Posts Tagged ‘Jungle Cruise’

SATURDAY SIX: 6 Secrets of Disney’s SKIPPER CANTEEN Restaurant

by on April 15, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Secrets of Disney’s Skipper Canteen! Regular readers of the SATURDAY SIX know just how much we love all the little details hidden throughout Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort. These theme park “Easter Eggs”  are a great touch for longtime guests, whether it’s a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Nautilus in the queue for the Little Mermaid ride, Back to the Future’s Doc Brown in The Simpson’s Ride, or even references to the former Seashore Sweets bakery in BoardWalk’s AbracadaBarThis week we are going to look at six of our favorite references in the Magic Kingdom’s Skipper Canteen, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – Jungle Cruise Imagineers

It’s no shock that Skipper Canteen (full name Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd Skipper Canteen) has a lot of nods to the Jungle Cruise attraction, but one of the best references is the faux upstairs offices for Skipper Marc, Skipper Bill, and Skipper Harper. “Marc” refers to Marc Davis, one of the most well known Imagineers in Disney history. While Marc was involved in creation of the Jungle Cruise, he is also known for his design work on other beloved attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, and the Country Bear Jamboree.

Tribute to Marc Davis.(photo by Brandon Glover)

Another door honors Morgan “Bill” Evans. The plant studies designation underneath his name refers to how instrumental Bill was in developing the horticulture of the Jungle Cruise. In fact, Bill Evans and Disney landscaping includes the creation of Disneyland itself. When Walt Disney needed to convert acres of orange groves in Anaheim into a theme park environment, he called the team who had just landscaped the grounds of his personal home. Those men were Bill Evans and his brother Jack.

“Walt told me we were all out of loot and that the time had come to put Latin names on the weeds.” – Bill Evans

Tribute to Bill Evans(photo by Brandon Glover)

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Theme Park Classroom: Magic Kingdom American History Lesson Plan Part I

by on December 12, 2016


Walt Disney World is known for its magic and entertainment, but did you know that the ultimate vacation destination is also known to be educational? As an educator and a huge Disney World fan, I see the Disney Parks as the ultimate classroom and pixie dusted learning experience. If you’re a homeschool parent or interested in how your kids can learn while on vacation or during the summer months, take a look at Theme Park Classroom: American History Lesson Plan for the Magic Kingdom Part I.

Subject: American History

Grade Level: 4th-12th  Note: Children learn in different ways and at different speeds and no lesson or lesson plan is ever one size fits all. Please use this plan as an outline, or even as a source of inspiration, and tailor it to meet your child’s needs, abilities, and age level.

Supplies: Park Map, Camera/Smart Phone, Notebook, Pen/Pencil, FastPass+ Reservations for the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean (if necessary)

Itinerary: Adventureland

Learning Objectives

  1. Motives for European Exploration
  2. Individual goals of the four explorers
  3. Date Christopher Columbus reached the New World
  4. How Florida obtained its name
  5. Who first circumnavigated the globe
  6. Importance of exploration

Welcome to Adventureland! Our destination for this Theme Park Classroom Lesson Plan.

Lesson #1: Four Explorers in the Age of Exploration


In the 15th and 16th centuries, Europe wanted to trade with the Far East, which are nations such as China, Japan, and India. Why? These nations had products people in Europe didn’t have, like tea, spices, and silk.

The problem was that maps were incomplete and nations like China and India were difficult to get to. Therefore, European nations began sending out explorers to find easier ways to reach the Far East and to claim and explore any new land they discovered.


#1: Navigate with a Park Map. Grab a map when entering the park and have your student use it to navigate their way to the entrance of Adventureland, all while explaining that explorers in the 15th and 16th centuries didn’t have accurate maps. But when you reach the entrance to Adventureland, take the map and put it away explaining that they have to explore Adventureland without a map like the European explorers had to do!

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Ultimate Evening at the Magic Kingdom

by on August 30, 2016

If I learned anything during my six months as a Professional Intern at Walt Disney World, it was how to spend a night at the parks. It became a near-nightly ritual to run home from work at 5:00 PM, grab a quick sandwich, and be in Magic Kingdom’s bag check line by 5:45 PM. From then, the night was mine–from my favorite nighttime attractions to post-Wishes Mickey Bars and everything in between. So whether you’re a local passholder looking for a magical hiatus from your weekday routine or a park hopper trying to catch Wishes, here’s the guide to your ultimate evening at Magic Kingdom!




Grab those FastPass+ Selections

Fire up your My Disney Experience app and grab those FastPass+ Selections at the beginning of the day, if not earlier! Try to make your selections for time slots before Wishes; That’s when the park is most crowded. My favorite nighttime trifecta: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain and Haunted Mansion.

Pack Light

Magic Kingdom’s bag check can get pretty sticky during peak season, especially around 5:00-6:00 PM when many people are trying to get back into the parks after an afternoon break. If you can, ditch the bag and just bring the necessities (credit card, phone, wallet, MagicBand, etc.) so you can stick to the middle lane and cruise by bag check. You’ll only be in the parks for a few hours, so no need to go all out with a full park bag.

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SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We LOVE the Magic Kingdom

by on July 23, 2016

This week’s SATURDAY SIX looks at Reasons We LOVE the Magic Kingdom. As you know, this July we’re celebrating Walt Disney World here on the SATURDAY SIX. At the beginning of the month we began our journey at Animal Kingdom, which now takes on new life at night. We then made our way over to Hollywood Studios, a park currently going through some growing pains but still has some of the best experiences in all of WDW. Last week? The one and only EPCOT, a theme park like no other across the globe. Today we are going to finish up by heading into the park which was the centerpiece of Walt Disney’s “Florida Project,” the Magic Kingdom.


The partners statue at the Magic Kingdom. (photo by Brandon Glover)

There are not enough superlatives for Disneyland out in California, but with Florida came the “blessing of size” which allowed Walt (and the Disney company) to fix problems they would never be able to in Anaheim. For example, driving to Disneyland is much like driving to the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida, in that you can see the park from the road. With the Magic Kingdom, Disney created a theme park where the very entrance to the park is an experience, slowly revealing itself to guests in a truly magical way. Opening in 1971, the Magic Kingdom quickly became the most popular theme park in the world, and retains that title to this very day. What makes it so great? Well, today we’re gonna look at six of our favorite things inside this truly special park. So, sit back, relax in one of the rocking chairs on Tom Sawyer Island, and let’s start our countdown with…

# 6 – Festival of Fantasy

Even with heated competition from Universal and many other parks from around the world, there are still areas which Disney parks are completely untouchable. One of those areas is parades, and one of the best parades at any Disney park is the Magic Kingdom’s Festival of FantasyWith elaborate floats, stunning costumes, an original score, and filled with many of our favorite Disney characters, this is a parade worth waiting for. The backstory of the parade is that each of the units were built by the citizens of Fantasyland. It’s fascinating just looking at all the details on each float and how they seem to be designed from an era long ago. The music has that true Disney Difference, with Brave and Maleficent sections being standouts, and the amount of characters involved in the parade is staggering.  From Anna and Elsa to Mickey and Minnie and almost everyone in-between, Festival of Fantasy has something for everyone.


The impressive fire breathing Maleficent. Sorry Gringotts, but this dragon also moves. (photo by Brandon Glover)


Tinker Bell doing her best impersonation of a theme park blogger receiving constructive criticism. (photo by Brandon Glover)


In Festival of Fantasy, Merida gets her chance to shine! (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Movies to See Before Your Disney World Vacation

by on February 28, 2016


Ready for a Disney Movie Marathon?

When counting down a trip to Walt Disney World, there are a number of things that need to be done from deciding how many suitcases to take, to setting a souvenir budget, to breaking in that new pair of walking shoes. But for me, there’s one more thing that I always have to do when counting down those last few anticipation-filled days, and that’s refreshing my memory and getting in the Disney spirit with a few movies! Kicking back with some popcorn to revisit a classic Disney flick, or even checking out a film for the first time, will only add to your overall Disney World experience. So go pop some popcorn and get ready for a movie marathon with my list of movies to see before your Disney World Vacation!

But first, let me explain how I came up with this list. Naturally, I included a number of Disney animated classics, even though it was really really hard to narrow down my favorites; but just so you know, I based my selections on what films I felt were represented the most at Walt Disney World or a huge part of Disney World history. Secondly, my list is not just Disney animated films, but also live-action Disney films and non-Disney films which are either represented in the parks or, again, played a big role in Disney history or as Imagineering inspiration! But as always, if you feel that I missed an important movie, or would simply like to add to the list, please do so in the comments.

Okay, are you ready for the list? Here we go…

Photo - Disney

Photo – Disney


Disney’s first princess film since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella is one of the most beloved and important films Walt Disney ever made. The film’s release in 1950 was so successful that it revitalized the Disney Company after World War II and kick-started the decade in which we would get the first Disney Park: Disneyland. Why you should revisit Cinderella before your Disney World retreat is because the Magic Kingdom’s castle is called Cinderella Castle! Inside the castle, a sparkly mosaic tells Cinderella’s story and there’s even a themed restaurant, Cinderella’s Royal Table, where guests meet Cinderella herself and dine in a medieval, fairy tale setting. Characters from Cinderella are also known to meet guests around Cinderella Castle and throughout Fantasyland; and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa offers a special character meal at 1900 Park Fare where Cinderella, Prince Charming, and her dysfunctional family meet with guests as they dine. All in all, Cinderella is an important film at Walt Disney World and is definitely worth a watch before you pass through the park turnstiles.

African Queen by IMDB

Photo –

The African Queen

Why is this film my first pick? Well, believe it or not this 1951 classic, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, inspired the Disney Park staple, The Jungle Cruise. Walt Disney saw this film himself and wanted to recreate the experience in his upcoming Disneyland Park. Although, he planned for guests aboard his boats to see live wildlife on the shores, just as the characters in The African Queen did! Of course, live animals wasn’t exactly doable at the time, nor would they be willing to appear and entertain when a boat passed by every few minutes; and so, the plan for live animals was scrapped in favor of one of Walt’s newest innovations: audio-animatronics. Walt’s vision for an attraction where guests could be entertained by live African wildlife was finally realized in 1998 when Kilimanjaro Safaris opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. In this way, The African Queen technically inspired two attractions at Walt Disney World! This is why I encourage anyone going to Walt Disney World to check out The African Queen. While I’ve always loved the Jungle Cruise, seeing the film which inspired it gave me a whole new appreciation for this classic attraction. Tip: Look for The African Queen poster on Sunset Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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25 Drinks of Christmas – Day Fourteen: Schweitzer Slush at Skipper Canteen

by on December 14, 2015

We’re back with everyone’s favorite theme park advent calendar: a daily countdown of our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld building anticipation to the Big Day. 

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where the drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY FOURTEEN: at Schweitzer Slush Skipper Canteen (Magic Kingdom)

First concocted by the noted explorer and humanitarian, Albert Slush.


Sweitzer Slush at Skipper Canteen. (photo by Brandon Glover)


Fresh off the opening of Thirsty River Bar late last week, Walt Disney World saw a new table service restaurant soft open yesterday with the Jungle Navigation Co LTD Skipper Canteen. The first new table service at the Magic Kingdom since Be Our Guest Restaurant, Skipper Canteen continues the trend of being magnificently themed inside with a ton of references for Disney fans. Skipper Canteen does not feature any alcohol, but it does have two signature drinks, including the one we are going to spotlight today: Schweitzer Slush. Cleverly referencing one of the longtime gags in the Jungle Cruise (Schweitzer Falls), the Schweitzer Slush is visually interesting as it is one of the only drinks featuring boba balls that puts the balls on top of the drink. Most drinks featuring boba balls have them at the bottom, such as Fishy Green Ale in Diagon Alley.

As big fans of good Disney souvenir cups, we recommend getting the Schweitzer Slush served in the great Jungle Skipper Canteen souvenir mug. While not technically a Moscow Mule mug (because – while metal – it is not made out of copper), it has the look and feel of one and includes the Skipper Canteen logo and Adventureland. It’s the little things we love.

Ingredients: Frozen apple juice and passion fruit topping with bursting green apple boba balls.


Schweitzer Slush and #StoryCoasters at Skipper Canteen. (photo by Brandon Glover)


Jungle Navigation Co. LTD. Skipper Canteen. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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First Look at the Brand New Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom

by on December 13, 2015

The Skipper Canteen — officially the unwieldy Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen — soft opened today in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom. It is a brand new restaurant themed to be the mess hall for the skippers from the nearby Jungle Cruise. “Soft opening” is a phrase meaning that the venue is still being tested and not officially open, so it may close at any time without warning.

That said, friends of the blog Darren Wittko and Brandon Glover managed to saunter in and take some photos for us this morning. Have a look! (And don’t forget to check out Derek Burgan’s look at the Skipper Canteen’s signature drinks including the Schweitzer Slush).


Main Dining Area of Skipper Canteen

Main Dining Area of Skipper Canteen


Side Dining Room and former secret meeting place of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.)

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2015 Jingle Cruise Now Sailing In Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom (Including Full Video)

by on November 9, 2015

2015 jingle cruise

Start celebrating the holidays at the Magic Kingdom with the 2015 Jingle Cruise (Photos/video by Seth Kubersky)

It seems like it was only last week that we were celebrating Halloween…oh wait, it was only last week. Well, never mind the 90 degree weather, the winter holidays have arrived at Walt Disney World! Only days after it was decked out with spirited All Hallows decor, the Magic Kingdom is already dressed for Christmas. And to start the season in safari style, the 2015 Jingle Cruise has docked in Adventureland, bringing holiday cheer to the world-famous Jungle Cruise attraction.

First, let’s take a stroll from the entrance’s poinsettia planter and up Main Street U.S.A., where a towering Christmas tree has made its annual appearance:

The 10 Walt Disney World Commandments

by on October 23, 2015


As a Disney fan, I feel like it’s my duty to share with you an immense discovery that I just learned of myself. This is the type of stuff that’ll change the way you go about your entire Disney World experience. From a super-secret (totally true) source, I learned that years ago, a Disney cast member was finishing his shift after a long day at the Magic Kingdom when he heard a strange voice. The voice beckoned him up to the top of the great Mt. Splash and when he returned, he returned with two stone tablets. The tablets were inscribed with wise words that detailed how park guests could best enjoy their Disney World experience while making the experience magical for others. These words would forever be known as the Ten Walt Disney World Commandments and it’s my honor to share them with all of you here today. Remember to keep these words in mind and you’ll be sure to have an amazing Walt Disney World Vacation.

  1. Thou shalt start each day of your vacation with Stacey.

C’mon. You can watch the news or SportsCenter any day at home while you get ready. How often do you get the chance to watch Stacey do the must do’s while simultaneously getting yourself even more excited for the day to come? Do the right thing. Start your morning with Stacey on your screen. Every morning.

  1. Thou shalt not use a Disney Dining Plan snack credit on bottled water.

If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, that snack credit can do some real damage if you’re looking to get a substantial treat. Whether it’s a Starring Rolls cupcake at Hollywood Studios or an ice cream cookie sandwich from Sleepy Hollow in Magic Kingdom, you can really earn your value on a snack credit. Plus, if you’re really that thirsty, just go to any counter service establishment and ask for a cup for water. No need to waste those precious Dining credits.

  1. Thou shalt “Treat. Yo. Self.

You want those Mickey Ears? Treat yoself. Dole Whip calling your name? Treat yoself. You’re on vacation in one of the most amazing places on Earth. I’m not saying break the bank and spring for a Polynesian bungalow every time you stay but it’s nice to get yourself a little something extra every now and then. Plus, you’re on vacation. You deserve it.

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Jungle Skipper Canteen Restaurant Headed to Magic Kingdom

by on August 14, 2015

Copyright Disney

Copyright Disney

The first Walt Disney World D23 Expo announcement has been made. The Jungle Skipper Canteen is headed to the Magic Kingdom!

While full details are scarce still, the restaurant will be located in Adventureland, in the former location of the Adventureland Veranda.

Guests who wish to dine at this establishment will get to enjoy “World Famous Jungle Cuisine”for both lunch and dinner served by Jungle Cruise skippers in one of the many themed rooms, including a crew mess hall or a once hidden, secret meeting room of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers. Menu items will be inspired by flavors of Africa, Asia, and South America.

Guests have been seeing this area under construction for months, so it’s nice to get official confirmation that the rumors of a Jungle Cruise-themed restaurant is indeed coming to the park.

It won’t be long until this restaurant officially opens–it is expected to be open by the end of 2015. Stay tuned and I will release more information about this exciting, and what should be extremely popular restaurant as I learn it.