Your Favorite Dinner Show – Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue - Celebrates its 45th Anniversary
Today the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue celebrates 45 years of bringing Walt Disney World Resort guests iconic characters, music, corny comedy, buckets of fried chicken and the famous strawberry shortcake. The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort debuted on June 30, 1974, and is today one of the longest-running dinner shows in American history!
In 1974, Bob Jani, then-director of Entertainment for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, hired Larry Billman, author/writer and Disney entertainment consultant, when he saw the potential for a “dinner theater show” at Pioneer Hall.
In the early years, Walt Disney World typically closed at 6:00 p.m. and the on-property vacationers needed more evening and out of park entertainment.
“The real genius behind Hoop-Dee-Doo was Larry Billman,” says Forrest Bahruth, the original choreographer and a longtime veteran of Disney Parks & Resorts Creative Entertainment. “He was a great movie buff, and he loved Hollywood.”
The finally-titled Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue got its start as part of the Disney World Fine Arts College Workshop program, with six young actors playing the finalized roles: Six Bits Slocum and Dolly Drew (comic relief), Jim Handy and Flora Long (the singers), and Johnny Ringo and Claire de Lune (the dancers).
Principal songwriter of the dinner show was Tom Adair, who also wrote words for the score for Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” and the TV series “Mickey Mouse Club.” Over the years, the music has changed little, the one exception being the 1979 replacement of “Apple Pie Hoedown” with “Strawberry Short Cake Walk,” when shortcake replaced apple pie on the menu.
“Of course the endless buckets of fried chicken and ribs play a starring role, too,” says Pam Brandon, food writer for Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. “Today, servers dish up about 900 pounds of fried chicken every night, and cooks spend about six hours each day just breading the chicken. Add 400 pounds of pork ribs, slow cooked starting at 11 a.m. daily on a big outdoor smoker. For sides, there are 120 pounds of corn, 400 pounds of potatoes to be mashed and 30 gallons of baked beans. It takes 15 gallons of strawberries and 12 gallons of whipped cream to make dessert. Add beer, wine, sangria and soft drinks, and you got a formula for fun…”
“Hoop-Dee-Doo was upbeat, and guests came for the corny jokes, good food and lots of fun,” says Forrest Bahruth. “Forty-five years later, the heart is still in it, the energy is still there.”
“Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue exemplifies everything that Disney stands for,” says Tom Vazzana, Show Director at Walt Disney World Resort. “It’s interactive fun for families and stellar entertainment—six performers put on a show that’s 90 minutes of pure enjoyment.”
Hoop-Dee-Doo presents three shows nightly, seven days a week, at 4 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. For reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE or book online.
News & Media Source: Disney Parks Blog