by Beth Keating
March 31, 2022
It’s been more than two years since the Pioneer Players hopped off the stagecoach and descended on Fort Wilderness’s Pioneer Hall, bells a-ringing to announce their arrival. For nearly five decades, in one of the longest continually running dinner shows in America, Claire de Lune, Johnny Ringo, Dolly Drew, Six Bits Slocum, Flora Long and Jim Handy have brought their brand of corny, slapstick comedy to appreciative audiences at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney World. The show originally opened in 1974.
A mash-up of Wild West and vaudeville comedy routines, the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue went dark with Disney’s COVID closures in 2020, but this week Disney announced that the Pioneer Players will be bringing the Hoop-Dee-Doo back to the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Shows will begin June 23, 2022, but guests can begin booking dining reservations starting May 26th.
Claire, Johnny and the troupe will be singing and dancing their way through a two-hour long show while guests chow down on all-you-can-eat old time fare like (delicious!) buckets of fried chicken, smoked BBQ pork ribs, tossed green salad, baked beans, fresh-baked cornbread, and the famous strawberry shortcake, which even gets its own song in the performance. Guests 21 and older can also enjoy unlimited beer, wine and sangria, and soft drinks are also included.
Celebrating a special occasion? The Pioneer Players will make that part of the song-and-dance routine, and we have brought public embarrassment to a few family members over the years with birthday and anniversary announcements. (Ahem, as Dolly sang to one of our sons, “He’s from New York… he knows how to use his fork!”)
And speaking of embarrassing moments, audience participation has been a staple of the evening, with everything from kiddos playing washboards and spoons, and diners twirling their red and white checkered napkins high in the air, to lucky guests being pulled up on stage to help re-enact the “Ballad of Davy Crockett.” (We can speak from personal experience… our Christmas card one year featured a photo of my husband, dressed in full tutu, wings and wand, on stage assisting as “Davy Crockett’s angel.”) Hoop-Dee-Doo is not just a spectator show. You will find yourself singing along and stomping your feet, and maybe even getting your own personal spotlight. Just sayin’. You’ve been warned. And you will undoubtedly enjoy it immensely!
Hoop-Dee-Doo has been one of our family’s favorite spots in Disney World for years, and the site of many a family celebration. It is often the dining spot that we book for our first night in Disney, and it has been a cherished, if somewhat raucous, beginning to our vacations.
Disney has said that while the show will be returning largely as guests remember, there have been a few scenery and script updates. New ticket prices have not yet been posted. In the past, tickets have been based on the time of the show, as well as the location of different tiers of seating.
Beth Keating is a theme parks, restaurant and entertainment reporter for DisneyBizJournal.
Please support the efforts of DisneyBizJournal.com to bring news, analysis and commentary on Disney to readers such as yourself. Make a contribution right here via PayPal. Thanks!
Sign up for the Ray Keating Books and More newsletter to enter for THREE chances to win THE DISNEY PLANNER 2022: THE TO DO LIST SOLUTION. There’s plenty of time in 2022 to use this simple but powerful system for getting things done with encouragement and fun for Disney fans. THREE winners will be selected! Go here!