Celebrating Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
Not that long ago, Walt Disney World hosted three different forms of dinner theater at beloved resorts.
Since then, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ and the Spirit of Aloha have closed forever. We feared that another believed restaurant may suffer the same fate.
Thankfully, management spared this place the same fate as the others. It recently returned and is once again delighting guests.
Today, let’s celebrate Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, arguably the most performed dinner theater show in the world.
About Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
When was the last time you attended a hootenanny? Come on, be honest! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
Frankly, you won’t find many hootenanny invites on your social planner these days. Disney doesn’t care, though.
For nearly 50 years, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground has hosted a musical hoedown that serves up bad jokes and good fried chicken.
The explanation for Hoop-Dee-Doo’s existence is money. Yes, I know everyone wants to blame the current Disney leadership for its corporate greed.
However, business decisions have driven some of your favorite park and resort amenities, including this one!
In 1971, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort hosted the immediately popular Spirit of Aloha, then known as the Polynesian Luau.
Cast members literally turned away guests each night due to the lasting appeal of this dinner show.
Meanwhile, Fort Wilderness’s attendance suffered significantly during an international crisis.
So, management studied tourist trends at the time and settled on a second dinner show. This one would champion the Hee-Haw lifestyle.
I’m joking…mostly. And I’m also acutely aware that a staggering percentage of you don’t even know what Hee-Haw is.
Anyway, Disney aspired to open a down-home, southern hospitality restaurant that would cost a pretty penny by the standards of the time.
An expansion at Pioneer Hall occurred, one that mostly remained as is until the pandemic.
Seriously, Disney recently updated the lighting here. Before that, it dated back to the 1970s!
Guests fell in love with the new place, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue so quickly that Disney rarely found time to update it.
Every night the restaurant remains closed, that’s three sellout shows’ worth of revenue Disney loses.
What Is Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
The official Parks Blog describes the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue as featuring “guests iconic characters, foot-stompin’ music, corn-pone comedy, buckets of fried chicken … and strawberry shortcake.”
Disney posted these comments more than three years ago in celebration of the show’s 45th anniversary.
What nobody could have known at the time was that COVID-19 would shut down society less than a year later.
When Walt Disney World closed, the musical revue went on hiatus for more than two years.
In fact, something you may not have realized is that the reopening date for Hoop-Dee-Doo also marked its 48th birthday! The show turns 50 on June 30th, 2024.
Since the mid-1970s, guests have grown to expect a fascinating combination of western music, folksy jokes/dancing, and picnic-style cuisine.
Disney used the pandemic downtime to modernize the show, a sorely needed update.
Still, the basics have remained unchanged since 1974! Six cast members perform on stage as the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.
This group will enter Pioneer Hall and walk by your table before it eventually takes the stage.
Afterward, the performers belt out the signature song, Hoop-Dee-Doo. The whole thing looks like this:
Later in the set, you can expect classic songs like Davy Crockett, Oh My Darling Clementine, and The Strawberry Shortcake Walk.
As for the Hoop-Dee-Doo song, it IS based on the Perry Como tune from 1950. However, Disney changed the lyrics to reflect the nature of the show.
The Hoop-Dee-Doo Show and Its 2022 Updates
Despite the recent changes, you’re still dining in what looks like a massive wild west saloon, complete with mostly wooden features and campy chandeliers.
The rustic setting blends nicely with the six characters, who have remained the same since opening day.
They are Claire de Lune, Dolly Drew, Johnny Ringo, Flora Long, Jim Handy, and Six Bits Slocum.
Disney has described Claire and Johnny as “heart-mates,” Flora and Jim as soulmates, and Dolly and Six Bits as “primates,” which is to say they’re the comic relief. Everyone blends perfectly together!
You’ll have an easier time following along due to the technological changes to the lighting and stage design.
Simultaneously, Disney has dropped some previous dialogue that worked against the Walt Disney mantra that his parks should be a place where all are welcome.
Some of that dated language had grown uncomfortable to some fans and needed to go. Meanwhile, Disney has also updated the sets.
The most noticeable change is that a stagecoach plays into the story now. That’s new.
Otherwise, we’re still discussing the same show that has delighted audiences for generations.
In fact, park officials have indicated that Hoop-Dee-Doo has hosted more than 10,500 performances in front of 10.5 million guests.
However, those numbers are older and thereby underselling the show’s success. We haven’t gained any updated numbers in several years.
Presumably, Disney will provide more insight as the 50th-anniversary approaches in 2024.
Still, we know that Hoop-Dee-Doo is arguably the most performed show of its kind EVER!
The Menu at Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
While the menu has varied somewhat over the years, its core has remained mostly the same.
Cast members serve guests buckets full of fried chicken and barbecue pork spare ribs.
Also, I’m not joking with my wording. Hoop-Dee-Doo has used literal buckets. These days, you’re more likely to find skillets, though.
In fact, the cuisine is much of what you’ll find at Whispering Canyon Lodge at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
The sides at both restaurants include baked beans, mashed potatoes, and coleslaw.
At Hoop-Dee-Doo, you’ll find the famous House-made Cornbread and Butter plus The Hoop Salad. The latter comes with Hoop vinaigrette, one of the most unique flavors at Disney.
Of course, what people remember the most is the dessert, Ma’s Famous Strawberry Shortcake with whipped cream and a single strawberry on top!
Anyway, the point is that you’ll eat, drink, and be merry every time you visit the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. That’s why we’re all so happy it has returned!
Thanks for visiting MickeyBlog.com! Want to go to Disney? For a FREE quote on your next Disney vacation, please fill out the form below and one of the agents from MickeyTravels, a Platinum level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, will be in touch soon!
Feature Photo: D23