Saturday, January 23, 2016

Farewell to Big Thunder Ranch

A couple of weeks ago, Big Thunder Ranch closed its doors for the last time to make way for the new Star Wars themed land coming to the Happiest Place on Earth at some future date to be determined.  Though it may not have been a leading attraction for most guests, the Ranch was a great place to have some surprisingly delicious barbecue, pet some adorable goats, and spend a relaxing time away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the park.

To remember the retirement of this area, here's a photographic tour of Big Thunder Ranch.  "Star Wars" land will be amazing, but I'll miss this little hidden gem in the back corner of the park.

Big Thunder Ranch near the end of its operating day in the afternoon.

Christmas decorations were still up in the Ranch's final days.  Here is a little stage used for entertainment for diners having lunch or dinner at the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ buffet.

Taking a look around.

Holiday decorations abounded.

The view from the entrance.


More Christmas decorations from earlier this month.

Diners with the barn as a backdrop.

The food at the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ was pretty delicious.

Tangy cole slaw.

Baked beans, quite hearty.

Delicious BBQ ribs.

BBQ chicken with cornbred in the background.  Dinner service is the same as lunch, but with sausage.

All plated together.  For fans of the food, fear not!  Word on the street is that this menu will be migrating to the River Belle Terrace at the corner of Frontierland and Adventureland.

Also (sadly) closing down is the petting zoo at Big Thunder Ranch.

This is home to one of my favorite things at the park, the Disneyland goats!!

They're so rad.

So curious and full of personality.

Pretty dang cute too!

During its final days, the Ranch definitely had an influx of visitors who wanted to say their final goodbyes.

This was tough for the cast members who cared for the coats and saw them as family.

I wish they could have kept the goats and incorporated them into Star Wars Land... even dressed up.

They're going to a great home, though.  They'll be taken care of.

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