Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue... Review!



 Howdy y’all! I’m here to tell you about the knee slappin, foot stompin, hootin hollerin good time found at the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue. If you’re looking for some great food and entertainment the entire family can enjoy, you definitely want to check this out on your next visit to Walt Disney World!


  

Located inside Pioneer Hall at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, this is the perfect setting for good old fashioned country entertainment. When you enter, the first things you notice are the large vaudeville stage and wagon wheel chandeliers hanging from the cavernous wooden rafters. The tables are decked out in red tablecloths, with tin plates and checkered napkins (which you don’t want to lose- you’ll need them later in the show!). Waiting for you at your table is a bucket of salad and mouthwatering cornbread- probably in preparation of the corn-y jokes you are about to hear!
 
The service is well timed and coordinated with the show. Before the entertainers make their way through the audience, your server will get you settled and bring your drinks. A full variety of non-alcoholic drinks are included in the price, as well as a selection of beer and wines. Margaritas and souvenir kids’ cups are available for purchase as well.


After a few songs and jokes, the entertainers sing about the fried chicken and other good eats that you are about to have, then excuse themselves so you have a chance to dig in. In the meantime, you’ll be entertained by the piano player, as well as a few solo or duet songs.

The food is all you can eat, family style. The menu outside promises “buckets of fried chicken and smoked pork ribs; plenty of side fixin’s, and Ma’s famous dessert.” (more on that dessert later).  The “fixin’s” include mashed potatoes, vegetables, and beans. As with all Disney restaurants, Hoop Dee Doo is happy to help accommodate any guests with special dietary needs- it just needs to be notated on your reservation ahead of time. For example, grilled chicken is available instead of fried if you ask ahead of time. There is also a kids menu available, which includes items such as mac-n-cheese or pb&j sandwiches.

The entertainment cannot be matched. You’ll laugh and applaud to slapstick, vaudevillian comedy from fantastically talented musical performers. There is plenty of audience participation- from celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, to singing about home states, and even bringing a few guests on stage for the finale skit. That napkin I mentioned will be needed to wave along to a song sung from the middle of the audience. To end the show, guests are handed washboards to play along for the exit. The atmosphere is cheesy and enthusiastic, and will leave you singing the memorable songs for days.



Towards the end, you’ll discover the highlight of the meal (in my opinion). Four words: Straw Berry Short Cake. Ok, that is normally two words, but this dessert is so delicious, it is celebrated with a song. As one last hurrah for the servers, they are escorted through the stage by the performers, carrying signs announcing that it is time to dig in to Ma’s famous dessert. After all that fanfare, it does not disappoint.  

There are three seating categories at this show, with three levels of pricing. Category 1 seats are on the main floor, closest to the stage. They are likely to get the most audience participation. Category 2 seats are also on the main floor, but further from the stage. Some category 2 seats are upstairs, in the center facing the stage.  Category 3 tables are on the second floor along the side. We sat upstairs in category 3, and I am glad we did.  We were close to the stage and had a great view; all seats up there are along the railing in swivel seats along a long table, instead of around a round table.  The entertainers are great at performing to all guests and making sure everyone feels included; while it is a large hall, it feels intimate and I really do not think there is a bad seat in the house. 

Current show times are daily at 4:00, 6:15 and 8:00 pm. Reservations can be made 180 days in advance, and must be paid in full at time of booking. Prices range from $58.99- $67.99 for adults, and from $29.99 to $34.99 for children. Tax and gratuity are included. Tables within the categories are reserved on a first come, first serve basis- so the sooner you make your reservation, the closer you should be to the stage. If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, you can use 2 of your table service credits for either a category 2 or category 3 seat.

This is a wonderfully entertaining dinner show that is great for the entire family, and definitely a must-do on your next Walt Disney World vacation!

Carissa






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