by Cruisin Diva
Howdy folks!! Are you ready for a rootin’ tootin’ good time with great food and entertainment?!?! Let me start by saying that I LOVE Hoop-Dee-Doo!! I have been going to this musical soiree since as long as I can remember and let me tell you, it hasn’t changed much and it still entertains me!! I laugh hysterically and the nice CLEAN comedy (mostly). One bit was changed to use the word “jackass”, but that was the only unclean portion in my family’s opinion, but back to the good stuff. Great food, awesome fun and a spectacular dessert is easy to come by in this show!! We went to the first show which starts at 4:00 pm, pretty early for dinner, but eat a late breakfast/early lunch and you will be fine! It wasn’t super crowded and we sat in Tier 1 seating, which is down on the floor and close to the stage. Make sure to time your travel time to about 45 minutes to get to Fort Wilderness, Pioneer Hall. If you are staying at Fort Wilderness, a bus runs directly to this area, but if you are staying elsewhere, you must park at the Fort Wilderness Campground and catch a bus over to Pioneer Hall. One last mode of transportation is by boat and it takes you straight to Pioneer Hall as well. In this vicinity is Trails End Restaurant.
Our waiter was Wally and did a pretty good job in my opinion. When you go to this musical show, you have to realize that everyone is being seated at the same time. Your drink order may take a few minutes so be patient with your waiters/waitresses. They are working 4 and 5 table sections and some have bigger parties. We had a party of 7 and a party of at least 10 was seated behind us. He was pretty quick on refills and pretty quick on getting our food out.
When you are seated, there is already salad and bread waiting at your table and they are yummy! The bread is a sweet cornbread and the butter is made with honey!
As you are eating your appetizer, the lights dim and the sounds of a wagon pulls outside the music hall. The Pioneer Hall Players have made their entrance! From there, it is an almost non-stop, knee slapping good time. Six Pioneer Hall Players in all; Six Bits Slocum and Dolly Drew (comic relief), Jim Handy and Flora Long (the singers), and Johnny Ringo and Claire de Lune (the dancers). Six Bits and Dolly are by far my favorite characters in the group and have been since I can remember. They do several numbers and then bow out for an intermission while dinner is served, and man it is served! Waiters/Waitresses slam buckets of chicken and ribs onto your tables while the players sing their number.
Dinner is served family style and includes buckets of Barbecue Spare Ribs and Fried Chicken, Corn, Baked Beans, and Strawberry Shortcake. Unlimited Soft Drinks, Coffee, Tea, Milk, Beer, Wine and Sangria are included. Also not listed is Mac N’ Cheese for the kiddos. This is family style, so if you want more, ask for it! The chicken is some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had and I’m from the South!! The ribs were also tender and very juicy!
Most of the time, you are still eating as the lights dim again and the second half of the show begins, but who cares?? We can all eat and watch, right!? The show begins to close with two huge numbers. First, dessert!! The bring out the infamous Strawberry Shortcake with its own musical number and it’s delicious (forgot the pic of this one–sorry!)! Then the Pioneer Hall Players choose four different audience members to participate in the final number. I was able to participate in this about 20 years ago and I remember like it was yesterday. It’s usually a young woman, an older man (50-60), a 20-30 something year old man, and a 7-8 year old boy (I had double of these, and they didn’t get picked, LOL). In the past, if you really want to get picked, you can ask. Not a guarantee that it will happen, but it’s an added bonus and a magical memory for all to remember!
Finally, after the final number, they have an audience interactive number where they pass out old washboards and you use your spoons to bang along with the beat.
In my opinion, this is one of the best dinner shows in Walt Disney World. Like I said before, been coming to this show since I can remember, and it never fails to amuse me and wanting to come back again. Tickets can be pricey, so if you are using the dining plan, this would take two table services. Make sure to bring your empty stomachs as you will not leave hungry and you will be laughing all the way back home!!