Skipper Canteen Opens at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Skippers Canteen Concept ArtThe long awaited Skipper Canteen is finally doing soft openings at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. The full name of this restaurant is actually Jungle Navigator Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen. The restaurant has started soft openings, which means the restaurant is basically in testing and there is no guarantee that it is going to be open at all times. They are also currently not taking Advance Dining Reservations via the website even thought it is a table service restaurant for lunch and dinner. We would assume it will start taking reservations once it is open for good, but for now you must simply check in at the restaurant if you want to give it a try.

One very interesting part of this restaurant is that they have taken an idea straight out of Be Our Guest Restaurant in that they have developed three distinct themed dining rooms that guests could possibly be seated in. The Crew’s Mess Hall is the first option and the second is the Fall’s Family Parlor, named after the restaurants founder. The third option is the most interesting, the Secret Meeting room of the Society of Adventurers and Explorers. It is certain this will be the most interesting room, but all three look like they have some fantastic characteristics.

The menu is also very interesting at this point, although we all know Disney is likely to change things during the coming months as the restaurant is tested and has a full opening. Let’s first look at the specialty drinks and appetizers.

Skippers Canteen Menu Apps & Drinks

We are in the Magic Kingdom, so the drinks menu is completely non-alcoholic, but there are some interesting options nonetheless. One interesting option is the Schweitzer Slush, which is “Frozen apple juice and passion fruit topped with bursting green apple balls.” There are also several hot drink options on the menu including a large selection of hot teas and specialty coffees. As far as appetizers go the Falls Family Falafel looks very good and is described as “A secret recipe of chickpeas, garlic, onions, lemon juice, and herbs served with white bean dip and cucumber salad.” The House Made Arepas also look very intriguing as they include “Slow-cooked beef, black beans, tomatoes, and queso fresco.”

Skippers Canteen Entrees

When it comes to the entrees the first one that jumps out is the Grilled Lamb Chops which are “Seasoned with a North African Berber spice blend” and “served with Green Lentil stew.” Another entree that looks unique is the Skip’s Mac And CheeseThis interesting take on a typical dish consists of “Spiced ground beef, pasta, and Bechamel sauce served with Broccoli.” There are also, pork, chicken, and steak dishes on the new menu that each look tasty in their own right.

There are several unique options for younger adventurer’s as well including sustainable fish, a junior version of the Mac and Cheese, and the Arepas.

Skippers Canteen Kids & Desserts

Now, what would an adventure be without dessert, and Skipper Canteen certainly does not disappoint in that category. The Coconut Bar with Pineapple-Basil Compote and Vanilla Cream is definitely different and is the star of this dessert menu. For me though I would love to try the Kungaloosh!, which is described as “An African inspired chocolate cake with caramelized bananas served with cashew-caramel ice cream topped with coffee dust. Between the caramelized bananas and the cashew-caramel ice cream they have me sold on this dish. I can’t wait to get down and try it!

Overall, this menu looks very interesting and unique and that is something I think Disney guests will really enjoy about the new Skipper Canteen. Stay tuned for more details on the menu and operation of this restaurant once it fully opens in the coming months.

Riverside Depot Opens at Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s main shopping location on Discovery Island has been expanded in the form of a new section that has opened, Riverside Depot. The expansion adds about 5,000 square feet of shopping space to the park. Riverside Depot, and the store it is connected to Disney Outfitters, will now serve as the main gift shop location in Animal Kingdom. The stores together will host a variety of merchandise that is found in other locations around Animal Kingdom as well as a large collection of Animal Kingdom Park merchandise. Now that this store is open Disney Outfitters is expected close for refurbishment until spring 2016.

Symphony in the Stars Fireworks to Start December 18

Disney has announced the the Star Wars themed, Symphony in the Stars fireworks show will begin running on December 18 and continue nightly. This show has been used during Star Wars Weekends in the past and includes a stunning display of fireworks set to a Star Wars theme. This is in many peoples opinion the best true fireworks show on property and is one that you should definitely make plans to attend. The show is scheduled to run through the end of the year, but there has been some speculation that it will continue on a more regular basis at Hollywood Studios next year. We will certainly let you know as soon as we here confirmation on this point.

The addition of this nightly show has been added to our Park Hours page. Make sure and visit that page to view the hours of all theme parks each day as well as the time for parades and nighttime spectaculars.

Enchanted Tales with Belle Removed from Evening EMH

Enchanted Tales with BelleDisney World has recently announced that Enchanted Tales with Belle will no longer be a part of the park’s evening EMH lineup. This attraction is usually not extremely crowded later on in the evening which is probably what is causing Disney to remove it. It would not make sense for them to employ cast members for an attraction that isn’t getting much traffic during these EMH periods. The attraction is still a part of Magic Kingdom’s morning EMH list.

Star Wars Launch Bay Open at Hollywood Studios

Star Wars LogoWith the impending release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens Disney has opened the newest attraction from this franchise at Hollywood Studios. Star Wars Launch Bay, which is located in Animation Courtyard, is now a place where guests can meet some of their favorite Star Wars characters, visit exhibits relating to the blockbuster movie franchise, and shop for Star Wars merchandise. Once inside guest have the opportunity to head to a “Dark Side” themed area and meet Darth Vader or they can go to the “Rebel Base” and meet Chewbacca. This experience, along with the new menu at Backlot Express, are some of the first of what promises to be other Star Wars themed additions to Disney Hollywood Studios.

Backlot Express Gets a New Menu at Hollywood Studios

The big news this week was the opening of Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but one of the less publicized changes was the new menu that was unveiled at Backlot Express. This quick service restaurant sits in a location just next to the Jedi Training Academy stage and Star Tours and this week the menu got an overhaul to include Star Wars themed food. The menu theming includes entrees, desserts, and drinks all in a Star Wars theme.

Topping the list is the Royal Guard Burger, which is being served with barbecued brisket on the top along with Monterrey jack cheese. Another interesting menu item is the Dark Side Chicken & Waffles, which includes waffles in a Darth Vadar design, crispy chicken, BBQ sauce, and maple syrup. The Correllian Spice Fries and the Galactic Chicken Salad round out the entrees.

For the kids the main menu item are the same Dark Side Chicken & Waffles or a standard power pack. For dessert the special item are a few different types of Star Wars themed cupcakes including the Darth Vadar Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake. The final menu addition are some special alcoholic beverages that can be added to your meal or enjoyed alone, these include the Dark Side Red or Blue Harvest.

New Details on Rivers Of Light at Animal Kingdom

A few days ago Disney revealed some new details about the “Rivers of Light” nighttime spectacular, which is coming to Animal Kingdom in 2016. Disney writes:

Rivers of Light Concept ArtIn “Rivers of Light,” a pair of mystical hosts come to the river bearing gifts of light. During the show, the hosts set out from the shore on elaborate lantern vessels for a dramatic dance of water and light to summon animal spirits. With the storytellers as your guides, the wonders of “Rivers of Light” builds to a stunning crescendo.

In addition to the show, you’ll also notice the park’s iconic Tree of Life will undergo an amazing awakening as the animal spirits of the tree are brought to “light” by magical fireflies, revealing moments of wonder and enchantment.

To create “Rivers of Light,” Imagineers and Creative Entertainment partnered with the talents of master puppet designer Michael Curry, composer Mark Mancina and the filmmakers at Disneynature.

According to Imagineer Joe Rohde, the addition of “Rivers of Light” to the park’s offerings will serve as that huge “wow” moment that ends a guest’s visit to the park.

Disney also released a video showcasing imagineer Joe Rhode speaking on the topic.

“Tiffins” Coming to Animal Kingdom

Disney releases concept of art of the new signature restaurant coming in 2016 to Animal Kingdom Park.

Disney announced a couple of days ago that a new signature restaurant is coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Disney Parks Blog stated that this new restaurant “will celebrate the art of traveling, featuring a diverse menu drawing from places that inspired the creation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Open for both lunch and dinner, Tiffins will also include waterfront views from comfortable indoor and outdoor seating areas. And if you’re wondering about the story behind the name, “tiffin” is an Indian English word for a midday meal or a type of container used to carry food while traveling.” The restaurant will be located on Discovery Island.