At the time I am writing this review, we are only 1-day post vacation. Since this was an anniversary trip, sans kids (I know, I know…), we had the opportunity to try a lot of new experiences, including dining, that we normally wouldn’t brave with our boys in tow. One of those experiences was a dinner at the Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen.
The location is pretty convenient from anywhere in Frontierland, Adventureland or near the main hub, as it sits right across from the Swiss family Treehouse. I have been eyeing up this restaurant as soon as it opened since the menu offered selections unlike anything else in Magic Kingdom. In my (don’t judge- but extensive) research, I have heard mixed reviews, but plowed ahead with our reservation- again mostly because it was just the two of us!
Overall, I will say we were both very pleased with our meal and experience.
I’m not sure if the mixed reviews had my expectations lowered, if the restaurant is generally a solid choice, or if we had an uncommonly good dinner, but we left happy.
The inside theming is done very well and clearly fits with the Jungle Cruise vibe. There were some nice touches like the bookcase doors opening into another seating area. The food choices are *somewhat less conventional (no burgers or chicken fingers), but we found it to be good quality.
We started with a shared appetizer of Orinoco Ida’s Cachapas which were excellent. It was a small plate of corn pancakes with pork, black beans, onions and some sort of Avocado dressing. I dug in before I remembered to take a photo, but will say we both ate every bit of this appetizer. As a rule, raw onions are not my favorite thing, but the onions on this were not overpowering and added just the right amount of flavor. If you are absolutely starving, you may want to order more than one appetizer since this was on the smallish side, but this was a perfect amount for us, as we just wanted a few bites before our entrée.
Hubby ordered the Dr. Falls’ Signature Grilled Steak that came with rice, black beans, and roasted tomatoes. He said the steak was very good (not as good, he would add, as California grill- but that might be aiming too high J) as were the beans and tomatoes. He said the rice was a little on the bland side, but otherwise he was very happy with his meal and ate everything but the rice.
I ordered the Sankuru Sadie’s Seafood Stew, which has at least 4 different types of seafood in a Coconut sauce, served over rice. I really enjoyed my dish, but will say if you are not a fan of Coconut flavored savory options, this is not for you. The coconut was not overpowering in my opinion, but present.
We did not order a dessert, but the staff graciously brought us a cupcake on the house since we were celebrating our anniversary. Truthfully the cupcake, though adorable, was the most disappointing food of the night. It was a vanilla cupcake topped with vanilla flavored green icing, but overall bland and the flavors didn’t stand out. I have to say I feel bad giving it a poor review since it was complimentary.
That brings us to the end of our experience at the Skipper Canteen; in our opinion a solid choice if you’re looking for something beyond the hot dogs, burgers, and fries. Pros of this restaurant from our viewpoint-
- It seemed like the inside was quieter than other table service restaurants we have been to in the Magic Kingdom, with the kids being a bit older or drawing more of an adult clientele. This was clutch for us since we didn’t have our own kids with us!
- Service was good (not great or outstanding- again, California Grill!!!) with no complaints. I didn’t feel like we were being rushed out or hurried through our meal, but orders were brought in a timely fashion.
Now for the Cons-
- Price point was definitely on the high side. Our entrées that I detailed above were $35 and $27, respectively. Adding in the appetizer for $11 and 2 alcoholic beverages, we were inching close to the $100 mark before taxes and tip. The meal was good, but we just weren’t sure it was $100 good.
- Kids with a limited repertoire of foods, steer clear. I briefly glanced at the kids’ menu and saw some respectable choices like grilled shrimp and kids’ steak, but if you are trying to please a picky eater who balks when the mac-n-cheese doesn’t “look like mac-n-cheese”: review the menu before committing.
So there you have it! Thanks for reading to this point and I hope some of our dining adventure… in Adventureland… is helpful to you!
Thanks for stopping by!