Mickey's Backyard BBQ is held on Thursdays and Saturdays at 6:30 pm March through December and advanced reservations are recommended by calling 407-WDW-DINE. We had a Saturday night reservation.
Our evening started with a boat ride from the Magic Kingdom to Fort Wilderness. Now, you don't have to actually enter the Magic Kingdom for the boat ride, just be at the pier in front of the Magic Kingdom. Boats depart about every 20 minutes to the various locations around Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon. Once on board, the ride was lovely and took about 15 minutes.
Let me say at this point that there were other boat riders who were panicking that they were not going to make their Hoop-Dee-Do seating at Pioneer Hall. So, be sure to allow for plenty of time. We planned to board the boat at 5:00 pm for the 6:30 show/meal.
Boy, were we glad we came early. If you arrive before 5:30 pm, the line opens for a character meet and greet with Chip, Dale, and Goofy all decked out in their BBQ clothes. (See photo above)We were the first in line to meet the characters and after we were asked to wait in another queue for dinner. The characters disappear in about 20 minutes, so if you are not early you will miss them.
Since this could have been a long wait, there were wooden blocks and large drums for the kids. Then the unexpected surprise came. . . trays of beverages. First, it was trays full of glasses with lemonade and fruit punch. Then the trays of cups of beer arrived. Let's just say, those went fast and more were right behind!
At 6:10, the BBQ pavilion was open for seating and the cast members do a good job seating folks. We were first in and had great seats by the stage and performance area. You can either go through the food line first or get your seats. We opted to get our seats first, then go through the food line.
Ah,, the food! It is an all you care to eat BBQ with ribs, chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, beans, corn on the cob, and various salads and fruits. The corn bread was yummy!
For dessert, there are freezers with frozen treats on both sides of the pavilion and again, it is help yourself. The boy started with a frozen Mickey bar, went to a strawberry bar, and finished his dessert course with another frozen Mickey bar. I preferred the corn bread for dessert.
Within a few minutes it is time for the show. The show includes two cowboy hosts, a band, and of course, characters. Children are invited to the dance floor to dance away with the characters. This is not for the faint of heart of for the "I have to keep my eye on my child every minute folks" as your child will most likely be in the sea of children. Trust me, when the music stops, the children find their way back to their families. The music is great and so is the fun.
Next is the lasso performer. He performs some great rope tricks, narrating as he goes. Two children get selected from the audience to practice and perform in the finale of sorts. When the lasso display is over, it is more music and dancing. The show goes on until about 8:30.
We took a break from the action and headed to the nearby playground. . . located between the boat pier and the BBQ Pavilion. We asked a cast member when the show would be over, as we wanted to snap one last photo. (See photo below)