Disclaimer: Disney sent me to Walt Disney World on an all-expenses paid trip, in exchange for my coverage of the #ZootopiaEvent, which included a visit to the Magic Kingdom and a sneak peek at the new Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen restaurant. All opinions are my own. All photos courtesy of Disney.
Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
For both children and adults, a walk down Main Street with a view of Cinderella’s Castle is just the beginning of a memory-making magical day. It’s a walk I’ve taken with my family many times. This time, as part of the Zootopia press junket trip, I had a unique experience – I walked it by myself, without my family, without a child by my side.
And it was fabulous!
I’ll admit that I loved paying attention to every little detail, something that Disney and the Imagineers excel at. And I could spend more time taking photos, something I have dreamed of doing (and may just have to do again one day). That’s when I grabbed this shot of Cinderella’s Castle in the background.
But I didn’t stop there, I had a mission. Oh yes, I rode the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (TOO FUN) and grabbed a must-have Disney treat (DOLE WHIPE, but I was here to scope out the new Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen restaurant.
Now, any Magic Kingdom go-er is quite familiar with its famous attraction in Adventureland, the Jungle Cruise. Step on a boat and head off into another world, if you dare.
Trek to a forgotten tropical jungle outpost—home to suspended cargo nets, wooden crates and lanterns, and faded marquee signs—and board a canopied tramp steamer for a tongue-in-cheek adventure led by a trusty skipper through some of the world’s most treacherous rivers.
But what if Disney Imagineers created a restaurant with the same theme-ing as the Jungle Cruise? And what if it wasn’t counter service, but one of Disney’s top-notch table-service restaurants?
Let me introduce you to Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen, or Magic Kingdom’s Skipper Canteen for short.
The themed restaurant opened in December 2015 (Dec 16th) and has found it’s home tucked in the heart of Adventureland, directly across from the Swiss Family Treehouse attraction.
The 222-seat restaurant is table service, not counter service, and at Disney World that means a great spot to rest, get out of the sun and enjoy amazing food, all the while enjoying Disney’s theme-ing at its finest.
Staffed by Jungle Cruise skippers (WHAT??!!??) who are known for their tongue in cheek jokes, the restaurant is bound to have the same fun as the Adventureland attraction. For this reason alone, Skipper Canteen is a must-try!
Back in December, Skipper Canteen was noted to be the first table-service restaurant at Disney World to only accept walk-ups. I’m happy to report that has changed, though only slightly as you’ll see below…..
UPDATE: Reservations are now available for Skipper Canteen BUT only same-day reservations, so head to Adventureland first to sign up!
This makes it a great option for those of us with last minute Disney World trips or those of us who didn’t sign up for reservations 6 months out like is often necessary for places like “Be Our Guest” or “Cinderella’s Royal Table”.
I wish I could report first-hand, but there was no time. But a quick look at the menu and I will be coming back.
Some things that stand out:
- Dr. Falls’ Signature Grilled Steak – Strip Loin Asado-marinated in Sofrito and served with Yuca Planks, Avocado, and House-made Chimichurri
- Kunglaloosh! – An African-inspired Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Bananas served with Cashew-Caramel Ice Cream topped with Coffee Dust
- Exotic Coca-Cola® – – varieties from Thailand and Brazil
Two non-alcoholic specialties will be served: the Punch Line Punch, with tropical fruit juice and mango puree (also available with a spiced rim for an extra zinger); and the Schweitzer Slush, with frozen apple juice and passion fruit topped with bursting green apple boba balls (legend has it this was first concocted by the noted explorer and humanitarian, Dr. Albert Slush).
*The Disney Dining Plan is accepted here
The decor at Skipper Canteen is perfect and as always, it’s in the details. From the lanterns to the wicker chairs, you feel like you’ve just walked into a restaurant in the middle of Asia, South America or Africa!
You’ll find 3 rooms in which to dine:
- Crew’s colonial-era Mess Hall
- Jungle Room, former family parlor of Dr. Albert Falls himself
- S.E.A. Room—a once-hidden secret meeting place for the Society of Explorers and Adventurers
As always, Disney has done it again, and the day was magical. I cannot wait to head back, and next time, enjoy the world famous jungle cuisine at Magic Kingdom’s Skipper Canteen! I hope you will too!
ZOOTOPIA Now Playing in Theatres Everywhere!
Be sure to check out my other posts from the ZOOTOPIA Event:
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