CRP 2012/13

20th Dec 2012

Hoop Dee Doo

Hoop Dee Doo

The highlight of the past week was visiting the Hoop Dee Doo Revue at Fort Wilderness. Hoop is a dinner show which has been running since Walt Disney World opened and the price includes all-you-can-eat Chicken, pork ribs and sides as well as all-you-can-drink Wine, Beer and Sangria.

I originally made a reservation for 40 people but after any of the servers started being scheduled to work 6 days a week we ended up with just 20 of us. With our 50% discount on the late show it came to $36 per person which was really quite reasonable even with $7 on top for a taxi there and back.

Before the show PhotoPass take a group photo of everyone in your party which they late bring to the table for purchase. Ours is the photo above although we did not actually buy the picture (they took an extra on my camera), even with our 40% holiday discount.

Many of the Cast Members who work at Hoop have worked for Disney for decades. Our server Barbara was no exception, sadly however she did not provide the amazing service we have all come to expect from Disney. I never received the Diet Coke I ordered despite asking quite a few times and there were general complaints from the group as a whole about the very slow drink service meaning all of us got very little of the all-you-can-drink offering.

The food, including my vegetarian Pasta alternative, was really good and certainly filled me up.  The show is a massive cliche but it does have its funny moments, Becky and Luke being announced as recently engaged was certainly a highlight of the show on the evening we visited. Especially since Becky was trying to get them to announce Dave and Craig as the recently engaged couple!

Despite all of that it was a fun night and the finale where Andy ended up on stage dressed as an American Indian will be a memory I will have for a long time to come!

I will definitely be trying Hoop again in the hope of getting better service, perhaps in a smaller group though as I fell the size of our group may have been the overwhelming factor in the service we received. Next on my list though is Spirit of Aloha at the Polynesian and Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian which I cheekily made a reservation for the day of my Birthday last night despite having no clue at the moment how I would manage the $200 per head check even if it does provide 7 custom designed courses of some of the best food Disney have to offer.

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9th Dec 2012

New Fantasyland Grand Reveal

For the first time in a long time, I finally had 2 days off this week. The first was spent mostly in a taxi to and from UPS near the airport to collect the TV that G and I bought on Black Friday and which they tried to deliver 3 times when neither of us were home. The second was more exciting as it was the grand reveal of New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom. Despite asking around the pavilion nobody else was as much of a keeno as me and prepared to get up at 7am on their day off to go watch it.

I arrived at about 8.15 and the park was already allowing people in. I went straight to the hub and managed to secure a spot fairly close to the front, just behind the area reserved for the media. It was a long wait until 10am when the show finally started. They moved us forward a little once all of the media was in place and I managed to end up behind a fairly tall guy which made my view a little more restricted but I could still see most of what was going on.

The show started with a royal announcer coming on stage to much fanfare and announcing that the master of ceremonies would be Ginnifer Goodwin who plays Snow White on ABC’s Once Upon A Time. Disney were obviously playing to the modern day princess theme. She then introduced Jordin Sparks who sang a medley of Disney Songs from the movies featured in the New Fantasyland area and was joined by characters, including Dumbo who never show up!

Tom Staggs, Head of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts then came on stage with Mickey Mouse to speak to the crowd before Ginnifer read the dedication and New Fantasyland was officially revealed with much confetti, pyrotechnics and banner unfurling. After the show I went up to New Fantasyland to find it incredibly crowded with media and guests trying to try out the new attractions.

The wait times were crazy so I ended up bailing out and meeting Catherine. We did a few MK attractions before heading over to the Studios to try the, also newly unveiled  Jack Sparrow attraction which was awesome. It should really be a lot more popular than it is. The attraction is based on projections that immerse guests in the world of Jack Sparrow and they come face to face with many of his adversaries. The projections used are some of the best I have seen – I only wish some of this technology had found its way in to New Fantasyland. The quality blows a lot of the stuff in the mermaid ride out of the water – no pun intended!

Since then it has been back to work with some very tiring days on podium as the restaurant continues to get busy in the run up to the Holidays. On Wednesday a large group of UKs are heading to Hoop Dee Doo which is what I am really looking forward to at the moment and what is getting me through the craziness of Silly Season at work.

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