*This dining experience took place in April 2017.
Dinner at the Skipper Canteen
The Skipper Canteen, located in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom is a table service restaurant themed after the Jungle Cruise attraction. If you’re a fan of the Jungle Cruise, chances are you’re going to love the Skipper Canteen. On a recent visit to the Magic Kingdom, I met my mom and stepdad for lunch here. It’s always fun to visit the Skipper Canteen, because the theme and cast members here are terrific.
The Skipper Canteen has a terrific backstory that ties into the Jungle Cruise attraction. The theme and backstory make for the perfect backdrop for a restaurant. To learn a bit more about the theme of the restaurant and its backstory, check out my review of our first visit for dinner at the Skipper Canteen. One of my favorite things about the restaurant are the uniquely themed dining rooms. There are three of them: the S.E.A. Room, the Falls Family Parlour, and the crew’s mess hall.
We were seated in the Crew’s Mess Hall. It’s the largest dining room in the restaurant and also the first room that you’ll see when you enter the Skipper Canteen. Though I like the theming, I do find it to be the most generic room of the three compared to the impressive Falls Family Parlour and S.E.A. Room — but there’s still a ton of detail in the room.
Dining in the mess hall gives you a lot of backstory about the history of the restaurant, and there’s tons of details everywhere you look. Don’t forget to look up too — there’s tons of hidden and not-so hidden details on the second floor of the mess hall too.
One of the reasons I keep going back to the Skipper Canteen is the food. Sure, the theming is great, but what I really love is that the restaurant has an extensive allergy-friendly lunch and dinner menu with a ton of gluten free and even dairy free options. I really appreciate that the restaurant thought of special diets when they created the menu and made sure to use gluten free tamari and even made some dishes gluten free so that there was no modifications needed for gluten free diners.
After ordering our meal on this visit, I was brought Ener-G rolls along with Fenugreek-infused Honey. I also asked for some Earth Balance too. I have to admit that of all the things I’ve been served at the Skipper Canteen, I’m the most let down by these rolls. They don’t seem to be able to heat them properly, so they turn hard almost instantly. It’s a shame because I like the honey and having a unique bread service option. I’ve heard that some people have gotten Deanna’s Gluten Free Rolls here (formerly GNI brand), but I forgot to ask about them on this visit.
My mom ordered the Orinogo Ida’s Cachapas. This dish replaces the arepas that were formerly on the menu. I really liked the arepas, so I was surprised to see them gone. But, the cachapas are basically the same type of dish, just changed up a bit. The cachapas are gluten free on the menu (but do contain dairy). They include mojo-braised pork, black bean salad, and avocado cream. My mom said they were really delicious, and they looked delicious too! If you’re gluten free, it sounds like these are worth ordering as an appetizer or even your main meal.
For my entree, I ordered the Tastes Like Chicken” Because It Is! dish which includes Crispy Fried Chicken, Citrus and Ginger-scented Rice, Chili Glaze, and Seasonal Vegetables. I ordered this on my last visit and was blown away at how good it was. Believe it or not, it’s made naturally gluten free for every single diner in the restaurant. The chicken is coated in cornstarch which is gluten free! How cool is that?!
This dish is gluten free and dairy free and just outstanding. The chicken is super crunchy and delicious. I always ask for the chili glaze, which has gluten free tamari in it, to be served on the side. That way I can dip my chicken in it along with my seasonal vegetables and gets lots of extra sauce. Everything in this dish is excellent and really makes a complete meal. While, I contemplated ordering something else, this dish is just too good to pass up.
When it comes to a lot of gluten free and dairy free options with an pan-Asian flare, you can’t go wrong with the Skipper Canteen. Some of the dishes on the menu may be a bit exotic, but there’s a bit of something for everyone. Plus, there are very few places where you can get actual gluten free fried chicken, so it’s a must-do for me. Add in a great theme and cast member interactions, and you’ve got a great meal in the Magic Kingdom.
Have you been to the Skipper Canteen? What did you think of the special diets options?