Walt Disney World guests with a little taste for adventure, at least in terms of culinary explorations, can now satisfy that appetite with a new dining experience at Magic Kingdom. On Dec. 14, Disney Parks Blog announced the opening of The Jungle Cruise Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen in the Adventureland section of the Disney theme park. The new table-service restaurant, which is now in soft opening, officially opens Wednesday, Dec. 16.
As regular Disney visitors might deduce, the Jungle Skipper Canteen is located near the “World Famous Jungle Cruise.” The restaurant is themed with that attraction in mind, specially, as well as to fit in the land more generally. Its backstory presents the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Headquarters as having been converted into a 222-seat restaurant by Alberta Falls, granddaughter of the company founder Dr. Albert Falls. It offers three themed dining rooms and staffed by the always-ready-with-a-joke Jungle Cruise crew ready to serve hungry travelers.
The three dining areas include the Crew’s Mess Hall, which is filled with details about the behind-the-scenes lives of the Jungle Cruise crew as well as shout-outs to Disney Imagineering and history. Falls Family Parlor is the cozy, jungle-inspired room of Dr. Albert Falls and family, and has details that nod to Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.
The most formal dining area, located behind a once-secret bookcase, is the Secret Meeting Room of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.). This dining room, and the restaurant, loosely connects to other Disney S.E.A. spaces. These areas include the gone-but-not-forgotten Adventurers Club of Walt Disney World’s closed Pleasure Island; the recently opened Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar in the resort’s newly-renamed Disney Springs; Fortress Explorations, Hightower Hotel/Tower of Terror, and Magellan’s at Tokyo DisneySea; and Mystic Manor and the Explorer’s Club Restaurant in Hong Kong Disneyland.
The Jungle Skipper Canteen is open for lunch and dinner, and its menu features the flavors Asia, South America and Africa in keeping with the rivers traveled on the Jungle Cruise itself. The food is fairly exotic by Disney park standards, and guests may order head-on shrimp, pho or sustainable fish collar. Alternately, guests may order such fare as a grilled steak, pork tenderloin or chicken breast.
Jungle Cruise skippers and crew serve as the restaurant’s skippers, bringing some of their quick wit and off-the-wall humor. During these early days, servers are drawing attention to the restaurant’s story and theming, and provide some patter as part of the experience.
The Jungle Skipper Canteen adult menu currently offers the following entrees:
- House-made arepas with slow-cooked beef, black beans, tostones and queso fresco;
- Dr. Falls’ Signature Grilled Steak, a strip loin marinated in sofrito and served with yuca planks, avocado and house-made chimichurri;
- Rice Noodle Bowl with an Asian pho broth with choice of chicken, duck breast or tofu served with jalapeños and mix of fresh herbs;
- Trader Sam’s Head-on Shrimp, with sustainable, local, farm-raised shrimp tossed in a chili-garlic sauce and served with Chinese broccoli and choice of five-grain or white rice;
- Coconut Bar with Pineapple-Basil Compote and Vanilla Cream – a vanilla chiffon cake with coconut and lime topped with white chocolate ganache; and
- Kungaloosh! This African-inspired chocolate cake is served with caramelized bananas and cashew-caramel ice cream topped with coffee dust. (This dish takes its name from the signature alcoholic drink of the Adventurers Club.)
The kids’ menu, for children ages offers some twists on familiar dishes:
- Junior Skip’s Special Mac and Cheese is inspired by an Egyptian dish with ground beef, pasta, Béchamel Sauce and house-made cheese gratin, served with broccoli;
- Amazon Annie’s House-made Arepas with slow-cooked beef, black beans and queso fresco served with yuca planks;
- Sizzling Savanna Grilled Flank Steak with steamed broccoli and fingerling potatoes;
- Smiley’s Little Croc of Chicken Noodle Soup; and
- Kids Volcano! (This gooey chocolate cake with caramel lava and exploding chocolate rocks will make your little one shout “ ‘UH OA!”)
The Jungle Skipper Canteen does not serve alcohol however two non-alcoholic specialty cocktails are available. The Punch Line Punch features a mix of tropical fruit juice and mango puree; it may also be served with a spiced rim, if desired. The Schweitzer Slush, named after “the noted explorer and humanitarian Dr. Albert Slush, features frozen apple juice, passion fruit and green apple boba balls. Guests may purchase the drinks with a metal souvenir mug that looks like a Moscow Mule mug.
The Jungle Skipper Canteen’s current prices are in keeping with some of the mid-scale Disney table-service restaurants. Appetizers are in the $9 – $11 range. Entrees range in price from $17, for the curried vegetable stew, to $34 for the Strip Loin option. Desserts are $8. Items on the children’s menu range in price from $9.50 to $12.50. The specialty cocktails are $5.50 or $14.50 when ordered with the souvenir mug.
The Jungle National Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen accepts the Dining Plan. Reservations for the restaurant are not yet being taken. For the near future, seating at the table-service restaurant is being taken on a walk-up basis. The Jungle Skipper Canteen does offer the option for guests (with U.S. cell phones) to receive text message alerts for when their table is ready.