Ya know how you show up at work and walk into the building and find someone there smiling and waving and filming your every move? No? Never happened to you? I was afraid of that.
Let me back up a bit.
We love the Hoop Dee Doo Revue at Fort Wilderness. The Pioneer Hall Players are a troupe consisting of 6 members that sing and dance while you eat ribs and fried chicken and corn bread…oh the corn bread. That is some of the most amazing..ahem…focus. The show lasts about an hour and a half and is just incredible.
After everyone is seated for the show, the sound of a stage coach pulling up outside is piped into the hall. The doors rattle and swing open. As the Pioneer Hall Players stroll in and walk among the tables on their way to the stage, they share random comments about their journey and how they are sorry they are late and such. The interesting thing about this is that they do not come from back stage. They walk in the same doors that you walk in when you arrive. So we figured, if we happened to be outside right before a show, we could actually catch them arriving. How cool would that be?!? Right? I know!
That moment came toward the end of our trip. We were wandering around the Pioneer Hall and saw that they were seating people for the Hoop Dee Doo. We knew that the players arrived about 20 minutes after the doors opened so if we just hung around we could see them arrive. Ooo. This was our chance. It was so exciting.
In short order the doors closed and we waited with great anticipation. Would Six Bits (the comic relief of the group) do something funny? How do they interact with the other guests outside? It was almost more exciting than waiting for the show itself.
We heard them approaching. I pulled out my camcorder, as I always do whenever I thinking something magical is about to happen. We stood up to make sure they got a good look at their number one fans. They emerged from behind the box office and walked over to the Pioneer Hall entrance. We waved. OMG. What would they do??? A couple of them waved back. And then … they just kept walking. Huh?
Okay. I get it. They are in character, playing the part of the travelers arriving for a show. Ha ha. That is awesome. We leaned in to listen to their conversation (we have no shame when it comes to this kind of thing). They must be talking about the last small town they were in or how Six Bits did something funny or…wait. What? Craft beer? You are talking about craft beer? And discussing who will respond if a guest says they are from a certain state? Interesting.
Some of them then did some stretches while another listened for their cue at the door. I should mention that I am still walking around and filming all of this like I just jumped out of the patrol car on Cops. I kept rolling right up to the point where they heard their cue, rattled the doors, and walked in. And then it was over.
Not exactly the experience we expected. What happened to Disney characters needing to be in character whenever they are in view of guests? I suppose it makes sense that these are not really characters. They were just performers showing up for work. It was still neat to see it from the other side. It was what it was. But as with every social encounter, we then had plenty of time to digest our actions and assess what we had done.
Had they been in character, this would have been just another character experience at Disney. Totally normal and expected.
But, when you consider that they were NOT in character and just people heading to work, the fact that we were staring at them and waving and filming their every step makes the experience a little weird. Instead of being a couple Disney fans participating in a shared moment, we were instead stalkers that might as well have wandered into a Walmart break room and filmed people chatting about their day while they ate Twinkies.
Our ability to find new ways to create awkward situations is something of a super power.