Jungle Cruise-Themed Skipper Canteen Restaurant to Undergo Radical Menu Change

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Since the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen restaurant opened at the Magic Kingdom last December, it has been a point of much controversy. Many applauded the diverse menu, a great departure from other eateries around the park. However, a lot of guests have taken a seat at the restaurant only to find a menu that might be a little scary to those less-familiar with cuisine from other regions. Maybe it’s just too much for such a popular theme park to serve such food? Probably not considering how many other establishments in the park serve fairly standard food offerings. Regardless, Disney will be changing the menu due to the demands of these unsatisfied guests.

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Disney has not stated when the change will happen, but cast members at the restaurant have been informed that the changes are coming. The menu is expected to radically change, with almost all of the current offerings going away or moving to another restaurant at Walt Disney World (the head-on shrimp are moving to Tiffins at Animal Kingdom).

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We’ll be sure to bring you the new menu once it debuts, so stay tuned.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

38 Comments

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  • Magic Kingdom’s food is mundane at best, this being the only exception. Now it will be yet another place for nuggets and burgers.

    Why do we have to pander to the least common denominator with regards to food? There are enough bland tasteless places already, we don’t need another one.

    • I agree :( We ate here twice in our trip in January because of the better menu. I hope the menu revamp isn’t too vanilla and boring.

  • It’s all about whether or not they can turn a profit or at least break even on a restaurant. If they have lots of empty seats night after night and are getting negative remarks about the food (not the service) then they know they need to change. I am always sorry to see an interesting concept be made more bland; we were looking forward to trying this place in the fall. I normally want to see some plain chicken or a burger on a menu simply because of my son, who has autism and a limited palate. But please, keep the more interesting stuff for the rest of us.

    • I’m with you. My DS11 has aspergers and is SUPER picky. My husband is a plain meat and potatoes guy. I’m more on the adventurous side and wouldn’t mind trying a few of these things. But I need at least some run of the mill options for my family or I don’t get to go at all.

  • Maybe if ADRs were offer at 180 days they would not have empty seats. Just a thought. I was really looking forward to eating here in the summer. But if the menu is going to be same old same old I might as well save money & eat at cosmic rays or caseys

    • That is something that ALL the cast members who work there would like to see. Unfortunately, it’s not their choice or it would have happened back at opening. It’s a great restaurant with a great set of cast members creating the best crazy dining experience ever. It makes me so sad to see that it is still struggling when it should be one of the busiest places in the park!

  • Regarding the comment above about having empty seats, I have been trying to get ADRs three months out, and this restaurant is booked both lunch and dinner for the week that we are there. Go figure.

    • It’s not booked. I called and was told they only accept reservations that day. Go online and look at today’s availability and I bet you will see it is available. So you have to call that morning or you can book online that day. Here is the problem I have with that. I have to have a safety reservation so if the Canteen is booked we have an alternative option however you have to cancel 24 hours prior or eat $10.00 per person on that “safety reservation”. I just wish you could make a reservation like all the other places. This same day only reservation does not fit in with my need to plan everything before I go to Disney.

      • Leslie – A little known FYI – you can cancel day of without being charged by going to the other restaurant and letting them know that you need to cancel. But yes. That is an annoyance that shouldn’t happen.

        Ioe – They only accept day of reservations, which is why seats are empty because people plan their days in advance and assume that they can’t eat there because the My Disney Experience shows no availability because of this issue. It was a long, difficult battle just to get day-of reservations there.

  • Very disappointing! Those malcontents can eat at any other blah restaurant in the park. Why do they have to mess with a good thing?

  • I’m sad to read this. The Magic Kingdom needs better and more diverse restaurants. I only wish that in making “ethnic” foods they didn’t rely so heavily on soy sauce. Being highly allergic to soy I can’t eat at Yak n Yeti at all and my family loves their food. Not all Asian food traditionally contains soy! Of course the burgers and nuggets crowd would die if you gave them something with fish sauce in it. Sorry, rant over.

  • We were planning on having dinner there in October because of the great menu selections. I guess we’ll wait to see what the new menu looks like. Maybe back to our old stand by, Liberty Tree Tavern.

  • Ugh, boo. I loved that they were so vegan friendly and had more to offer than the typical burger. Why do boring picky eaters have to overrule everyone? Add. Why revamp?

  • People blow my mind sometimes. Isn’t part of the fun of vacation to do, eat, and drink new things? Why would you want the same fare you can get at any park and at any restaurant you live near? I hope they at least keep some of the items for the people who aren’t such scaredy cats. :D

  • Are there in January. Loved the food. The desserts are amazing!!!!! I hope they can try and keep some of the flair it has.

  • Just dined there two weeks ago & was so excited to see such great menu items & somewhat plant based….had the noodle bowl which was underwhelming but the relaxed and eclectic environment of the restaurant more than made up for it!!!! Was looking forward to a return trip to try some of the desserts!

  • I’ve dined here four times since mid-January. A few days ago, when I mentioned that the noodle bowl on my prior visit was nowhere near as spicy as our server has warned, I was told they had recently taken some of the “heat” out of that dish. A little disappointing, but even that wasn’t enough of a change to prevent the two large parties who were going to be seated next to us from actually sticking around once they viewed the menu. Perhaps they could keep most of the dishes in place but add less-scary versions as well (like a “normal” mac n cheese for those too intimidated by Skip’s version)? My friend’s non-adventurous vegetarian daughter refused to eat here despite the falafel and tofu-based options. Such a shame.

  • Dang it I didn’t even get to try it! I was excited by a menu without the standard fare. If people want the usual stuff, why don’t they just go to the usual places and leave something for those of us not afraid of eating something other than a burger! I hope everyone who loved the original menu complains just as loudly so that they at least end up with a halfway interesting menu.

  • How pitifully sad that they’re changing it. It’s called Disney WORLD, for pete’s sake. We were so happy to have real food in the Magic Kingdom. We loved it a lot… Oh, well.

  • The food here was so good we cancelled reservations at “Be Our Guest” to dine there again. I am VERY disappointed.

  • We recently ate at the Skippers Canteen and it was hands down the best in park restaurant – – yes, it topped Be Our Guest and Akershus to name a few. My only complaint is that a canteen should probably have at least some alcoholic offering, but it’s the MK so I get it.

    Honestly, I feel like the problem is the lack of advanced reservations. Many people are understandably hesitant to risk being left out in the cold on dining reservations. So, they book something and end up getting emotionally vested in what they planned to do all those months. When the trip comes, they simply stick with the plan and don’t take time out of their busy day to make in person reservations.

    I don’t really understand the complaints about an “exotic” menu because they have a marinated chicken breast and steak on the menu. If anything the menu seemed to strike a nice balance between adventurous and safe choices. The restaurant wasn’t particularly busy when we went, but I did hear multiple comments from the surrounding tables about how good each course was and how they would definitely be back.

    This is incredibly disappointing. I had finally found a place that I could go back to time and time again in the MK. I really question the wisdom of management that handicaps a location and pulls the plug on a concept before it was ever given a fair shake.

  • Thanks Shaghai. (j/k)
    Seriously though, some of us can’t stomach Disney’s bland food – tastes like fat, salt and chemicals. We want real food!

  • We ate there twice in January and were looking forward to going back there in October. I guess we may have to leave the park to get real food again. The menu here was a welcome change from burgers and fries. We’ve told many friends about the skipper canteen and they all were delighted with the menu. There are few good places to eat in the magic kingdom, they have the least food choices of any of the parks. We often book crystal palace just to get away from junk food. It is just too hard to get into be our guest when the hotels are running the free dining plans. And we often take the monorail to the resort hotels to get a good dinner. They broke the menu at Pecos Bill’s, hopefully they do not dumb down the menu too much at the skipper canteen.

  • Seriously horrible article, don’t believe what it says, people who truly know the inside info know this is untrue. Jsc has its problems to work out but food quality and adventurous menu is not leaving

  • Just goes to show that complaints speak louder than compliments. Remember folks don’t just go to Guest Relations when things go wrong. Go when things go right as well or when you enjoy something. There are a hundred ways to leave positive experience comments. Some things guests enjoy disappear, or ok this case change, because it is believed that the current state of whatever topic is not being received well. Look at the comments it seems as if many of you like the menu or were at least looking forward to it.

  • I’m all of different flavors and think the menu should stay but maybe add some things for the less adventurous? I didn’t go because not everyone in my party could find something on the menu. Having a few options that appeal to everyone isn’t a bad thing.

  • We ate at the Skipper Canteen in February and paid cash. It was a poor deal for someone paying out of pocket and not on the DDP. Food was tasty, but I got three to four medallions of meat, some rice, and two stalks of broccolini for around $27. Dang that’s expensive even for Disney. If I’m paying that much, I want to feel fed. Loved the decor, the in-jokes, the beauty of the space, and the history of the Adventureland Verandah. But a menu overhaul is not a bad thing. And for goodness sakes, put it on 180-day ADRs!!! What the heck. That is 90% of the issue.

  • Please don’t make this an ADR location! I hate the fact that you have to reserve every restaurant months in advance. If I want a meal at the Plaza, or a steak at Le Cellier, or a visit to Garden Grill, I should be able to make that choice same day. Too many people want these reservations so their vacation is locked down, ruining it for the rest of us.

  • I absolutely loved this restaurant, better than Be Our Guest in my opinion. The point of the menu is to be adventurous. I don’t understand why the people that don’t like the menu can’t go to one of the countless other locations that serve burgers, fries, chicken fingers and other processed foods. Why ruin it for everyone?

  • We’re at WDW right now and had lunch here a few hours ago. The CM’s are aware of the rumors stated on this site about the menu changing and assured us that it is NOT true. The menu is staying as it is. There have been very minor tweaks to some entrees, such as the pork dish now features pork belly as opposed to pork loin. I had the vegetarian stew and it was delicious! I highly recommend going there and can’t wait to go back. :-)

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