Full Review: The Polite Pig at Disney Springs

We live somewhat locally to the Walt Disney World resort area (well, locally enough that we can drive).  I believe I’ve said this before, but on our final day we like to visit Disney Springs to do any last minute shopping, grab lunch, go for a walk, and buy some Sprinkles Cupcakes to home (thus preserving some of our vacation for longer).  We were recently in Orlando for MegaCon, which will be featured in an upcoming post, and made our way over to Disney for a few days as well.  On our way out, we stopped at The Polite Pig for lunch, which is a “modern BBQ outpost with Florida cuisine and an array of libations on tap,” according to disneyworld.disney.go.com.

It is actually a quick service BBQ restaurant that has a full bar (indoor and outdoor), with indoor and outdoor seating.  You place your order at the counter, they give you a pager, you go find a seat and they bring you your food at the table.  While we were there they also came around with samples of blondies and oatmeal cookies which were pretty great, although not great enough to make us actually purchase one.

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Menu behind the counter at the Polite Pig – it was actually this hard to see in real-life, but there were paper menus available for the visually challenged
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Sauce bar at the Polite Pig

Because it was lunchtime, we decided to split a few things instead of ordering our own individual meals.  The menu isn’t too extensive, but has some great options on it.  We ordered the pork shoulder ($14), the mac and cheese ($6), and the hop salt pretzel ($10).  I found the menu to be pricy as the sides are à la carte, but since we were splitting all of this it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, and trust me this was plenty of food.  We also didn’t have any alcoholic beverages on this trip (again, lunch, and we needed to drive home), which kept the cost down.

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Pork shoulder, pretzels, beer cheese fondue (top left), IPA mustard (hard to see in the middle).
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Better view of the beer cheese fondue and IPA mustard, plus some of the sauces from the sauce bar.  I’m not positive what these were, I found them un-remarkable.
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Better view of the mac and cheese and one of the pretzels.

The Polite Pig actually doesn’t get great reviews on Yelp, although I think most of it is due to the food cost issue.  We actually really enjoyed everything we had, particularly the pork shoulder.  The Polite Pig has a “BBQ sauce” bar (… actually, its just dispensers, like ketchup/mustard dispensers, and paper cups), which has a variety of options you can see on the menu, but we found that the pork shoulder really didn’t need any sauces to make it enjoyable, it was actually very flavorful on its own.  We did dip the pretzel in each one of the sauces, and while good, they were nothing to write home about.  The pretzel itself comes with beer cheese fondue (a HUGE AMOUNT OF IT) and IPA mustard, both of which were incredibly tasty – so much so that I usually couldn’t decide which to dip my pretzel into.  Finally, the mac and cheese was REALLY GOOD GUYS.  Sometimes mac and cheese can be kinda flavorless, but I really enjoyed it.

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A very tilted picture of the Polite Pig interior.
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Outdoor bar seating at the Polite Pig

Lets talk about seating.  There is indoor and outdoor seating, and its a pretty big place, we didn’t have to wait long to find a table.  They seemed right on top of cleaning off the tables as soon as one party was done, so even though we had a minute of “table-hovering,” we still sat down at a clean table.  There is also a lot of bar seating available, or I suppose you could get your food to-go and sit somewhere outside at Disney Springs.  The only thing I’ll mention about this is the day we were there was really hot (around 95 degrees), and while there were still people sitting in the “patio” area as it was partially shaded, I don’t think this would be the best place to sit in the middle of August, which would cut out some of the seating options.

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Taps at the bar
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Taps behind the counter where you order food

I’ll also say that while we didn’t partake, the bar options certainly looked intriguing.  I don’t really like bourbon, but there is a bourbon bar with options ranging from $9 to $99.  I suppose if I liked bourbon this would entertain me more.  There are also a variety of beers (I really like Florida Cracker from Cigar City, you should give it a try if you can find it in your area or if you happen to go somewhere that has it), and cocktails on tap.  Again, you can see all of these options on their menu.

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Polite Pig Merchandise!

So Drinking Ever After, what are your thoughts on the The Polite Pig in Disney Springs?

Well, I liked the Polite Pig. I thought it was a good option for lunch and we definitely got plenty of food, despite not ordering our own meals. We actually brought one of the pretzels home because it was too much (and BBQ is really heavy). I do think its pretty expensive given that you need to order the sides separately, but I would go back, possibly sit at the bar, and try some of the beers or cocktails.

And yeah, on a slightly unrelated note, if you can find Cigar City beers anywhere, definitely give them a try.

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Full Review: The Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

Despite the remarkably silly name (seriously I feel awkward typing it), The Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is a amazingly fun time, really for all ages.  Hoop Dee Doo, which I will now shorten to “HDD” for the remainder of this blog post, is a 2 hour dinner show featuring the “Pioneer Hall Players” with rousing Wild West dancing, singing, and vaudeville comedy.  Thats what it says on the website.  Seriously though, it really is fun, and the food is great.

HDD is located at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort in Pioneer Hall.  I’ve written about Fort Wilderness in my post about Crockett’s Tavern, and again I recommend taking the very pretty boat ride from Magic Kingdom over to Fort Wilderness, and getting there early to either get a drink at Crockett’s Tavern, or walk the grounds of Fort Wilderness.  If you go that route, the only thing I recommend is leaving early, because the boat can get backed up right before HDD begins.

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Seating options and pricing at HDD, as of 4.30.2017 from the Walt Disney World website

There are 3 seating times for HDD, 4:00pm, 6:15pm, and 8:30pm.  You’ll get the same show at each seating, and they are all priced the same.  There are tiers of pricing that are determined by where you are sitting.  You have a good view wherever you are, so its really up to you.  I will say that I actually prefer the balcony seating because there is only one row of tables up there, so there isn’t anyone in between you and the stage-action.  Also because I’m not very big on audience participation, and if you’re in the main floor category 1 seating area, you might get some of that.  I wont spoil it for you.

HDD, as I said, is a dinner show.  Its actually one of the longest running musical theater performances in the United States, which is kind of cool.  Its been running since 1974.  The show consists of 6 people with live musical accompaniment, who are a “traveling theater troupe” in the Wild West (get it, Pioneer Hall Players…?  Yeah.).  Since its a musical, there are plenty of songs, but also skits and jokes and some general funniness that will keep everyone in your family entertained.  At the end of the night, get ready to spin your checked napkin over your head and/or play a washboard with a spoon, because thats what you’re going to be doing, along with the rest of the audience.  You’ll have fun, really.  I know it sounds silly when you’re a 30 year old adult without any kids.  You should go anyway.

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The HDD players, image courtesy disneyworld.go.com

Okay, but it does bother me a little bit that people are spinning their dirty napkins over their head and rubbing used spoons on washboards, but that might just be me.  Its still fun.  I guess thats just part of the spirit of the evening.

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HDD Menu

Moving on.  Lets talk about the food.  THE AMAZING FOOD.  I’m not kidding, it really is great.  Its all you can eat and you will be very excited about it being all you can eat.  Its also all you can drink, with choices of non-alcoholic drinks, wine, beer (bud light or yuengling, nothing that entertaining), and sangria.  Unfortunately the last time we were at HDD I was horrendously ill with some kind of flu/cold/disease, so I was woefully unable to partake, but they’ll bring you a pitcher of the alcoholic drinks if you ask.  They’re all served in mason jars.  Cute.

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Beer at HDD

For food, you get this amazing selection of cornbread, salad, fried chicken, BBQ pork ribs, a seasonal veggie (its usually corn), mashed potatoes, beans, and strawberry shortcake.  We also got surprise mac-and-cheese last time, which was super exciting.  THE FRIED CHICKEN IS SO GOOD I DREAM ABOUT IT.  All of these are brought to your table in metal buckets that they will slam onto the table making an exceptionally loud noise that will scare the hell out of you if you’re not paying attention and are watching the show.  You can ask for seconds of anything you’d like.

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Corn, beans, etc.
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Corn, fried chicken, BBQ ribs, mashed potatoes
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Mac and cheese
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Mashed potatoes, corn, fried chicken, BBQ ribs

You probably shouldn’t fill up on cornbread or salad, but honestly they’re really REALLY good.

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Strawberry shortcake, DOESN’T IT LOOK GOOD?!

The real show-stopper (hah, get it, because its a dinner show?  …I’m so sorry…), is the strawberry shortcake.  Its great.  SO GREAT.  The only thing that I wish is that you have a little bit more time to eat it.  Its served at the end of the night, because obviously its dessert, and you eventually need to leave and stop eating.  I eat really slow so this is sometimes an issue with dinner show type settings.  Regardless of this criticism, its still awesome.

So Drinking Ever After, what are your thoughts on the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue?

I know, it has a silly name.  I know, you might feel stupid as a couple of adult 30 year olds going to a Disney dinner show.  And I know, all you can eat BBQ when there are some really awesome and creative restaurants at Disney combined with what is essentially shitty beer might sound less than tempting at first glance.

You should go anyway.  HDD is one of my favorite dinner experiences at Disney.  Its fun, even the silly singing is fun, the food is actually some of the better food I’ve had on property, and its just done right.

There is definitely a reason this is one of the longest running dinner theater shows in America.  When Disney does something for over 40 years, they definitely do it correctly.

Its also really fun if you go for any sort of life event, like a birthday or anniversary.  They will point it out, and its definitely a fun event to commemorate the occasion.