Skipper Canteen, Walt Disney World, Restaurant Review
Skipper Canteen Restaurant Review, Walt Disney World
With the recent opening of the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd., Skipper Canteen in the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom, we were looking forward to giving this new table service dining experience a try. Here is a quick review of this new WDW restaurant.
The Skipper Canteen is linked thematically to the nearby Jungle Cruise attraction in the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom. Both are located in Adventureland. The restaurant itself is an upscale dining experience, but it is not at the very top of the price range among Disney restaurants. Entrees tend to be in the mid-$20 range on average, with some specialties above or below that number.
The physical layout of the restaurant feels quite nice, but the kitsch of the attraction also spills over into the dining area (by design) — including the Jungle Cruise Skippers, who are your servers. If you can get beyond the cornball humour, there is a lot worthwhile here that makes the Skipper Canteen worth a visit.
As a Walt Disney World visitor from day one, in my opinion something like this has been long overdue in the Magic Kingdom. So much of the food service in the Magic Kingdom is variations of the same thing and it can get pretty challenging to find good food that varies from the typical dining. Be Our Guest (in Fantasyland) was a great start to add some new menu items to the park and Skipper Canteen has now taken that one step further.
Tropical Cuisine, Exotic Flavours
Disney promotes Skipper Canteen as “tropical cuisine” and offering guests “bold” and “exotic” flavours. In our experience, these claims hold true and there is a lot to like at Skipper Canteen. Obviously we couldn’t try everything on the menu (there are only three of us), but having said that all three of us were very impressed by the three different dishes that we were served.
I had the “Char Siu Pork,” which was excellent and I highly recommend this dish. Even though there is a discrepancy on what is actually being served (the Disney website describes the dish as “marinated grilled pork tenderloin medallions” and the server described the dish as “pork belly”) the dish itself is very tasty and the spices and glaze are very good. It is definitely not shaped as medallions, but nonetheless reminds me a lot of the flavour profile of Korean short ribs and the chef here should be commended on a tasty dish that leaves you wanting more. My seven-year-old daughter wanted to trade dishes with me after tasting the pork and her dish was pretty good as well (I ended up trading half with her).
My wife ordered the “Tastes Like Chicken, Because It Is.” This is a marinated grilled chicken dish that has bold spicing and an excellent flavour profile as well. I had read some knocks on the dish with respect to portion size and while it does seem a little light on what you get in terms of chicken, overall the dish itself is a better-than-average offering that does not disappoint on the taste front.
My daughter ordered from the children’s menu and opted to go with the “Savanna Grilled Flank Steak.” I was very impressed with the quality of the steak and had no issue eating some when I shared my own entree with my daughter. The steak was a little undercooked versus the requested level of doneness, but beyond that it was prepared quite well and did not seem like a poor quality kid’s menu cut of beef.
Overall I really liked our first experience dining at the Skipper Canteen and we look forward to our next visit here. The atmosphere and ambiance are good, the staff was welcoming and pleasant and the pricing was fair, by Disney standards. The real star of the show here, however, is the menu — which in our experience lived up to its billing as being something a little different than what you will find elsewhere in the Magic Kingdom.
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