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Vintage Walt Disney World: Pioneer Hall Debuts

posted on June 16th, 2011 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Since 1974, Walt Disney World Resort guests have been heading out to the settlement at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground to join Claire de Lune, Johnny Ringo, Dolly Drew, Six Bits Slocum, Flora Long and Jim Handy for the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. This nightly western style vaudeville show is performed for guests while they enjoy delicious “vittles” like fried chicken, ribs, strawberry shortcake and cornbread.

This past Tuesday marked the Hoop-Dee-Doo’s 37th year. The first performance took place June 14, 1974, and it has run at Pioneer Hall ever since.

Pioneer Hall Construction in February 1974 at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

Built with 1,283 hand-fitted pine logs from Montana and 70 tons of stone from North Carolina, this photograph of Pioneer Hall was taken in February 1974, when the building was almost near completion. Standing two stories high and modeled after buildings from the late 1800s, Pioneer Hall officially opened on April 1, 1974.

Pioneer Hall at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

While it is estimated that more than 800 lbs of ribs are served every night at the Hoop-Dee-Doo, the only thing that concerns me is how quickly we can get to the strawberry shortcake finale. Yum!

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Filed: Disney History, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

7 Comments 2 Replies

1

Carolyn from IL on June 16th, 2011 at 12:15 pm

The things I learn about the various properties / resorts make me appreciate them more every time I visit Disney. It truly is not always about the parks but about the adventures at the resorts that can make a vacation memorable as well.

I love learning about the history of various first resorts and love the before and after pictures.

2

John from CA on June 16th, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Every vacation I’ve taken to the Walt Disney World Resort has included a trip to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue! I love it!

3

Skip from FL on June 17th, 2011 at 12:23 am

We were to meet the rest of our group for dinner reservations at the Wilderness Lodge.
After putting on a suit and tie / dress, we arrived at Artist Point at the set time;
only to find out they were at the Whoop-Dee-Doo Revue, so we headed over there, again….
(having already experienced it decades ago).

4

Erin from RI on June 17th, 2011 at 8:20 am

This is on the top of my list for my visit next February. Is there a better show to watch? 5:00PM, 7:15PM or 9:30PM? Are they identical or does the atmosphere change as the light fades? I would think the 7:15 would have the best lighting in February. Thanks!

 

Nate Rasmussen on June 20th, 2011 at 9:05 am

Erin, every show is great. You can’t go wrong. :)

5

Laura from KY on June 17th, 2011 at 8:44 am

We have an upcoming vacation in October. This will be my 13th or 14th trip. In all those trips, we’ve never seen the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue. What am I most excited to be doing on this upcoming trip? We are FINALLY going to see the Hoop Dee Doo! Yay! So looking forward to going! We have been to Pioneer Hall once as we’ve had dinner at Trail’s End (very good food!).

 

Nate Rasmussen on June 20th, 2011 at 9:08 am

Laura, I’m excited for you. Have fun!

6

Friend on June 17th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

This brings back great memories of the early days at WED Enterprises in the 70′s. Pioneer Hall’s design came first and who said playing with Lincoln Logs as a kid would have no use latter in life, especially at WED. Then we did Pioneer Village and the first water park, River Country. I’m glad the Pioneer Hall is still a Great success with 37 years at Walt Disney World. While building other attractions there, it was always fun to book a night there with the family, and get them up on stage. PD

7

Liza on June 27th, 2011 at 1:48 pm

The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review has long been a family favorite. One of my best Disney memories comes from a trip that included my parents, brothers, aunt, uncle, three cousins, maternal grandparents, and three friends of the family. My family had traveled to Florida for my college graduation and then we all went over to spend a week at Disney World. We attended the Hoop-Dee-Doo as one big group (still have the official group photo!) and my uncle ended up on stage in a pink tutu and wings! What a great memory and what a great show. It’s a must-see as often as possible.

7 Comments