Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue

June 1986 – February 1996, April 2004 – January 2016

LOCATION

Frontierland – Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue drew in visitors wandering between Fantasyland and Frontierland, on the trail circling Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Today, this space is part of the entryway into Star Wars Land.

EXPERIENCE

Details:

  • Service Type – table service (buffet style)
  • Seating – picnic tables
  • Entertainment – periodic live entertainment on the nearby stage

For Frontierland travelers, Big Thunder Ranch was the ultimate stop for barbecue, comfort food, and decadent desserts. The picnic-style restaurant served a buffet of barbecue classics, deep-dish cookie bakes, and more cornbread than you could ever eat. Visitors dining during peak mealtimes enjoyed live entertainment from cowboy bands on the stage, making Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue a country haven right in the middle of Disneyland.

CLOSURE

Even though Big Thunder Ranch was a fairly popular restaurant on the western side of the park, its proximity to available real estate made it a prime target for Star Wars Land planning. In January 2016, the restaurant (and the whole ranch) closed permanently so construction on a brand new land could begin.

TRIVIA

This restaurant was the only place in the park serving drinks in mason jars.

BTR Barbecue was one of the only restaurants in the park to display seasonal decor all year long. The picnic grounds donned springtime florals, red/white/blue streamers in the summer, orange color schemes for the fall, and tons of garlands and wreaths in the winter.

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