Travel Tips | Best Dinner Shows at Walt Disney World

Entrance of Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at the Polynesian Resort (photo cred: wdwinfo.com)

Today we’re finishing our Best Food at Walt Disney World series with a look at the very popular dinner shows! Now, the headline is misleading because when we say Best Dinner Shows at WDW, we’re really talking about the only dinner shows on property, because there’s just three of them: Disney’s Spirit of Aloha (luau) dinner show, the Hoop-Dee-Doo Muscial Revue, and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ! All three of these shows are a fun addition to any WDW visit and hopefully our guide below will help you pick the right one for your family.

The Disney dinner shows all have a few things in common. They all feature all-you-can-eat family-style dining, they all utilize a tiered seating system, and they all require two (2) Disney Dining Plan credits if you’re using the dining plan (otherwise you just pay out of  pocket). When planning your dream Disney vacation, it’s important to book your dinner show in advance. These are “hot tickets” at WDW and you’ll want to make sure you can get in on the action.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the Best (and only!) Dinner Shows at Walt Disney World!

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show

The Downlow: The Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show – more commonly referred to as “The Luau”, is a wildly popular family-style feast situated in the Luau Cover at Disney’s Polynesisan Village Resort. As the story goes, guests are part of a farwell-celebration for a local girl who is headed to college. “Auntie Wini” is the host of the show which features dances and music from New Zealand, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands and some amazing fire-knife dancers. The menu is in the same vein as ‘Ohana, one of our favorite Table Service Restaurants inside the Polynesian Lodge. The Spirit of Aloha is definitely worth seeing with your family, although once might be enough. Still, this is always a fun evening with good, filling food.  

Important Tip: If you order tickets online while on WDW property, you can pick those tickets up immediately at any Walt Disney World Guest Relations spot. If you’re picking up your same-day tickets before the show, be sure to arrive 40 minutes early.

DDP: 2 meal credits will get you a Tier 2 or 3 seat (see seating chart below)

Seating price range (out of pocket):
Category 1 – Adults/$78; Kids 3-9/$46
Category 2 – Adult/$74; Kids 3-9/$44
Category 3 – Adults/$66; Kids 3-9/$39

Menu:
From the Disney World website:

Settle in for platters of authentic Aloha pulled pork, Polynesian beef ribs, roasted chicken and a vegetable medley. Savor fresh salad with mixed greens and mango dressing—and then polish your meal off by indulging in pineapple-coconut guava cake with chocolate crunch!

Children’s favorites like mini corn dogs with tater tots, cheese pizza, and either grilled chicken or fish of the day with rice and green beans are also available on the limited kids menu.

In addition to soft drinks, lemonade, coffee and other non-alcoholic beverages, Guests 21 years of age and up can enjoy beer and wine with their meals. For an added charge, indulge in a fruity cocktail—like the tropical rum punch served in a hand-carved coconut keepsake.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

The Downlow: Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is the cream of the dinner show crop at Walt Disney World! To get there, we usually take a quick boat ride from Magic Kingdom, past the Contemporary Resort to the Fort Wilderness Resort to find our way to Pioneer Hall where the Pioneer Hall Players entertain us for 2 hours straight with dancing, singing and great bits of audience participation! The family-style feast of fried chicken and BBQ Ribs is served between sets and don’t forget to save room for the strawberry shortcake! There’s no doubt about it – Hoop-Dee-Doo is an absolute “Can’t Miss” Disney dinner show!

Important Tip: If you order tickets online while on WDW property, you can pick those tickets up immediately at any Walt Disney World Guest Relations spot. If you’re picking up your same-day tickets before the show, be sure to arrive 40 minutes early.

DDP: 2 meal credits will get you a Tier 2 or 3 seat

Seating Price Range (out of pocket): 
Category 1 – Adults/$72; Kids 3-9/$43
Category 2 – Adults/$67; Kids 3-9/$39
Category 3 – Adults/$64; Kids 3-9/$38

Menu: 
From the Disney World website:

In between skits and song standards, chow down on buckets of all-you-care-to-enjoy fried chicken and smoked BBQ pork ribs, as well as a tossed green salad, baked beans, fresh-baked cornbread and strawberry shortcake.

Unlimited draft beer, wine and sangria are included for Guests 21 years of age and up (proper ID required). Soft drinks are also included.

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ

The Downlow: Not just content to be “that other dinner show” at Fort Wilderness, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ is loved for its great picnic-like menu (hamburger, BBQ ribs, corn on the cob), its fun guest interactions (line dancing, anyone?) and its Character Meet and Greets! As the name would suggest, Mickey’s Backyward BBQ is the only dinner show where you’ll get to spend quality time with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Chip ‘n Dale!

Important Tip 1: Booking a Category 1 seat will get you early access to the Backyard Pavilion and priority seating, as well as Character Meet and Greet before the show.

Important Tip 2: This is a very popular dinner show so get there about an hour before your seating time. It can be tricky and time consuming to get to Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get there and look up transportation options before you go. We recommend the boat from Magic Kingdom but be warned that trip can take up to an hour and a half during peak season.

DDP: 2 meal credits will get you either Category 1 or 2 seating (these are the only categories at Mickey’s BBQ. Category 1 does allow for early access to the pavilion and early access to food and drink. Here’s a look at the seating pavilion.

Seating price range (out of pocket):
Category 1 – Adults/$72; Kids 3-9/$47
Category 2 – Adults/$62; Kids 3-9

Menu:
From the Disney World website:

This neighborly, all-you-care-to-enjoy BBQ picnic features mouth-watering country favorites. Feast on barbeque ribs, smoked chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs with all the trimmings, corn on the cob, macaroni and cheese and more.

Sate your thirst with lemonade, fruit punch and soft drinks, plus complimentary wine and beer for Guests 21 years of age and up (proper ID required).

Past entries:

Best Quick Service Locations at Walt Disney World

Best Table Service Resturants at Walt Disney World

Best Signature Dining Restaurants at Walt Disney World

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