by Jennifer Dowling
We have been able to experience this fun show 3 times now, with our most recent being this past March. It has become a favorite for our family. The show has catchy tunes....though the ever popular "Hoop Dee Doo" song has now been replaced by another song that is similar....decent food, and corny jokes.
When you arrive at Pioneer Hall, you will check-in outside and you have the option to have your picture taken as well. We always pass on this, as it is an extra cost to purchase the picture package.
Often they choose a child to be the bell ringer to open the doors. My daughter, Claire, had that privilege in 2008.
Everyone is then let in and seated. There is no need to rush to the doors to be the first one in. Your table has been pre-assigned prior to you even arriving.
Once seated, you are able to start with the first course of the meal, which consists of cornbread and butter and a salad with a vinaigrette dressing. Drink orders are taken as well. Several soft drink options are included as well as beer,wine, and sangria.
Soon the show starts and the Pioneer players arrive and come in through the back door singing. They perform for a bit and include the audience as well. They come right out into the dining room and will talk to tables and include them in their songs...often asking what state your are from or if you are celebrating something. Again, we have been picked for this a few times as well, and it's great fun. My daughter sometimes is embarrassed by it at the moment, but then grins ear to ear after.
Dinner is then served after the first show segment. Dinner consist of chicken, ribs, corn, cowboy beans, and mashed potatoes. We enjoy the food. It's not the best on property, but still a good meal. I will say, our family is NOT a fan of the cowboy beans. They are not your average baked beans and seem to have an off taste to us.
After the main course is close to being done, the Pioneer Players once again come out and sing and dance some more. They also pick a few guests out of the audience to help them perform a skit. It is usually quite comical.
Dessert is delivered by all the servers coming out on stage with a tray of strawberry shortcake and they sing a song called "Strawberry Shortcake". This is the best part of the meal for me! I am not a huge fan of strawberry shortcake in the real world, but something about this version is so tasty. Even though I am extremely full at this point I usually try to get a little bit of this down because it tastes so heavenly.
The show ends with everyone getting a washboard to rub a spoon on while the Pioneer Players sing and exit out the back where they had arrived from in the beginning.
A few things to note: the restrooms are not located in the same building. You need to exit out the back side door and the restrooms are off to the side in a connecting building. There are 3 shows performed nightly, check with your Mouse World Travel Agent to find what the exact times are for your vacation. There are 3 tiers of seating, each tier slightly different in pricing. Your servers tip is included with this meal. This meal takes 2 Table-Service Credits from the Dining Plan and often you are placed in Tier 2 or 3, though for the late show you can be placed in Tier 1. Pricing ranges from $29.99 to $34.99 on average for children 3 to 9. For adults, $58.99 to $67.99 on average. Your tickets will be available to pick up at your Disney resort prior to the show or at the will call window located next to Pioneer Hall. Disney transportation (buses) will be waiting to take you back to your on-site resorts after the last 2 shows. Be forewarned that the buses get extremely crowded. If you drove to Ft. Wilderness, you will have to park at the front of the campground and internal buses will take you back to Pioneer Hall. If you are confused, just ask any bus driver where you should get off. They will then shuttle you back to the front after the show as well.