If you have never seen this show, you really need to invest the cash to do so! I will admit that I am always looking to save money so I waited to see this show when I had free dining. The show is located at the Fort Wilderness Campground. On my first visit to this show, I had not done enough research and was dramatically confused by the transportation. So, here is the lowdown. When traveling by Disney bus, guests first take the bus labeled Fort Wilderness Campground from the parks or Downtown Disney to the internal bus stop at the campground. Next, the guest will take the bus headed to the Settlement Depot to the location of the Hoop de Doo, Pioneer Hall. This is not really a fast process and guests should allow at least an hour. NOTE that Disney buses do not travel from one resort to another, but rather parks and Downtown Disney to resorts. Should the guest be coming from a resort, add the extra time to get to the park, then on to Fort Wilderness Campground. If the guest is driving their own car, the use of the internal bus is still necessary.
I would also like to say that I have taken the boat from the Magic Kingdom to Fort Wilderness Campground. Maybe it was the season of travel (April) or the time of day that I traveled to the Campground, but the travel time was well over 2 hours EACH way! If the wait and travel time had not been so long on the boat travel, it could have been a good experience because once the boats docks, you are right at the Hoop de Doo with no need to take an internal bus!
For my first show, I went with my mother and son. We had a table that was located on the bottom floor in the back of the hall. The seating was pretty good.
We had a wonderful server that was both attentive and entertaining. He was even able to sweet-talk my son into sitting in his seat the ENTIRE show. (I say sweet-talk. He told him that he would glue him to the seat if he didn’t sit there the entire time. At first, I was a bit flabbergasted at his words. But then when his words worked, I thought he was brilliant! An entire meal without me pleading for him to stay seated!)
The show was interactive, entertaining and catchy. I found myself attempting to sing along, but rather looking the fool because I didn’t know the words;) The food was excellent! And what was funny was that I had read the menu at http://www.allears.net/din/hddcom.htm and was less than enthused. But somehow they make “cowboy beans” or country-style baked beans that enter my dreams! Bring me more beans, bring me more beans… All of the food is all you can eat so loosen that belt!
This first trip to the Hoop was in September 2009. Since that time, my son and I returned to see the show in November 2009. While I had to pay for this show, I did not care one bit to fork over the money. Better yet, this second show landed my family (son, Mother, Father and sister) on the front row touching the stage! Being so close to the stage, the cast could not resist choosing my beautiful sister to be the dancing girl for the finale. Watch my sister here and observe me screaming, “HIGHER”!
I was not satisfied with her kicking style as she HAD taken many years of dance class including kick-line classes. She later pointed out that she was inappropriately dressed to kick any higher! My sister getting on stage was great to everyone, except my jealous son! He was so upset that she was chosen and that he was not allowed on stage. He actually cried the majority of her debut.
In February 2010, I could not resist taking my husband to his first Hoop De Doo experience. So, my husband, son and myself headed back to the Campground. Again our table was located right behind the stage. Quickly I could recognize that my son was on a mission. He WOULD get on stage this time. He began by lightly flirting with Dolly, one of the characters at the Doo. Then when he was not certain that that was effective enough, he began waving to her during the show. As he continued, she eventually started to wave back! Yes, he was going to get his way! So, when the finale selections rolled around Dolly came straight over to my son. And off he went to get on stage. Only 3 years old, not a scared or nervous bone to be had! Here is his debut video.
I must admit that watching him was hard to do. I felt nervous for him and a bit apprehensive when he disappeared with strangers behind the stage curtains. Then later it was hard to watch through watery eyes. Following his debut, we received two photos of him working his magic onstage. I keep one of those photos beside my chair and often marvel at how great a show it is and wonder when will I return…