Hello adventurers! And greetings from the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen!
If you’re not aware, the Skipper Canteen is a Jungle Cruise themed restaurant, right in the heart of the jungle — er, Adventureland. It’s full of nods to the classic attraction, exotic eats, and goofy Skippers; and we recently told you all about some fun, new secret menu items you can grab here.
But that whet our whistle to have a full meal and were excited to sail into another visit. But would the food still hold up?
Upon entering the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen, you’ll notice a portrait of Dr. Albert Falls. Jungle Cruise Enthusiasts will immediately understand the reference to the attraction (he’s the guy after whom Schweitzer Falls is named…naturally).
But Dr. Falls is also the founder of the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd., which was a cargo transport company. Eventually, the company also began transporting tourists as a way to increase business. In fact, you can read the brief family history from Dr. Falls’ granddaughter here!
As you continue into the restaurant, you’ll find yourself in the first dining room: The Crew’s Mess Hall.
Obviously, those skippers get tired from hauling guests up and down the river, and needed somewhere to relax and get some grub!
The walls are lined with Jungle artifacts, such as masks, plates, and figurines. Our favorite thing on the wall is a shelf called “Lost and Unfound” topped with Skippers’ lost items.
Make sure to check out the Crew Bulletin Board as well, where you’ll see funny notes and newspaper clippings from the Skippers.
Time to head to the next dining room — and you’ll pass through these formerly-secret bookcases to do so!
Welcome to the S.E.A Room! Fans of the now-extinct Adventurers Club at Pleasure Island may recall that S.E.A stands for the Society of Explorers and Adventurers.
Dr. Falls was a member of the secret society and used to host meetings in this formerly-hidden room. And now, it’s a great spot for your meal, with some of the coolest seating in the joint!
Does anything in this S.E.A room painting look familiar? (Hint! Look at the building. And the snake.)
The last dining room at Skipper Canteen is the Falls Family Parlor.
Also referred to as “The Jungle Room,” this is where Dr. Falls and his family used to gather ’round for meals and story-telling. Around the room, you’ll see some family artifacts and heirlooms from their adventures!
We adore this light fixture, which reminds us of a certain room nearby (Or should we say, a certain tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room nearby!).
The Parlor wraps up our tour of the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen — we’ve got to get to the POINT (in the end) of the review: the food! (Buckle up, guys. More Jungle Cruise puns are a-comin’!)
One thing we love about the Skipper Canteen is the exotic menu. It’s far beyond “normal” theme park food — there’s not a chicken nugget or burger in sight! (Don’t get us wrong — we LOVE chicken nuggets. But this restaurant has such a unique, adventurous theme and we’re glad the food echoes that.)
Note that the menu has sketches of classic scenes from the Jungle Cruise.
So what’s on the menu — besides adorable artwork? Let’s start with the drinks!
In the past, we’ve enjoyed the specialty drinks — the Schweitzer Slush and Punch Line Punch. But we recently discovered the super cute souvenir mugs are MISSING!
You can still order the slushy drinks, but until further notice, they’ll be served in a normal cup.
As with all Table Service restaurants in Magic Kingdom, there is a selection of alcohol on offer.
But what’s that around the river bend? Could it be SECRET MENU DRINKS? Yup. Skipper Canteen features 3 secret menu sangrias — all ya gotta do is ask your friendly Skipper for assistance. If they don’t know what you’re talking about, they’re probably just lion. (ehh, ehh??)
Skipper Canteen is home to a huge appetizer menu. In the past, we’ve really enjoyed the S.E.A Shu Mai and Orinoco Ida’s Cachapas (that beer braised pork is DELICIOUS).
But this visit, something else caught our eye: The Lost and Found Soup. Considering it’s a seasonal soup, the name really made us chuckle! We asked our Skipper what the current selection was and found out it was “Coconut Curry.” SOLD!
The soup arrived warm and beautiful! Our skipper explained it is a Butternut Squash base with Coconut and Curry and is topped with Chili Oil and Green Onions.
This soup was FABULOUS. It was full of flavor, and we loved the punch from the Chili Oil. It wasn’t overwhelmingly hot, but it did bring a little heat. You could definitely tell it was a Butternut Squash Soup’s more exotic and flavorful cousin, and the sweet Coconut perfectly complimented the Squash. Overall, it was a hearty soup and was a perfect balance of sweet, curry, and heat.
And don’t worry about it being seasonal — our Skipper told us that soups tend to stick around for months at a time. So hopefully this one will be around for the fall and winter season!
You know what they say — safari, so good! So let’s move on! Next up, we browsed the entrees.
We’ve tried (and loved) the “Tastes Like Chicken – Because It Is!,” and the “Hardy Har Char” Siu Pork in the past, but today we were drawn to the other (not-white) meat. STEAK….Dr. Falls’ Signature Grilled Steak to be exact.
The Dr. Falls’ Signature Grilled Steak is an Adobo-seasoned New York Strip, served with a Vegetable and Chorizo Farofa, a Caramelized Onion Purée, and Red Wine Reduction.
Right off the bat, we realized the portion was pretty large — in fact, it could be easily shared along with an appetizer depending on how hungry you are. We asked for the steak to be cooked medium-rare, and the Skippers (Chefs), made it happen beautifully.
The meat was cooked to request and had a nice char on the outside as well as noticeable grill marks. (We STAN grill marks.) The adobo-seasoning was our favorite thing about the steak however, as it made it stand out from others we’ve had on property. It brought an “exotic” flair to the dish that was very fitting for Skipper Canteen!
We also were really into the Vegetable and Chorizo Farofa — which is good considering we always have to look up farofa whenever it’s on a menu! It’s a grain similar to grits or polenta, and in this case was cooked with chorizo sausage, beans, onions, tomatoes, and peppers. This was a FABULOUS side, very in keeping with the theme. The sausage had a slight amount of heat, and overall the side was seasoned very well. For not knowing what we were going to be eating, we have to say we’re all FAROFA it. (Sorry, had to.)
The steak was supposed to be served with a Caramelized Onion Purée, but all we picked up on was the thin-sliced pickled onions on top — either way, it added a simple yet crisp flavor to the meal. We later learned the 2 pale blobs next to the plate are the onion purée, if you’re curious! And finally, we really enjoyed the Red Wine Reduction which really tied all of the components together.
Overall, this was a high-quality dish and we did enjoy the steak. That said, was it worth $36? Maybe not, in our opinion. We’d still rather get the “Tastes Like Chicken — Because It Is!” when it comes to unique entrees. That said, this entree is a VERY good use of a Disney Dining Plan Table Service Credit.
That entree was solid as a rock. We hope you didn’t take it for granite (that was one of our boulder jokes)! Next up, it was time to glance at a dessert menu.
The first side of the smaller menu consisted of hot beverages, such as teas and coffees. (Note the Alto Mayo Protected Forest Coffee. Super cool!)
And the second side listed the desserts available.
On previous visits, we were very delighted by the Coconut Bar and the Kungaloosh! (For the flavors as well as the name.)
But for this trip, we asked our server which of the remaining two desserts we should try — the Bertha’s Bahn Bong Lan Cake with Mango-lime Sorbet or the Quick Sand!!!?
Turns out the answer from our (very honest) skipper, was neither! She said that we’d already enjoyed the best two desserts in her opinion, and the other two were just…meh. (We love a candid server!) We figured since we were in Adventureland, we could probably find a very tasty dessert just around the corner. 😉 (Like the amazing Pineapple Upside Down Cake from Aloha Isle.)
That said, if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan or want a dessert while you’re still at Skipper Canteen, we HIGHLY recommend the Coconut Bar with Pineapple-Basil Compote and Vanilla Cream. We love the light cake and were shocked at how well all the flavors went together. It’s been a guest favorite since the restaurant opened. It’s a unique and tasty way to end your meal.
But perhaps, our favorite thing about the Dessert menu is the back.
Nosh or Not?
Swing by the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen if:
- You adore the Jungle Cruise. You’ll love all the details and nods to the classic attraction! And the jokes. Gotta love the jokes!
- You want a sit-down meal in Magic Kingdom. It’s usually easier to get a last-minute dining reservation or even walk-up table at Skipper Canteen vs. other table service restaurants in the park. Why is that?
- You want something other than a burger. The menu is certainly the most “exotic” of the restaurants in MK, so if you’re a more adventurous eater, this place may be right up your alley!
“Skip” the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen if:
- Dessert is your favorite part of the meal. While there are decent, even yummy, options, the menu is limited and dessert isn’t the highlight of the Skipper Canteen. (Luckily amazing and iconic treats can be found nearby!)
- You have picky eaters. While some items are certainly more adventurous than others (like a whole fried fish!), you may have trouble finding something that will satisfy the pickiest of palettes.
When it comes down to it, the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen is a fun, silly, and even kitschy experience. And we love it for that! As big fans of the Jungle Cruise, we adore all the subtle (and not so subtle) references to the classic attraction. This is truly an immersive dining experience that puts you right into the story. We also love that the menu is completely different from anything else you’ll find in Magic Kingdom. The options complement and enhance the theme — it just wouldn’t be the same if we ate pizza or burgers in this environment.
Overall, the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen remains a must-visit (at least once) for those that appreciate a unique menu, the Jungle Cruise, and classic Disney storytelling.
If you enjoyed yourself, we’re with DFB and this has been the world-famous Skipper Canteen. If you didn’t, then our name is Kevin and this has been our review of Chef Mickey’s. Have a good night folks!
Want to learn more about dining in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland? Check out this DFB Video!
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Have you eaten at the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen? Let us know in the comments!