For those of us of a certain age, Disney dining meant one thing: cheeseburgers. No matter what restaurant you visited, that was your choice: with or without cheese. You would then take your sorry-looking burger to the fixings station and add your choice of toppings. For those in the know, you would make a little salad with the lettuce and tomatoes. And that was your meal.
No, I’m not going to be sentimental about this. It was a sad existence. You kids today, with your choices of food, wouldn’t understand. The struggle was real. But you were in Disney World, so the food didn’t matter. You didn’t go for the food; you went to enjoy the two parks. That’s right, there were only two of them back then. We made due.
But the world has changed. Food has changed. You can still find that ol’ reliable hamburger, but Disney World is now the place to be for good eats. And I have sacrificed and gone out for you and tried as much of the food as possible in Walt Disney World (this is what I’m willing to do for you, dear reader). And now I’m here to tell you all about the best restaurants I’ve found there.
This place is often overlooked in its Park and the surrounding Resort Hotels, mainly because it doesn’t feature any characters and it’s a little hidden. No, it is not Cinderella’s Royal Table or Victoria and Albert’s in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Both are nice, but I’m not paying that much for a meal at Disney World.
The best meal I’ve ever had in Magic Kingdom is at the Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen. Yes, really. It’s tucked away in Adventureland, and if you aren’t paying attention, you’ll miss it.But it’s worth going to find it. This cult favorite is where you’ll get the best Disney World meal.
When you walk in, it’s a little overwhelming. There’s just stuff everywhere. But you’re on the Jungle Cruise, and the staff has similar jokes as the boat drivers. Corny, yes, but that’s the point.
Take a few minutes and look around at everything on the walls. The beauty of going here is that you discover something new every time you return. It’s all supposed relics from the Jungle Navigation Co.’s worldwide travels. Exciting and sometimes funny.
Sit down and enjoy the Skipper Dan’s Dan Dan Noodles. It will blow your mind. It’s just spicy enough to enjoy but not so spicy that you can’t put it in your mouth. It’s nearly perfect, which I don’t say that often.
This is the only restaurant in the Magic Kingdom where you can get a drink. So, for those who have spent the day chasing down Princesses, here’s your chance to relax. There is no bar, but you can get them at your table. Just don’t get out of control. You are, after all, still at the Magic Kingdom. Try the Sangria. It will soothe those nerves.
For dessert, you can go ahead and settle in for the coconut bar with pineapple-basil compote and vanilla cream. It will cool your mouth after the noodles and is straight-up tasty.
I will admit this is not for the faint of appetite or picky eaters, but there are alternatives if you don’t want to be adventurous. (I may or may not have just rolled my eyes at you). It comes with a sweet chili glaze, but you can get that on the side. Don’t worry, it’s amazing too. And don’t worry about the kids. The menu for them has both the usual dishes (jazzed up chicken fingers) and dishes that will push their boundaries (Congo Connie’s Coconut-Curry Concoction).
This will be the best meal that you will have not just in the Magic Kingdom but arguably throughout the entire Disney World Property. If I only have one night at Magic Kingdom, this is my stop every time. I would take an hour or two out of that one day and spend it here for a great meal. And now you know.
So, forget about Be Our Guest and head to Adventure Land for the best meal you’ll have anywhere in the Magic Kingdom. You’ve got the entire meal planned for you now. I wouldn’t steer you wrong. If I know nothing else, it’s food. And this one is worth it. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: The opinions addressed in this article are the writer’s and may not reflect the sentiments of Disney Fanatic as a whole.