Picnic In The Park – Animal Kingdom

by AllEars® Team Member Jack Marshall

I have always thought that Disney’s Animal Kingdom had some of the best food available in any of the parks. Picnic In The Park (PITP) is no exception.

First offered back in April, PITP is definitely a trailblazing meal option for Disney. The basic idea of the program is to select from two tiers of healthy food selections – tier 1 is sandwiches and tier 2 is meats. Details on what the selections are can be found on our Picnic In The Park page.

The process starts when you place your order at the Desk located to the right of the Island Mercantile building.

Animal Kingdom Picnic in the Park

Orders must be placed a minimum of one and one half hours prior to picking up but you can order your picnic anytime between park opening and 1:30 p.m. for pick up anytime between 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. The food is prepared in the kitchens of Tusker House. Pick up is done at the window of the Kusafari Coffee Shop and Bakery.

Animal Kingdom Picnic in the Park

Recently, I dined with two friends and we selected the rotisserie chicken option for three people. The bill came to $29.99 ($31.94 with tax). We ordered our picnic at 10:15 a.m. and picked it up at 12:45 p.m. There are 16 suggested picnic spots throughout the park. We chose the Dawa Bar for its accessibility, closeness to Kusafari Coffe Chop and Bakery and the umbrella tables that kept the spot cooler and dry.

The meal comes in a green reuseable cloth bag.

Animal Kingdom Picnic in the Park

The tier 2 meal for three consists of your entree, two sides to share, a dessert for each diner and a water for each.

Animal Kingdom Picnic in the Park

Animal Kingdom Picnic in the Park

Our rotisserie chicken was supposed to include 6 pieces but we got 8. I don’t know whether it was a mistake or not but it was definitely not wasted.

Animal Kingdom Picnic in the Park

Four our two sides, we chose mashed potato and gravy and macaroni and cheese.These came in pint containers (16 ounces).

Animal Kingdom Picnic in the Park

We all selected different desserts. Shown here are the cornbread and the brownie.

Animal Kingdom Picnic in the Park

The final dessert was a crisped rice treat.

Animal Kingdom Picnic in the Park

The drinks were 12 ounce bottles of water and were the only option. Additional items like soda could be purchased individually if desired.

Animal Kingdom Picnic in the Park

Finally, all the necessary plates, napkins, plastic utensils, mayonaisse and mustard were included as well.

Animal Kingdom Picnic in the Park

I found the meal to be very good. It was heavily seasoned and was quite hot when we sat down to eat it. My dining companions also enjoyed their meals. We did notice that several things were lacking, notably butter or margerine for the cornbread and wet naps to clean up after eating the chicken. But these were minor things.

As of June 27th, 2009, Picnic In The Park has expanded to offer meals for two. Previously, meals for three were the smallest meals you could get.

The Disney Dining Plan is accepted for this but it will take one adult quick service entitlement for each meal ordered. In other words a meal for two would take two counter service credits while a meal for three would take three, etc.

I have to admit that this is an item that I most likely would not have purchased for myself but I am very glad that I had to for this report. I know I will be doing this option when my family returns to WDW later this year.

Be sure to visit out Rate and Review Area to share your experience and see what others have to say as well!

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16 Replies to “Picnic In The Park – Animal Kingdom”

  1. Hi! I verified on mompanel website that picnic in the park is seasonal now and that you can get a “grab and go” at Beastly Bazaar. Just in case you were wondering.

  2. Do you know if they have any meals for the picnic that include kids meals? When we go, there will be 2 adults and 2 kids. I hate to use up an adult meal if I could use 2 kids instead. Other than that, it sounds great!

  3. I’m wondering if you can order this in advance (before your visit to the park) to save time touring.

    AllEars: To our knowledge you can’t order this in advance. If anyone has other information please let us know.

  4. Good to hear that they lowered the menu option to allow for two people only! I wanted to try it, but knew three would be too much. Can’t wait to try it in September. Thanks for the information!

  5. We did the picnic for my daughter’s birthday back in April, and I can’t say enough good things about it! We had four of us – my husband, myself (had gastric bypass, so don’t eat a huge meal), my 8 year old, and the 4 year old birthday girl. We had more than enough food with the three person meal, and even ended up taking our desserts with us in the bag – no one wanted to eat them!

    I think to stretch the meal, order the heavier side dishes, like the mac and cheese or the potatoes. We did the macaroni and cheese and fruit salad, and even with the little one eating mostly macaroni, we felt like we had plenty to eat.

    I asked another family who was there eating the sandwiches how they liked them, and was assured by the entire party that their sandwiches were all delicious, very filling, and well worth the cost of their meal. I think it would be harder to order a three person meal for four people with the sandwiches, but they did look like two smaller kids might be able to share.

  6. Is this a new permanent offering at AK? If so, I hope to take advantage of it in January. As a previous person said, it would be very nice to pick this up and then go back to the room.

  7. “As of June 27th, 2009, Picnic In The Park has expanded to offer meals for two. Previously, meals for three were the smallest meals you could get. ”

    That’s awesome! Makes mer very happy. I really wanted to give this a try on our trip but a meal for three would have been overkill for me and my wife – heck some days we’ll split a lunch between us!

  8. We went to Disney over Memorial Day, and selected this option on our visit to Animal Kingdom. We ordered the chicken meal for 3 even though there were 4 in our family (one parent, 2 teens, and a seven yr old). We chose the fruit and potato wedges for the sides. It was very good and I’ve recommended it to others who are travelling to Disney. The dessert portions for the brownie and rice krispie treat were quite large. We had plenty of food for all four of us, even though I’d ordered the 3 person meal. We used the green bag the rest of our days at Disney to carry water and other items, and now its a carry-all for swimming pool snacks.

  9. I have a 4 and 6 year old. Can anyone who has done this tell me if the meal for 2 is enough food or do I have to use 3 adult counter service meals?

  10. We are going next week and plan to get the 2nd tier for $29.99 for three people—what a bargain and what a special treat—the chicken looks delicious—the souvenier bag is a bonus, too…now…where to picnic…hmmmmm.

  11. This really seems like a great value for a family to enjoy. It almost seems worth it use your dinning plan for a character meal and pay cash for the picnic. Looking forward to trying it out on our next trip.

  12. What a wonderful idea especially at Animal Kingdom where there are so many great places to eat and watch the animals. This will sure be a hit as our kids love the animals! We have stayed at the AKL and just loved our view of the animals from our balcony! This is just another great idea and great way to spend a picnic in the park. We look forward to it!

  13. In early June our family of 11 also did the Picnic in the Park. For your money we felt that this was the best thing going. There was plenty of food as well as lots of choices. My only comment like one of the earlier comments was where were the dining locations. We did not receive any information when we picked up the food and asked several cast members and they could not direct us to the locations. We did manage to set up our lunch along side a walkway and did enjoy our meal. Hopefully the locations will be easily marked or the cast members will be better informed to assist the park visitors.

    We still will do this again on our next visit since we absolutely loved the food and amount that fed all of us.

    Thanks Disney for a great idea.

  14. My family and I did this when were there in May and LOVED it! There were 6 of us and there was plenty of food. We too had the chicken dinner and none of us have anything bad to say about it (except for the fight over the 2 bags!). It was a great option to the usual burgerrs or pizza in a counter service restaurant and we too ate at the Dawa bar in the shade while istening to live music. We almost did not so it, but decide to at the last minute and boy are we glad we did. We have recommended this to many poeple who have been making trips to WDW and all have loved it. Its great that it is part of the dining plan too!

  15. Thanks alot for the blog!!!

    This must have somehow escaped my eyes when they started this and when AllEars wrote about it because I knew nothing about it!!!

    Love the idea, under the dining plan I think it is VERY MUCH worth it and I think I am going to give it a try when I am there in August!!!

    My one question is the picnic spots…..since the map is not to specific as to where they are…just says “Near ____ or Across from ___” are they easily located and how is the seating areas?


  16. Looks like a great meal to order for pick up at the end of a long day in the park, to take back to the hotel to enjoy, as it looks well packaged for transport. Having two small children we have discovered that it is often easier at the end of a day to pick up a meal and do this, as they tend to not be the most cooperative in restaurants once the day is done. We often do this in Epcot at the Sunshine Seasons, but I would be interested in trying this on our trip next year.