you'd at any time like more of an item - you can just ask! She also said, which I thought was funny - all the bloggers and Instagramers came here when it first opened, and they wanted to show plenty of food so it would look good online! LOL! I thought that was so funny.
Then came the dessert - THAT was the perfect portion. I got the Bo's Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake and it came in a little half Mason jar. Just the right amount, and I was glad to see they portion-controlled the desserts.
I had a delicious meal, and of course was leaving Hollywood Studios just as Fantasmic was letting out for the evening, so not the best timing but made me SUPER glad I had my car there! I would not have wanted to wait in those bus lines!
So to recap....what are my final thoughts?
* If you're a solo diner, know that at least at the time of writing this blog, they haven't instituted a solo diner portion like they do at Liberty Tree Tavern, for instance. It wouldn't keep me from coming here, but just a head's up on the amount of food!
* The theming is fantastic. Everything is just perfect from the lighting to the sounds to the extra Disney touches you just come to expect. If the Toy Story franchise is one of your favorites, you'll love it here.
* I am SO glad I was able to grab a reservation, and had a great time. However, will it be a "must do" for me each time I come to Disney World? No, I don't think so. Nothing about it was terribly negative, but certain food items were pretty meh for me, and if you're looking for this type of food, I would recommend Liberty Tree Tavern at Magic Kingdom. It's also a pretty high price point for just a few standout menu items.
In closing, I'm very glad I was able to go and try it for myself - it's always fun to hit the newest places. As someone who's been to Disney World a lot, I don't often have a new experience so when I do, it's always a good time.
Have you been to the Roundup Rodeo BBQ? Is it on your list of Disney World "I have to go there" places?