This evening we would be taking a trip to Fort Wilderness for the Hoop Dee Doo Review! We took bus over to the Magic Kingdom, then hopped on to the Water Launch. Transportation around the parks can be cumbersome at times, but a boat ride crossing Seven Seas Lagoon at dusk is a relaxing voyage indeed.
We first hopped off at the Wilderness Resort to have a cocktail before dinner.
The Wilderness Lodge has a similar design as the Animal Kingdom Lodge, as it was designed by the same architect, Peter Dominick.
Inside, you’ll find a soaring, grand lobby filled with rustic details and arts and craft touches.
What I just love about these resorts is how they are not just “themed” to look like the design they are trying to mimic, they are authentically constructed and decorated with these elements. All the furniture, light fixtures, and decorations are either actual art affects from this era, or painfully recreated. Here, it feels as if you are really in a lodge at Yellow Stone National park and not anywhere near central Florida.
We made our way to the Territory Lounge. This serves as the bar for the resort’s signature restaurant, Artist’s Point.
We sipped on a couple of Manhattans and enjoyed the cozy environs.
Soon it was getting on time to take our leave for the Hoop Dee Doo. Another short boat ride later we were at Pioneer Hall, ready to queue up for dinner.
There are many activities to be enjoyed at Fort Wilderness. The Tri-Circle Ranch is here where all of the Disney World working horses are housed (or barned?). I was considering a wagon ride but time wouldn’t allow for it. They even have free camp fire sing-alongs and movies every night where you can schmooze with Chip and Dale. This is another example of how much a family can do here at the resorts without stepping foot in the parks.
Before entering the hall, we had to wait in a long but quick moving line to check in. To my surprise, instead of scanning our magic bands, our tickets were waiting in card catalogue file box! It was so old school. This is fitting because Hoop Dee Doo is about as old school as it gets!
Jeff and I saw this show on our honeymoon almost three decades ago. He had zero recollection of this, even after I showed him a photo evidence of me scraping my spoon on a warshboard with a huge grin on my face. It was burned into MY memory as one of the highlights of the trip.
The Hoop Dee Doo Revue is one of the country’s longest-running dinner shows and has had more than 37,000 performances. They’ve presented two shows a day continuously since 1974, and let me tell you, it hasn’t changed a bit since day one.
The food hasn’t changed either, with one exception; they used to serve apple pie for dessert (how American!) now, it’s strawberry shortcake.
Here’s why the Hoop Dee Doo is one the best values in Walt Disney World. For a category 3 seating, which is what we had, it is currently $63 per adult. This includes all-you-care-to-enjoy (Disney term) fried chicken and smoked BBQ pork ribs tossed green salad, baked beans, cornbread and strawberry shortcake and, get this,…unlimited draft beer, wine and sangria!!! To cap it off, the tip and the tax is included! When you consider that a combo burger meal and one Yuengling at at Hollywood Studios walk-up counter will cost you nearly $25, this is a steal.
Now, you may think, “Sure, they say unlimited beer, but good luck getting the server’s attention for another round”, but you’d be wrong, my friend. We got our initial two and then they plunked down a whole pitcher of the stuff!
We were just about starving by the time the first round came. The corn bread was sweet and tasty and the salad was… a salad.
The players stomp on in and do a couple numbers at this point. The whole angle of this show is about corny jokes and goofball fun.
The players head back stage for a bit and we’re serenaded by a piano, guitar duo. Then the real food rolls out, little pewter pails filled with all the homespun cookin’ one could desire. This is an all you can eat affair, but we barely ate half of what the server even brought initially. God speed anyone who can beat the system.
As we continued to stuff our gobs, the players came back out for more antics. You’d never know that these players do two shows every day of the week. They sing the same songs and tell same corny jokes over and over, yet they seem as if they are sincerely having a blast up on stage, even cracking up seemingly breaking character. The show was just as I remembered it.
Next up is the strawberry shortcake, but not before a whole number in honor of the toothsome delight.
I have to tell you, I’ve never been so full in my entire life. Not from a Thanksgiving dinner nor a Christmas feast, never. When the dessert arrived it was all I could do to take tiny a bit of cake and a strawberry. Shameful.
The last bit of the show is all about audience participation. The players pick out a half dozen folks to help out with a retelling the story of Davey Crockett.
Let’s just say that these “roles” are slightly less than politically correct. They always pick a cute kid to play a ranger, all fine. There’s also a good lookin’ gal to play a Can-Can dancer. A little creepy, but okay. However, they push the limits of body shaming by choosing a, let’s say, “sizable fellow” to play a pink fairy. The piece de resistance: an “Indian Chief”. Shockingly, the ACLU hasn’t gotten wind of this situation or there would certainly be a cease a desist order. I say all this in jest, but really, I’m surprised they still get away with it.
We had a heck of time, you betcha! We were a bit ashamed, not by how much we ate and drank, but rather how quickly we tapped out. Still, even with half the beer and food left on the table, it was a good value and an even better time.