The Ultimate Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue Review
Friday nights for me usually involve a glass of wine with a relaxed dinner discussing the weekends’ plans. The dinner can be anything from a steak dinner at one of my neighborhood’s restaurants or picking up a pizza to take home and enjoy while on the couch. Whatever I’m eating and wherever I’m eating it, the wine and relation elements are indisputable. Two Fridays ago, I got an invitation to join one of my friends at the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue. Knowing little about the dinner experience (other than that both the wine and the food are unlimited) I happily accepted her invite and before I knew it was boarding a boat from Magic Kingdom over to the Campsites at Fort Wilderness for a dinner show!
Slow Boat to the Campsites
They say the destination is just part of the journey, and that’s what I tried to tell myself as I began the always long commute to the Campsites. I’ve been to Mickey’s Backyard BBQ and plenty of events at the Campsites, so I knew that I was in for a trek before I could enjoy that bottomless sangria! No matter which mode of transportation you choose (bus, boat, legs), you cannot under any circumstances drive your car to the Revue, so be sure to allot at least 90 minutes for travel. This time, it didn’t take me longer than 40 minutes to reach the doors where the Revue takes place, but I’ve been burned trying to get to the campsites in the past…be forewarned!
The Food Awaits
It’s recommended that you arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of the show for check-in and table assignments and once the doors were opened to the theatre, my fellow audience members and I didn’t waste any time getting through the doors! Maybe it was because the show was the latest of the day (8:30), but no one (including my friend and I) wasted a second before starting in on the food! The tables were pre-set with plates, utensils, and the first course. A house salad and fresh-baked cornbread were on the menu. It wasn’t long before the piano player and banjo player began the show, and we were off!
The Revue itself is, quite frankly, a traditional musical revue. There isn’t a plot, the characters don’t tell a story, and slapstick and age-old jokes are what to expect if you’re planning to see the show. I love a great show, yet a musical revue is never my top choice for entertainment. The players arrived onstage in a flurry of energy and wasted absolutely no time welcoming us with a musical number in which “Hoop Dee Doo” is said about 400 times.
Throughout the show, there’s plenty of both on-stage and off-stage action. The entire space is actually used as the players’ stage, and often the actors would come into the crowd to ask where everyone was from, encourage us to laugh, and ultimately poke fun at us. I thought the show element to the evening was exactly what it needed to be: entertaining enough to hold my attention, but casual enough to talk to my friend whenever we felt like chatting. My favorite part of the show was when one of the female cast members picked on an audience member with a little (a lot) less hair than he had in his 20’s. She succeeded in whipping the audience into an uncontrollable laugh frenzy…especially when she came back around a second time later in the show! The show overall was not the most interesting I’ve seen, though it was in fact exactly what is advertised.
The food and beverages are served family-style and is boastfully all-you-care-to-enjoy, so let’s start with the first course (salad and cornbread). The salad was pretty generic: iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, shredded cheese, and dressing. The cornbread, however, was anything but generic! Served warm and perfectly golden-brown, the cornbread was, in my opinion, the stand out of the entire meal. It comes with butter, but it’s totally unnecessary as the bread doesn’t need any accompaniments. Its dense, moist texture somehow didn’t compromise the crumbly-ness that’s expected in a corn bread and after my third slice, my friend cut me off…and just in time because my second sangria and main course had arrived!
Although the show wasn’t doing a great job of holding my attention, I appreciated the breaks in the on-stage action during the service of each course. Fried chicken, ribs, mashed potatoes, corn, and beans were served in buckets and I didn’t waste any time diving right in! The fried chicken was good and maintained its juiciness beneath its outer layer of breading. To my delight, neither the corn nor the beans were swimming in butter and were both served hot, fresh, and in abundance. The ribs didn’t go over very big at my table, as both my friend and I each had one before mutually agreeing that the chicken outshined the ribs tenfold.
Finally, after another round of the show, it was time for the strawberry shortcake. My favorite musical number of the evening- appropriately titled Straw Berry Short Cake– featured a surprising guest…our waiter Mark! The actor/waiter mash up really solidified that the show is absolutely intended to be light entertainment. Mark and the rest of the wait staff proudly bounded onto the stage carrying trays fully loaded with heaping bowls of strawberry shortcake! The shortcake itself was spongy and reminded me of an airy pound cake. The strawberry-laden syrup was smartly served in the bottom of the bowl to avoid sogging, and after I took one bite, I was glad I was very full from the rest of the meal because I would have eaten the whole thing myself. The most fun I had all night was grating my spoon on a washboard during the finale, joining in on the fun!
Overall, the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue is not one of my top recommendations for an all you-care-to-enjoy meal, a dinner show, or a bottomless drinks meal. The show was cute, the food was ok, and the overall experience is basically what I had anticipated it to be. The food was not amazing, and I didn’t like that each refill of food or drink had to be filled by the waiter; I understand that walking around a dark house during a show is a tripping hazard, but I think it should have been served buffet-style.
Unless you’ve got a die-hard fan of musical revues in your travel party, you can get all of the same food- plus many many other delicious choices- over at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ for the same price! The Backyard BBQ lets you dance with Mickey and his friends, has a much more exciting show and band, and the best part is that the food and drinks are as delicious as they are unlimited. My advice is…skip the revue, go to the BBQ! My opinion isn’t the only one out there, I want to know if you’ve been to the revue and how you enjoyed it. Let me know in the comments!
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Special thanks to Maria Salerno for writing this article: Hiya pal! I am a NYC-based writer/musician thrilled to be bringing you all things Disney! I’m a WDW Annual Passholder, so you can find me in the parks regularly throughout the year. In addition to being a Disney Parks loving girl, I’m also a Disney toy and merchandise collector, a runDisney enthusiast, and Disney music and movie aficionado. You can follow me on Instagram: NYCtoAP and find me on YouTube: NYCtoAP. Thanks for reading, hope to see ya real soon!