There’s a slight shakeup in the Magic Kingdom’s table service dining options. Late last year, Skipper Canteen opened in Adventureland offering exotic cuisine, a fun Jungle Cruise theme, and a vastly different way to get a table than we are used to at Disney World. Disney decided to forgo reservations altogether when the restaurant first opened, making tables available exclusively to walk-up guests. In February, Skipper Canteen started offering same day reservations only, a far cry from the 180-day lead time of WDW’s Advance Dining Reservations (otherwise known as ADRs).
This week, Disney announced that Skipper Canteen will start taking ADRs in the next few days. If you want some heavily spiced chicken with a heaping side of Jungle Cruise humor, now you can secure a spot at Skipper Canteen up to 180 days in advance.
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Almost as if to balance things out, Disney announced today that the Plaza Restaurant on Main Street would start shifting away from ADRs in order to free up spots for walk-up guests. All existing ADR’s for the Plaza Restaurant will be honored, but going forward, reservations will only be taken for 11 am – 12 pm daily. All other tables will be available only to walk-up guests.
From a culinary perspective, this shift makes a lot of sense. Disney obviously saw a need to have a table service restaurant available for guests not making plans up to 180 days in advance at Magic Kingdom. With Skipper Canteen, they took an opportunity to give the non-planners a good place to sit down for a meal. However, with its global culinary theme, my guess is that Skipper Canteen’s menu is somewhat adventurous for the average Magic Kingdom guest. It’s great to have as an option for guests willing to stray outside of their comfort zone, but for most families just looking for a place to walk up and get a table, it might be too much of a stretch as their only choice. The Plaza’s menu has much more familiar food to the American palate, offering burgers and sandwiches.
The Plaza Restaurant has consistently been one of our go-to places to get a nice lunch or dinner at Magic Kingdom without breaking the bank, and I’m sure the American fare will be a safer bet for most people visiting Magic Kingdom. However, it is much smaller in size than Skipper Canteen, and service has never been what I would call speedy. If Plaza remains the only walkup option at Magic Kingdom, I could foresee Disney running into capacity issues leading to lengthy waits at during peak seasons.
What do you think about these respective shifts at Magic Kingdom? Let me know in the comments below!