Cap’n Jacks Restaurant, in the Downtown Disney area of Disney World Resort, looks like it would be the perfect restaurant for seafood lovers. Cap’n Jacks is located directly on the water in the Marketplace section of Downtown Disney. The nautical theming, menu prices, and water’s edge location are more impressive than the actual dining experience, however.
Cap’n Jacks Restaurant Details
The Downtown Disney Marketplace location of Cap’n Jacks makes it convenient to both Disney World guests and those staying outside of Disney World. Since Cap’n Jacks is not within one of the Disney parks, there is no park admission required to visit Cap’n Jacks for lunch or dinner.
The dining area is nautical themed, with the best tables located alongside windows that overlook the lake. Tables are fairly close to one another and large parties may have some difficulty feeling comfortable. Many of the interior tables do not offer a water view. In spite of the nautical theming, Cap’n Jacks has the ambiance of a local fish fry restaurant. The atmosphere does not match the Disney World prices.
Cap’n Jacks is known for their Twin Lobster Tail entree ($31.99). Many Disney World diners visit Cap’n Jacks while on the Disney Dining Plan, since it is one of the few Disney Plan restaurants that serves lobster for only one Disney Dining Plan credit. The menu at Cap’n Jacks is otherwise limited for seafood lovers. Seared Salmon ($23.99) and Shrimp and Penne Pasta ($18.99) are the only other seafood dinner choices. Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail ($10.99) and Crab Cakes ($9.49) serve as seafood appetizers on the lunch and dinner menus. Salad and a Spinach and Artichoke Dip ($7.49) are additional appetizers.
The lunch menu is similar to the Cap’n Jacks dinner menu, with the exception of several different sandwiches available on the lunch menu. Aside from the seafood options available on the Cap’n Jack’s dinner menu, Old Fashioned Pot Roast ($16.49) and Roasted Chicken Breast ($16.99) are offered.
The dessert choices at Cap’n Jacks include a chocolate cake dessert, Key Lime Pie, a cheesecake dish, and a fruit salad. All desserts are available on both lunch and dinner menus.
A limited children’s menu offers children 3-9 years of age lunch and dinner options for a set price of $7.49. Each meal includes a beverage, appetizer (salad or soup), entree, and dessert (smoothie or fruit salad). There are no seafood options on the children’s menu. A hot dog, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and chicken sandwich are the main choices for children.
The Dining Experience
The main reason for our visit to Cap’n Jacks was for lobster. Since all six members of our dining party were on the Disney Dining Plan, Cap’n Jacks seemed to be a good choice in terms of getting the best “bang for the buck.” Unlike the many other Disney restaurants that we dined at while at Disney World, however, there was an overall lack of ambiance and quality of food at Cap’n Jacks.
An overwhelming musty smell filtered through the main waiting area at Cap’n Jacks. Much of the smell is undoubtedly the result of Florida humidity and closeness to the water, but it was not the kind of smell that stimulates the appetite. Once inside the restaurant, the musty smell was smothered by the smell of fish. It smelled like the boat docks, quite frankly. Any seafood restaurant will likely have some fishy smells, but Cap’n Jacks was overwhelmed by the odors.
As a party of six, we were given a window seat at an extra long table. The seating was tight, even with only two adults and four children. The width of the table was just slightly larger than the average coffee table and this made it difficult to enjoy dinner while the table was cluttered with plates, drinks, and lobster shells. There was no place to put the lobster shells, other than on a napkin set on the table.
The lobster was good, not the quality of an upscale seafood restaurant, but much better than the rest of the meal. The side dishes were of lesser quality, however, and no options were given for sides other than the rice and green beans. The plate had the look of a pre-plated meal served by the dozens. The children’s meals, the hot dog and macaroni and cheese meals were bland.
The Spinach and Artichoke Dip appetizer was so-so, and on the salty side, while the Crab Cakes appetizer had a strong fishy taste. The Key Lime Pie dessert suffered from an overdose of lime juice, making it barely edible without making a sour face.
All in all, the highlight of our dining experience was the lobster tails, but even that was less enjoyable due to the fishy atmosphere, cluttered table, and assembly line plating. There are many better choices for dining while at Disney World, and Cap’n Jacks is not a restaurant that we plan to return to on future trips.