If you know me, you know I love the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue, the long-running, delightfully cheesy dinner show at Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Campground. (And if you know that, you’ll probably also know how much I adore Fort Wilderness as a whole.) With three showings a night, enough food that you’ll want to roll out of there, and bottomless drinks – including beer, wine, and sangria! – there’s really no reason not to book a reservation on your next trip to Disney World.
I’ve been going to the Hoop Dee Doo since I was a kid and at this point I could probably fill in as an emergency understudy if any of the cast fell ill mid-show. It’s a long-standing tradition in my family and on our most recent visit it was chosen to be our New Year’s Eve dinner. So keep on reading, and enjoy this Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue…review. (See, I told you I’m cut out for the show.)
Hoop Dee Doo food
I’m starting off with the food because, let’s be real, that’s what we’re all here for. It is a dinner show after all.
You start off your meal with salad and corn bread. I usually pick a couple tomatoes out of the salad, but I don’t like to waste a lot of valuable stomach space on that when I know what else is coming my way. And a large part of that is the cornbread and butter that also serves as an appetizer. It is delightful.
As previously mentioned, you can drink beer, wine, and sangria to your heart’s content or opt for bottomless pop. There are some specialty drinks and other alcoholic beverages that you can pay extra for, but I’ve never felt the need for that. If enough of you order the same beverage, your waiter might even bring you a pitcher of it, which is delightful. Make sure you have a designated driver handy if you choose to drive yourself though.
After the performers arrive and start the show, your server will bring out the rest of your feast. Buckets of fried chicken and ribs will appear on your table, frequently with a loud bang as they’re slammed down by your server. There are only a couple places I really like eating fried chicken from, and the Hoop is one of them. Your side dishes will include a seasonal vegetable, baked beans, and mashed potatoes. There are also special meals available for those with dietary restrictions including vegetarians, vegans, and pescatarians.
And the best part? Everything is refillable, so don’t be shy about taking the last scoop of mashed potatoes!
Dessert is strawberry shortcake, and don’t be surprised if you see your server high-kicking on stage with the cast when they start to bring out the trays.
The Hoop Dee Doo show
I’m going to be honest – if you don’t like silly entertainment or cheesy jokes, the Hoop Dee Doo might not be for you. Your performers are Flora, Jim Handy, Claire, Johnny, Dolly, and Six-Bits. There’s some slapstick humor, plenty of puns, some truly cheesy jokes, and a little bit of audience participation.
During one part of the show, the performers go out into the audience looking for people celebrating anniversaries and honeymoons. Those lucky couples get to stand up and slow dance awkwardly, enthusiastically, or something in between for a special song.
One of the highlights of the show is when 4 audience members are selected to come up on stage and help act out one of the skits. I’m not kidding when I say that one of my childhood dreams was to someday be picked as the cancan dancer.
The grand finale is a rowdy, napkin-swinging, washboard-playing number that has everyone smiling. Unless you’re the person stuck sitting next to me who accidentally gets whipped with my napkin a few times.
Getting to the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review
The Hoop Dee Doo Revue is located in Fort Wilderness’ Pioneer Hall (not to be confused with the nearby, but completely separate Wilderness Lodge). Allow yourself lots of travel time because of the way the campground is structured.
It’s also recommended that you arrive at Pioneer Hall 30 minutes before your scheduled seating. You no longer need to check in with staff outside and tables are pre-assigned, but you’ll still want to leave plenty of time to get there so you don’t miss the show. Being first in line wont’ get you much except faster access to your cornbread.
Follow signs for the Magic Kingdom resort area. Once you’re in the area, you’ll see signs pointing you toward Fort Wilderness. There is also a back way off of Vista Blvd if you’re staying at one of the Disney Springs resorts or off property toward the east side. Once you pull in, you’ll need to tell security that you have Hoop Dee Doo reservations – depending on the security guard and possibly the time of year, they may require you to scan a Magic Band or show proof of your reservation. Once you’re through, you have to park in the lot right at the entrance – this does get crowded sometimes. From there, it’s a short walk to the bus station where you’ll catch one of the internal Fort Wilderness buses headed toward the Settlement. There are three different routes that run through the campground, but all of them will get you there.
From the Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, or Wilderness Lodge:
If you started your day at the Magic Kingdom or are staying at the Contemporary Resort or Wilderness Lodge, you can take one of the small resort boats that docks right at the Settlement, just a few hundred feet from Pioneer Hall.
From the Grand Floridian or Polynesian Resorts:
Your best bet from these resorts is to take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom, and then hop the resort boat to Fort Wilderness.
Any other Disney World resort:
Direct buses do not run from other hotels to Fort Wilderness. I would recommend taking a bus to the Magic Kingdom and then taking the boat to Fort Wilderness there. If there’s a long wait for the Magic Kingdom bus or you don’t want to take the boat, you can always take a bus to any other park or Disney Springs and then transfer buses there.
Booking the Hoop Dee Doo Revue
Advance dining reservations are strongly recommended, though it’s often relatively easy to get last-minute tables during the slower periods. You can make them online on the Disney Website. Unlike most dining reservations, you cannot book using the My Disney Experience app (though you can do plenty of other time-saving things at Disney with it!). Note that unlike most Disney World dining reservations, pre-payment is required for the Hoop Dee Doo. The reservation is still fully refundable if you cancel more than 48 hours ahead of time. The latest seating – 8:30 – is typically the easiest to get seats for in my experience.
There are three seating categories, 1-3, with 1 being the most expensive and closest to the stage. I would highly recommend paying for Category 1 or 2 as Category 3 is balcony seating that just isn’t as good. There is currently only a $3 difference per adult between Category 3 and Category 2, and I’d consider it well worth the extra few dollars. It’s also worth noting that there is no elevator to the balcony, so Category 3 seating is not wheelchair accessible and may not be ideal for those with other mobility challenges.
You can use the Disney Dining plan for Hoop Dee Doo seating, but it requires two table service credits per person and can only be used for Category 2 and 3 seating.
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