Walt Disney World Resort offers 3 special event dinner shows i.e. live entertainment, they are the Hoop Dee Doo Revue, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, and the Spirit of Aloha dinner show. These dining experiences are not cheap so deciding on whether or not to go can be difficult. In cases like this, I like to plan ahead and celebrate a birthday or anniversary. My friend and my husband both have birthdays in the same month, so we all thought it sounded fun to try the Spirit of Aloha dinner show.
I was able to buy our tickets in advance and use our Tables in Wonderland discount for all 4 tickets (which was a straight up 20% off – the dinner shows are tax and gratuity included so they do not add back a gratuity as they usually do at other restaurants when you use the TiW card). I believe the discount was about $55 on 4 tickets. We decided on Category 3 seats. It was easy to make the reservation by phone, pre-payment was required and the Tables in Wonderland card information was also needed for our discount.
I am familiar with Hoop Dee Doo and the Spirit of Aloha, they offer three categories of seats at different price levels. Category 1 being in the best area, Category 2 as a mid-level, Category 3 being the cheapest and furthest away from the stage, worst visibility and worst sound. The service and food do not differ regardless of where you sit. (Tip: If you go to Hoop Dee Doo on a slow night, they upgrade your seating accordingly. If you purchase Category 3 and Pioneer Hall Theater is only partially full that night, you get moved up.)
Once the day finally arrived (6 month booking window!), we met up with our friends and checked in at the desk located in the Polynesian hotel. We received a ticket and were told to follow the path leading out to the dinner theater. When we got down there we waited in line for a couple of minutes and they took our photos, which were put on a Photo Pass card (I don’t even know what happened to that, I never checked the photos out). Then we were corralled with other people waiting to be seated. About 15-20 minutes went by and we were then led into the theater and then taken to our assigned seats. The tables were set up with large metal platters that would be where our food would be placed. The chairs swiveled so we can turn to see the stage down below. The theater is fairly large, we were probably about 50 feet away from the front of the stage.
The food was okay, I wasn’t impressed with anything they served, it was the standard fare with a Hawaiian flare, chicken, pork, beef, rice, veggies, bread, pineapple. For anyone who doesn’t eat red meat, the only thing to eat is chicken. So, we ended up eating way too much chicken. Also, their butter tasted so weird, like wax. I discovered that the highlight of the experience was drinking the free sangria, I should mention that one of the perks of the high-priced dinner show is the free house wine, sangria, or cheap beer. Unfortunately, our server couldn’t keep up with me, by the time last call came, I had only had two very small sangrias, and I had asked for him to bring me two more, which he did, but even with four small sangrias I felt the show was still painful.
The show started out horribly, we couldn’t hear much at all, we were able to see fairly well. There was a lot of dancing and music, some talking which was hard to hear. Surprisingly around the time they did last call, the fire dancer came out – this was the best part of the show – BY FAR. So, finally – something exciting was going on. The view from where we were was slightly obstructed by people seated in front of us who were all intently watching the fire dancer. The fire dancer was mesmerizing. After that they had some dancers with really cool black light effects, I also remember them playing an Elvis song which was awesome. Dessert was good, it was a bread pudding similar to what they serve at Ohana. The show seemed to finish on a better note than it began.
I decided that if we ever go back and see this show again I would basically go for drinks and dessert. Now, I don’t know if I could justify spending $50 on drinks and dessert, but that was the overall impression I left with. I really enjoyed the fire dancer performance. I don’t know if we would have had a better time in Category 1 seating, for about $15-20 more we would have been seated closer to the stage. I’ll be sure to book a night at the Polynesian if we do decide to go back, I want to be close to my room if I’m planning on drinking 4-5 sangrias. I’m left wondering…what do other people think about this show?