Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is a dinner show at Fort Wilderness Campground & Resort. This Walt Disney World dining review features photos of entertainment and all-you-can eat food, general history of this show, and whether the experience is worth the money. (Updated October 1, 2022.)
Let’s start with some background. It might be odd to think of now, but Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue was one of the original ‘upcharge offerings’, a show that was created to lessen the blow of decreased attendance in the wake of the 1973-74 Oil Embargo. It debuted on June 30, 1974 as a temporary summer show with a cast of college interns. It proved so popular that Walt Disney World scrambled to audition a full-time cast once the interns went home, and opened as a permanent show on September 5, 1974. Even that first permanent cast probably didn’t expect that would still be around nearly five decades later.
The production was an immediate hit with guests, and Walt Disney World Entertainment was auditioning a full-time cast by the end of summer. Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue opened as a permanent show on September 5, 1974. It’s now one of the longest-running dinner shows in the United States, with more than 40,000 performances. While the show has been tweaked over the years, it’s largely the same today as it was in 1974, maintaining the same spirit of Americana and old-fashioned family fun served with down-home comfort food.
After a long hiatus, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue has returned to Walt Disney World! The show features a few updates to its script and scenery, while staying true to the treasured experience the whole family can enjoy. It still features the hilarious, high-spirited entertainment that it’s been known for all these years.
Basically, this means that a few questionable visuals, songs, and lines have been scrubbed from the show. Hoop-Dee-Doo is not materially different, and its irreverence and hijinks have been left mostly untouched. On the plus side, a lot of the backdrops and A/V have received their first refresh in ages.
Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs) for Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue are available via DisneyWorld.com and the My Disney Experience app. When the beloved dinner show first returned, it was nearly impossible to score ADRs. It has since become much easier, as fans and locals have gotten their fix.
There’s also another variable at play–Walt Disney World opened up more seating sections and is now filling more tables per performance of Hoop-Dee-Doo. Like everything, Fort Wilderness has been negatively impacted by staffing shortages, and that includes Pioneer Hall.
Above is a look at seating categories and pricing for each of the showages for Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. Speaking of which, there are 3 nightly seatings of the dinner show. Pioneer Hall’s doors open at 4:00 PM, 6:15 PM or 8:30 PM. Seating will begin immediately at these times; the show begins 20 minutes later.
As you can see from the seating chart above, there are three categories, ranging in cost from $39 to $44 for kids and $66 to $74 for adults. Category 1 is obviously the best, but I’d rather sit in the front row of Category 2 than the back of the main floor. Category 3 can be fine, so long as you’re not too close to the stage as that can make for a tough viewing angle.
Next, transportation info–there’s no direct route between your hotel and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. The easiest option is driving your own car (this is the perfect use-case for Minnie Vans, assuming they’re back by then), but you’ll have to park at the front entrance and take bus transportation to Pioneer Hall. Allow 30 minutes for that.
Alternatively, you can take a bus to Magic Kingdom and then a boat to Fort Wilderness. Allow up to 90 minutes for all of that, from your hotel to Fort Wilderness. The best option is doing Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue during your Magic Kingdom day. The boat ride is a relaxing respite from the crowds, and gives you a chance to see sunset on Bay Lake, the Electrical Water Pageant, the evening lights of Magic Kingdom, or whatever else is happening–depends on which showtime you choose. (Our favorite is the first one, but then again, we’ve been training to take advantage of the Bob Evans early bird specials.)
Now let’s turn to regular basics and our review of Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. The menu here features unlimited down-home comfort food, with likewise unlimited beer, wine, and soda. This dinner show is a 2-credit table service restaurant on the Disney Dining Plan (given the out of pocket price, it’s a really poor use of Dining Plan credits) and accepts Tables in Wonderland for a 20% discount at the late show. (Like Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, both the Disney Dining Plan and Tables in Wonderland are temporarily suspended, but will hopefully be back soon…also like HDDMR!)
Hoop-Dee-Doo offers three different view tiers, which vary by price and Disney Dining Plan credit availability. We think it is worth it to get the Category 1 (main floor) seating to be in the center of the action. Conversely, if you don’t like being “picked on” you might want to opt for Category 2 or 3 balcony seating to be safe.
In addition to the show’s history, I have some personal history with Hoop Dee Doo. As I’ve noted elsewhere on the blog, before Shades of Green opened, my family’s Walt Disney World ‘resort’ of choice for our annual trip was Fort Wilderness. Part of that tradition was seeing Hoop-Dee-Doo every year, something that I remember being a hoot for me as a kid.
However, the last time I had seen Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue was some 20 years ago, and to be frank, any memories I had of the show could’ve just as easily been memories of the Diamond Horseshoe show (another tradition) that got confused over time. So, this was more or less a new experience for me.
The concept here is simple: you’re a guest watching a traveling vaudevillian troupe of performers know as the Pioneer Hall Players for a 2-hour variety showing consisting of Wild West dancing, singing, cornball humor, and improvised audience-centric comedy acts.
The show features Claire de Lune, Johnny Ringo, Dolly Drew, Six Bits Slocum, Flora Long and Jim Handy on stage in defined ‘roles’ that allow them to play off of one another and the audience to present an eclectic show. Even though this “same” show has been running multiple times for decades, it manages to remain fresh and enjoyable on repeat viewings.
This is, in part, thanks to the audience. Guest participation is a big element of the show, and the performers here do a great job of working the crowd, choosing easy marks who are most likely to give the reactions they’re after. It also helps that Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue has a lot of regulars in the crowd.
From older couples who visit every year to families whose kids grow up on it to College Program students who visit a couple times a year on Cast discounts. The crowd feeds off of the performers’ energy, and vice-a-versa, and it’s really nice to have an audience that doesn’t just stare blankly at the performers.
With that said, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is definitely not a show for everyone. I think without exception, small children will probably love it. The entertainment is vivacious and contains just enough low-level humor to elicit plenty of laughs from this crowd, and the high-energy and fast pass keeps it engaging. Most teens probably will not like it, as that seems to be the audience least appreciative of hokey humor.
The college age and older crowd seems most hit or miss. I could see twenty-somethings enjoying this ironically, or perhaps even genuinely. Older generations are probably going to have a sincere appreciation of this bygone style of humor. As for anyone in between, it’s a matter of personal preference.
There are a lot of corny dad jokes, but we hesitate to describe the show like that, as it really is a disservice. The vast majority of guests are going to enjoy Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.
We think the good, clean fun style of wit is almost universally appealing, so you probably won’t find too many people (aside from too-cool teens) who don’t enjoy Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue to at least some extent.
This show wouldn’t be such a long running hit if most guests didn’t enjoy it. Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is absolutely, unironically hilarious, and regular readers should have a good idea of my idea of humor by now.
We’ve spent a long time on the entertainment and haven’t said a word about the food. That’s because the entertainment is a big part of what you’re paying for here.
Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue shares a kitchen with Trail’s End Buffet next door, and literally everything served at Hoop-Dee-Doo is also on the dinner buffet at Trail’s End. Basically, the food at the Musical Revue is an abridged, family style version of exactly what’s available at Trail’s End–plus unlimited booze.
There’s nothing wrong with this. As we noted in our Trail’s End Buffet Dinner Review, it’s one of our favorite–and most underrated–buffets at Walt Disney World.
It’s more something we mention so you can go next door to the significantly cheaper dinner. If your only concern is the food, do Trail’s End–it’s about half the cost with double the choices.
The good news with Hoop Dee Doo is that its a ‘best-of’ the Trail’s End buffet.
As I remarked in that review: “The standouts here were, without question, the fried chicken and smoked pork ribs. I think I ate approximately 23 pounds of these over the course of the meal.”
In addition to the crowd-pleasing favorites of fried chicken, ribs, and mashed potatoes, be sure not to overlook the corn bread.
It is not just pointless filler here–it’s delicious.
The strawberry shortcake is also a fan favorite.
As a pro-tip, if you’re polite to your server, you might be able to get one of your favorites from Trail’s End brought over. No promises on that one, and they are certainly under no obligation to bring you items that aren’t on the menu, so don’t press your luck.
Ultimately, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is a quintessential Vacation Kingdom of the World experience that every die-hard Walt Disney World fan should do at least once. It is absolutely fantastic to have it back, even if a bit later than we would’ve liked to see. This is especially true after the big blow of losing Spirit of Aloha.
While the hokey humor won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue has something for nearly everyone. The performers are incredibly talented, the audience engagement gives it a great energy, and it’s a good meal. Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog (or somehow actually finds my “humor” to be funny) is pretty likely to appreciate Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.
Are you a Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue fan? If you’ve done this Walt Disney World dinner show, what are your thoughts on it–both the food and the fun? Anxiously awaiting the return of Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!