Walt Disney World has announced a new table service restaurant for Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios named Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant. This will offer details, including when this WDW dining spot will likely open. (Updated January 31, 2021.)
Toy Story Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant will be themed to a backyard barbecue with Andy and his toys inviting guests to participate in fun. By toys, we do not mean the walk-around variety; Walt Disney World has indicated this will not be a character dining experience. As you can see in the above image, the art style is similar to that of both Toy Story Mania and Slinky Dog Dash.
The premise for Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant is that Andy has cut and taped three cardboard boxes together to create a new rodeo arena using some of his favorite toys, games, and play sets. While some pieces are definitely western-themed, what makes this rodeo special is the broad assortment of toys that have been brought together to create a fun, colorful mashup-atmosphere.
Once inside, you’ll be surrounded by all of the rodeo festivities in-action as well as western town and train station play sets. And you just might spot some of your favorite Pixar characters scattered around the restaurant in the form of toys and game pieces including a toy version of Jessie riding on the back of a Trixie pull-toy and unique toy versions of Bo Peep and her sheep, all who appear to be performing in the rodeo together.
This new dining option will be located to the right of what’s currently the entrance of Toy Story Land, behind the giant Woody figure and land’s marquee (you can see construction walls in the photo below). Previously, this area was home to two backstage production bungalows. These facilities were relocated with a new structure built to house Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant.
Our latest update on Toy Story Land’s Roundup BBQ is something of a non-update, as there are no brand new developments to report. However, we’ve been receiving questions as to whether the project is cancelled and haven’t shared any recent progress reports.
You may recall that Walt Disney World announced the Toy Story Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant would open last year. Of course, that announcement was made approximately 4 months before the closure of the parks, and even then didn’t have an opening month or season attached to it. Our expectation at the time was thus that it would open close to the Christmas season last year.
Then the multi-month closure happened and All Construction Stopped at Walt Disney World. Even after the parks reopened, it took many major projects several more months to regain momentum. Toy Story Land’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant was one such project.
However, we do know that work has since resumed on Toy Story Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant. Walt Disney Imagineering filed several construction permits for the interior over the fall with addresses that would match the location, and progress could be observed on the roof of the warehouse that’ll house the restaurant.
At this point, the warehouse for Toy Story Land’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant is totally finished and has been for months. We’ve seen intermittent work on the exterior and construction crews around the project, but it’s impossible to ascertain the location’s actual progress since it’s literally a window-less warehouse. Very similar to Space 220 Restaurant at EPCOT in that regard.
Unlike other projects that have been delayed indefinitely or cancelled, Toy Story Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant will directly generate revenue and addresses a need–a lack of dining capacity at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Even now, with attendance capped at 35-40% of normal levels, the park still has insufficient dining options.
Part of that is due to reduced capacity at the restaurants themselves, which are operating at roughly half capacity since they’re not seating every table to ensure physical distancing. This is also likely why Walt Disney World is not rushing to open the restaurant–while necessary in the longterm, it would be less lucrative in the short term.
As we’ve covered in our Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure Opening Info post, debut dates in 2021 are not dictated by construction progress, but by when it’s most logical and advantageous to open. Until Walt Disney World has a better idea of when operational normalcy will be able to return, we’re not expecting a specific opening date for Toy Story Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant to be set or announced.
Our expectation is that Walt Disney World will schedule the grand opening date for Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant at a time when it’s likely physical distancing requirements and park capacity reductions will be gone or at least significantly relaxed.
At this point, we’re probably looking at around Fall 2021 for that. If capacity caps are lifted but demand remains soft, it’s also possible Walt Disney World waits to open Toy Story Land’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant until Thanksgiving or Christmas 2021, or even holds off until Easter 2022.
There are still a lot of unknowns, and no guarantees that Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant will open this year. It could be delayed by 2 years. Again, we wouldn’t read too much into that; Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a dining shortage during normal times, and it’s unlikely the company can postpone opening this restaurant for too long once things are back to normal and attendance picks back up.
Beyond that, our first impression of Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant is generally optimistic. Three of the primary criticisms of Toy Story Land have been the lack of shade, air-conditioning, and dining options.
While we’ve really enjoyed both the breakfast and lunch/dinner menus at Woody’s Lunch Box, the lack of seating and zero indoor seating definitely put a damper on it. On the plus side, a makeshift gift shop has been added to the exit of Toy Story Mania.
This new table service restaurant should help address all of those issues. While Walt Disney World hasn’t released much information or concept art beyond the above, we’re hoping there’s also some attached, indoor retail space as well.
Toy Story Land is currently pretty miserable during the summer heat or daily rain showers. Giving guests even a temporary reprieve from the sun or storms in a place that isn’t the restrooms would be nice.
At this point, with literally nothing else known–nothing more in terms of details, an opening date/year, or even a name–there’s not much else to say. We’ll have offer further commentary on this new Toy Story Land table service restaurant once some of this additional info is revealed or clarified. Otherwise, about my only thought is, “why not have an elaborately themed Pizza Planet?!” and I’m guessing the answer to that is thematic consistency.
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