It is a special day for one of Walt Disney World’s real treasures. The original Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue had its first performance 40 years ago today. For 10s of thousands of performances, guests have been coming to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort to be entertained by some of Disney’s best performers.
Recently, Disney assembled the original cast of Pioneer Hall Players. They were all college students when the show begun but look at them up on stage as if hardly a day has passed.
The Disney Blog recently had the opportunity to see the Hoop Dee Doo Revue and meet with Show Director Tom Vazzana. In the video below, Tom shares with us his passion for the show and bit of his vision for why it is still a success after all these years. I also added some highlights of the performance we saw at the end of the video:
Two weeks ago, we wrote about our invitation to help celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney World’s original dinner show “Hoop Dee Doo Revue.” Courtesy of Disney, we now have more information about the show, it’s history, and some fun facts you can share at the dinner table to annoy your friends who just don’t get your Disney obsession.
When Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue launched on June 30, 1974, the high-energy dinner show at Pioneer Hall at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground was created in the heyday of dinner theaters for Walt Disney World guests with a summer college intern cast. The foot-stompin’, hand-clappin’ musical starred six young actors and offered endless buckets of fried chicken and ribs.
“Hoop-Dee-Doo was upbeat, and guests came for the corny jokes, good food and lots of fun,” said Forrest Bahruth, show director, Disney Parks & Resorts Creative Entertainment and the original choreographer for the dinner show. “Forty years later, the heart is still in it, the energy is still there.”
As that first summer ended and guests were clamoring for more, Walt Disney World Entertainment already was auditioning a full-time cast, and Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue opened as a permanent show on Sept. 5, 1974. Today, it’s one of the country’s longest-running dinner shows and has presented more than 37,000 performances. More than 10.5 million guests have seen the high-spirited show.
For 40 years the smell of good food and the sound of great entertainment has been filling the Pioneer Hall at the Fort Wilderness Campground as part of the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue.” It started back in 1974 when…
It’s a long and sordid story, but the crux of the matter is the original Hoop Dee Doo Revue featured a song based on a famous Perry Como polka (here it here). Alas, all these years later the owners of the copyright on that song demanded Disney pay up, or stop using the song. Rather than fight, Disney has rewritten the title song of the popular show.
There’s a full video of the dress rehearsal or you can watch this version snapped on a cell phone, where the sound is a little better:
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the show in person. But while I don’t find the new song quite as snappy as the original, the audience doesn’t seem to mind and is clapping along with a lot of energy. If you’re a fan of the HDDR, what do you think of the new song?
For comparison I’ve place the opening title as it was in 2006 below the jump: