The Jungle Cruise may not be getting a store anytime soon, but it is getting its own restaurant…
The Adventureland Veranda restaurant opened with the park in October 1971, and despite several widespread menu changes and the arrival and departure of Kikkoman as a corporate sponsor, continued to operate until 1994. Since then, it has been used for many things, mostly character meet and greets and treat stations for the Magic Kingdom’s party events. After most recently serving as home to Tinker Bell and her fairy friends before she flew on over to Town Square Theater, the establishment will finally return to food service after 21 years of being lost in the shuffle. The recent swap of Sunshine Tree Terrace and Aloha Isle was indeed a measure to alleviate traffic in front of the restaurant’s entrances and exits.
The new restaurant will be tentatively called the “Skipper’s Cantina”, themed around the near-by Jungle Cruise attraction. The back story would revolve around Jungle Cruise skippers being paid pretty poorly by the Jungle Navigation Company (or Disney in real life, but that’s enough of that…) and needing to operate the restaurant to make a little more money. This would be significant as it would be the first restaurant at the domestic Disney Parks inspired by an original Disney attraction and not an animated or live action film.
Current rumors speculate that the restaurant will operate in a similar fashion to “Be Our Guest” in that is will offer a counter service lunch and a table service dinner. With the annual Magic Kingdom park attendance continually rising, the once unnecessary establishment will now serve a real purpose in helping out the overburdened park-wide dining facilities in the Magic Kingdom of 2015.
Disney would like to have the new restaurant open by November 2015, but that is purely speculation at this time. That being said, the interior of the building was never damaged too heavily by any of the tenants over the last few years, so the conversion shouldn’t take very long.
Stay tuned for more on this breaking story…
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