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All photos by Disney Diva

All photos by Disney Diva


By: InspireDiva

I was unsure of what I was going to think about this restaurant when I decided to make the reservation. I was worried about what an all you can eat type BBQ dinner at a Theme Park would be like? I know that this is Disney, but still, when I think of all you can eat I think of buffets. Hometown Buffet was not what I was looking for.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the Big Thunder BBQ! The atmosphere was laid back and fun and reminded me of backyard BBQ’s. You are escorted to your picnic table and while you wait for your order to be taken, there is a live band to enjoy. You will definitely be entertained by the fun western music and the easy banter from these performers. They are sure to put a smile on your face.

Your server will come and take your drink order and the will bring those out with your food. You are served your drinks in mason jars. When they bring out your orders they will bring it out in a bucket. All you can eat barbecue chicken, ribs, coleslaw, ranch beans, and corn bread. All of which are mouth wateringly delicious! Then at dinner you get all of these plus smoked sausage and corn on the cob.


We went for dinner in October 2013 and I am not going to lie- we ate everything they gave us for the first round and then had some more. The top favorites for my kids ended up being the corn on the cob and the corn bread. Then they both had separate conclusions when it came down to the meat: my daughter was all for the ribs and my son was all about the chicken. Now, my husband was all about the ribs and the ranch beans and the corn on the cob. I however loved (much to my surprise) the smoked sausage, the beans and the corn on the cob. I also really loved the coleslaw. The corn on the cob was the winner though it was sweet and salty and mouth wateringly delicious!

Diva Tip:

Don’t be afraid to ask for more of your favorite. They will happily bring it right out. The service was amazing!

Photo by Disney Diva

Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue is located along the path between Frontierland and Fantasyland near Big Thunder Mountain (which is finally set to reopen this spring, fingers crossed). This is and outdoor restaurant so be prepared. The weather in California is generally beautiful but in the evenings it can get chilly. When we went in October the weather during the day was a beautiful and sunny 70 degrees, but in the evenings it dropped down to 50 degrees. That was what the temp was the night we ate here.

We were cold and shivering and my son refused to bring a jacket. The staff there were so wonderful and the brought out big heaters and hot chocolate and coffee to help warm us up. My husband and son both opted for the hot chocolate. Our waitress was really sweet and made my daughter and me both a half hot chocolate/coffee mixture with big gobs of whipped cream on the top. They were just what we needed. She was also really sweet to get us some more in to go cups so we could keep that warm feeling with us as we walked around the park that night.

Diva Tip:

It can get very cold in the evenings when you are at the park even on a beautiful day. So even if you don’t think you will need a jacket bring one anyways or head back to your room for a break and grab one then. This will save you loads of money when you decide that you just can’t take the cold anymore and break down to buy yourself a $50 Disneyland hoodie. Now by all means if you want that hoodie go ahead and buy one. My daughter bought one a few years ago and it was loved so much that she didn’t want to give it up when she grew out of it. But now my son has it and he also loves it. I have to pry it away so that it gets cleaned at least occasionally. So if you want it for a souvenir, by all means grab one. When we were there we brought our hoodies except for my son and we were still freezing, so cold in fact that we called it night early and headed back to the hotel.

Now for some newly discovered info.

They offer a vegetarian option. This is a skewer that includes potatoes, squash, bell peppers, mushrooms, and tofu. How great is that!? I would love to eat this even though I am not a vegetarian.

Now for most people the best part is still to come- if you still have room of course. They have a variety of different dessert option which include a flourless chocolate cake, warm and gooey deep-dish cookie a la mode or the s’mores bake.

My family opted for the s’mores bake and LOVED it. The bottom layer was brownie with marshmallow that were baked to perfection on the top drizzled with caramel and chocolate sauce and little pieces of graham cracker on top. This was a yummy way to end to our meal!

Diva Tip:

Meal prices for Lunch are Adults: $23.99 and Children: $11.99

Meal prices for Dinner are Adults: $26.99 and Children: $11.99

Bottomless Beverages: $3.49

Desserts range from $5.99- $9.99

This does not include tax or gratuity.

So, The Big Thunder Ranch BBQ at Disneyland definite gets a thumbs up from InspireDiva. It will great food and fun for your whole family! To make your Disney dining reservations click here. Remember you can make them up to 60 days in advance.