*DIS Contributors review meals, resort stays, and entertainment that they have paid for during their own vacations. They only utilize discounts and offers if they are available to the general public, such as annual passholder discounts, Tables in Wonderland, or DVC membership discounts. They receive no additional compensation for dining experiences or events, so that they may give their honest opinions about price and value.
Magic Kingdom is my favorite park at Walt Disney World for its many classic, fun-filled attractions and enchanting atmosphere. I love spending time at this most magical place on earth, but my family and I always find ourselves trudging around the park in search of a place to eat. Most Magic Kingdom restaurants provide simply palatable fare, and there are not many eateries that consistently serve outstanding meals. Skipper Canteen, however, serves classic Jungle Cruise humor with delicious food that rises above the standard for typical theme park cuisine.
The restaurant’s façade blends in well with Adventureland, not disrupting the land’s spotless theming. Skipper Canteen’s interior is bursting with references to the Jungle Cruise from a portrait of Alberta Falls, granddaughter of famed Dr. Albert Falls, to a shelf of Christmas decorations reminiscent of those that adorn the Jingle Cruise in the holiday season. In the main dining hall guests may even hear voices of Jungle Navigation Company employees from offices on the second floor if they listen closely.
There are two more dining rooms near the back of the restaurant, including the “secret” SEA room, chock-full of references to the Society of Explorers and Adventurers, a staple of Disney lore.
There is also the jungle room decorated with parrot chandeliers, elephant carpeting, and relics from lost civilizations. And of course, no Jungle Cruise-inspired experience would be complete without clever puns. The skippers working as servers add to the restaurant’s mystique with witty banter.
Unlike Cinderella’s Royal Table, Skipper Canteen excels in both atmosphere and cuisine. This restaurant’s menu is brimming with semi-exotic options along with a few more ordinary selections, such as pão de queijo, otherwise known as the Brazilian cheese bread that can be found at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. This appetizer consists of doughy domes filled with warm cheese that comes along with chimichurri and cream cheese on the side. The bread by itself is rather bland with near flavorless cheese, but the chimichurri sauce provides a much-needed kick that elevates this simple dish.
The Falls Family Falafel is on the more adventurous side, but according to the skippers it isn’t too awful, which is an understatement. This appetizer comes with five pieces of fried chickpeas upon a bed of spiced hummus topped with radishes and cilantro. The falafel is practically flawless with its combination of a crunchy outside and a soft, savory inside. The spicy hummus further enhances the mouth-watering falafel. Both these appetizers provide an excellent prelude to a delectable main course.
Skipper Canteen boasts what I believe is the best plant-based entrée in Disney World: Perkin’s Thai Noodles with tofu (the dish may be served with chicken, tofu, or both). This dish may not be for everyone given its rather robust spice, but for anyone who does not mind a building heat, this is the perfect meal for a humid park day. Piled high with rice noodles and seasonal vegetables in a pool of Thai sauce, the noodles are packed with Asian-inspired spice without being overwhelmingly hot. The fresh carrots and snap peas offer relief from the spice. Furthermore, the tofu is cooked to perfection with crisped edges. The Perkin’s Thai Noodles dish combines healthy ingredients and delicious flavors to create an exceptional plant-based dish.
Skipper Canteen is a shimmering oasis in the desert of lackluster Magic Kingdom dining. Its incredible menu and immersive theming make this restaurant a true standout. The next time you’re wondering where to eat in Magic Kingdom, consider venturing into Adventureland to sample the spectacular fare the Jungle Navigation Company has to offer.
Katrina is a bookish writer and unapologetic Disney enthusiast. She can't imagine anything more wonderful than a day at the Most Magical Place on Earth with her family. When she's not occupied with her studies, she writes, reads, daydreams about wandering World Showcase, and wishes she were riding Cosmic Rewind.