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View Full Version : Hoop Dee Doo - which show to attend?


momdisfan
05-12-2010, 01:43 PM
I need help deciding which HHDR show to attend on our upcoming Disney vacation. We are a family of five: DH, DD 15, DS 7, DS 3. We have never attended this show and are really looking forward to it. We are on the dining plan and I did not realize that Cat. 1 seating can only be used at the 9:30 show. So here are my options:

1. Cat. 1/9:30 seating, first night of our trip. We fly into MCO around 3:15. I am thinking my kids will be really excited about being at Disney so they might be able to handle the late show. However, I do not want to exhaust them before our trip even begins. The next day is going to be a resort day so they will be able to sleep in. not an easy decision

2. Cat 2/7:15 seating, middle of our trip. The next day we were thinking of doing EMH at MK, but not 100% sure.

3. Cat 3/5:00 seating, last night of our trip. This was the original day that I wanted to do HDDR. However, once I found out Cat. 1 could only be used at 9:30 I am torn. This is the best day but not the best Cat seating.

As you can see I am totally unsure what to do. HELP :confused3

We are celebrating my DH birthday at HDDR. I am hoping he gets chosen from the audience to participate in the show. I am not sure if the show/seating might increase my chances of him getting chosen.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated Thanks
:)

VAN
05-12-2010, 01:46 PM
We've been seated in Cat 1 and it was fun being in the middle of the action; however, to eat that much food any later than the 5:00 pm showing would be pushing it; especially for a young one.

So my vote is to pick the "time" that is better for you and either pay OOP for Cat 1 or just go with the category that you can use with the dining plan.

ROEDISNEY
05-12-2010, 01:49 PM
I always do Cat 1 at the 5 o'clock show.
We love Cat 1.and love going to the first show.
Looking at the choices I would still go with the first show.
Have a Magical Time.

momdisfan
05-12-2010, 02:08 PM
Thanks so much! I never thought about it from the [I]meal[I] point of view. I guess I was forgetting about the meal and focusing on the entertainment. But that is just as important. Is there interaction with guests in the balcony?

weHEARTmickey
05-12-2010, 02:14 PM
We chose Cat.1 at 9:30pm & LOVED it!!! :love: We are hooked from now on. We were front & center, 2nd table from the stage. I can't imagine sitting anywhere else ;) Florida is one hour ahead of us, so it was really like we were eating at 8:30. We ate a big, late breakfast & a light snack that afternoon. We were pretty hungry when it was time to go to HOOP. We definitely slept in the next day & took it easy. Not sure how your 3yo would do that late, but my DS6 & DD9 were great.

PS--Yes, the characters do go up in the balcony. They travel all throughout the restaurant, so the only downfall to the balcony would be getting stuck where you can't see so well.

Marine Mom
05-12-2010, 04:22 PM
Our first time at the HDDR we had Cat. 1 for a 9:30 show. It was a little late so I probably wouldn't recommend that late especially with little kids. Next time we did Cat. 1 at 7:30 show and that was great. This year we are going with Cat. 2 at 5:00 show. I do agree with PP that the 5:00 show is probably best for the little ones but anywhere you sit it is a blast!

Tinker'n'Fun
05-12-2010, 04:26 PM
Funny we prefer the 7:15 show. We do a short day at AK, then back to the resort to rest up. Take a shower, get refreshed. Meal wise we do a good breakfast (buffet), light lunch, and a snack. This holds everyone over to the show. 7:15pm has never been too late for us. First time I took DD and DS they were 7 and 5yo. They are now 17 and 15 and still enjoy this time. And honest to God they always request the Cat 3. Prefer it to the rest, and we have sat all over the place.

Enjoy your show!!

conniehar90
05-12-2010, 04:35 PM
We always do the 5pm show as the kids get cranky if we are waiting until 7 or later to eat. I would definitely not do 9:30 with the ages of your kids. I have only sat in Cat 1 so I can't comment on cat 3. The performers do move around the room and upstairs quite a bit so it really doesn't seem like there are any bad seats in the house. Enjoy!!

10_Kyle_10
05-12-2010, 06:41 PM
We always do Category 1: 9:30pm...Its fantastic and typically not a full house. Having said that it is late and usually there are more couples/adults than kids. You said you are with the kids so I would recommend Category 2 with an earlier show.

ilovejsparrow
05-12-2010, 06:45 PM
#3!! We always to HDDR the last night of our trip.. good way to end it! And personally, I think all of the Categories are the same. I've sat in all 3 and they're all great!

pauly's girl
05-12-2010, 08:37 PM
We always do the 930 show...it gives us time to enjoy the day without rushing to get there. It does take awhile and we always take our car to fort wilderness n then the internal buses. My kids dont mind being up late so it works for us. My DD was 5 her first time and my DS was 4 his first time there. It also allows for a little nap before you go when you do the late show. It really depends on how your little one is on late nights! Good luck with your decision. This year will be our first Cat 1 and I'm excited...although the show can be seen well from anywhere.

disney-super-mom
05-12-2010, 08:52 PM
I would only do category 1 or category 3 seating. Category 2 just isn't worth it. We sat at a table in the very back of the main floor, right next to the entry doors and the stairway leading up to the balcony, and although we did enjoy the show from this location, we definitely felt removed from the experience.

Here is a thead I started describing our experience with category 2 and asking about category 3 seating.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2460039

momdisfan
05-12-2010, 10:16 PM
Thanks so much for all the input. It sounds to me like I can't go wrong with Cat 1 or 3 as far as entertainment goes. I think we will stay with our original plan of going on our last night with at Cat 3 seat.

honeydiane1953
05-12-2010, 11:02 PM
The earliest show is a must for young ones. We HAD to take our older grandkids one yr and when they say 9:30 they don't mean 9:29. We enjoyed the food and the fun but it was late. Any category to me is fine. I think everyone feels a part.:woohoo:

walkdmc
05-12-2010, 11:45 PM
We did Cat. 1 seating for the last showing of the night. We were told by the CM out front that our assigned seats were GREAT. "You're right next to the piano player", she said enthusiastically. Let me tell you, I would've very much preferred to be a Cat. 2 or 3. Cat. 3 sit on the second floor, which looks down onto the stage. The tables are single file (at least from what I could see) so everyone still has a great view of the stage. And, the actors did run upstairs during the performance. So, Cat. 3 seating is fine, IMO. Matter of fact, I'm doing the HDDR again in June, with my mom and we are going Cat. 3, 7:15 show.

With the Cat. 1, it's nearly impossible to have any side conversation, at all. I felt like I was literally on stage and had to worry about things like getting up to use the restroom. I didn't like Cat. 1.

Bethmom3
05-13-2010, 12:02 AM
Now I am in complete confusion!! I made an ADR this morning for cat 2 for a 5pm HDDR. I have to do 5pm because I think it is best for my kids (6yr, 4yr, 2yr), however now I am unsure if I should switch to cat 3. I thought the kids would be more a part of it on the main floor. I am going to have DH read the posts and look at the pics from the other post and help me make this decision. These ADRS are stressful!!:confused3

Thanks for all the info though, especially the pics on the other thread...very helpful.

momdisfan
05-13-2010, 12:09 AM
Now I am in complete confusion!! I made an ADR this morning for cat 2 for a 5pm HDDR. I have to do 5pm because I think it is best for my kids (6yr, 4yr, 2yr), however now I am unsure if I should switch to cat 3. I thought the kids would be more a part of it on the main floor. I am going to have DH read the posts and look at the pics from the other post and help me make this decision. These ADRS are stressful!!:confused3

Thanks for all the info though, especially the pics on the other thread...very helpful.
I feel your pain. I had my DH read all the post and look at the other thread tonight and I think both of us feel 5:00 Cat 3 is best for our family. ADRs are VERY stressful, but very worth it once you are in the world!

walkdmc
05-13-2010, 12:39 AM
Believe me, you will enjoy it no matter where you end up. There are pros and cons to all the seating categories. Don't stress over it and believe me, I'm a total Type A, planner.

The atmosphere is so fun. There are mason jars for drinking glasses (I think for the wine too) and the cornbread is to die for!

Hopefully
05-13-2010, 01:37 AM
We have always done Cat 1 Front and Center and loved it. But as others have said the cast does circulate throughout the hall. They try to engage everyone. It is a great show with really good food. I think you will love it.
To the OP I definitely would NOT do the HDDR on your arrival day. It will be a long day with travel and you will be surprised at how tired everyone will be. I think you would start off your vacation exhausted, and that is not what you want.
I think your last night sounds like fun. It will be a fun way to end your trip.
Although I think you have pretty much decided, based on the posts here, that you do not want Cat 2 seating, wouldn't that also be available to you on your last night if you chose it?

Dizzy over Disney
05-13-2010, 06:46 AM
I am so glad I found this post. We are going to Hoop Dee Doo for the first time this year and I had no clue about the seating!

momdisfan
05-13-2010, 09:13 AM
I am glad this tread has been helpful to you - It has helped me a lot. I love disboards, I'm totally hooked!

Dizzy over Disney - Check out the thread posted by disney super mom (its on pg 1 of this thread) this one helped me decide between Cat. 2 and 3.

I do believe Cat 2 would still be available for our last night at Disney, but I would be afraid we would get stuck Under the balcony and those do not seem like great seats. If I could be guaranteed to sit front in center in the balcony cat 2 seats I would go for it - I just do not think they could honor such a request?

However, this show has got to be awesome no matter when you go or where you sit if they are serving wine in mason jars! :cool1:

OhThePain
05-13-2010, 09:24 AM
There is nothing wrong with Cat. 3 seating. I have sat in all cats (more than once) and I actually like 3 the best. There is a nice balcony view of the show, the entertainers do go upstairs to interact, you can actually hear the people your sitting with if you want to talk to them. If the last night of your trip is what works best for you, do it. There is too much hype on sitting in cat 1 seats.

milmore104
05-13-2010, 10:07 AM
We've done the 5 and 7 shows. Always sit in Cat.2 and LOVED it. I'm not sure there is a "BAD" seat in the place. However we've never been in the balcony before. But the show and food are just Wonderful. It's our DD's favorite thing in WDW. As for doing the late show, only you know how your little one could handle it. Our first DD would have NO problem w/ it when she was that small. She's our Rockstar...Party all night sleep all day! Our little DD NO WAY. She is very much a routine girl. Even though she wouldn't make a fuss about being there so would be impossible the next day. We took he rto the 7:15 show and it worked out great. She feel asleep on the bus ride back to the resort just like it was her normal bed time! So really you would need to decide if your little one could handle it. Keep in mind the ride back to your resort after the show as well. I would go w/ an earlier show. We are doing the 5pm show this year w/ our kids DD 10, DD 2, DD 4 months

milmore104
05-13-2010, 10:09 AM
I am glad this tread has been helpful to you - It has helped me a lot. I love disboards, I'm totally hooked!

Dizzy over Disney - Check out the thread posted by disney super mom (its on pg 1 of this thread) this one helped me decide between Cat. 2 and 3.

I do believe Cat 2 would still be available for our last night at Disney, but I would be afraid we would get stuck Under the balcony and those do not seem like great seats. If I could be guaranteed to sit front in center in the balcony cat 2 seats I would go for it - I just do not think they could honor such a request?

However, this show has got to be awesome no matter when you go or where you sit if they are serving wine in mason jars! :cool1:

we sat under the balcony on our last trip. It was wonderful. The characters interacted w/ us more sitting there. I think it was because there was more room. But who knows it's always a great time at the HDDR!!!:lovestruc

jdisnut
05-13-2010, 10:30 AM
I don't think what category of seating you choose matters as much as it probably seems. I think you are absolutely making the right decision in seeing the 5 p.m. show. Even though you could have theoretically had the "best" seats at the 9:30 performance, I think that's simply too late for young children, especially on a travel day.

If I had to give a recommendation, I would probably suggest going with the Category 3 seating. But like I said before, it probably doesn't matter much.

momdisfan
05-13-2010, 11:02 AM
Well - I am almost 100% certain we are going to attend the 5:00 show. Now to do Cat. 2 or 3?:confused3

Seems like it might be good no matter what? I do know that I am looking forward to the show even more after hearing how much everyone else has enjoyed it on their previous visits

Goofy4
05-13-2010, 12:02 PM
It is possible that the kids might get a better view from the balcony, but I think it usually works as you can shift around a bit.

If not already mentioned, I don't think they bring in special buses at the 5:00 show to take you back to your resort. If you weren't thinking about heading right back, no problem; and probably not a big deal regardless as the regular FW tansportation is not that bad. Enjoy!

Huff
05-13-2010, 12:58 PM
We will be doing the 9:30pm show on our 1st day of arrival. Three reasons for picking the 9:30pm show.

First, I have not booked flights yet so really do not know what time we will get to WDW but most likely around 4-6pm. I didn't want to be rushed trying to get to an earlier show.

Second, I liked the idea of CAT 1 on DP for our first time at HDDR. I know all seats are fairly decent.

Third and main reason, We are from the west coast. 9:30pm is only 6:30pm here. For our first night our stomachs will still be on west coast time! 6:30pm is perfect for dinner time our first night. We will have one 9yr girl with us but she is a night owl!

VAN
05-13-2010, 01:24 PM
We were in Cat 3 last time (balcony) ... Your back is to the room during your meal. Then to see the show, you have to turn your chair to face the stage. They have a row of tables and you all sit on one side, this leaves the other side open for the servers.

Great view of the stage and entertainment but a bit disconnected from the food. It was hard to continue eating during the show ... you needed to either face your food (back to the room) or face the stage/room.

As stated before, we were in Cat 1 and loved it. Cat 3, not so much and will try for a different category for future visits (but would accept Cat 3 if that was all that was available for the 5:00 show). We are in Cat 2 in Sept so will see how that goes. We are on the DP and going to the 5:00 show so are not able to do Cat 1.

Bottom line my recommendation stands that your first priority should be the time of the show, because you will have a good seat for the show regardless of where you sit.

momdisfan
05-13-2010, 09:20 PM
That is disappointing to hear about Cat. 3 seating. The view would seem great, but to not be able to eat and watch the show at the same time could be a little frustrating. It still sounds like the show is well worth going to.

Dizzy over Disney
05-14-2010, 06:38 AM
Okay... I am embarrassed to say.. but I throughly confused now :scared1:

After reading this post.... I should go for Category 2, correct? I don't want to go to a 930 show... 715 is a perfect time.. so Category 2? I am not fond of the whole back to the show and food thing.. so 3 is out....

When I make my ADRs .. online... will it ask me which one or will it just go by times?

thank you all who gave information here!

Dizzy over Disney
05-14-2010, 06:42 AM
Okay.. so I just played around with the online aDRs .... it gave me a choice for Category 1, 2, or 3 for the 715 show.... so now...

because of the dining plan.. it doesnt matter which I choose... which is better .. 1 or 2?

mom2taylorandemily
05-14-2010, 07:54 AM
When I made our ADRs I booked a 5:00 show realizing that I'd have a cat. 2 or 3. We are a family of 4 and quite frankly I'd rather have a table for 4 on the balcony. We like the shows but I don't really need to be right in the mix of it all. We booked a 5:00 show thinking we'd leave and head over to the camp fire with Chip & Dale and S'mores, then stay and watch the movie. So, am I missing something and do I need to rebook this. Also, can I call Disney Dining and add that I'd like a balcony seat for my family?

momdisfan
05-14-2010, 09:04 AM
Okay.. so I just played around with the online aDRs .... it gave me a choice for Category 1, 2, or 3 for the 715 show.... so now...

because of the dining plan.. it doesnt matter which I choose... which is better .. 1 or 2?

I am with you - But I am pretty sure on the dining plan you can only get Cat. 1 seating at the 9:30 show. I thought I wanted to sit Cat 3 in the balcony but with our back to the action is this really the best thing? Are there more people that can comment on this? :confused: Cat. 2 seating is not available for our evening and I have learned from this post that I do not want to do the 9:30 show with my kids.

momdisfan
05-14-2010, 09:07 AM
When I made our ADRs I booked a 5:00 show realizing that I'd have a cat. 2 or 3. We are a family of 4 and quite frankly I'd rather have a table for 4 on the balcony. We like the shows but I don't really need to be right in the mix of it all. We booked a 5:00 show thinking we'd leave and head over to the camp fire with Chip & Dale and S'mores, then stay and watch the movie. So, am I missing something and do I need to rebook this. Also, can I call Disney Dining and add that I'd like a balcony seat for my family?

I would also like to know if you can request the balcony section of Cat.2. But with a family of 5 I am not sure if that is even possible. I never thought of doing the campfire after the HDDR - thanks for the great idea :yay:

sharadoc
05-14-2010, 01:12 PM
We've been in the balcony 2 or 3 times and I love it. Less crowded, you get a perfect view of everything and you don't have other tables around you. Basically it's just one row of tables up against the railing.

We have always had show cast members come up there and interact.

We're planning on HDDR for our Christmas Trip and will most likely do th 5:00 show in Cat. 3. Then we'll do some looping to see the Christmas decorations, watch the Electrical Parade and Holiday Wishes from the beach. :thumbsup2

momdisfan
05-14-2010, 01:41 PM
I am confused - Are the Cat. 3 balcony seats against the railing or the wall? There was a previous post about having to move away from your food/table to see the action when sitting in cat. 3. Then I think someone commented about the tables being against the railing. If the later is the case I would not feel as torn about sitting in cat. 3. Even though I am still confused the information has most definately been helpful!!! Thank you to everyone for their comments :goodvibes

Goofy4
05-14-2010, 02:02 PM
The railing...With my apologies to the Hill family, I found this side-view balcony pic on the net:

http://family.webshots.com/album/557646336OfKLpU

Something like 30 years ago I sat behind the spot light operator in the balcony in the back of the theater. As I recall (please correct me), the tables in the back are regular tables (not one-sided).

A view from the back: http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/dining/photos/hoop-dee-doo-1.jpg

Nice shot of the stage from side balcony: http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/medium/98768Copy_of_100_5190.JPG

Another balcony shot from the back: http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Gkke3F9RTR0/SDrRagmOeUI/AAAAAAAAQww/5IkpHG7qBMY/s640/wdw%202008%20247.jpg

Cat 2 shot (she was our server!): http://zannaland.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/HDDcake.jpg

a1tinkfans
05-14-2010, 02:07 PM
Thanks so much for all the input. It sounds to me like I can't go wrong with Cat 1 or 3 as far as entertainment goes. I think we will stay with our original plan of going on our last night with at Cat 3 seat.

have a great time, it is a fun show and the food is YUMMY! :wizard:

Huff
05-14-2010, 02:50 PM
We booked a 5:00 show thinking we'd leave and head over to the camp fire with Chip & Dale and S'mores, then stay and watch the movie.

We went over to the campfire to see what it was all about on our last visit. Never again in September! The idea of roasting marshmellows and making Smores around a campfire when we were sweating like crazy in Floridas hot and sticky heat was not good! Unless we have an unsual cold night this Sept. trip we won't bother with the campfire.

momdisfan
05-14-2010, 03:02 PM
The railing...With my apologies to the Hill family, I found this side-view balcony pic on the net:

http://family.webshots.com/album/557646336OfKLpU

Something like 30 years ago I sat behind the spot light operator in the balcony in the back of the theater. As I recall (please correct me), the tables in the back are regular tables (not one-sided).

A view from the back: http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/dining/photos/hoop-dee-doo-1.jpg

Nice shot of the stage from side balcony: http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/medium/98768Copy_of_100_5190.JPG

Another balcony shot from the back: http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Gkke3F9RTR0/SDrRagmOeUI/AAAAAAAAQww/5IkpHG7qBMY/s640/wdw%202008%20247.jpg

Cat 2 shot (she was our server!): http://zannaland.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/HDDcake.jpg

Oh my gosh - THANK YOU for this great post! I am convinced to go at 5:00 Cat. 3! :banana:
I do see how you have to turn to see the action, but I don't think it will be that big of a deal for our family. Glad to have that decision made - with my type A personality only 563,432 more to make :rotfl:

DonaldTDuck
05-14-2010, 05:38 PM
Okay.. so I just played around with the online aDRs .... it gave me a choice for Category 1, 2, or 3 for the 715 show.... so now...

because of the dining plan.. it doesnt matter which I choose... which is better .. 1 or 2?
You can NOT book HDDR online using the dining plan. You must call dining and talk to a cm. And as far as requesting balcony in cat 2, the tables are assigned by order the ADRs came in, no requests.

squirrel
05-14-2010, 05:57 PM
You can book HDDR online!

I have done it twice. Once last year and again this year.

You do need to make sure that you have signed in and the dining plan is registering when you book it. You should see a 0 as the amount. If the price is coming up then you either don't have the dining plan registering or you have picked Cat. 1 for the two early shows which are not part of the DDP.

Dawner
07-20-2012, 03:22 PM
YaY!!! Going to WDW in late September and wanted to leave our week with a 'bang' ...er...or a laugh, as the case will be! My DDad, My DMom, my BF and I love the HDDR and I wanted a 7:15pm ressie, but they are already sold out for that time, all categories, and it's more than 2 months away...LOL! So, we all decided to do the 9:30pm showing - yes, late, I know, but why not - it's the last night, and what a better way to say 'good bye' ?!?
I was so glad that I read the DisBoards - because I had chosen the category 3 for the late time, but was concerned for my parents - who both have bad knees (miniscus tears, etc..), and being that there aren't any elevators or escalators - it concerned me, but my mom said to book it anyway and they'd walk slowly! :thumbsup2
So ... I went on to the DisBoards to find out how the category 3 would be, and I found out that for the late dining time you are able to get the category 1 with your DP (dining plan) - so I jumped right on that !!!:dance3:
We are all really looking forward to having a great 8 days in disney with the last night being at the HDDR for fun, laughs, and a great meal !!!
:yay::yay::yay::yay::yay:

SgtClaymore
07-20-2012, 10:49 PM
Our first time at the HDDR we had Cat. 1 for a 9:30 show. It was a little late so I probably wouldn't recommend that late especially with little kids. Next time we did Cat. 1 at 7:30 show and that was great. This year we are going with Cat. 2 at 5:00 show. I do agree with PP that the 5:00 show is probably best for the little ones but anywhere you sit it is a blast!

I took my grand kids to 5:00 show and it was a great experience! I couldn't imagine doing this with the little ones at the 9:30 one.... No Way! LOL :thumbsup2

mickeysbestfriend
07-21-2012, 08:21 AM
we always have the late show. They are changing the times for this year to make the late show earlier. It's the only late meal we eat at Disney other than the Luau. The walk to the bus can be afftected buy the number of adult beverages consumed...