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Sue Holland

Restaurant Review - Captain Jack's

Enjoy lunch or dinner at this Downtown Disney location

Friday, August 22, 2003
Text and photos by Sue Holland , staff writer

During the past 30 years, many restaurants have come and gone at the Marketplace in Downtown Disney. The one location that still remains is Captain Jack's, although the menu today is different from what was offered in earlier years.

Originally a spot primarily for seafood appetizers, Captain Jack's now offers a full menu with a variety of different types of items is in place. The food is good, prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is nice, making Captain Jack's an excellent choice for lunch or dinner.

Generally, the Rainforest Café draws the big crowds at the Marketplace, thanks to the elaborate theming. However, people seeking a calmer dining experience without the long wait would do well to walk next door to Captain Jack's. Situated right on the water and next to the marina, the restaurant is a great place to beat the heat of the day while enjoying a beautiful water view.

Captain Jack's sits out over the water.

The restaurant is not particularly large, but makes good use of the many windows to ensure every table has a great view. It also is not usually too crowded, particularly during the day. I had the pleasure of enjoying lunch at Captain Jack's twice recently, and both experiences were excellent. During the second visit I dined solo, and the service was just as prompt and friendly as when I was part of a larger group.

The décor is somewhat nautical, with lots of shiny wood. It is not formal, but is very nice. Whether you are in theme park clothes or are dressed up a bit, you will not feel out of place here. There is a large bar-type area in the main room, although I never saw anyone seated there. Most likely it is left over from the restaurant's days as a cocktail and appetizer place. Smoking is not permitted anywhere inside, however. They do have a full bar and a number of specialty cocktails in addition to a wine list of mostly California wines.

The tables in the main room are situated around the bar area.

The primary reason to visit Captain Jack's is the food. At both lunch and dinner the appetizer menu is the same. One of the most popular (and delicious) items is the Italian Tomato Salad. A number of people recommended it to me before my visit, and I was not disappointed. They put a few pieces of focaccia bread in the bowl, then put diced tomatoes with balsamic vinaigrette and pieces of raw mozzarella cheese on top so the flavors blend together. It was a meal for me, and I would really recommend sharing it with someone if the intent is to have it as an appetizer before the rest of the meal. This is a cool refreshing choice, particularly in hot weather. Most of the other appetizers are either seafood or salads, and are listed below. Prices shown are as of June 2003.

  • Crab Cakes – Served with Cajun horseradish sauce and Napa cabbage slaw: $11.99

  • Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail – Served with a Floridian Cocktail Sauce: $9.99

  • Italian Tomato Salad – Tomatoes with balsamic vinaigrette, mozzarella cheese and focaccia bread: $6.99

  • Mixed Baby Greens Salad – Served with a papaya vinaigrette dressing: $4.49

  • Caesar Salad – $6.99

  • New England Clam or Manhattan Style Conch Chowder – Specialty of the house: $4.49

  • Spinach and Artichoke Dip – Served with tortilla chips: $7.29

  • Peel-n-Eat Shrimp – regular: $9.99; double: $16.99

Simple yet attractive décor is found throughout Captain Jack's.

Entrees at lunch consist primarily of sandwiches, with most of the heavier meals saved for the dinner menu. There are meat, seafood and chicken selections, and everything we tried was very good. Most of the menu items are “ordinary” enough that even picky or nonadventurous eaters should find something to eat here.

Lunch Entrees

  • Shrimp and Crab Pasta – Linguine tossed with a creamy lobster sauce, sugar snap peas, crab and shrimp: $14.99

  • Smoked BBQ Pork Ribs – A full pound of slow-cooked pork ribs smoked over oak wood chips. Served with red skin mashed potatoes and mixed greens with papaya vinaigrette dressing: $15.99

  • Grilled Marinated Portobello Mushroom Sandwich – Served chilled on focaccia bread with sun-dried tomatoes, a Boursin cheese spread and Napa cabbage slaw: $8.99
  • French Dip – Roast beef sandwich served warm with au jus and kettle chips $8.99

  • Chicken Caesar Salad – A classic Caesar salad with grilled chicken: $9.99; substitute shrimp: $10.99

  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich – Grilled chicken with provolone cheese, red pepper mayonnaise with kettle chips: $9.99

  • Crab Cake Melt – Crab cakes with smoked mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and Cajun-horseradish sauce on focaccia bread, served with Napa cabbage slaw: $11.99

  • Tuna Salad Combo – tuna salad on a croissant with your choice of soup: $7.99

  • Broiled Grouper Sandwich – Served with lettuce, tomato, and cajun horseradish sauce on focaccia bread served with Napa cabbage slaw: $9.99

Dinner Entrees

  • King Crab Legs – One pound of steamed crab legs served with drawn butter, mashed potatoes, and seasonal vegetables: $29.99

  • Catch of the Day – Oven-roasted North Atlantic salmon topped with a maple pecan Glaze. Served with Rice Pilaf and seasonal Vegetables: $21.99

  • Smoked BBQ Pork Ribs – Slow-cooked pork ribs smoked over oak wood chips, served with mashed potatoes and mixed greens with papaya vinaigrette dressing. One pound of ribs: $15.99; one and a half pounds of ribs: $21.99

  • Seafood Pasta – Linguine tossed with a creamy lobster sauce, sugar snap peas, lobster, crab and shrimp: $19.99

  • Oven Roasted Breast of Chicken – Served with pan-broiled gravy, mashed potatoes, and seasonal vegetables: $14.99

  • Butcher Tender Steak – Served with herb butter, mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables: $19.99; add a lobster tail: $12.00

  • Crab-Stuffed Filet of Grouper – Served with citrus herb butter, rice pilaf and vegetables: $22.99

Desserts are the same at both lunch and dinner, and consist of only three choices. Double chocolate cake with ice cream is available for $5.29, or take your choice of either key lime pie or white chocolate raspberry New York cheesecake for $4.29. Smoothies and milkshakes are also available for $3.75.

The menu is posted outside the restaurant.

Children are welcome at Captain Jack's and those age 3 to 11 have their own menu. Children's meals all cost $5.29 and there is a choice of a grilled chicken breast dinner, penne pasta with marinara sauce, hot dog or grilled cheese with goldfish crackers. They also have a “worms and dirt” sundae available, which is chocolate pudding with Oreo cookie crumbs and gummy worms.

Captain Jack's is a restaurant that I will definitely visit on future trips to Walt Disney World. Whether you are shopping at the Marketplace and decide to take a break here, or make a special trip just for a meal, I am confident Captain Jack's will not leave anyone disappointed.


Sue has been hooked on Walt Disney World since her first visit in 1972 with her parents and younger brother. She kept returning more frequently until she moved to Florida in 1986.

After joining the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) in 1997, she now visits almost monthly. She also spends time at the DVC's non-WDW locations, and is experienced with the Disney cruise ships.

She takes many of these trips on her own, but she's also toured WDW with large groups of people, including families, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

She works as the Administrative Services Division Head for a large residential facility administered by the Florida Department of Children and Families. She currently resides in Southwest Florida with her teenage son.

Sue is one of our most prolific trip report writers. Read her trip report archive here.

You can contact Sue here.

Get the latest info about the resort at “Park Update: Walt Disney World.”


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