We sometimes consider ourselves explorers. We rarely turn down a chance to travel or try something new. Travel without an itinerary? Of course. No cell phone coverage? O.K. Surfing classes? Yes please. Our “explorer” reach doesn’t however extend to eating whole Lion Fish. But if you’re heading to the Skipper Canteen Jungle Cruise Disney Restaurant, you should be ready for anything.
Skipper Canteen Jungle Cruise Restaurant in Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World
Lion Fish, as a food we’re not particularly thrilled about. While we can appreciate that they are ruining the Coral Reef thanks to overpopulation and understand why they are on the Skipper Canteen menu, we are definitely not the girls to tackle eating the black and white spiked fish to fix that problem.
From the moment we heard that Jungle Cruise was getting a restaurant themed for the explorer and adventurer we were hungry for pictures. The menu! And everything that we’d come to love from the Jungle Cruise riverboat. Surely if exotic cruises were departing daily, the food must also be exotic, right? Yes. Very .
Skipper Canteen Restaurant Menu
Ok, so we couldn’t get enough of the Falls Family Falafel. If you’ve never had falafel they’re like hush puppies made with garbanzo beans instead of cornmeal. You only get 5 of these little falafel balls but they are a great way to supplement your meal if you’re thinking of trying a daring explorer dish you may or may not like.
The desserts at Skipper Canteen were fantastic. They are rivaled by only one other Disney Restaurant, Sanaa. These were equally decadent, with a beautiful presentation, an excellent portion size and tasty enough that we would come back just for dessert and tea. Yes, they were that yummy.
The Entrees and Sides
Ok, lets get down to why you’re really here. The menu options. While they do have pork, shrimp, lamb and steak the seasoning and add-ons give these dishes significant flair that you or your family may not like. Thankfully there is a kids menu. Our not-too-exotic choices for dinner were good but still left us thinking that Be Our Guest is still our top choice Magic Kingdom restaurant. Check out the whole menu for Skipper Canteen here.
A nice vegetarian option of curried vegetable stew with naan and rice was perfect for the rainy day we were escaping. Warm and very spicy, the bread and rice helped break up the “hot.” And once we got used to the heat, we decided to learn how to make curry at home.
You can grab yucca fries as a side with the steak, which was spicier. However, the avocado salsa cooled this dish down a bit. So that was nice. We also got the mac and cheese since we were traveling with G, but even as a kids size, this portion was huge. The menu is perfectly themed to the Explorer experience. Given the exotic food options, we usually don’t see a huge wait for this restaurant or and it’s by no means as hard a Dining Reservation to get as Be Our Guest.
Dinner with a side of Puns
Just like Jungle Cruise, the puns show up as soon as you enter! We learned after about 15 minutes of jokes from our server that this would not be the place to come if you had a pressing fast pass or parade to watch afterwards. Because the jokes-they take some time! The jokes, much like the Jungle Cruise boat ride are obvious, ironic and fun. As much as we love the ride, since this is a restaurant we also kinda just wanted to order our food. Awkward laughter anyone? Yep right here… ! The servers do help break up the jokes by allowing guests to wander around and take pictures. Which was pretty awesome.
Restaurant Design Fail?
Got Bathrooms? Not really. This restaurant has two stalls. Hope this has been fixed since we dined here. And although the restaurant was half empty, there seemed to be a never-ending line at the bathroom. How? While beautiful, the bathrooms are terribly impractical for a restaurant of this size. We were surprised and make the recommendation that you frequent the bathrooms outside of the restaurant in the tunnel across from the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House. They’re bigger, with more stalls and you don’t have to wait in line.
Skipper Canteen Jungle Cruise Restaurant Review
It’s hard to tell if Skipper Canteen will master the exotic, but still edible, food niche at Magic Kingdom. While a restaurant like this would be perfect for Epcot and the adult crowd, most families will still be frequenting the safer and more familiar Thanksgiving Dinner option at Liberty Tree Tavern. Because who doesn’t love that restaurant?!??
Mind you, we thought Skipper Canteen was pretty cool as an experience, but it did not impress us enough to put it on the long list of ” must visit” restaurants. Or to be one we book every time we visit. We’ll be sure to give it another try soon though, and report back!