I’m later than normal getting this out, but Liesle and I stopped into the Magic Kingdom for a couple of hours on Friday, February 5th, mostly to take in some sunshine and so that Liesle could experience the new Skipper Canteen Restaurant. I had been there before myself with Josh from easyWDW, but thought it was time for a more serious — if brief — food review than what I had done previously, even though we’ll just be trying a few items from the menu this trip.
For us, a trip to the Magic Kingdom doesn’t seem quite complete unless we’ve had the chance to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, so we headed over there before lunch with our FastPass+ reservation in hand.
The trouble is, that the line on the right shown in the image above, which extended well outside the building entrance and down the ramp outside, *is* the FastPass+ line. The empty cement path on the left is the Standby line.
You may recall from my visit to Hollywood Studios on February 11th that I ran into a similar issue with a long FastPass+ line on Tower of Terror. Although in the end for Big Thunder, the FP+ line probably was a bit quicker than the Standby line, it’s still a bit unnerving when you see something like this.
At any rate… on to the ride…
…which was fun as always!
Today wasn’t a “RideMax day” though, so with our single ride completed, we made our way over to the Skipper Canteen Restaurant. This restaurant doesn’t accept advance reservations, so it’s walk-up only at this point. We didn’t have any trouble being seated.
The restaurant itself consists of three separate dining room areas. The image above shows the Mess Hall, which is the largest of the three, which you see first upon entering the restaurant.
We ate our lunch in the second room shown above, the S.E.A. Room, which Disney bills as “a once-secret meeting place for the Society of Explorers and Adventurers.” The library-like vibe of this room is very warm and welcoming, and we really enjoyed the atmosphere offered here.
Various artifacts adorn the walls here in the S.E.A. Room, including this scary guy.
This booth, also inside the S.E.A. Room, displays an array of beautiful butterflies on the wall surrounding the booth.
Above is the Jungle Room, the third of the three dining areas. Disney says that this room is the former family parlor of Dr. Albert Falls himself.
Now you know.
I really liked the Tiffany Glass-style chandeliers in the Jungle Room. Just another one of many very nice details in this restaurant.
Just in case you were wondering… The restrooms are located just off the S.E.A. room.
Our meal began with this. All tables receive a loaf of Ambasha Bread With Honey-Infused Dip. The light bread paired well with the dip, and I definitely recommend trying this. Both Liesle and I enjoyed it.
We often like to eat fairly light for lunch, so we decided to share our entree, the Char Siu Pork, shown above. The menu lists this dish as “Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin Medallions served with Chinese Broccoli and choice of Five-grain or White Rice.” As you can see, we opted for the five-grain rice.
Oddly enough, for both Liesle and me there was something about the *smell* of this dish that was just plain unappetizing. I’m not even sure how to describe it — sort of a sickly-sweet aroma that didn’t have me looking forward to eating the pork. Upon actually tasting it, however, we found that the grilled flavor of the meat combined well with the sweetness of the glaze and made for a very good flavor combination.
The bottom line for me with this dish: I would probably try it again, but given the choice between this and the Skip’s Mac & Cheese, which I had last visit, I prefer the Mac & Cheese.
For dessert, we shared the Coconut Bar with Pineapple-Basil Compote and Vanilla Cream. The portion was on the small side here, but the presentation was great, complete with an edible flower and a large chocolate shaving as toppers.
We both enjoyed this dessert, but the flavor overall was a tad flat and didn’t have quite as much “punch” as we would have liked. Perhaps asking for some extra pineapple compote next time will do the trick. 🙂
You may have noticed from the interior pictures above that the restaurant wasn’t very full, and I found it interesting that as we exited, there were Cast Members out on the sidewalk actively trying to recruit guests to check out the menu. Maybe I’m forgetting, but I can’t think of another restaurant in the Magic Kingdom where they’re resorting to this. I hope it doesn’t bode poorly for the restaurant, as we both really enjoyed our meal here.
We decided to wander through Fantasyland before leaving the park. Always a nice skyline here — at least when the crane isn’t up.
The “Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party” was in progress(!) as we exited(!) the park(!). Over the years I think I’ve sort of become immune to this show as it plays so often, but it’s a nice chance to see some of the Disney characters if you have a few minutes.
Black nose = Chip.
And that about wraps it up for today.
We’ve seen some pretty crazy crowds in the parks lately, but I’m expecting a lull in the crowds for the next two weeks or so, before spring break season begins in earnest about the second week in March.
As usual, if you want help minimizing the amount of time you spend in line, but sure to subscribe to the RideMax planning tool. You choose the rides, RideMax gives you a wait-busting game plan.