Mickey’s Backyard BBQ~ Disaster turned fun? Tuesday Evening Ramblings….


A few years back, we were lucky enough to get Free Dining at Walt Disney World, and we wanted to try a dining experience that we had never done before. After looking through the list, and reading reviews, we chose Mickey’s Backyard BBQ as one of our choices. The description said it was a picnic style, outdoor meal with fun music and characters, that sounded great! What could go wrong? Well….. keep reading!

The day we were set to go to the Backyard BBQ was a partly cloudy one, but it didn’t look like rain. We went back to the room later in the afternoon to get cleaned up and ready for dinner. As were were driving toward Ft. Wilderness, where they have Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, the sky started to get dark. Very dark. Yes, rain was coming, but how much? We parked the car and headed to the bus which takes you to the campground location, and then the rain hit. We got off the bus and ran to the covered porch which was just ahead. I thought, that wasn’t so bad, we got a little wet but at least we were there. Boy, was I wrong. After standing on said porch, I realized that we were actually at the Hoopty Doo Review, not the Backyard BBQ. I asked someone, and they pointed to the back area, and said we have to wall ALL THE WAY down this walkway to get to our dining location. My first thought was, are you serious? It was raining cats and dogs, probably one of the hardest rains I had ever seen. My family and I stood there on the porch, actually pondering not going and just throwing away those dining credits, because it was just THAT bad. It was a game time decision, do we leave or do we give it a go and try to find Mickey’s Backyard BBQ? We were already a bit damp, and we had an umbrella, how much worse could it be?

So, being that we were already running late due to the weather, we decided to bundle up, grab the umbrella, and make a run for it. I had NO idea exactly how FAR that walk (or run) was going to be! We started out walking fast, then it quickly turned to running. My older son decided to run ahead since the umbrella wasn’t really helping. I was doing my best to keep my younger son covered because I didn’t want him to have any asthma issues out there, but I quickly found out, that umbrella was totally useless. The rain was coming down so hard, it was just running off the umbrella and right down my back! The sidewalk area was flooding fast, and before I knew it, we were in ankle deep water! So, what do we do, keep going or head back to the porch? We just kept going, with the hope of seeing the Backyard BBQ soon. The rain was so hard that we couldn’t even see in front of us, no Mickey Mouse in site. I heard music playing, so we pressed on. We’re coming Mickey!!

When we finally reached our destination, we saw the covered area, with the band playing and characters dancing around. We also saw how crowded it was, and there were piles and piles of towels stacked up on the back picnic table for dinner guests to use. The rain was almost coming in sideways, so a lot of the tables were wet too. I turned around to look at my family, and OH MY….. they all looked as if they went swimming with their clothes on! Yes, it was THAT bad! We were all soaked to the bone, my new shoes were ruined, there was no place to sit that wasn’t wet, and we were a very unhappy group. That’s not Disney Magic, that’s a mess! Now what? The look of disappointment on the kids faces was gut wrenching, and as their Mom, it’s time to make the best out of a disaster of an evening! We got some towels and wiped down a picnic table in the corner and made a place to sit. I dried the kids off as best as I could, and we all went up and got some food. I was a little disappointed in the food, as it was mostly burgers and such that we had been eating all week at walk ups at the parks, but we were starving so we made the best of it. We finally had something to eat and rested for a few, and the kids seemed to get their second wind. The country band was playing, and Minnie and Mickey just happened to start dancing closer to where we were…. Is it time for things to get better finally? You bet! Minnie grabbed my older son’s hands and started dancing with him, he was overjoyed! Mickey came by and saw us too, the little guy was so excited. The rest of the evening, the kids were dancing with characters, singing and clapping with the band, and the idea of soaked clothes and misery just went away! Even for me….. Mommy found the wine area and some ice cream!

So, all in all, it wasn’t a bad evening. Sure, we got soaked, and it wasn’t ideal, but somehow the Disney Magic managed to shine through all that rain. At the end of the evening, they were letting people grab extra frozen treats on their way out, and my husband took a bunch so we could put them in the fridge back in the room, it was really nice! When we got back to the room, our clothes were still wet, I looked at my new shoes with a pinch of despair, but truthfully, we had a good time. How can that be? I still laugh about it, and I even kept my favorite ruined pair of shoes. When they say Disney creates memories for families, it’s really true. Anything can happen, and any situation can be turned around if you try. The boys still look back at that experience and have good things to say. All in all, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ was a success in it’s own little way, and I can say the memories were worth it, even the ruined shoes!


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The Main Street Mouse