Progress on the New Jungle Cruise Themed Restaurant
For the past few months, work has been coming along nicely on the new Jungle Cruise themed restaurant named Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen, or The Skipper Canteen for short. This picture was taken from the bridge connecting the entrances of Adventureland and Liberty Square. As you can see, Disney has added on to the original building quite a bit for the dining room.
Located right as you enter into Adventureland, The Skipper Canteen will allow Guests to experience the “World Famous Jungle Cuisine” while served by the Jungle Cruise Skippers. The story goes that the Jungle Navigation Co. which runs the Jungle Cruise pays the skippers so poorly, they are forced to work a side job at the Canteen to make more money. So I imagine it will be similar to the attraction and Guests will be getting some great, corny jokes along with their meal!
The restaurant, which will be table-service, will feature several dining rooms, each housing a unique theme to it, much like the three separate dining rooms in the Be Our Guest restaurant at Magic Kingdom and Restaurantosaurus at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Among the rooms announced so far are a crew mess hall and a once-hidden secret meeting room of the famed Society of Explorers and Adventures.
The building being used to house this new and creative dining experience was originally used for another dining option for Magic Kingdom Guests way back in the day. It most recently housed a meet and greet for Tinkerbell and her fairies for multiple years until they moved out earlier this year and Tinkerbell only moved into the Town Square Theater along with Mickey Mouse so that construction could begin. The building is to the back of Liberty Square’s own restaurant, Liberty Tree Tavern, which is currently closed for its own renovations, including expanding the kitchen which will be used for Skipper Canteen as well.
No official opening date for Skipper Canteen has been given by Disney; only that it is expected to open late 2015. I imagine their goal is to have it opened by the busy Christmas season, perhaps with a soft opening after Thanksgiving to allow the servers and staff adjust to moderate crowds in preparation for the large numbers, but only time will tell!