Disney’s Toy Story Roundup Rodeo BBQ: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Roundup Rodeo BBQ at Toy Story Land

Giddyup and grab your feed bag because the Unofficial Guide has a breakdown of the best—and worst—on the menu at Toy Story Land’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ, the newest all-you-can-eat restaurant at Walt Disney World.

Exterior of Roundup Rodeo BBQ restaurant in Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Find out if Roundup Rodeo BBQ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is worth the wait with our Unofficial Guide to the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly on its all-you-can-eat menu. (Photos/video by Seth Kubersky)

After years of anticipation, the first-ever sit-down dining location inside Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios finally opened its doors in late March, and we dined there during its opening weeks to sample the experience.

First, check out our video overview of Roundup Rodeo BBQ:

Next, watch our first, live hot take on the restaurant:

And here’s a more in-depth look at what we loved, loathed, and looked at sideways during our meal at Roundup Rodeo BBQ.

The Good at Roundup Rodeo BBQ

Right off the bat, every meal at Roundup Rodeo BBQ starts on a high note with warm cheddar biscuits, served with a slightly spicy red pepper jam. Avoid the temptation to fill up because these are nearly worth the price of admission by themselves.

Next up is a trio of salads—two vegan, one vegetarian—that all hit the spot. It’s hard to say whether we preferred the tomato salad (with tart pickled onions) to the kale and romaine (with apples and cranberries), but the simple watermelon with torn mint was certainly the most refreshing, making all three big winners.

You also can’t go wrong with most of the side-dish selections, starting with the street corn, Married Spuds (loaded tater tots), and especially the fried pickles. (Tip: Ask for green goddess dressing to dip the pickles in.)

You can only pick four side dishes for your first round, but remember that you can try something different when ordering seconds.

Even if you don’t have any full-time vegans in your dining party, be sure to order the plant-based entrée platter, which features three of the restaurant’s best dishes. Start with the hearty roasted cauliflower with harissa, move onto the flavorful meat-free bratwurst, and finish up with the ingenious “rib chop” of Impossible protein wrapped around a sugarcane ”bone.” All three are exceptionally well-seasoned and packed with enough umami to satisfy hardened carnivores.

Finally, we have to give a thumbs-up to the servers and other cast members at Roundup Rodeo BBQ, who work hard while maintaining a sense of humor that’s slightly snarkier than you see elsewhere at Walt Disney World. While this isn’t a character dining location, staff members certainly lend a lot of character.

The Bad at Roundup Rodeo BBQ

While it may seem harsh to label anything at Roundup Rodeo BBQ as outright bad, we were frankly shocked to discover that the meat entrées—which should be the stars of the show—were our least favorite part of the meal. The platter consists of ribs, brisket, chicken, and sausage; while that last item was excellent, the first three were disappointments.

The ribs were exceptionally chewy; although the brisket had a proper amount of marbled fat, it hadn’t been cooked low and slow enough to break down the collagen, making it equally tough. The chicken, on the other hand, was overly moist to the point of feeling greasy. Fatally, all the animal protein had an overwhelming smoke seasoning that tastes exactly the way Spaceship Earth’s “burning Rome“ scene smells (and not in a good way).

Likewise, we had high hopes for the cedar-plank salmon, which is available only upon request but at no extra charge. It was a nice portion of fish, and the caramelized sauce on the outside was delectable, but the interior was overcooked and inedible.

There are already several solid barbecue options at Walt Disney World, both inside the parks (Flame Tree BBQ at Animal Kingdom, Regal Eagle at EPCOT) and outside (Polite Pig at Disney Springs, Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue at Fort Wilderness). Sadly, as much as we loved the starters, sides, and plant-based options at Roundup Rodeo BBQ, their namesake meats fall to the back of the pack.

The Ugly at Roundup Rodeo BBQ

Ugly is in the eye of the beholder, so any opinion of Roundup Rodeo BBQ’s aesthetics will largely depend on how badly you’ve always wanted to eat dinner inside Toy Story Midway Mania’s standby queue.

The restaurant basically consists of two big, boxy rooms covered in giant cardboard cutouts, with a couple of static statue centerpieces. The style is colorfully cheerful, but the inconsistent sense of scale doesn’t do an effective job of making you feel toy-size (unlike the Ratatouille restaurant in Paris), nor are there any animatronics or special effects to keep kids entertained between courses, except for a handful of brief audio bits. Roundup Rodeo BBQ’s atmosphere is perfect for Toy Story-obsessed tykes, but if you’re looking for a civilized meal, head to the Brown Derby instead.

Of course, you can’t always judge a book by its cover, and the Forky cupcake is a perfect example. Although ostensibly only on the kids menu, adults can also order this confectionary tribute to Toy Story 4’s breakout sidekick. Even though our server disparaged him as ”trash,” we found him far tastier than the mason jar of overly acidic lemon-blueberry cheesecake

Last but not least, while the pricing for Roundup Rodeo BBQ isn’t pretty, $45 for adults and $25 for kids (plus tax and tip) for all-you-can-eat isn’t outrageous by Disney standards, and you certainly won’t leave the table hungry. In fact, the restaurant has the opposite problem: With no to-go boxes available for doggie bags, you’ll either have to sneak in your own Tupperware or face the ugly scene of sending lots of leftovers to the compost pile.

Have you dined yet at Roundup Rodeo BBQ? Let us know what you think of the new Toy Story Land restaurant in the comments below!

For all there is to see and do at Walt Disney World, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, or to plan your family’s trip to Orlando, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids

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