Fall is officially in swing at the Disneyland Resort, and while Main Street USA may be lined with adorable pumpkins, one of my favorite areas of Disneyland during fall is Frontierland and the Big Thunder Ranch area. Sadly, this year will be the last autumn for Big Thunder Ranch, which includes the Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo, the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, and best of all, Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue. More on that in a bit. And seeing as Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue will be closing up shop come January, Patrick and I are attempting to fill our bellies with as much barbecue as possible, and of course I couldn’t resist picking out some western duds for the evening.
Now, more on the Ranch closing. At D23, it was announced that the Disneyland Resort would be expanding to create a Star Wars themed land. Speculation of this has been going on since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012, and soon after it was announced that Star Wars would be taking over the Big Thunder Ranch area, located just north of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Originally this expanse of land was home to the Mine Train, Pack Mules, Conestoga Wagons and Stagecoaches that made their way would Nature’s Wonderland and the small town of Rainbow Ridge. In 1979 Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opened up, giving folks the “wildest ride in the wilderness”. In the mid-1980s, the expanse north of Big Thunder saw a ranch open up, and various forms of entertainment and dining came and went through the area (including the awkwardly placed Hunchback of Notre Dame “Festival of Fools”), and in the later 90s, the dining area closed, until it re-opened in 2009 as an all-you-can-enjoy barbecue restaurant, and live entertainment with extremely talented western musicians. My feelings about the Star Wars themed land are mixed (I mean I love Star Wars), but one thing I am certain of is that I am crushed to see Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue go. It offers some of the best food in the park, including amazing seasonal dishes, like the above pictured sugar cookie bake with pumpkin ice cream and caramel, as well as incredible ambiance, and, as I mentioned before, very talented performers, and I am hell-bent on visiting as much as I can before it closes. And I encourage anyone visiting Disneyland before January to visit as well, that is if you aren’t vegetarian or vegan!
I would also love to do a shout out to Jackie, a reader here. She approached me when Patrick and I were shooting the outfit pictures, and, Jackie, you were a delight to talk to! This is also a heads up to anyone else who may see me in the park, I love meeting my readers, and hanging out in Disneyland has provided me with a lot of contact that I honestly hadn’t expected! It’s so much fun hearing from you all in person, so, please, if you do see me, don’t be afraid to say hi! Unfortunately I won’t be at Dapper Day tomorrow, as I have to work it, after all, someone has to be there to make magic! But I do plan on visiting the Dapper Day Expo after I get off work. I probably won’t be too dressed up, as I will be taking the bus into work, and will be going straight to the Expo after work, so maybe I’ll bump into some of you there!