“Picnic in the Park” at Animal Kingdom

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“Picnic in the Park” at the Animal Kingdom is a new dining option that began April 7, 2009. Basically, you are purchasing the same meal for 3 or more people in a cute reusable “Every Tree Has Character” tote bag (available for $2.95 in the gift shops).

Here is how it works:

1. Place your order between 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM at Guest Relations (Guest Relations is to the left just after you pass through the turnstiles). After 1:00 PM go directly to Tusker House to place your order.
2. You must allow two hours between ordering and pick up.
3. Pick up your order at Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery next to Tusker House.
4. Payment is due when you pick up your order. The “Picnic in the Park” is a Quick Service Meal on the Disney Dining Plan. (i.e. A picnic for 3 will require 3 quick service meal credits.)
5. Find a place to enjoy your picnic.

Your picnic options come in 2 tiers:
A. $24.99 for 3 (minimum order): 3 sandwiches, 1 side, 3 desserts and 3 small Dasani waters
B. $29.99 for 3 (minimum order): Rotisserie chicken or 1 pound of ham, 2 large sides, 3 desserts, and 3 small bottles is of Dasani Waters.

No substitutions allowed. Be sure to let the Cast Member know if you have food allergies so they can make proper arrangements.

I was able to “Picnic in the Park” earlier this week. There were only two in our party, but the Disney research must go on, so we ordered the picnic for three. Consequently, this gave us the opportunity to try many of the selections. There is no picnic for two. We ordered a chicken wrap, a ham on ciabatta, and a turkey on focaccia, a side of fruit, a chocolate chip cookie, a brownie and a rice krispie treat.

The sandwiches came with mayonnaise or a mayonnaise based sauce and lettuce on them. The chicken wrap also included tomato and the ham had onions but no tomatoes. We were surprised. Had we known we would have requested no mayo and no vegetables on at least one of the sandwiches? If you have leftovers you are out of luck or risk getting food poisoning from carrying the mayonnaise laden sandwiches around. The sandwiches were good, but nothing to write home about.

The fruit salad was really more of a cantaloupe and honeydew salad with a few pieces of pineapple and watermelon. We ate most of it and there were only two of us.

The chocolate chip cookie and the rice krispie treat were exactly what you would expect. Very good. However, the brownie was not so hot. Very disappointing.

I wish there had been a choice of beverages with the picnic or at least a bigger bottle of water. We finished all 3 small bottles of water and I also purchased a Diet Coke.

The other problem with “Picnic in the Park” is that you sort of have to plan your day around your picnic pick up time.

I think “Picnic in the Park” is a nice idea and just needs a little tweaking. Your humble correspondent has a few ideas for Disney: 1. Offer a Picnic for 2 also. 2. Don’t put the mayonnaise or the mayonnaise based sauces on the sandwiches. Let the “picnicee” do it at the time they eat to help keep the sandwich from getting soggy.This will allow any leftovers to be eaten later instead of thrown away. Also, offer mustard. 3. Offer a choice of beverages and or give a LARGER bottle of Dasani Water.

Would we “Picnic in the Park” again? Probably not. We prefer the freedom of choosing different entrees and eating when it is most convenient for our “Touring Plan.” We also thought the quality of the food was fair. At over $8 per person for three people or in our case around $13 person, we would rather have barbeque at Flame Tree Barbeque.

This was our experience. I am sure Disney will continue to work the “bugs” out of “the Picnic” in order to raise the quality. I hope you enjoy your “Picnic in the Park.”

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Posted on April 19, 2009

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