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Animal Kingdom Picnic in the Park Review

September 2012 Update: Picnic in the Park in its original format stopped being offered in 2010. After, a grab-and-go option was offered from Beastly Bazaar in Discovery Island. The Grab and Go meal came with a reusable bag. Meal choices for two ($17.99), three ($24.99) or four ($32.99) persons. Meals included: choice of sandwiches, chips, desserts, plus a bottled water. Guests with the Disney Dining Plan could use quick-service credits.

Beastly Bazaar closed in August 2012. Therefore, we are unsure if the grab and go picnic option was moved to another merchandise location. Stay tuned for more information.

May 2010 NOTE: Picnic in the Park has had even more changes. Now, the picnic is available via a grab and go section in the Beastly Bazaar in Discovery Island. The picnic is sandwiches-only — no chicken or ham available any longer. To read more, see this Picnic in the Park post.
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Note: Picnic in the Park service was discontinued as of January 2, 2010, and will become a “seasonal offering.” No word yet on when that “season” will begin.

Note: As of November 25, 2009, some changes have been made to the menu posted below. Changes are as follows:

  • Ham is no longer available as an option in the Animal Kingdom Picnic in the Park. It’s sandwiches, chicken, or nuthin!
  • Sides for Tier 1 meals have been whittled down to only: Chips, Coleslaw, Seasonal Fruit Salad, or Tomato Cucumber Salad.
  • Sides for Tier 2 meals have been whittled down to only: Macaroni & Cheese, Seasonal Fruit Salad, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Tandoori Spiced Tofu and Zucchini Squash, and Oven-Roasted Potato Wedges.
  • Orders can be made at either Island Mercantile or Guest Relations, prior to 2:30pm.
  • Tier 1 orders are now retrieved at Dino-Bites in Dinoland. Tier 2 orders are still retrieved at Kusafiri Bakery.

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You guys remember waaaaay back in April when I posted about the new Animal Kingdom Picnic in the Park option — I couldn’t wait til it was my turn. Well, I finally got to try it!

Re-useable Picnic Bag

Re-useable Picnic Bag

How Does Animal Kingdom Picnic in the Park Work?
You can have a picnic in the park any day of the week. It’s an inexpensive alternative to restaurant eating, and a way to enjoy the Animal Kingdom in a way you might not have otherwise.

Ordering is easy. Head to the counter outside Island Mercantile between 8:30am-1pm, check out the menu, and order up! (Note: As of November 25, 2009, you can also order your picnic at Guest Relations.)

Ordering Station for Picnic in the Park

Ordering Station for Picnic in the Park

You can choose a designated time to pick up your meal (after 11:30am), at which time you bring your receipt over to Kusafiri Bakery just outside Tusker House in Animal Kingdom’s Africa. (Note: As of November 25, 2009, Tier One orders pick up at Dino-Bites in Dinoland; all other Tiers pick up at Kusafiri.)

Kusafiri Bakery Pick-Up for AK Picnic in the Park

Kusafiri Bakery Pick-Up for AK Picnic in the Park

They’ll hand you your trusty totebag and a map with picnic spots marked. We like the picnic spots in Camp Minnie Mickey and along the pathway between Africa and Asia the best. Which do you prefer?

AK Picnic In the Park Picnic Spots Map

AK Picnic In the Park Picnic Spots Map

On this day, though, I was picking up our lunch and taking it back to the hotel room in time for a meeting. We’d ordered the rotisserie chicken meal for two people, mac and cheese for a side, and a brownie and a cookie for dessert. All meals come with small bottles of Dasani water.

We were starving (no breakfast…tsk tsk tsk…), and found the chicken we ordered to be some of the best rotisserie chicken we’d ever tasted!

AK Picnic in the Park Meal -- Rotisserie chicken, mac and cheese side, brownie, cookie, water

AK Picnic in the Park Meal -- Rotisserie chicken, mac and cheese side, brownie, cookie, water

The mac and cheese we ordered as a side was good as well — let’s say it was better than KFC and not as good as Jiko. ;) Unfortunately, we weren’t impressed with the desserts. They were pretty dry and probably not worth the calories. When we do the Picnic in the Park again, I’ll order the “crisped rice treat.” Disney does those very well!

Worth it?
The cost is pretty similar to a counter-service meal in the park, and you might actually get more food for the money (we had plenty left over!); also, you can use one quick-service credit on the dining plan for this meal.

The cost is both a pro and a con, I think. If you’re in the Animal Kingdom on a beautiful day, taking the picnic to a quiet corner of the park and enjoying the outdoors in a completely different place than you ever have before can be both relaxing and peaceful. However, if you’re in the Animal Kingdom on a hot, crowded, humid day, sitting outside with your food instead of in an air-conditioned Pizzafari can be downright frustrating! Choose accordingly.

In my opinion, the Picnic in the Park can be a great value. If you get the sandwich meals, you can easily save leftovers in the fridge for the next day’s lunch. Also, if you are able to use the reusable totebag when you get back home, all the better!

Info and Details
For more information, here are some scans of the picnic in the park brochure with all the details! NOTE: As of November 25, 2009, some changes have been made to the menu posted below. Changes are as follows:

  • Ham is no longer available as an option in the Animal Kingdom Picnic in the Park. It’s sandwiches, chicken, or nuthin!
  • Sides for Tier 1 meals have been whittled down to only: Chips, Coleslaw, Seasonal Fruit Salad, or Tomato Cucumber Salad.
  • Sides for Tier 2 meals have been whittled down to only: Macaroni & Cheese, Seasonal Fruit Salad, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Tandoori Spiced Tofu and Zucchini Squash, and Oven-Roasted Potato Wedges.
  • Orders can be made at either Island Mercantile or Guest Relations, prior to 2:30pm.
  • Tier 1 orders are now retrieved at Dino-Bites in Dinoland. Tier 2 orders are still retrieved at Kusafiri Bakery.
AK Picnic in the Park Menu

AK Picnic in the Park Menu

Picnic in the Park Instructions

Picnic in the Park Instructions

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

8 Comments

  1. We did both options this past summer, the sandwiches and the roasted ham. The sandwiches really filled everyone up and were the normal “oversized” sandwiches that Disney has every where (such as Sunshine Seasons). It was difficult to eat desert because we were so full.

    A week after we did the sandwiches we tried the picnic with the roasted ham and we were left hungry after we finished. The ham just didn’t seem to fill us up as much as the sandwiches did, even with the extra side (which are amazing, all of them!).

    I think the sandwiches are a better value, overall more “filling” food and a lower price point… Positives all the way around!

  2. AJ says:

    Bruce, thank you for this fantastic comment. I’ve not yet heard from someone who had the ham — really helpful information.

  3. Heather says:

    We’ve only ever had the sandwiches, and I agree with Bruce, they were very large and quite good.

    I also think you made an excellent point about choosing wisely when to try the picnic. We tried this during a borderline day and could definitely see how it would not be fun in really hot weather.

    As for picnic spots, it’s a bit of a haul but my girls liked the one out at Rafiki’s. They like to complete all of the Kids Discovery Stations so having our picnic out there killed two birds with one stone, and it’s generally an uncrowded location as well.

  4. AJ says:

    Thank you for the suggestion, Heather! That does sound like a great spot to settle in for a picnic and a little learning…

  5. ErwinM says:

    Something to take note of. While you can use counter service credits from the dining plan to pay for the Picnic (one credit per serving), all of the credits have to come off of a single room key. If your party is split between two rooms (as ours was this past summer), it can get tricky allocating all of the credits properly, especially since the Picnic seems to be geared toward larger groups. We were just trying to get lunch for the two of us, but it was our last day and we didn’t have enough credits left on a single room that would still allow the rest of our family to get their meals.

  6. AJ says:

    Good to know. Thanks, Erwin. Sounds tricky!

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