My family loves Mickey’s Backyard BBQ! It’s a different type of character interaction and a lot of fun. Mickey’s Backyard BBQ is one of three dinner shows that Disney World offers, and it’s the only one that includes characters. It’s located at the Settlement area of Disney’s Fort Wilderness. If you aren’t staying at “The Fort,” you can get there by parking at the main lot and taking a bus to the Settlement, or if coming from the Magic Kingdom, Wilderness Lodge, or the Contemporary, you can arrive by a boat that drops you right at the Settlement.
The Settlement is one of my favorite places in all of Disney World. It’s home to the Tri-Circle-D Ranch where kids 48 inches and under can take a pony ride, the most of Fort Wilderness’s dining options, and a big playground. You can relax a bit and watch your kids play… You might even forget you’re a boat ride away from the most popular theme park in the world.
Mickey’s Backyard BBQ is held in an open air pavilion. It can get quite hot in the summer, so my family generally chooses the holidays or spring when dining there.
Make sure you arrive early; I recommend getting there an hour before your dining time. Currently, seating is first come, first seated. Tiered seating is coming, but even then, it does not look like seating will be assigned within the tiers.
Tier 1 guests will get an opportunity to meet the characters before the show, but there are lots of great seats in Tier 2.
The all you can eat menu consist of ribs, chicken, BBQ pork, hamburgers, hot dogs, sides, watermelon, ice cream bars. For adults, beer and wine are also included. Cheers!
Tip: The the ribs and chicken are towards the end of the line. Save room!
While there are burgers and hot dogs, I usually skip these.
If you’re addicted to the cornbread at the Hoop Dee Doo Review or Trail’s End like me, this is the same stuff.
Sorry my chicken picture is not the best!
Ribs… the last thing on the line, but one of my favorites that they offer.
The best seating is around the main stage because that’s where most of the action takes place. If you can’t get a seat there, any seat near a white taped off area is a good seat.
When the show starts, the characters rotate around to those areas and dance with the audience. One of our visits was on Christmas, and you’ll notice the characters do dress for the holidays.
In addition to the characters there is a band that plays mostly country music and a cowboy who does rope tricks and brings kids from the audience into the show.
Yep, that’s me in the white skirt being a dork in my son’s cowboy hat, but look how much fun he’s having with Goofy and me.
It used to be that the characters didn’t come around the tables for pictures, but they did on our most recent visit. Either way, dancing with the characters is a lot of fun for kids (and me apparently) and not something they can do at regular character dinners.
Overall, I think Mickey’s Backyard BBQ is a lot of fun for families. Getting there early for the best seats and no lines at the buffet is key, and I think that will remain the case even after the tiered seating goes into effect. If you want seconds or thirds, the lines are gone by then, so no worries. Make sure to save room for the unlimited Mickey Bars for dessert!
Mickey’s Backyard BBQ is offered seasonally and generally only runs a few nights a week. Reservations must be prepaid and open 180 days in advance.
Have you eaten at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ? I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips!