You’ve heard of the Jungle Cruise, you’ve heard of the backside of water, but have you heard of Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen!? That’s right! We’re bringing you a review from the punniest and most adventurous restaurant in Magic Kingdom.
We’re headed over to Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland to try out a restaurant we’ll be calling Skipper Canteen for this review (since that full name is SUPER lengthy). This is the only table service restaurant in Adventureland and easily the home of most of the more interesting meals that you can find in Magic Kingdom. We love this restaurant and think it’s a rock-solid addition to Magic Kingdom, yet many guests take it for granite. It’s definitely one of the boulder choices for dining in Disney World’s original park. (We should apologize now: buckle up — it’s gonna be a lot of Jungle Cruise jokes!)
Hello and welcome to the world-famous Jungle Cruise…restaurant. We tend to enjoy visits to Skipper Canteen due to its immersive theme and unique menu. You’d be hard-pressed to find similar eats anywhere else in Disney World! This restaurant is themed around the “World Famous” Jungle Cruise attraction featuring “World Famous Jungle Cuisine” and there are SO many details to see in the theming.
Get ready for a menu of surprising dishes inspired by African, Asian, and Latin cuisine. Plus, we might have a laugh along the way! And now ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…the start of…our review! 😉
The atmosphere at Skipper Canteen is inspired by the Jungle Cruise attraction, so this is a very good spot for those who LOVE the iconic attraction…or puns…puns too. Lots of puns.
The story of the restaurant is that the granddaughter of the Jungle Cruise’s Dr. Albert Falls, Alberta Falls, took over the family business (That’s Jungle Navigation Co.!).
Jungle Navigation Co. was originally a cargo shipping venture before they started offering Jungle Cruises to tourists. Now, Skipper Canteen offers meals for passengers before or after their Jungle Cruise!
Skipper Canteen has three different dining rooms: the Falls Family Parlor is themed as a comfy space for the Falls family and is absolutely loaded with awesome animal details that are playful nods to the attraction (seriously — look up and down especially in here!).
And there’s the once-secret meeting room of the Society of Adventurers and Explorers or S.E.A..
We were seated in the Crew Mess Hall! This is the first room you enter and the largest of the three. As you can see, most of the seating area contains standard tables and chairs and some booths.
We love sitting in any of the dining rooms but the main room certainly feels lively!
Another fun aspect is that your server will actually be a Jungle Cruise Skipper! So, in addition to serving up “World Famous Jungle Cuisine,” you’ll probably also get served some JOKES. Truth be told, Skippers can vary wildly here. We’ve had some just NOT breaking character and letting the dad-jokes rip the entire meal (love it!) and other times that the “Skipperiness” is barely detectable. Basically, your mileage may vary with your server.
If you have a moment before or after your meal, we DEFINITELY recommend walking around and taking a look at some of the hidden details and jokes around the restaurant — like that barrel full of the backside of water!
And remember to HAVE FUN! Your host, server, and even food runners might have some fun bits and jokes for you. Plus, it’s a relaxed atmosphere that still has dynamite food offerings.
Speaking of dynamite food offerings, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. Or afoot of ourselves. (They’re not all winners, folks!)
As we’ve seen at most table service restaurants in Disney World at this time, the menu is available through a QR Code. Paper menus are available upon request.
At our table, we were given a cloth napkin and utensils.
As we’ve said, the Skipper Canteen menu is pretty unique. You’ve got four appetizer options. We’ve had lots of servers recommend the Falls Family Falafel in the past.
As for entrees, the Perkins Thai Noodles are a favorite of ours. For more adventurous eaters there’s the oddly NOT fun-named Sustainable Fish (it IS noted as “not piranha” sooo…). This is one or two (depends on what’s available) WHOLE fried fish. If you don’t mind picking through a lot of bones, this is quite good. We’re going to try something a little different today though! You’ll have to keep reading to find out what!
And here’s a glance at desserts. If you didn’t pick up on it from looking at the menu, you should definitely keep an eye out for jokes here as well! The whole menu is loaded with them!
Even the kids’ meal options are more on the adventurous side!
Skipper Canteen has a variety of beverage options including a few signature cocktails. The Schweitzer Slush is great for kids (created by famed explorer Dr. Albert…Slush!). They USED to have some really great souvenir cups here that the two specialty beverages were served in. We haven’t seen these offered for a while now.
And, being a table service restaurant in Magic Kingdom, there is a selection of beer and wine. You can also find those great sangrias here still!
Today, we opted to try the Jungle Navigation Co. Shandy cocktail for $10. This drink is an interesting mix of Blue Moon Belgium White Ale and Simply Lemonade.
This was nice and refreshing! There were some citrus hints but they weren’t overwhelming. Overall, it was a very enjoyable twist on a shandy but not as sweet as one made with Sprite. If you enjoy citrus beers, this is a fun drink to try that goes down easy! Well- you know what they say…safari, so good-ee. So I guess we’ll be moving on to our meal!
Our first appetizer was the Jungle Green Salad for $10. Be warned, this salad comes right from the depths of the jungle! At least, that’s what the menu says anyway.
This salad is made with Skipper Bill’s Iceberg Wedge with Shishito Peppers, Radish, Hearts of Palm, Cucumbers, and Pistachios with an Ají Pepper-Yogurt Dressing.
The hearts of palm were nice and salty and added a great tanginess to the salad. The shishito had a little bit of a kick, but nothing too crazy. If you’re totally spice averse, you might not like them but we did!
The dressing was a little spicy as well but there wasn’t very much of it so the vegetables and lettuce helped to cool the heat. We liked the kick in the dressing but weren’t the biggest fans of the yogurt flavors. Note that this salad does have nuts!
Our other appetizer was the ever-recommended Falls Family Falafel for $10.
This is a “secret recipe” of Chickpeas, Garlic, Onions, Lemon Juice, and Herbs served with House-made Edamame Hummus and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds.
For a plant-based dish, this was FULL of flavor and so, so tasty! It wasn’t too spicy and we loved the crunch from the pumpkin seeds. Plus, it was filling! This option could easily be a light entree for someone or great for sharing.
The falafel was flavorful and honestly, kind of reminded us of hushpuppies. We could mostly taste the onion and the lemon. Our reporter is a big garlic fan and her only wish was for MORE GARLIC.
Both of the appetizers were great portion sizes. We will say that for most appetizer options (and the rest of the menu, TBH), you need to be comfy with adventurous flavors. They are very fun and bold! We think plant-based eaters will especially appreciate these options. Too often Disney’s plant-based options seem a bit like they were trying too hard to cram a plant-based anything on the menu. But this is something plant and meat-eaters alike would genuinely enjoy — we did!
Alright, on to the entrees! First up, we’ve got the “Hardy Har Char” Siu Pork for $25.
This dish is Char Siu-marinated Pork served with Seasonal Vegetables and Jasmine Rice and it was HUGE.
This one wasn’t spicy as it had more of a sweet barbecue-like sauce. Think more like a VERY red sweet and sour sauce. The serving was four BIG pieces of pork, a big ol’ pile of jasmine rice, and those seasonal veggies. We had bok choy which was lightly seasoned and a nice addition to the dish. In the past we’ve had broccolini with this dish as well.
The rice was cooked perfectly and the bok choy was simply done so that you could really taste its natural flavors. Grab a bite of pork with the rice and you’re set with some awesome flavors. The pork is mega flavorful and well-seasoned. Would now be a good time to mention that Skipper Canteen is sponsored in part by the hippo farmers of America? Hippo: The other-other white meat.
We would also note that the pork might be the safest bet on the menu for picky eaters. The sauce is sweet and nothing is overly seasoned so it may be better for pickier palettes.
Aaaand our other option was the Curried Vegetable Crew Stew for $19. According to the menu, it’s “a favorite of the Crew Stew Crew (especially Stu).”
Expect bites of Seasonal Vegetables and Pineapple Tofu in a House-made Curry Sauce served with Coconut Rice. And, yep, it’s a plant-based dish!
There was a little kick to the curry, but it wasn’t overwhelming. We spotted cauliflower, carrots, haricot verts, red bell pepper, and pineapple chunks as our seasonal vegetables and they were super flavorful and delicious.
The coconut sticky rice was OUT OF THIS WORLD. We loved the slight coconut flavor and it almost had a creamy texture with a nuttiness that was amazing. The green onions were a nice touch too. We could’ve just eaten a big ol’ bowl of this rice. We want the recipe!!!
The tofu was lightly fried and had a fun pineapple flavor that we enjoyed and the Methi bread was awesome. We could eat that bread all day long. If you’re looking for a fun and unique dish, try the stew! We would definitely order it again. Again, another thoughtfully-crafted plant-based dish. Score another one for Skipper Canteen!
For dessert, we had Panna-Connie’s Congo Lime Delight for $9.
This unique treat is a Lime “Panna Cotta” served with Mango-Lime Sorbet and Fresh Fruit. And it’s the finale of what turned out to be our almost entirely plant-based meal (minus the pork 😉).
The sorbet was delicious. It was sweet and tart with little candied lime zest on top. The panna cotta was VERY tart, almost to the point that it needed more sugar. It didn’t have the sweetness we were looking for to balance the sour.
The lime flavor mostly came through in the aftertaste and it was pretty fresh and cool — it just could’ve been a little sweeter! The sugar crumble was yummy so we would’ve loved more of that too. If you really love citrus this will hit the spot, but you might want something sweeter for dessert too. Panna cotta fans will enjoy this, especially if they don’t mind a little tart. It was a good portion so it could be easily shared!
And now, probably the most dangerous part of our journey- the return to civilization! I certainly hope you’ve enjoyed our cruise, err, meal. Make sure you have all personal belongings with you… cameras, purses, small children… anything left on board will be thrown screaming to the elephants. 😉
Nosh or Not
You SHOULD eat at Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen if…
- You are looking for a fun atmosphere or LOVE the Jungle Cruise. The theming at this spot is absolutely amazing and fans of the Jungle Cruise or a more immersive dining experience will probably have a blast!
- You enjoy more adventurous flavors and dishes. Magic Kingdom is not known for its revolutionary or adventurous options in general, but Skipper Canteen has some of the more unique plates in Disney World.
- You’re a plant-based eater (or don’t mind skipping the meat). Skipper Canteen has a very wide variety of actually QUITE good plant-based options compared to most Disney World restaurants.
You should SKIP Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen if…
- You don’t have a lot of time. Skipper Canteen can be a longer dining experience so if you only have one day in Magic Kingdom, you may want to skip it. Head to a quick service location instead!
- You have picky eaters in your group. Skipper Canteen is not a very easy spot to take picky eaters. The options are mostly unique and very flavorful!
- You want to eat outside. Skipper Canteen does have very neat dining spaces — but they’re all indoors!
We absolutely love dining at Skipper Canteen. The food is adventurous and tasty, the service is playful, and we can’t help but LOVE every single Jungle Cruise-inspired detail. Whether you’re looking for a great bite or a great belly laugh, you’ll leave Skipper Canteen smiling and happy.
We’re not sure we’ve ever had a bad meal here and the atmosphere is so light and carefree. There is a lot to look at all around the restaurant and the unique food makes for a super fun dining experience. You might walk right past this Adventureland joint but you really shouldn’t! Sure, skip Skipper Canteen if you have a busy day or a party full of picky eaters; but if you have time to sit and don’t mind more adventurous flavors, you should consider making this reservation a part of your plans!
Overall, we love this place. The atmosphere and the food are amazing and the Cast Members are so hilarious and kind. We’ve never felt rushed here and a Skipper Canteen meal is very relaxing. Do note, the prices are on the high side for some items (but also, they’re not TOO bad by Disney standards!), but you could split a few dishes and still get to enjoy the awesome vibes.
We’ll certainly be back at Skipper Canteen and you know we make a habit of visiting all the other restaurants in Disney World too! Well folks, we’ve laughed. We’ve cried. We’ve almost died! I love you like family. Now go away. I’m sorry, that was rude. Please go away. 😉
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How do you feel about Skipper Canteen? Tell us in the comments!