Review: The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue



By Dave Shute

HOOP DEE DOO REVUE…REVIEW

Welcome to those coming from The World of Deej as Magical Blogorail Teal writes about our favorite things to do outside the parks!

This site promises first-time family visitors who may never return all the best of Walt Disney World.

From the start, that’s meant the best in or outside of the parks.  Some of the key things outside the parks in the itineraries are Cirque du Soleil at Downtown Disney, and the Gospel Brunch at House of Blues.

Another “best outside the parks” is the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue.

THE SHOW AT HOOP-DEE-DOO REVUE

(Photo courtesy of BruceWDW of A World View.)

The best short description of the show at Hoop-Dee-Doo I’ve seen was on a history of the show published a few years ago on the D23 website: Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is a “goofball western vaudeville dinner show.”

The show follows the adventures of six characters from the old west as they sing, joke, and dance their way through the evening, solo, in couples, as a group, and with the audience.

I can’t bear to give away the plots twists and puns, but trust me: there’s a reason why Hoop-Dee-Doo is in every one of this site’s itineraries, why more than ten million people have seen it, and why it is the longest running show in musical theater.

Simply, the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue is a hoot, and among the best experiences at Walt Disney World.

Not everyone is a fan; you can love Disney World and not find Hoop-Dee-Doo bearable; but if you love Hoop-Dee-Doo, you’ll find that you have exactly the right degree of silliness and child-like delight to enjoy everything else Walt Disney World has to offer.

THE FOOD AT HOOP-DEE-DOO REVUE

(Photo courtesy of Joanna at Amazing Technicolor Interwebs.)

The menu at Hoop-Dee-Doo has changed little over the last 3 decades, and includes salad, cornbread, fried chicken, barbecued ribs, baked beans, mashed potatoes, and a (literally) show-stopping strawberry shortcake dessert.

The food is served in pewter pails, and you can eat as much as you like.

The food is generally viewed positively, especially the cornbread, salad, and the strawberry shortcake.  The most mixed reviews are for the chicken, ribs, and beans. This is partly a matter of varying regional tastes (especially for the ribs and the beans) and partly of the challenge of serving 300-400 people at once (the chicken).

The food has been called pedestrian, but the Buddha says pedestrian is the necessary flip side of sushi, and that in the cosmos neither matters…

Unusually for Walt Disney World, and helping with enlightenment, as much beer, wine, and sangria as you’d like (and also milk, juice, pop and such) are included in the price.

THE SETTING OF HOOP-DEE-DOO REVUE

(Photo courtesy of Beth at Pursuing the Magic.)

Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue takes place in Pioneer Hall at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.

Pioneer Hall itself is a gorgeously detailed setting, so don’t miss the chance when the lights are up to look at it closely.

This building was not initially designed to host a dinner show, and its proportions are longer and narrower than ideal.  However, it is small enough that it works just fine.

There are three seating areas, each with its own price.

  • Category One seating, the most expensive, is the two-thirds of the main floor closest to the stage
  • Category Two seating is middle-priced, and occupies the rear third of the main floor, and the second floor balcony section that faces the stage directly
  • Category Three seating, least expensive, is on the parts of the second floor balcony that have an oblique view of the stage

Pioneer Hall is small enough that all these seats are fine (I’ve seen the show from each.) If you are booking 180 days out, Category One is worth it. Disney seats you within your category based on reservation date, so if you reserve Category One early you’ll be close to the stage.

Otherwise, Category Two is the best balance between sight lines and cost.

Note that the show has many opportunities for audience involvement, ranging from ringing the dinner bell (see image above) to actually being on stage.

To get picked for the stage, sit in front and attract the attention of the cast. That means Category One and a reservation early in the 180 day booking window.

See Natalie’s post on Meet the Magic for more on getting picked…

GETTING TO HOOP-DEE-DOO REVUE

Getting to Hoop Dee Doo takes twice as long as you think it will, unless you are going there via boat from the Wilderness Lodge or the Contemporary Resort.

Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue shows in Pioneer Hall at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. To get to Pioneer Hall, you need to enter Fort Wilderness, and then get to Pioneer Hall.

There’s three ways to enter Fort Wilderness:

  1. The parking lot and bus stop by the Outpost
  2. The bus stop by the Settlement, and
  3. The marina by the settlement.

If you park your car at the Outpost or take a taxi, you’ll need to take an internal Fort Wilderness bus to the Settlement, where Pioneer Hall is located. (Ask the driver where to get off.)

Ditto if you take one of the theme park or Downtown Disney Buses to Fort Wilderness that drops you off at the Outpost.

If you are on one of the theme park buses that drop you off at the Settlement, then you just have a little walk to Pioneer Hall.

Fort Wilderness is also served by boats from the Magic Kingdom and from the Wilderness Lodge and Contemporary Resort.  Follow the crowd from the marina and you’ll be at Pioneer Hall shortly.

  • The boat from the Magic Kingdom leaves from just outside the park–so you don’t need to enter the Magic Kingdom to get it.  However, it can be mobbed after one of the parades ends, and can be a bad choice if the Magic Kingdom has an early closing.
  • The boat from the Contemporary is the one to take if the Magic Kingdom boat line is too mobbed–walk to the Contemporary, go through it to its marina, and pick up the boat there.

If you are already at the Magic Kingdom, came via Disney bus, and it’s open late (e.g. at least 2 hours after you Hoop show starts) take the Magic Kingdom boat, with the Contemporary boat as your fall-back if the line for the MK boat is too long.

If you are at a monorail resort, take the monorail to MK if it’s not near parade end or park close time, and to the Contemporary otherwise, and take the respective boat.  You can return, if needed, via the Contemporary boat to the monorail stop there.

If you are at the Magic Kingdom, drove, and the park closes early, you can get to Fort Wilderness via Magic Kingdom bus, and return to where your car is via boat to the Contemporary, and monorail there to the TTC.

If you are coming from another Disney resort and have a car, drive to Fort Wilderness.  Follow the signs to the Magic Kingdom, and once you are close, follow the signs to Fort Wilderness.

If you are coming from your Disney resort hotel but don’t have a car, take a bus to the Magic Kingdom and follow the instructions for the Magic Kingdom above.  If you see the 9.15 show, you may end up having to take a bus to Downtown Disney, and changing there to your resort bus, to get back to your hotel…

MORE FAVORITES OUTSIDE THE PARKS FROM MAGICAL BLOGORAIL TEAL

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is The Disney FAITHful.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail loop should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

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14 comments

1 Capturing Magical Memories { 04.24.12 at 12:04 pm }

We love Hoop-Dee-Doo! Heard it is going down for a long refurb. Wonder what is up?

2 Dave { 04.24.12 at 12:25 pm }

Hi Mary! I hear that too…but nothing officially confirmed by Disney yet…see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/03/hoop-dee-doo-revue-closed-for-refurbishment-october-to-december-2012/

3 Kathy Kelly { 04.24.12 at 5:30 pm }

I highly recommend Hoop-Dee-Doo as a fun, non-park family activity! If you love music, audience participation and corny jokes — this show is for you!

4 Dave { 04.24.12 at 7:17 pm }

Thanks Kathy…and who doesn’t!

5 Christy { 05.09.12 at 5:45 pm }

We saw Hoop Dee Doo a couple of years ago when my daughter was 2.5. She loved it and we did, too! I thought the food was some of the best we ate that week.

We are excited to go back this summer with my daughter who is now 6 and my nephew, who is 7. I think they will be old enough to get some of the jokes and will have a great time!

6 Dave { 05.10.12 at 7:34 am }

Hey Christy, thanks for your story! Have fun this summer!

7 Jennifer M { 02.08.13 at 6:18 pm }

If we are doing the Disney Dining Plan can we book category one seats on the 180 days before?

8 Dave { 02.09.13 at 2:08 pm }

Hi Jennifer, a two part answer.

You can book Category One seats for any show cash 180 days out–as anyone can. The dining plan, however, will only pay for category two (and three) seats during the 4 and 6.15p shows. It won’t pay for a category one in those time slots.

However, you can book the 8p show at category one, two or three on the dining plan.

9 Shari { 02.13.13 at 7:43 pm }

Arriving on sun 2/17 will be going to WDW from the 18-21. Thinking about a four day hopper. Going with our two kids 11 and 14 any recommendations. Already have dinner planned for San angel for mon and mama…at MGM as part of fantasmic dinner and show package. Any ideas for Wednesday dinner. Daily itinerary? Things to leave out?

10 Dave { 02.14.13 at 4:13 pm }

Hi Shari, I’m sorry but I don’t have daily itineraries–just integrated weekly ones. But you cna edit one of them–e.g. this one: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/basic-itinerary/alternative-itineraries/itineraries-for-the-rest-of-the-year/v2-of-2009-autumn-winter-spring-itinerary/ based on what you find here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/03/09/the-comprehensive-guide-to-walt-disney-world-rides-and-attractions/

Another option for daily itineraries is this: http://touringplans.com/magic-kingdom/touring-plans?utm_campaign=referral&utm_medium=website&utm_source=yourfirstvisit&utm_content=r1&property_id=1

On the first of those links you’ll also find (at the top of the image) all the dining I recommend!

Note that because of the President’s day week crowds, you’ll find some 8a openings and such, so do track the park calendars carefully!

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11 Rachel { 03.22.13 at 2:13 pm }

We’d like to take our 3 year old and almost 2 year old to one of these shows. We’re a bit worried that they may not be able to make it through. I’m more inclined to book Category 2 seating. I remember years ago on my honeymoon at the Spirit of Aloha show all the little kids ran up to the front of the stage, even though they shouldn’t have. Now that I have kids of my own, I worry they might do the same!

12 Dave { 03.23.13 at 2:20 pm }

Rachel, I’ve seen little ones look like they are having a good time at both–but most seem to fall asleep!

13 Jennifer M { 06.11.13 at 3:18 pm }

Hi Dave,
If we are at Hollywood Studios during the day, how do we get to Hoop Dee Doo from there? Is there an easy way or should I look at switching it to a night we are at MK for the day?

14 Dave { 06.12.13 at 7:42 am }

Hi Jennifer, the simplest way is to take the bus to Fort Wilderness. See the section of this page near the bottom (where the map is) titled “GETTING TO HOOP-DEE-DOO REVUE”

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