Our adventures to Walt Disney World Resort are always the highlight of our year. We have so much fun as a family whether we are riding the rides, gallivanting through Downtown Disney, scouting out Characters or finding a new place to eat. During our 2012 trip “home,” we decided that our family of five would try a new place and stay at The Cabins at Fort Wilderness. The Fort Wilderness Cabins and the grounds have a true woodsy feel and this is the only way this gal (the only female in the household) is going camping! With a separate bedroom for the boys (a full bed and a set of bunk beds), the Murphy bed in the living room for us and a full size kitchen, we were not disappointed with the spacious feeling of having our own “quarters.”
Of course, this article is not supposed to highlight where we stayed (though I felt that I had to plug the fact that this is a fantastic place for a family of five). Rather, it’s about one of our dining experiences located right there on the Fort Wilderness property. This trip, we wanted to take on the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, a rootin’ tootin’ western extravaganza that provides you with a family-style meal and some good ol’ foot stompin’ entertainment. We were cravin’ us some fried chicken, BBQ ribs, beans, cornbread and salad, not to mention a few adult beverages enjoyed by Mom and Dad. (Who am I kidding? I did not even finish the one sangria I had in front of me.) Of course, as is commonplace for our family, I had already spoken with the chef ahead of our reservation regarding our son’s food allergies and it appeared that he was going to be able to eat the same foods we were to be served, only prepared separately, of course. I love that. I love when he can enjoy the same meal and dining experience without compromise. I love when the Chef does not have to go to great lengths other than safe preparation!
The night of the reservation, we left our cabin and arrived by bus early enough to be one of the first in line to have our pictures taken. This is one of those meals, like 1900 Park Fare or The Spirit of Aloha Dinner, where they take your picture prior to the event and you have an opportunity to purchase that photo later in the evening (or, now, if you have purchased Memory Maker, it goes into your Memory Maker account for you to download later). From there, we and everybody else attending that show waited until the formal dinner bell was rung by a guest of the younger persuasion (which is typical). At that point, we were escorted to our reserved seats in an orderly fashion by Cast Members. Here is where I will admit that my heart sank just a little. We were seated in the back of the room…the VERY back of the room. Like, near the door very back of the room. I was afraid our boys (then ages 12, 9 and 6) would not enjoy the show because of an inability to see the stage. The thought did cross my mind that we had been shoved back there because of our son’s health condition. That is when my sad mommy heart showed up on the scene.
However, this could not have been any further from the truth! While dinner was being served – and they took excellent care of my son’s meal, as well as ours – we were entertained by a rambunctious group of characters that traveled all over the room to ensure that everyone had ample opportunity to feel as though he or she was an active participant in the production. My boys could not stop laughing! In fact, there are only a few restaurants they keep bugging me to visit again (we have a goal of experiencing every restaurant the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer) and this show tops the list! There was singing, dancing, flirting, laughing and even a moment where birthdays were acknowledged. Seeing as we were quasi-celebrating my husband’s birthday, I made sure they pulled him into the festivities. The boys were clapping and singing all night long. They were even hysterical at times!
Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is a dinner show, so the expense is a bit more than your average dining experience at Walt Disney World. When we go for our annual family trip, we generally purchase the regular Dining Plan, which allows us each a snack, a quick service meal and a table service for each day we stay (be sure to know your family’s eating habits and expectations regarding dining – for some, this is a tremendous benefit, while, for others, it does end up digging a hole in their pockets). If using the Dining Plan for this particular meal, it will cost you two dining credits per person (and in 2015, this includes two credits if using the Premium or Platinum plans). However, it is definitely one of those dining events that is well worth the price. We will do this again as a family and it will be soon. That kind of laughter is absolute medicine for the soul and a must during any vacation.