CONFIRMED: Jungle Cruise Themed “Skipper’s Cantina” Restaurant Coming to the Magic Kingdom

The Jungle Cruise may not be getting a store anytime soon, but it is getting its own restaurant…

Image courtesy, Adventureland Veranda many years ago

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 space being used as Tinker Bell’s Magical Nook

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.

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Who’s hungry for some Jungle Cruise-inspired cuisine?

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…

  1. I hope that the restaurant offers cheesy joke telling by servers the same as the skippers on the attraction do…it would play into the back story and help it to become a fun place to eat!!

    1. That would be cute, and I see what you did there ;) (re: cheesy)

      Problem with any such thing is that people read about the great encounters with servers on the web and then start demanding the same or better experience. It can get very difficult for the servers to stay in role while doing their job well. See all the complaints about WCC and Prime Time by those who felt their servers were not into it.

  2. If the park needs dining establishments as a result of higher park attendance, why are restaurants like Tortuga Tavern still operational only during peak times (which is still up in the air because nobody can tell if the place will be open or not on a given day)

  3. It would be so great if they could incorporate some of the idea of the Adventurer’s Club from Paradise Island into this restaurant. I loved that place and think it could fit in really well with the theme of this restaurant.

  4. Any chance the Liberty Tree Tavern refurb will include adding Haunted Mansion theming?

    1. No offense, but that doesn’t even make sense. They’d have to *completely* change the restaurant (outside, inside, menu, etc) to get the theming to fit with Haunted Mansion. I believe it’s just a simple refurb; there are simply some issues in the kitchen they need to fix and perhaps they are adding more seating, as that place is constantly packed.

        1. Tom is referring to the initial question about the Liberty Tree Tavern refurb.

    2. No the LTT Rehab will not have any of this. It is strictly repaint/stain and adding a chair lift. The LTT and JSC restaurants will be sharing a brand new kitchen.

  5. How is this confirmed? What is your source? You fail to show any way in this article any proof that this is happening. There’s no press release from Disney, permit with details of the new restaurant or even a dosney spokesperson being quoted. How can it be confirmed if there’s no proof to back up your claim.

    1. You’re right. Serve Tom with an arrest warrant and water board him until he gives up his sources AND tells us where he hid the cannisters.

    2. I have confirmed the story with persons inside the project. I have seen documentation and even 2 props for the interior in person. I would share more about my sources if I could, but the project is approved and moving forward and we were able to confirm that without any official word released by Disney to the public. I see your point and maybe confirmed is confusing term for a headline, but I did confirm this with inside sources. I wouldn’t injure our reputation by putting “confirmed” on a story if we weren’t certain.

  6. If this is indeed true, I wonder what type of food will be offered? I agree that it would be great if some of the theming from the Adverturer’s Club was included. We were just at Disney this past week, and it is true that the Sunshine Terrace and the Aloha Isle have swapped places, but the area that used to house the Adventureland Veranda does not show any outward signs of rehab/construction. The area really isn’t very big, so I have a hard time imagining it being a full service venue… but any new counter service restaurants that will help decrease the long lines are certainly welcome.

    1. The new Jungle Skippers Canteen (JSC) started construction in April and will be completed in November. 3 main areas – an open mess room, the ‘jungle room’ and S.E.A. room and will also have new restrooms inside the building. What will take the project so long to complete is they are joining the LTT kitchen and the old veranda kitchen into one, and the LTT isn’t closing till after July 4. The LTT is getting a little makeover, mainly paint and some code upgrades.

  7. I wonder if everything will taste like chicken like the signs say in the ride queue! :D

  8. I don’t know about “unnecessary.” Perhaps in literal sense, but it implies necessity is the only reason for a lovely place like the Veranda to exist. I couldn’t be happier to see it return! :)

  9. Can we expect to see more photos from you of men urinating in the restroom in this new facility too? #pervert

    1. Let it go, let it go
      Don’t want to discuss it anymore

      Let it go, let it go
      Turn away and slam the door
      I don’t care
      what you’re going to say
      Let the storm rage on.
      The photo never bothered me anyway

  10. I am not one to confirm this but I have heard of updating in kitchen area so this makes me very happy

  11. While they are at it. Why not reopen the huge dinning area near tomorrow land? We have been seven times and have never seen it open.

  12. “… it would be the first restaurant at the domestic Disney Parks inspired by an original Disney attraction..”
    Mmm…Wouldn’t Yak and Yeti fit into this category?

  13. While walking between the Adventure land Bridge and entrance into Liberty Bridge we could clearly see through the trees to see major renovations going on to this building!!!! The entire wall on the back right side of the building had been removed, which makes me think they will be extending the building to accommodate more seating. I don’t remember how big the seating was in the past when they have used this spot but I’ll try and grab a photo or two when we head back into the park tonight or tomorrow if I can’t get any good night shots.

    1. The building expansion is for new guest bathrooms. In the past, you would have to go outside the building to use the bathroom … now they will be in the back of the restaurant.

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