Skipper Canteen is a table-service restaurant in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. This restaurant sits in Adventureland, across the way from the world-famous Jungle Cruise. Skipper Canteen serves a variety of different cuisine that is fairly exotic (at least for a theme park restaurant). Skipper Canteen counts as one credit if you are on the Disney Dining Plan and they also offer 20% off to those who have annual passes or Tables in Wonderland. I recently dined here for lunch and this review will cover that meal.
Walking into Skipper Canteen, you are met with an array of colors that all compliment each other well. The place is bright and charming. There are several different dining areas and we were seated in the main dining room. The restaurant’s back story is that they serve the skippers who just finished giving their tours of the Jungle Cruise. With that in mind, it should be no surprise that there are visual gags and puns everywhere.
On our way to be seated, the hostess wasn’t afraid to drop puns at a speed that would may the Gilmore Girls blush. That didn’t stop once our waiter came to the table. Not that I’m complaining, the jokes were pretty funny and the waiter worked hard to make sure we were having a good time even if this wasn’t a typical dining experience.
Truthfully, I can see why Skipper Canteen has been a somewhat polarizing restaurant since it’s opening. From the amount of joking done by the wait staff (which shouldn’t bother anyone unless they were looking a romantic date night and came to the wrong place) and the fairly adventurous menu, this isn’t a typical theme park restaurant. I’ll get this out-of-the-way now, I loved that it wasn’t a typical restaurant.
There are plenty of places to go for those that want cheeseburgers, chicken strips, and fries. Skipper Canteen isn’t that place which means it’s fairly unique. Not to mention, the restaurant is also beautiful and has a ton of personality.
Being in Magic Kingdom, Skipper Canteen doesn’t offer any alcoholic drinks but they do have some variety from the usual soft drinks. The top drink photo is the Punch Line Punch which tasted like a mango punch. The bottom drink is the Schweitzer Slush. It’s a mix of frozen apple juice and passion fruit with green apple boba in it. I liked both drinks and would recommend getting them, especially if you are on the dining plan. Neither were out-of-this-world good but I did enjoy them.
Moving on to the food, the menu is adventurous as I’ve already said. Here’s a link to it.
I ordered the whole fried sustainable fish, which on this day was a lion fish. In a somewhat eerie chain of events, I saw this fish swimming around in the Seas at Epcot. The waiter explained why this fish was being served and if I was a better blogger I would have remembered enough to repeat it here. Despite the somewhat jarring appearance, the fish was delicious. It was easy to pull apart and get the juicy part of the fish without getting stuck with bones. Even the quills on the fish were edible and tasted somewhat like potato chips. The fry on the fish was pretty light and not greasy at all. The sauce on the bottom was comparable to soy sauce but slightly sweeter. My only complaint with the dish was that it could have used a vegetable of some kind alongside it.
One other little note on this dish is that they give you two fishes to eat instead of just one. If it had been just one fish this may not have been very filling but with two there was plenty here.
Melissa ordered the Char Siu Pork and also enjoyed it. She said the cut of meat was one of the better she had on the trip. The pork was juicy and cooked very well. She wasn’t a fan of the side choices on her plate which were Chinese broccoli and rice. This had more to do with her tastes than how it was prepared though.
Other members of our group ordered the Chicken and the Grilled Steak. The chicken was fairly average and was probably the worst of the entrees we ordered. The steak was very good but by no means the best steak we tried on our trip.
Moving on to desserts… This was a bit of a mixed bag. The one above is the Kungaloosh! and it was the favorite of our table. A chocolate cake with cashew-caramel ice cream and a caramelized banana, this dessert was fairly rich but the ice cream gave it a nice balance.
The Coconut Bar and the Lan Cake were both decent options but nothing out of this world. I thought the Coconut Bar was at least ambitious and could be a hit for those that love coconut and/or lime.
Another ambitious dessert was the Quick Sand!!! (don’t forget that third exclamation point!) Sadly, I just didn’t like this one. It’s a Jasmine Rice Pudding with a mango sauce. If you really like jasmine rice then you will probably enjoy this dessert. If not, I’d stay away as I think it takes a certain palate. I will say that this dessert, and all the others, did seem to be prepared well and each were beautiful in presentation.
Overall, Skipper Canteen impressed. This restaurant is somewhat successful due to its location. I’m not sure Skipper Canteen would work as well in Epcot (with its vast array of dining experiences) or Animal Kingdom (since the newly opened Tiffins is like a fancier, better and more upscale version of this restaurant) but it fits the bill here. In fact, I’d go as far as calling Skipper Canteen the best restaurant in the Magic Kingdom when you combine the interesting menu with the fun, beautiful theme. We loved our meal here and look forward to going back.
Overall Rating – 9/10