Disney World is opening a new Toy Story-themed restaurant, Roundup Rodeo BBQ
Toy Story fans have a new place to add to their bucket list.
Roundup Rodeo BBQ opens Thursday at Disney Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World. Walking in for a press preview last week was like stepping into a toy story, but not exactly the Toy Story we know from the movie. That’s on purpose.
“This universe within Toy Story is much larger and more expansive,” said Walt Disney Imagineering project manager Jared Sell, who has worked with Pixar to expand the story in this new Western-inspired restaurant. “Hopefully there will be the nostalgia aspect for some and something brand new for others – new versions of characters they grew up with, know and love, and always something to see and explore.”
Here’s what to expect at the Roundup Rodeo BBQ, and if it’s worth your time and money.
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What is Roundup Rodeo BBQ?
Roundup Rodeo BBQ is the world’s first Toy Story themed table service restaurant, and the three parts of its name really speak to what it’s all about.
•Round up: The restaurant at Disney Hollywood Studios in Florida expands on the world of Woody’s Roundup, which Woody discovers as his origin story in Toy Story 2.
“It also allowed us to incorporate characters like Stinky Pete and Jesse in different forms that you might not have seen before,” Sell said.
Woody, Jesse and Stinky Pete feature prominently throughout the Roundup Rodeo BBQ decor, but fans will also see many other familiar faces from the films.
•Rodeo: Sell said Andy was inspired to host a rodeo in his backyard after he went to camp, so of course all his favorite toys like Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep and Trixie the Triceratops are included. Unfortunately, Andy ran out of grandstand toys, so he had to draw some more.
“Jessie’s Critters are here, and if you look at the paper dolls, some of them might look a little familiar,” Sell said. “Pay attention to small details because you will see some really incredible things.”
•Grilling: “Rodeo and BBQ really go hand-in-hand, and since we’re still in Toy Story Land, which is Andy’s backyard, it could be a backyard cookout,” said Brian Piasecki, culinary director of concept development at Walt Disney World. “And what do you serve at a backyard barbecue? Grilling. So those two elements together really meant crickets for us.”
Does the Roundup Rodeo character eat?
No. The Toy Story characters are all featured in the restaurant’s decor and overhead audio, but not in person.
How much does it cost?
Starting on opening day, lunch and dinner are each $45 per adult and $25 per child 3-9 years old, before tax and tip. Children 10 years and older are considered adults for park tickets and meal prices throughout the resort.
The restaurant doesn’t serve breakfast, but Toy Story fans can grab a quick breakfast at nearby Woody’s Lunch Box.
What’s on the menu?
Roundup Rodeo BBQ serves lightly upscale, family-style comfort food. “It’s a bougie BBQ,” Piasecki said, laughing.
Diners start the meal with warm, buttered homemade cheddar biscuits served with pepper jelly, then they’re served three salads, including his favorite of marinated tomatoes with cucumber and house-pickled red onions. You can choose four sides out of eight to complement what Piasecki calls the “star of the show”: a platter of house-cured meats or plant-based entrees.
“All of these meats are prepared in-house,” he said. “We make a hand-sliced brisket, 48-hour brine-smoked chicken, smoked glazed pork ribs, and this rolled-up sausage that we cook on our own burning wood grill (which) we call ‘There’s a Sausage in my Boot’.”
Each guest chooses their own dessert. Drinks from the fountain, freshly brewed ice tea or milk are also included in the package price. Craft cocktails are extra.
What dishes can vegetarians eat?
Trixie’s Plant-based Trio can be served family style or as an individual appetizer when everyone else at the table prefers meat. It includes smoked cauliflower with harissa drizzle and walnut gremolata, plant-based bratwurst, and a rib chop that Piasecki described as “impossible meat on a skewer, heavily seasoned with barbecue spice, roasted and topped with a sweet barbecue sauce glaze.” “
Two of the salads, three of the sides — including baked beans with house-smoked jackfruit — and one of the dessert options are plant-based.
How is the food?
Generally very good.
I personally didn’t like the freshly brewed peach iced tea or the cupcake à la Forky, which I personally found a bit monotonous and really aimed at children, but everything else was delicious.
Days later I’m still thinking about the brisket. The Mean Old Potato Salad was so good it made one guest who tried it cry, Piasecki said, because it reminded her of her grandma’s recipe. I believe in it because it tastes like home. The other highlight was Bo’s Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake, which Piasecki says was inspired by his mother’s signature dessert. I hate cheesecake but I couldn’t stop eating this.
When do you start taking reservations for the Roundup Rodeo BBQ?
Reservations for Disney restaurants are accepted 60 days in advance. The most popular spots fill up quickly, but occasionally new spots pop up when other guests cancel.
Cancellations can be made up to two hours before the meal window without penalty. So it’s worth checking for last minute openings the day before and after your visit if you haven’t scored in advance. You may also be able to contact us the same day and see if a standby waiting list is available.
Is it worth a visit?
If you’re a Toy Story fan, Roundup Rodeo BBQ is definitely worth checking out, both for the themes and the food.
If you’re neutral about Toy Story but love crickets and can afford the money, it’s still worth it for the food.
If you don’t like Toy Story, go somewhere else.
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Eve Chen is a travel reporter for USA TODAY and lives in Georgia. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org