Some of you might not believe this, but September 5, 2014 marked the official 40th anniversary of one of the longest-running dinner shows in American history, the famous "Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue," which has been performing at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Since its debut in 1974 (the Walt Disney World Resort was only three years old that year!), the show has been delighting Guests through song and dance, telling the story of six traveling performers.
When the show was originally cast, Disney hired students for the Disney/Cal Arts Work Experience. Students auditioned from all over the country for an eleven week workshop to become one of the six nightly performers in the original Cast of the "Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue." The show became an instant success, filling Pioneer Hall night after night. One member of the original cast, Marilyn Magness, still works for Disney today, in the role of executive creative director with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment.
As the years passed, more and more guests placed the Hoop-Dee-Doo as a "must see" while on their vacation. It not only features an entertaining and hilarious performance, but provides a delicious meal.
Although the timeless performance has had minor changes over the past 40 years, the script is almost identical to when it debuted, and many of the songs have remained the same, appealing to generations of audiences. Since its opening, there have been over 37,000 performances with more than 10.5 million Guests who have attended the show.
Tom Vazzana, the current show director shared, "The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is a timeless and magical Disney show experience. The show is funny, accessible, and inclusive...and the food is fabulous! The show features iconic and wonderful characters performing hilarious comedic material, along with 'slice of America' sing-alongs. My favorite part of the show, as its director, is to watch the children and families squeal with delight as the show unfolds. For many of our Guests, it is their very first 'Broadway-style' show. We are very lucky to have and perform this jewel at Walt Disney World Resort."
The "Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue" continues to run nightly in Pioneer Hall at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort. Check out some fun facts about the "Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue."
- An early draft of the show was titled "The Whoop-Dee-Doo-Revue," which was revised to "Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue."
- Principal songwriter was Tom Adair, who also wrote words for the score for Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” and the “Mickey Mouse Club.”
- In 1979 the song “Apple Pie Hoedown” was replaced with “Strawberry Short Cake Walk” when shortcake replaced apple pie on the menu.
- The writers added a nod to Disney legacy with “The Legend of Davy Crockett” skit, complete with a coonskin cap and bear puns.
- "Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue" was part of the opening entertainment at Tokyo Disneyland in 1983, with Larry Billman and Forrest Bahruth directing and staging the new version. The show played there until 1995.
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