This is a repost of our first visit to Hoop Dee Doo back in 2011. We're headed back to Pioneer Hall on Friday with Walter and Cathy & John. We expect to have a great time… again!
We understand that there have been some changes in the past three years… The Hoop Dee Doo Revue song has been rewritten due to copyright claims. And I seem to remember that the Strawberry Shortcake has changed in some way… Well, I'll write an updated review in the next few weeks.
We finally did the Hoop Dee Doo. Kate & Calvin and Walter went with us; Kate and Calvin were the only ones who'd attended before. We all rode together with Walter acting as our chauffeur - because - wait for it - the Hoop Dee Doo Revue includes all you can drink Bud Light and various wines! Calvin and Nick had gone over a couple of days before our dinner to get our tickets/passes and to make sure that we knew how long it would take to get to Pioneer Hall from the parking lot. Nick and I have been to Fort Wilderness many, many times, but we'd never taken the bus in to Pioneer Hall and we didn't want to be TOO early or too late for our 5:00 ADR. We arrived in plenty of time to check in at the hostess stand outside, decline the obligatory "group photo" (that we knew we weren't going to buy), and to go into Crockett's Tavern
for a cold beer.
If you're wondering what the Hoop Dee Doo Revue is, then most likely you found us somehow other than through a love of Walt Disney World...
The Hoop Dee Doo Revue was originally the "Pioneer Hall Show." It began as a college workshop program and the first performance was on June 14, 1974. Since then, there have been in excess of 34,400 performances and over 9.5 million guests have attended the show.
Pioneer Hall is a replica of a frontier, old west dance hall - it seats 360 guests for 3 shows per night at 5:00, 7:15, and 9:30. The dinner show is silly slapstick comedy, a little bit of dancing, and a little bit of singing - definitely not highbrow and we definitely had fun.
Hoop Dee Doo is reportedly the longest running dinner show in the world - not the World (as in Walt Disney World) - the world as in the planet earth.
- nope, I didn't redo the math... there are typically 3 shows per night and to the best of our knowledge, the only time there isn't a Hoop Dee Doo Revue is when hurricanes force it to be cancelled, someone else out there can do the math for us 🙂
We were seated promptly, after waiting in a line that stretched around in front of the bathrooms; I guess they were trying to get the guests out of the direct sun. We were seated near the rear of the main floor, but still out in the open. The menus were on the table when we were seated...
- Garden Salad with House Vinaigrette Dressing, Cornbread (and very sweet whipped butter), Fried Chicken, Smoked Barbecued Pork Ribs, Mashed Potatoes, Cowboy Beans, Seasonal Vegetables, and Strawberry Shortcake
- Included with your meal: Coca-cola classic, diet coke, root beer, sprite, orange soda, unsweetened iced tea, milk, chocolate milk, coffee, hot tea selection, apple juice, pomegranate lemonade, draft bud light, chardonnay, rose, merlot, and sangria
- For your added enjoyment: perrier or evian bottled water ($6.50), the ultimate margarita featuring 1800 tequila ($7.25)
... and our server quickly appeared to take our drink orders (water for Walter, sangria for Kate, beer for Nora, Nick & Calvin - of course) and plopped down a bucket of salad and two loaves of cornbread with sweet whipped butter. We dug right in while the cast members finished seating the 360 guests that Pioneer Hall can contain. The salad was good and I asked for a second bucket - figured it would be better for my diet than mashed potatoes and cowboy baked beans - no problems at all with getting extra green stuff. While we were eating the salad and after everyone had been seated, the Pioneer Hall Players came charging in from their train that just dropped them off outside for a limited engagement in our lovely little town!
Not long after the performers introduced themselves - Walter leaned over and said to everyone "that Claire laughs just like Nora!" - now, I didn't want to believe it! Claire has a loud, squeaky, belly-busting laugh! - however, everyone at the table corroborated his claim!!! So, I guess I just have to admit that "Yes, I do have a laugh like Claire de Lune!" And that just got me so tickled, that whenever she'd get to laughing and giggling, I'd start laughing and giggling - to the point that I had to take my glasses off and put my head on my arms to catch my breath! It was fabulous! I don't think I've laughed that hard and that much in quite a while.
Back to the food...
We were served Fried Chicken (twice!) We also discovered that 4 of us really like dark meat and that Nick really likes breasts <giggle>. I thought that the chicken was very good - however, Nick and I've had the fried chicken at Fort Wilderness many times before (a couple at Trail's End and a couple as takeout from Trail's End) and we knew that we liked IT! Dang! I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.
The other meat course was barbecued pork ribs. These were "okay." If I was forced to rate ribs at WDW - these would be "okay", the ribs at Whispering Canyon would be "better than okay" (they were more tender), and the ribs at Raglan Road would be "really good, I'd get them again." I don't remember us ordering another pail of ribs.
The vegetables and the sides got mixed reviews from us. I enjoyed the mixed seasonal vegetables - they were hot and definitely not over-cooked (I like them crunchy); we couldn't identify everything in there but are fairly sure there were carrots, celery, baby onions, and something yellow and very crunchy (not squash). Everyone enjoyed the mashed redskin potatoes - especially Nick. And there were no complaints on the cowboy beans (although Nick and I didn't eat any).
As everyone was finishing up their dinner (ask for more if you want it!) - Jim and Flora sang to and with the crowd.
At some point, there was the obligatory crowd sing-along with twirling our napkins. It was all good fun! They had one half of the Hall sing one round and then the other half sang. It was something of a competition of who could sing and shout loudest - Kate really liked this part - to the point that Walter's ears were hurting and she was hoarse for a few days! They brought up two guests to help with this part and then it was time for dessert - STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE!
This was better than I expected. We didn't eat all of the two bowls that they brought us, but what we did eat was "chewrce" (reference to another of our favorite movies - Pat & Mike).
All in all - we all had a good time! Would we do it again? Yes - but not as an activity for the two of us (Nick & Nora), much better with a crowd - and we can't really see it as something that we would do on a regular basis.
For more information... Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue @ Fort Wilderness