Skipper Canteen is the newest restaurant in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and is based off of the classic Jungle Cruise attraction! The Jungle Cruise ride is full of surprises and those beloved corny jokes from the Skippers that produce a grin on the faces of adventurers of all ages. Of course, on our most recent visit to Walt Disney World we just had to try it! Even though this is a very new restaurant some big changes are in store and I’ll explain those after I show you all the goodies we tried. Here is our dinner review of Magic Kingdom’s Skipper’s Canteen at Walt Disney World.
Jungle Navigation co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen (terribly long name!) is a table service restaurant offering same day reservations or walk-ups. This is a big departure from the typical “better get your dining reservations a full 180 days in advance or you’ll starve on vacation!!” Disney mentality. I liked the ability to reserve same-day. It allowed us to have a more carefree planning style and with the Disney app it was very simple. I woke up around 9a.m. and reserved our table through the app and to my surprise 3 time slots were available. We got a reservation for 7:15pm and arrived at about 7:10pm. We checked in at the front and were provided with a beeper. The area in front of the restaurant was full of people waiting to be seated as was the adjacent area near Sunshine Tree Terrace. So we took our beeper and found a shady spot to relax.
Since we had a reservation I assumed we would be seated in around 10-15 minutes after arrival… nope. It was over 30 minutes and our youngest native began to get restless. Thankfully the view was good…
Baby ducks showed up…
And there were things to climb on…
All of these things combined made the wait easier- but somehow it still felt like forever (I’m impatient when I’m hungry apparently). When our buzzer went off we headed back to the restaurant entrance and were greeted by the host dressed in Jungle Cruise Skipper attire who greeted us and told a couple quick jokes about traveling and asked how we came to arrive at the Canteen. It was pretty funny but I wish we had played around more to get the full feel of the corny atmosphere I was expecting because this was our only opportunity as I later learned! So joke around with your host… the Skipper (server) may not be as into it.
The Skipper Canteen is divided into 3 rooms. We were seated in the main large room called the Mess Hall.
We were given our menus and our waiter arrived shortly to take our order.
The beverage selection is very interesting with multiple non-alcoholic specialty drinks, no alcohol is served at Skipper Canteen, and my FAVORITE Coke product from Club Cool in Epcot Fanta Melon Frosty from Thailand!! So obviously that was my beverage of choice as well as a water because we were dying of thirst!
The cuisine at Skippers Canteen is also a big departure from typical theme park food. It’s listed as being “exotic” in keeping with the Jungle Cruise theming. This means the food at Skipper Canteen is based on cuisine from Asia, South America, and Africa. We LOVE this! A person can eat only so many fries and burgers before they just feel gross. Interesting food options are something the Magic Kingdom has been lacking for quite some time- it was slightly remedied with Be Our Guest and it’s healthier offerings but it is so difficult to snag a reservation there, even for lunch, many guests are left deciding between quick service burgers or tacos. Those are both perfectly fine but a girl likes options! That being said I am not so sure Skipper Canteen got it right on this first go-around.
The bread service is a round loaf accompanied by honey for dipping. This was very good but as a butter lover I would have probably enjoyed a more savory dip. The little man loved it. Between the three of us this was devoured very quickly.
Onto the appetizer!
We had the S.E.A. (Society of Explorers and Adventurers) Shu Mai. These are like a steamed dumpling and the filling is pork, shrimp, and mung beans. The flavor was very good but we had a hard time picking them up without all the filling falling out. The dip is the stand out star for me. It’s pretty spicy so watch out, but it is so good! I would get these again.
The kid’s menu is also adventurous. It offers mac n cheese as well as Arepas along with a Mickey’s Healthy Choice kids Menu. To see the full menu click here. Our little man just shared a mac n cheese from Friars Nook with us for snack a few hours prior so we managed to talk him into the Amazon Annie’s House-Made Arepas made with slow-cooked beef, black beans, queso fresco and a side of Yuca planks. Yay we’re Adventurers too! Drink AND dessert are included in the price of the kids meal- a big plus in my book! Let’s see these Arepas!
The arepas are basically sandwiches with corn pancakes as buns. The Arepas were presented beautifully probably one of the prettiest kids meals I have ever seen! But I feel it was a little adventurous for our son- even though he is typically open to trying new things this was not his style. He ate one of them and my husband and i finished the other. We thought it was very good, although I must admit my husband even picked off the beans. The Yuca planks are similar to french fries but the consistency of the Yuca, a south american potato, is more mealy in my opinion and none of us particularly liked these. Although, once we doused them in ketchup we had no problem scarfing them down.
While this dish is beautiful and I love that it is a departure from the standard burger and fries or uncrustable it is probably a little too different for most children including our own. If we visit again he would definitely opt for the Mac n’ Cheese.
My husband ordered the “Tastes like Chicken” – because it is! Which is Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast served with Stir-fried Vegetables, Shiitake-fried Rice, and Hoison Sauce.
This dish honestly fell pretty flat. My husband is a chicken guy and will always choose chicken over steak unless we are at Ruth’s Chris. He was not impressed with this dish but tried my steak and said it was way better than his chicken… so that means it was pretty bad. His main complaint is that the chicken was extremely dry so that may have simply been an isolated occurrence, still something to keep in mind if you are on the fence between the chicken and another dish.
I chose Dr. Falls’ Signature Grilled Steak which is Strip Loin Asado-marinated in Sofrito and served with Yuca Planks, Avocado, and House-made Chimichurri.
This was so good! It is the most expensive item on the menu and I was hesitant to order it for that reason but I am so glad I did! I still feel the price tag of 34.00 is a little steep for what you get but it’s better to pay a little extra for something you will actually enjoy. The steak was tender and I am a huge avocado fan so this was perfect! I shared a little with the hubs and there was still plenty for me. I would definitely get this again but I would switch out the Yuca planks for a different side- they just aren’t that good. I’ll save my carbs for dessert, thank you!
The included children’s dessert is definitely the highlight of the dessert choices at Skipper Canteen.
Volcano! This Gooey Chocolate Cake with Caramel Lava and exploding Chocolate Rocks will make you shout “UH OA!” (Menu Description)
This dessert is bound to be a hit with pretty much any child… I personally would have loved one of these myself!! The sugar art topping is gorgeous and makes the volcano extra special. It is petite in size so it’s perfect for a child (with enough for Mom to still sneak a tiny bite). I highly recommend this!
The options for adult desserts we honestly not especially appealing to us but David and I opted to share a dessert because I at least wanted to try SOMETHING! I have a sugar addiction problem… it’s a work in progress.
This beauty is the Kungaloosh! An African-inspired Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Bananas served with Cashew-Caramel Ice Cream topped with Coffee Dust. This was recommended by our waiter with such absoluteness we could tell it was the best way to go. It reminded me of a dark chocolate lava cake without the gooey lava part. It was good- my favorite part being the banana- but it certainly isn’t making it onto my Best Desserts at Disney list. I would save my calories for a Dole Whip just around the corner of the restaurant, it is better and half the price. Although the presentation for this dessert, as with all the other dishes we tried, is beautiful!
Overall, Skipper Canteen was not all that i thought it would be. The theming seemed rushed and was underwhelming and the food was just ok. It was certainly nice to have a new experience at Magic Kingdom and the option to have a sit down meal to cool off and relax during the afternoon rush when the morning people haven’t quite left and the night guests have already arrived. Having said that- as is- we would probably not return to Skipper Canteen.
It appears that many guests have felt the way we do about Skipper Canteen and it is rumoured to be in for some MAJOR changes. Including but not limited to, the possibility of an entirely new menu! I would also love to see the theme kicked up a notch. This idea has so much potential and The Jungle Cruise is such a beloved ride many Disney fans would be on board with a more immersive experience. I think somewhere between what it is now and Rainforest Cafe level would be the perfect sweet spot. Have you visited Skipper Canteen? What changes would you like to see during the revamp?
Skipper Canteen Dinner review: The Newest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom. Is it worth it?