Sarah has eaten at many places around the Walt Disney World resort throughout the years.
What is the Hoop Dee Doo Revue?
The Hoop Dee Doo Revue is an all-you-can-eat dining and musical theater experience at the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds in Walt Disney World. To experience Hoop Dee Doo you must make a reservation in advance. The price includes an all-you-can-eat dinner comprising set menu items and a musical performed by the cast members who work at the Hoop Dee Doo.
There are different pricing tiers; it's dependent on where you would like to be seated inside the restaurant.
Price by Seat Location
Seats on the first floor close to the stage:
- $74 ages 10 or older
- $44 kids ages 3–9
Seats on the balcony. This is above the stage but still faces it:
- $69 ages 10 or older
- $40 kids ages 3–9
The cheaper tickets are seats on the sides of the balcony. Your view of the stage won't be as good as the other ticket tiers. Prices are as follows:
- $66 ages 10 or older
- $39 for kids ages 3–9
There are three show times per day: 4 pm, 6:15 pm, and 8:30 pm. According to Disney's official website, the cast members will begin seating you inside the restaurant at 4, 6:15, and 8:30 pm, but the show won't start until 20 minutes after. Therefore, if you get to Fort Wilderness Campgrounds very early, you will be waiting around for a long time in the Florida heat.
You can choose from any of these time slots based on availability, but the best way to ensure the time slot you want is available is to make the reservation ahead of time. For example, at least two weeks in advance rather than the night before or on the day of. Hoop Dee Doo was closed for a while due to the pandemic and just recently reopened so it's much busier than before and gets booked up pretty quickly.
A Funny Musical
The Hoop Dee Doo Revue consists of a comedy musical played out by six cast members who sing and dance along to silly country music tunes. There are various little acts or skits that they will act out to make you laugh. The show is very funny and the actors also engage the audience by going around the tables on the stage floor. If you're lucky, they might just pick your table to be in the spotlight while they sing a tune. The musical isn't exactly like the musicals you picture on Broadway that tell a story, rather the Hoop Dee Doo Revue is a bunch of short random skits with random songs and stories.
The actors also engage the audience by inviting everyone to sing and clap along, stomp their feet, and at the end, they give each table a washboard for playing music. Hoop Dee Doo is like the olden-time country we see in the movies where people make music with washboards and there are no fancy gadgets or machinery.
The actors also aren't afraid to talk like the cowboys did, using funny accents that are famous in places like Tennessee and other parts of the south. The show is meant for you to enjoy some lighthearted fun and not take it too seriously. It's good for people of all ages!
All You Can Eat Food
The food consists of traditional American barbecue. It is a three-course meal complete with an appetizer, main course, and dessert. While it is all you can eat, it is a pre-set menu and it is not self-serve. If you would like more of anything while you are eating, you must tell the waiter or waitress and they will get more for you. Therefore, though it is a buffet, the options are very limited.
For the appetizer, you get a large dish of salad and a loaf of cornbread. There is dressing for the salad and butter for the cornbread. For the main course, there are barbecue baked beans, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, and ribs. For dessert, each table gets a large strawberry shortcake. There is definitely a lot of food to eat and it's unlimited so if you're still hungry, you can always ask for more.
The Best Seats
Even though the top-tier priced seats are on the stage floor, I honestly believe the best seats are actually the middle-tier seats on the balcony facing the stage. This is because even though you are seated closer to the stage, the actors will go out onto the stage floor and if you are seated on the left or right side of the stage or your chair is facing with your back turned to the stage, it can be really hard to see the skits.
We were seated on the left side of the stage so when they were on stage we had a great view, but when they were in the middle or back with the audience, I felt like an owl trying to turn my head all the way around to see the show. It wasn't the whole time, thankfully, but I feel if you are seated on the balcony facing the stage, you'd be able to see the whole show pretty well. You'll be able to just look down at the audience and see everything without straining your neck.
My Verdict: A Complete Waste of Money
Even though I like musicals and I like American barbecue, in my opinion, the Hoop Dee Doo Revue is a waste of money. It costs almost as much as a one-day one-park ticket to Walt Disney World on a value day, and honestly, you don't get much out of it. I did enjoy the show and it was definitely hilarious, but for $74 I expected the show to last at least one hour. However, the show was just a bunch of short skits and acts, and most of the time, there was nothing to see. It didn't feel like the actors put on a musical; it was just a bunch of comedy sketches and definitely not worth the money.
Also, the food was awful! Almost everything I ate was dry, the only thing I really enjoyed was the fried chicken and the strawberry shortcake. I actually left Hoop Dee Doo feeling hungry because nothing I had was truly appetizing or filling. The barbecue baked beans didn't taste anything like what they should, the cornbread and ribs were extremely dry, and the mashed potatoes looked watery and gross. I tried a bit of everything and attempted to make it look like I was enjoying myself, but I really wasn't. A couple of hours later, I actually went home and microwaved some pizza rolls and those were better than my dinner at Hoop Dee Doo.
I love American barbecue and for more than $70 I expected a lot more from this experience. Many of my friends posted photos and videos of Hoop Dee Doo pre-pandemic and it looked amazing, everyone looked like they loved it. Therefore, I had such high expectations. Unfortunately, it ended up being a big waste of money and a disappointment for the price paid. I enjoyed the show but can't recommend spending almost $100 on comedy sketches and bad food.
© 2022 Sarah Wong