February 13, 2012

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue

The last but certainly not least (in our opinions) of the signature dinner shows is the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue. I've already covered the Spirit of Aloha Luau and Mickey's Backyard BBQ but this week I'm going to tell you about our favorite Disney World dinner show.

The Hoop Dee Doo is one of the longest (if not the longest...can't seem to get a straight answer on that one) continuously running musicals in American history. It's a an old-fashioned, foot stomping musical comedy with buckets (literally) of food. Something like 10 MILLION people have been to the Ft Wilderness show. The show includes some audience participation and is a favorite with older kids who will be able to understand some of the jokes. The last time we went we had a 7 yr old girl, 3 yr old boy and two infants. Of course the infants had no opinions. The 3 yr old loved the food and thought the dancing and clapping was fun but after a full day in the parks, he didn't have the attention span to actually watch the show. The 7 yr old enjoyed it but was sleepy towards the end.

The show starts out with a song and as the servers take drink orders. Unlimited draft beer, sangria, wine, coffee, tea, milk, juice, lemonade and soda pop (the root beer is excellent and served in a frosted mug) are all included in the cost of the show...specialty drinks and bottled beer can be purchased separately. 

On the menu:

Bread with honey butter (so good!)
BBQ Ribs
Fried Chicken
Baked Beans
Mashed Potatoes 
Strawberry Shortcake

Something I want to point out is that although the food is served family style, you can always ask your server to bring more of one item or less of another. Our family doesn't eat pork ribs so whenever we go we just make sure to mention it and that we'll just like more chicken instead. Also, this is one of the most accommodating restaurants when it comes to a food allergy. I've seen the chefs come out personally and talk to a table to see what they can do. I have heard that it's not uncommon for the head chef to call you at home before your trip if you mention a food allergy when you make the reservation so that they can be prepared to give you something that not only works with your food allergy but also is yummy. I've see the gluten-free food (people next to us a couple years ago had a young girl with celiac's disease) and it looked great. She was served everything the rest of us got, she just had gluten-free versions served separately. 

Show Times
There are three shows nightly that each last just shy of 2 hours. Recently show times have changed and are now daily...

 Reservations are accepted 180 days in advance and although it might seem crazy to book a dinner show six months out, it really can be necessary especially in the busier times of year when the shows book up fast. 

Because the show is at Ft Wilderness, you can either get there by boat from Magic Kingdom or by vehicle (your own or Disney bus) but remember if you drive or take the bus, you will then have to take the internal bus system at Ft Wilderness from the parking lot to the pavilion. The internal bus ride will take about 10-15 minutes depending on how many stops along the way are needed for other passengers. We've never had to wait more than 10 minutes for an internal bus to  pick us up but since it can add almost half an hour to your travel time, be sure to leave the parks or your resort with enough time.

If you attend the earliest show, you'll be out early enough to hop on the ferry boat and head back to Magic Kingdom for Wishes, the nightly fireworks show in Magic Kingdom. If you opt for the second show, you might make it out in time to go to the beach at Ft Wilderness where the ferry boat docks. There are hammocks and white sand to lay out on and watch Wishes.

Any one of the three dinner show times can be purchased with either credit at at the time of booking or you can opt to use Disney Dining Credits. If you use credits, remember that the show will charge TWO table serve credits per person because it's a signature meal. If you're paying out of pocket for the show, there are three price options based on where your table will be in relation to the stage. 

Category 1 seating is directly in front, center stage and costs $67.99 for adults (10 yrs+) and $34.99 for kids (3-9 yrs).

Category 2 seating is on the sides and behind the Category 1 seating and in the center of the balcony seating and costs $62.99 for adults (10+ yrs) and $30.99 for kids (3-9 yrs)

Category 3 seating is in the balcony on the sides and costs $58.99 for adults (10+ yrs) and $29.99 for kids (3-9 yrs)

The costs listed include tax and gratuity. As always, any children under 3 may eat for free with a paying adult. 

Although Category 1 seating is not technically allowed with dining credits, we've been on a couple different occasions during slower times of year when we booked Category 2 seating with dining credits but had a table almost directly in front of the stage. A lot of that sort of thing will depend on how many people on in your party and how early you book your reservations.

One of our favorite ways to do Hoop Dee Doo is to book it for our first night...especially if we're not going to make it into the parks that day based on our travel itinerary. It's a great way to kick off a Disney World vacation and a particularly fun way to introduce Disney to anyone going with us for the first time.