December 14, 1986 – Big Thunder Barbecue Opens in Disneyland
“All-you-can-eat barbecue & live country music are the draws to this cowboy-style spot in Disneyland.”
On December 14, 1986, the Big Thunder Barbecue outdoor restaurant opened in Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch. The restaurant added to the ranch’s overall feel of being a working horse ranch from the 1880s, serving barbecue chicken and beef from chuck wagons. On June 20, 1996, to help promote the then-newest animated feature The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Big Thunder Barbecue, along with Big Thunder Ranch, was transformed into a medieval French village, with Big Thunder Barbecue becoming the Festival of Fools; this closed on April 18, 1998, and the property was used simply for corporate gatherings. Both the ranch and Big Thunder Barbecue were brought back on April 2, 2004, originally to promote Home on the Range. Both the area and restaurant were closed on January 10, 2016 to make way for the new Star Wars area.