Greetings fellow travelers! Today, we're embarking on an Adventureland adventure the likes of which you have never before experienced! Crocodiles, Schweitzer Falls and Kungaloosh (ooh my!); but, listen, before we don our pith helmets and khakis, let's stop and bask in some gratitude!
YOU! Yes, you! Thank you so much for keeping the spirit of WDW Loo Review alive and well! Our FB page has flourished this month -- over 200 new likes! Let me tell you, that really gets our creative juices flowing (ewww -- not a great phrase to turn when reviewing restrooms -- ed) around the WDW Loo Review home office. Just knowing there are over 9000 others out there who are so enthusiastic about (and homesick for) Disney Parks and Resorts that they'd spend their free time reading about the restrooms there reassures us all that we're not alone in our extreme fan-dom. Thank you for your support and for your continued shares and likes! Namaste!
Today, friends, we're headed for some grub, this time back in Magic Kingdom. Picture this: we've just survived a pun-filled, white-knuckled cruise through the jungle, and we're famished. But where to dine whilst meandering about Adventureland? Sunshine Tree Terrace, Aloha Isle? Naw, a Dole Whip or its orange counterpart isn't enough to satiate this crew of intrepid adventurers! Tortuga Tavern? Well, the place does house a pretty decent loo, but, unfortunately, due to its variable operating hours, TT is closed for the day.
Oh, if only the valiant Dr. Albert Falls were available to offer some suggestions! Alas, he is not; however, fortune smiles upon us, folks! Just as we are giving up and heading to dine while listening to Sonny Eclipse's dulcet tones, our weary eyes catch sight of the below sign:
Ah, of course! The same Jungle Navigation Company responsible for operating the famed Jungle Cruise offers park guests the chance to dine at their mess hall: Adventureland's very own Skipper Canteen!
Since late 2015, Jungle Navigation Company, Ltd.'s Skipper Canteen has dared to do go where other Magic Kingdom restaurants dare not tread: the Canteen serves dishes very far departed from traditional theme park food. Want a good hot dog? Head to Casey's. If you're in the mood, however, for, say, some shumai (Don't know what shumai is? Shu've got to be kidding mai! -- ed) or an authentic noodle bowl, then look no further than Skipper Canteen! We at the blog dined here shortly after the Canteen's opening and have had a great meal at this location many times since -- it never fails to disappoint. That said, Skipper Canteen requires an adventurous palate, which is why it seems to be an easy dining reservation to snag.
Skipper Canteen actually has 3 distinct dining areas, the largest being the crew's mess hall, which is where most guests are seated. A smaller room, known as "the jungle room" has been converted from late-explorer Albert Falls' office. Both of these rooms are chock-full of themed memorabilia and character. Photos simply do not do the Canteen justice at all, and the cast members here encourage guests to get up and explore the sights while waiting for their food.
Our favorite room (and, not coincidentally, the room just outside Skipper Canteen's loos) is the S.E.A. Room. Die-hard Disney Parks fans know all about S.E.A., which stands for Society of Explorers and Adventurers. Word has it that none-other than famed S.E.A. members (such as Dr. Albert Falls -- namesake for Jungle Cruise's Schweitzer Falls, Jock Lindsey -- of Hanger Bar fame, and Barnabas T. Bullion -- owner of Big Thunder Mining Company) secretly met in this room for many years, prior to the Canteen's owners turning it into a dining room.
The S.E.A. Room is exceptional. Not only is it filled with S.E.A. memorabilia, but it's hidden behind a bookshelf. Just take a look at the photo below, taken from the mess hall and looking through the now open bookshelf's secret door into the S.E.A. Room:
Magnificent and inspired theming, folks! Even in this little snapshot, you get the idea of the amount of effort that went into making this venue a special one: check out the compass on the floor, the sculpted beast heads adorning the walls ... and so much more!
Here's a shot taken from inside the formerly-secret passage:
Hey, we could spend hours discussing the details in here; but, you didn't come here for a discussion about dining room decor, did you (maybe it's not a good idea to remind them that they went out of there way to read about a bathroom -- it may cause them to question their life choices -- ed)?
Moving on! Let's enter the S.E.A. Room with an air of reverence and observance of those brave Disney-lore explorers who have paved the way for some of our most favorite attractions. Hats off, gentlemen!
Dead ahead lies our destination:
The loo foyer is marked by mahogany walls, a plain sign and, just beyond, exotic yellow and green!
Ladies, here is your loo! Though the signage is plain, I think all can agree the door has a lot of character:
Painted brass is the backdrop for this golden lady, bravely paving the way for others of her gender to use the loo:
Men, here's our loo. Again, a door with a lot of character, and not much else, right? Wrong! A closer look at the sign here (and the one on the women's loo entrance door as well) reveals the embellished "S" emblem for the Society of Explorers and Adventurers! It's such a small thing, but represents just how much thought went into designing every last detail of Skipper Canteen.
Here's the men's loo signage hanging just adjacent to the door:
Before entering the loo, it's important to note the decor hanging in the foyer outside:
A framed map of the African continent and numerous black and white photos of exotic locales adorn the walls outside the restrooms here. We love this. Honestly, who themes restrooms better than Disney?
Okay, let's go into the men's loo! Armed with machetes, wearing our monocles, we bravely adventure into this jungle ... of awesomeness!
What? Are you suprised? Look, in a restaurant so teeming with detail, would you expect less from the restrooms (okay, so Disney has let us down of late with the Pandora loos which -- though nice -- are fairly plain relative to their surroundings -- ed)? We'll break everything down, exploring each individual part in a moment; but, for now, just soak in this gorgeous vista.
Done soaking? Okay, let's look at that sink area:
The tile here is beyond anything we've seen at WDW. Blues, whites, a smattering of orange -- all arranged in a way that should not work, but just does anyway.
Glossy, cream-colored Arabesque lantern-shaped tile adorns most of this loo, setting the backdrop for all of the other tiles. It's everywhere, as you'll soon see, and the pattern is both exotic in shape, yet simple in color. Here's a close-up:
By the way, we love what writing this blog has done for our vocabulary. Prior to this little endeavor, the words "Arabesque Lantern" would have suggested some sort of firework, not a wall tile. Three cheers for the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (and its bathroom tile)! Huzzah!
Here's a closer look at the impressive blue design which not only serves as the sink station's backstop, but runs at waist level throughout this loo:
Marking the edge of the tile as it abuts the wall above are lighter blue designs, equally impressive:
The last stop on our tour du tile is a glance at the square pieces which accent walls and floors, each adorned with an orange, painted lantern themselves:
I'm sure you'll agree, each one of these sections is unique and attractive in its own right; however, when thrown together, these vastly different patterns and colors amount to more than the some of their aesthetic parts. Bravo, Loo Imagineers, for a job exceptionally done!
But wait, there's more (we're still at the sink station .... seriously? -- ed)! Look at this mirror hanging above the sink! Framed in elaborate gold , here's yet another pattern adding to the diversity of this restroom:
And, looking high above, check out the beautiful stained glass ceiling sconce! This is but one of several stained glass pieces in this restroom, and it adds even more complexity to the loo's aesthetic:
Oh, and don't forget this little gem:
The sink's marble counter is supported by two grey legs, each expertly-carved into the shape of a stalwart elephant. Think how many loo-goers miss this tiny, but impressive, detail every day -- see, THIS is why you visit this blog (in the immortal words of everyone's favorite demigod: "You're welcome!").
And we're still not done with the sink area. Listen, we've saved the best for last. Check out this amazing basin:
Whaaaat? A sink basin painted in a delicate and elaborate pattern to match the surrounding decor?! We kid you not, folks. This is something the likes of which we've not seen before at WDW. Yes, there's the hammered copper sink basin of Liberty Tree Tavern, but those beauties pale in comparison to the level of detail here. Confession: we washed our hands four times just to enjoy this experience.
Wow! Overall, this is one impressive place to poo, and we haven't even gotten past the sink!
To the sink's right, tucked away all by its lonesome, is this restroom's singular urinal. You'll notice the tile patterns carrying over from the sink area into this little alcove.
And, for those who enjoy a little light reading whilst emptying their bladder, Skipper Canteen proudly presents the latest issue of The Daily Gnus:
Come on, who doesn't love this sort of thing? Loo Imagineering took the time to fabricate a newspaper complete with faux news stories on the front page? Priceless!
Turning further to our right, we spy the entrance to the toilet, which sits in a separate room altogether! That's right: no delicately evacuating the bowels due to nearby listeners in this loo. Folks, you can just let 'er rip in Skipper Canteen (I can't believe we just said that. Retractions forthcoming. -- ed).
While there is no companion restroom here, it's worth noting just how large this separate area truly is. One could easily fit a wheelchair, it's rider and several assistants in here and still have room to dodge a charging rhino.
Opposite the single toilet is a small sink, vanity mirror, etc, affording users the opportunity to wash up in private.
Lastly, here's a look at the diaper changing station. Of course, we see the prerequisite nappied-baby sign along with continuation of this loo's tile theme:
What we didn't anticipate, however, was this cool stained glass lamp hanging above:
This lamp is a great place to end our review, and it symbolizes our feelings on the entire Skipper Canteen restroom: colorful, unexpectedly detailed and outright beautiful!
WDW LOO REVIEW RECAP OF THE JUNGLE NAVIGATION COMPANY LTD'S SKIPPER CANTEEN LOO:
Capacity: Cozy. One urinal, one exceptionally private toilet (the latter ADA-compliant)
Cleanliness: Remarkably clean despite it being a jungle out there!
Theming: Perhaps the singularly-best themed loo we've yet seen!
Changing Station: Yes!
Companion Loo: No
Access: Not so easy (unless you're dining at Skipper Canteen, that is, then it's a piece of Kungaloosh!)
Overall Rating: 5/5 Urinal Wafers.
First things first: this is a great restaurant. If you haven't tried it, or if you've looked at the menu and just weren't sure, muzzle that inner doubt and go for it! Skipper Canteen is excellent (we would put it's faire up against that of Be Our Guest's dinner menu any day of the week), and it's definitely a cut waaay above your standard Disney theme park dining (especially above the options at Magic Kingdom).
But listen, if you go for the food, stay for the loo! This restroom has earned the oft-coveted and rarely-awarded "5/5 urinal wafers" score from our expert WDW Loo Crew staff. This is saying a great deal, folks. Your tushie should embrace this toilet at least once before you die.
Time to get on it, folks! Make those advanced dining reservations today!
Thank you, again, for giving us a few moments of your time. We love having you read the blog! Have a comment? A question? Please, let us know via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or via the blog site itself! We love to hear from you!
Until next time, friends: bottoms down and thumbs up!