Disney’s Magic Kingdom has always been a “dry” park – meaning no alcoholic beverages are served unlike Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. This changed in 2012 when New Fantasyland opened along with Be Our Guest, the first restaurant to serve beer and wine with dinner in the theme park.
In December 2016, just days before Christmas, alcohol made its way into more Magic Kingdom restaurants including Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Liberty Tree Tavern, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and the restaurant I’m discussing today – Jungle Skipper Canteen.
For those familiar with the park’s “world famous” Jungle Cruise, you’ll be happy to know the corny jokes and kitsch play out in this dining venue that features cuisine from Asia, South America and Africa, all set within a mess-hall theme while “Skippers” act as servers.
We arrived at our reservation time and got seated right away. “Skipper” C. C. came over, introduced herself, told some of those corny jokes I mentioned earlier and took our drink order as we looked over the menu.
Once our beer and wine arrived, we ordered some appetizers. First was the S.E.A. Shu Mai (A legendary blend of Pork, Shrimp, Mung Beans, and Spices wrapped in Gyoza Skin then steamed – $10). They were served in the traditional bamboo basket with some spicy soy sauce. They were firm and had a nice quantity of filling. A recommended appetizer.
Next was the Orinoco Ida’s Cachapas, a recommendation from C. C. (House- made Corn Pancakes, Mojo-braised Pork, Black Bean Salad, Avocado Cream – $10). There were four of these piled high with very tasty pulled pork. Another recommended appetizer!
Now onto the mains. First up was an entree that seems to be the most popular according to other reviews of this Magic Kingdom restaurant, so we had to give it a try – Char Shiu Pork (Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin Medallions served with Chinese Broccoli and choice of Five- grain or White Rice – $24 ). There were four pieces of thinly sliced pork that were a bit on the tough side, in fact, they were more like jerky. The sauce they were paired with wasn’t bad, but overall, this wasn’t the home run for us that apparently it is for others.
Next was “Tastes Like Chicken – Because it Is!” fried chicken (crispy fried chicken with citrus and ginger-scented rice, chili glaze and seasonal vegetables – $23). The breading on the chicken was just “blah,” but the chicken itself was juicy and the accompanying sides were average.
Finally, at the recommendation of our Skipper, we got “Dr. Falls Signature Grilled Steak (Churrasco-marinated New York Strip Steak, Mashed Plantains, Toasted Brazil Nut-Pesto topped with Farofa- $34). The steak was 10oz, cooked to temperature, and topped with the farofa which our Skipper described as having a “bacon taste” to it, but was more like sawdust with no taste at all. The steak was tough and unremarkable. It didn’t even look appetizing when it came out, to be honest.
As far in-park dining, one doesn’t expect to find four- or five-star restaurants. Out of the four Disney World Parks, Magic Kingdom has the worst restaurants. But considering the park is generally for children, the options aren’t bad… I just expect more in the way of quality for the price.
If we were to go back to Jungle Skipper Canteen, we would probably just order a bunch of different appetizers, as they were all good. I wish I could say the same for the entrees.