P & J’s Southern Takeout Review
P & J’s Southern Takeout is the counter service side of Trail’s End at Fort Wilderness in Walt Disney World. The restaurant is basically a to-go option if you don’t want to do the full buffet. This review features food photos from P & J’s Southern Takeout, along with thoughts on dining here.
I have mixed feelings about P & J’s Southern Takeout. On the one hand, there’s fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and mac & cheese, which is 75% of my recommended dietary intake. On the other hand, it’s Fort Wilderness’ main counter service restaurant, and is pretty small/limited relative to the size of the resort.
Part of me wonders if P & J’s Southern Takeout is not a fully-fledged counter service restaurant is simply because there isn’t demand for it at Fort Wilderness. A lot of guests either have RVs with kitchens or cabins with kitchens, and can prepare their own meals. (We dined here during our recent stay in the new cabins at Fort Wilderness, so this includes us, but we had no desire to cook for ourselves.)
Then again, there’s sufficient demand to sustain a buffet and two dinner shows (albeit at least partially from guests staying elsewhere), so it seems unlikely there is no demand to justify a full size counter service restaurant.
To this point, the week after our visit, Fort Wilderness added a food truck to its dining lineup…but maybe that’s the best solution given the spread-out nature of the campground.
We usually start these Walt Disney World restaurant reviews with thoughts on ambiance, but this is a takeout spot (hence the name), so there isn’t really any. I guess just imagine the inside of your RV, cabin, or wherever you plan on eating your food.
To that end, P & J’s has as lackluster or spectacular ambiance as wherever you decide to eat the food. Maybe you’ll eat it on a boat to Magic Kingdom, making it Walt Disney World’s first on-boat restaurant. Perhaps you’ll eat it in a rocking chair outside the restaurant.
Maybe you’ll choose to dine while in a “gallery” housing Walt Disney World’s artistic masterwork created by Unknown Imagineer: Confused Sexy Cowboys in Wooded Area #1. Actually, scratch that (GET IT?!) since the location of said art is not exactly sanitary.
Being super-ambitious, we instead opted for a nearby picnic table…
In case you’ve never been outside, that’s what a picnic table looks like. Truly majestic.
Joking aside, eating on these picnic tables was a really pleasant experience. There was plenty of shade thanks to the trees, and it was a nice day.
If you have any sense, you’re going to order the Lone Rider or the Giddyap and Go, both of which are the fried chicken options. The former offers 2 pieces of fried chicken whereas the latter is 8 pieces. Each include cornbread and 2 sides: coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, or mashed potatoes. Only a fool would order coleslaw.
Pictured above is an archival photo of chicken, mashed potatoes, and mac & cheese from Trail’s End. Also pictured are ribs. Just pretend those are not there. Below is an archival photo of corn bread from Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue.
They suggest the Giddyap and Go is a family option due to it having 8 pieces, but they also say the Mezzo Metro pizza at Via Napoli serves 3-5 people and 20 piece chicken nuggets are “not safe to eat by yourself, you’ll get sick again, Tom!” To them, I say: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. 😉
In any case, the fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and mac & cheese from Trail’s End are all glorious. Seriously, three of the best items on the buffet. As counter service options, these represent exceptional value–some of the best in all of Walt Disney World, in my opinion.
However, for the sake of research, I ordered the Cowboy Sandwich. Normally, when I say “for the sake of research” here, it’s a tongue in cheek kinda thing regarding a “sacrifice” I made that was actually awesome. In this case, this really was a sacrifice since I didn’t get fried chicken, so you owe me big time.
If you’re allergic to fried chicken, this sandwich is a solid option. Generous portions of salami, ham, and turkey on focaccia bread with olive tapenade, lettuce, aÃ¯oli, and provolone cheese. I could’ve used a bit more dressing, but otherwise, it was a strong sandwich (and fairly priced).
Sarah made the ultimate sacrifice here, ordering the Chuckwagon Wrap. It’s ironic that this is served in a “sun-dried wrap” because it tastes like this wrap was literally dried in the sun. Do not order this.
Overall, it’s disappointing that Fort Wilderness is such a large resort and only has this one counter service spot (not even a restaurant) with an incredibly limited menu. Ultimately, I’m pretty forgiving of this, though, since the main menu items are what I consider to be the best things on the buffet at Trail’s End. If you have a few people with smaller appetites, or you just want to save some money, ordering the Giddyap and Go is a great alternative to doing the full buffet. It’s a fraction of the cost and is also an easy option if you want some fried chicken goodness but don’t want to sit down for a 4-hour meal (what, that’s not how long you camp out at a buffet?!) at Trail’s End.
Want more dining tips? Check out our 101 Delicious Walt Disney World Dining Tips. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
What do you think of P & J’s Southern Takeout? Even if you haven’t ordered something from here, but have tried the fried chicken at Trail’s End, what are your thoughts? Do you wish Fort Wilderness had more in the way of counter service food? Have any favorite menu items here aside from the fried chicken? Share your thoughts in the comments!
After nine days at Disney World , we were getting a little bored. We went miniature golfing at a course near the Swan and Dolphin. Fun! Then we took a bus to the Wilderness Campground. Never been there. What is it exactly? We are used to staying at Beach Club. We saw horses. We saw families having fun on golf carts, zipping there way through the Disney wilderness. We saw large campers docked. Remember our dinner at Hoop De Doo? This is where it was. It was very dark when we went and I didn’t take notice. We walked a bit and saw P and J. Went in. The aroma of delicious fried chicken wafted. There was a lot of wood and cowboy stuff decorating the place. We ordered fried chicken. Cornbread. Coleslaw. Mashed potatoes. Gravy. Strawberry shortcake. It was all delicious. I dream about it now here in upstate New York . We will definitely go back to our new favorite place. Prices are a steal for the quality of food. I noticed a bar also downstairs. Stay away from P and J. I don’t want it crowded
POOR QUALITY FOOD… VERY EXPENSIVE !!!
worst mac and cheese ever !!!!
OMG … I paid $66 for 8 chicken legs and a rack of ribs… ribs were so tough we couldn’t eat them.
Chicken was like TV dinner and the sides were aweful.
GO OFF PROPERTY TO HET DEIBKE FOOD !
Disney food is very expensive and terrible quality
I’ve never been to P&Js, so take my review with a biiiiiiig ol southern grain of salt; but IMO (which, as an attorney I typically don’t share for free 😉 ) the main reason to go to Fort Wilderness is to get away from the crowds of people. Fort Wilderness is like an oasis of calm in the middle of Disney crazy. If you’re looking for lodging based solely on dining options, you better move along cowboy, as there are many other resorts with far superior QS and TS options. If you are looking for a place where your kids, both 2 legged and 4 legged, can run wild outdoors and there are picnic tables galore, then Fort Wilderness is your go-to destination. We LOVE the resort and stay there specifically because its less crowded and we can fix our own meals sometimes. But I’ll sacrifice and actually try P&Js on this next trip so I can leave ya’lll with an informed opinion.
Been coming to P&j for years. Never had a bad experience. Ordered 8 piece chicken and brown beans & Cole slaw sides. It all is to die for, and the BEST corn bread I’ve ever had. We make a special trip to Fort Wilderness just to eat at P& J. Sorry for all you who don’t appreciate quality for good fast food. Jeanine was the friendliest and most helpful lady we encountered on this trip.
Thanks for much for the review. Something I am very very concerned about… portion sizes 🙂 I am an American and I want big portions. The sandwiches you pictured look kinda tiny, are they a good size for an adult to enjoy? Also, the to go meals at P&J’s, really can feed the amount they claim to feed? Thanks!
We tried to eat here last week during a stay at Fort Wilderness. We ended up not going as there was no way to get anywhere close to the building using any form of transportation and it was pouring rain. We opted for driving over to Port Orleans, where I could let out my passenger under the awning and she could get the food and bring it back to the car. Much drier this way.
One of my favorite washrooms…
A great review! I enjoyed it very much!
Just what we wanna know!
This may not be relevant to the article Tom, but I have to say it…you just put a little sunshine in my day. Not because I need to know about P & J’s Southern Take-out, as I’ll probably never go there. But because your style of writing mimics my family’s conversational style. You both make me laugh, and that’s a good thing. You do have an easy way with words and humor. And I admire your honesty. (speaking of honesty, I may or may not be the fool who orders the cole slaw. Just saying).
Now to the relevancy. If one isn’t staying at Fort Wilderness, there would be little reason to go to P & J’s. Unless, one has already done so much of Disney they need a major change of scenery, and maybe some food. Still, it’s a heck of a trip, and I imagine quite a walk, to get there. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading about it.
In response to your no reason to go there…it might provide a nice relief from MK in middle of day. Take boat to campground. The take out is near dock, share the chicken meal and let kids run around the grassy area for a bit. Definitely a nice thing on a crowded day. Never done it myself, but next time I stay at CR I might give it a go.
And thanks Tom and Sarah for a another fantastic review. I never even knew this place existed and I have been to Disney A LOT – but might to try it, as trails end is way too much food for me. I appreciate these reviews and can’t wait to read about your Norwegian adventures!