I’m back today with another Disney dining review! This time, rather than a signature restaurant, we’re looking at a table service restaurant within one of the parks: the Jungle Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom.
See more of our Disney Dining Reviews here:
This restaurant, whose full name is technically the Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen, is located in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom nearby the Jungle Cruise which it’s themed around. We chose to visit this restaurant as one of our top picks for our Disney honeymoon because we’d heard fantastic things about it, and the menu also seemed to have dishes that were more diverse than the rest of the Disney park restaurants. We’ve found that the resort hotel restaurants tend to be more on the interesting side, whereas the restaurants specifically in the parks seem to cater more for quick, easy and reliable fast food.
Like other park restaurants, the theming here is absolutely wonderful – one of the best I’ve experienced. This is the headquarters of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers run by the skippers who have just navigated your way around the Nile, Amazon and Congo. Three rooms are dedicated to dining – the colonial-era mess hall, the Jungle Room – former family room of Dr. Albert Falls – and the S.E.A Room – a secret meeting place. We were seated in the main mess hall, however glancing around the other rooms, we couldn’t help but notice just how beautifully themed each one was. Even the waiting area where we were seated, which is both indoor and outdoor, was stunning themed with huge fans waving back and forth and a menagerie of quirky furniture.
The dining and service style is supposed to be reminiscent of the Jungle Cruise, filled with puns and jokes, however I can’t say out service here was excellent – it wasn’t bad in any way, but it just wasn’t what we’d come to expect from a Disney meal. I think we just caught our server on a not-so-great day as others seemed to be playing up to the theming of the restaurant. The names of some dishes on the menu however did match the style with ones such as ‘”Tastes like Chicken” Because it is!’ and ‘”A Lot at Steak” Salad’.
First up, I was super excited to find out that I wouldn’t have to settle for a boring fountain drink as my non-alcoholic beverage. No, they had Fanta Melon Frosty – my favourite drink from Epcot’s Club Cool! I’ve never seen it actually sold as a drink anywhere! I worried that the full glass of this bright green juice might be too sickly, but luckily it wasn’t, and I’m now planning to go back to get another full glass! Ben picked out another IPA, as usual, however I can’t say for definite which one he picked.
At most restaurants we visited on this trip, we asked the server if we could swap our desserts for appetisers on the Disney Dining Plan – it’s sometimes up to the specific restaurant, sometimes at the discretion of your server. Here though, we decided to go for mains and desserts each.
My main was the Baa Baa Berber Lamb Chops which was served with a roasted carrot puree and a rocket-cauliflower salad with a citrus vinaigrette. The lamb was cooked absolutely perfect – pink in the middle but slightly charred on the outside, which gave a beautiful flavour and super tender meat. I have to add that the vinaigrette on the salad was also delicious and cut through the richness of the dish. I’d add that it also felt like a lighter dish too than most Disney restaurant meals – I didn’t go away feeling over-full and heavy. I think this was potentially my favourite dish I ate anywhere in Disney, and considering the excellent food we had on this trip, that’s saying something!
Ben chose the “Hardy Har Char” Siu Pork served with seasonal vegetables and rice as his main. This was an unctuously sticky and sweet piece of pork with bok choi. He enjoyed it, but admitted it wasn’t his favourite – I think the pork was a little on the fatty side and slightly too sweet for him, with rice that was also a little too sticky – perhaps it had been sat on the plate a little long before being served.
For dessert, I had the Coconut Bar with Pineapple-Basil Compote and Vanilla Cream which was a vanilla chiffon cake with coconut and lime-white chocolate ganache. Ben chose Bertha’s Banh Bong Lan Cake with Mango-Lime Sorbet which was another vanilla chiffon cake but with a lemongrass ginger syrup. Both dishes were really quite small but packed a punch in taste. I’d say I prefer to have a smaller dish, particularly for dessert, that tastes absolutely wonderful than too much food. I wouldn’t say the restaurant is “fancy” but the dessert dishes were presented so beautifully, plus the cake was light and tasty.
Overall, this is another high recommendation from me. We left feeling satiated but not too full, and everything was SO tasty. We really enjoyed the variety of creative dishes on the menu, but the fact that there were still options for fussier eaters if need be. This is one that we’ll definitely be returning to on another trip, dining plan or not.