Having heard excellent things about Skipper Canteen, the new table-service restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, I was super excited to try it. Sadly, it fell short of my high expectations.
First, there was the process of getting a table. Unlike other Disney World sit-down restaurants, Skipper Canteen does not take reservations (or ADRs, in Disney-speak). This seems like a good idea – I mean, who wants to plan every single second of a vacation? The spontaneity and flexibility of having a walk-up sit-down restaurant (if that makes any sense) seems good. Until you take FastPass+ into consideration. These, you must plan 60 days in advance of your trip (if you want the more popular rides). So there we were, our FP+ plans for the evening all set, strolling up to the Skipper Canteen desk to see if they had a table for two… and finding out that we could either wait a half-hour and try to squeeze dinner in before our next FastPass+, or wait until after that ride and risk the restaurant being booked for the remainder of the evening. We opted for the former.
So, after strolling around Adventureland for a spell, and then sitting on a crate in the Skipper Canteen outdoor waiting area for a while, we were called for our reservation. We then had to sit in an indoor waiting area. Finally, we were called again, and our table was ready.
The Jungle-Cruise-esque theming was fantastic. I didn’t take any pictures of the decor, but it’s all over the internet. Search away! I’ll wait for you.
The menu was adorable. Here’s the back:
Now, for the food. The menu looked inventive and fantastic. We had really high hopes. To begin, our server brought out Ambasha bread with seasoned honey. It looked good, but tasted quite average. Actually, it was kind of on the stale side. After we each ate a few bites, we both started to feel a bit off. From bread. This was not a good sign.
For an appetizer, we shared the house-made arepas. I love arepas, and those offered at last year’s Epcot Flower and Garden Festival were amazing. These arepas were nowhere near as good. They looked good, but the flavor was on the bland side.
For our entree, we both ordered the rice noodle bowl with duck. This is a pho broth (Vietnamese soup) with fresh veggies and herbs. And, as mentioned, noodles and duck. You can get it with chicken or tofu instead of the duck, but I would highly recommend the duck. It was the best part of this dish, tender and delicious. The herbs and veggies were fine, but the broth… oh the broth! It could have been so much better. I’ve had pho many times. I kind of love pho. This particular broth had a really odd flavor, borderline unpleasant. I like bold flavors, but this was just not that good. (My husband, by the way, says that the pho broth was not bad, but not good. Just unremarkable.)
By the time I was less than halfway through my bowl, I was done. My stomach felt like I’d swallowed a rock. Plus, we were in a hurry to get to that dang FastPass. We asked for the check, MagicBanded it, and headed to our scheduled attraction just before the close of our FP+ window. While we walked, my husband told me that the bread had instantly turned to stone in his stomach. I agreed. And that pretty much set the tone for our meal.
Have you eaten at Skipper Canteen? What did you think? Did you suffer any ill effects from the stone bread?