Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Saying Goodbye to Big Thunder Ranch

Ever since Doug and I got our passes for Disneyland in August, we've been saying that we need to spend time venturing through attractions, restaurants, and stores we've never been in or on. We're so used to getting to spend one day in the parks a year, that we'd hustle from ride to ride and never take the time to take it all in. The beauty of having a pass - you can spend all day in stores on Main Street and not feel like you wasted your day or cash!

And even more so, since the announcement of Star Wars Land in September, we wanted to get to the attractions that would be closing temporarily (re: like upwards of two years!) and especially the one that would be closing forever: Big Thunder Ranch, including the petting zoo, BBQ and the Jamboree.

Temporary closures include:
- Disneyland Railroad
- Rivers of America and attractions (Mark Twain, Colombia, Fantasmic!, Tom Sawyer Island and the canoes)

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Big Thunder Ranch has an all-you-can-eat BBQ restaurant that we've walked by dozens of times, inhaling all the smells of chicken, ribs, sausage and cornbread, but it wasn't until the last weekend that we decided we had to go. Well, so did the rest of the world. Thankfully, Jacky had the wherewithall to tell me to make sure I made a reservation so on the way to karaoke on Saturday night, I was desperately trying to make a reservation - there it was! A lunch time (1:40) reservation, perfect for Jacky, Doug and I to get in and get (Doug's and my) first and last visit to BTR. By the time I logged into my account... the time was gone! Thankfully, through a call to the super awesome folks at Dining, we got a dinner reservation for Sunday night, 7:20. Mmmm.... all you can eats BBQ.

{ source | I was too hungry to focus on taking my own photos!} 
They let us know that due to the popularity of the restaurant that day (duh!), they were about 20 minutes behind on reservation times and sure enough, we were seated exactly at 7:40. Starving at this point, we were just excited to eat. Lucky enough for us though, we got to catch the LAST show of Miss Chris and Texas Tumbleweed - and they invited the entire cast from the entire restaurant, even the past Miss Chrises and Tex-es... many who were already in tears about the closing of their restaurant! Heartbreaking and touching all at once! So it was pretty cool to see their last-ever show at BTR.

But... on to the food. All-you-can-eat included drinks, the meats (the important part, you know) and sides: beans, coleslaw, corn, and cornbread, and drinks. At $26 a person, that's not much to scoff at. The bucket 'o meat included chicken, ribs and sausage, some of the best I've had, honestly.

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The cornbread was fantasticall sweet, the corn wheels delicious - I couldn't have enough of anything! Except coleslaw, but I don't like that outside of Disneyland either.

We were also warned early on that desserts take about 20-25 minutes to process, and that at that point in the day, they were out of 2 of their 3 dessert choices! Since we were about to order 2 of the 3, that left us with one easy decision: the s'mores bake. Heaven on a plate. She told us there were six left, so we were pretty lucky to get in on this one.

Okay, so I took this one! 
We literally got the last s'mores bake ever at Big Thunder Ranch. Lucky us. That ish is delicious and luckily, there's still some in my fridge. :)

So, that was it - stuffed to the gills, I was super happy we finally got in on Big Thunder Ranch and all it offered. Earlier in the day, Doug and I also hopped on board for a ride around the Rivers of America on Mark Twain (we had done Columbia on Thanksgiving) and called it a success for getting to everything that was temporarily closing - minus the canoes!

Mark Twain.
Adios, Big Thunder Ranch! You can check out artistic renderings of what the Rivers of America will look like here - much of an overhaul to the side and Disneyland Railroad will be elevated on a tressel over the waters in the future, too. I can't wait!

Are you excited about the new Star Wars Land? 

1 comment:

  1. I'm kinda jealous you live so close to Disney and can just buy those passes. It must rock to just go to the park and... relax. I don't eat meat but that restaurant seems like a GREAT deal for all you can eat. Glad you scored that Smores dessert too1