In February and March of this year we reported rumors of a new restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. The need for additional dining capacity in the Park made this seem plausible. During the last couple months a temporary closure of the Liberty Tree Tavern kitchen and adjacent construction in Adventureland seemed to validate this theory.
Yesterday at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, Disney confirmed essentially every detail of those earlier posts, as the Skipper Cantina will open soon. Many might say this is not the biggest Expo announcement, but we at Magical DIStractions are encouraged by this development because the restaurant is themed in tandem with the nearby Jungle Cruise. As iconic as princess castles, the Jungle Cruise was an opening day attraction at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and is a staple at many Disney Parks worldwide. It’s nice to see some fresh attention paid to this long-time favorite.
Perhaps in the past you pitied the poorly-paid pith helmet wearing skippers of the Jungle Cruise. Historically they had trouble making ends meet in between chartered river excursions. Fortunately the River Expedition Company is opening a new restaurant nearby. And that means job opportunities for many.
Jungle Cruise skippers are known for serving up irrationally groan-inducing puns as they roll down the rivers of the world. But soon these skippers will have grown into a new role – serving up rations at Skipper Cantina. Imagine what Jungle Cruise hospitality might sound like!
“You’ve reached a fork in the river. Welcome to our beast-tro. My name is Marc and I’m part of one of the Jungle Crews. Why hello Princess, aren’t you just the gorilla my dreams? Aw, she’s busy … I’ll skipper for now. The natives are anxious to have you all for lunch. It will be rare treat for them! Set up camp anywhere you’d like. I’m not lion – you Congo to the left or you Congo to the right. Slide all the way into the booth, please. It keeps the cushions clean. I suggest starting with Tramp Steamer Clams and Tropical Punch. Our entrees today are Shrimp Campy with our Jungle Can o’ Peas, or Roast Pygmyeat with Asparagus Spears. Dessert? Oh it’s unlikely you’ll be here that long – I think I hear those natives approaching. Don’t repeat what they say – you’ll be taking a chants. You can’t hear them? That reminds me, which pachyderms do you suppose hear better – Indian or African? Who cares? It’s ear-elephant! I’m going on a trek to the galley. If I survive that, maybe I’ll show you how butterflies.”
Just Around the River Bend
Skipper Cantina will occupy the former Adventureland Veranda site toward the east end of Adventureland, and it will open later this year. Themed dining rooms include a crew mess hall and a secret meeting room of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers. We know of no specific menu plans, notwithstanding our silly speculation above.
Be Our Guessed?
We can only guess, because it has not been confirmed, that the Skipper Cantina will have a format similar to Be Our Guest in Fantasyland. That is, it will serve lunch and dinner, quick-service and table-service styles, respectively.
The Pun Is Mightier than the Machete
What is your favorite Jungle Cruise gag? Let us know!