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Friday Happy Hour: Animal Kingdom’s Dawa Bar

It’s the last day of your first week back at work in the new year, and I think you deserve a drink, don’t you?

Let’s go to the Dawa Bar!

Dawa Bar

Dawa Bar

Atmosphere
The Dawa Bar is located right next to Tusker House Restaurant in Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, right in the middle of the hub-bub of Harambe village. From here you can watch the crowds run by, on their way to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Rafiki’s Planet Watch, or coming from Pangani Forest and making the turn over to Asia.

Dawa Bar

Dawa Bar

There are a hodge-podge of bar stools, all different shapes and sizes, and several outdoor tables scattered around for seating. If you get there at the right time, you might be able to catch some of the tribal dancers who entertain in the Tusker House courtyard.

But in the meantime, let’s order!

Eats
Dawa Bar specializes in South African sangria and wines, including Cape Indaba, Kanu, Excelsior, and Brampton;

Wine List

Wine List

African beers, including Tusker Lager from Kenya and Windhoek Lager from Namibia;

Beer List

Beer List

and specialty cocktails with names like the African Margarita and Harambe Cooler, also using some ingredients from the African continent.

Cocktail Menu

Cocktail Menu

Me? On this visit, I got that African Margarita…no salt. Notice that they do now serve the drinks with the paper straw found throughout the Animal Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom Lodge. This is for the safety of the animals.

African Margarita

African Margarita

Why Should You Visit?
I have a soft spot in my heart for the Dawa Bar. I have a wonderful memory of a cold, wet day at the Animal Kingdom in early December; the spectacular bartender at the Dawa Bar whipped up a warm, cocoa-infused concoction (no idea what was in it, though I think there was some Goldschlager) that ended up being the perfect way to improve the day.

Ever since that time, I’ve considered the Dawa Bar one of my favorite and most relaxing spots in Disney World. If you haven’t been there, consider stopping by the next time you’re in Harambe! Have a drink, take a seat, and watch everyone else argue about who has the fastpasses this time and whether Jimmy’s allowed to buy that dinosaur hat.

Cheers!

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17 Comments

  1. Henry Work says:

    Love the Dawa bar. As for the beer, while I like the Tusker Lager and Windhoek (the true imports, but a bit too bland for me), I’m actually a fan of the Safari Amber. It’s specially made by Budweiser for the Walt Disney World Resort. It’s nothing mind-blowing, and my favorite on the beer list.

  2. AJ says:

    The Dawa Bar’s the best. Thanks for the info re: Safari Amber, Mr. Work — I never knew that!

  3. Gray says:

    On both of my trips to AK, I had every intention of stopping at this bar for a drink, but both times I succumbed to the “commando mode” of park attack, and neglected to just slow down and enjoy the place. I really must do this next time. It does look like a perfect people-watching spot.

  4. AJ says:

    Gray — Agreed. This is the perfect spot to slow down and take stock of the happy fact that you’re on vacation.

  5. Henry…last time I saw you you were heading to Mexico for tequila…ya lush!

    AJ…I love blue moon and did not know that they served it here. w00t! Thanks for sharing!

  6. AJ says:

    Amanda — they also serve it at the Outer Rim Lounge at the Contemporary…and I’m sure several other places. We’ll have to do a hunt. :-)

  7. Dawa is a favorite spot of ours and worked very nicely when we took my parents to WDW in 2007. Mom was on oxygen 24/7 and the tanks get heavy, but the parade was about to start. I directed everyone into Dawa and we could all enjoy a cold drink while watching the parade go by.

    The new Maji Pool Bar at AKV Kidani Village is another nice one. Hoping for great weather end of January / beginning of February so we can hang there lots!

  8. AJ says:

    Thanks for sharing that story, Carla. Lounges and bars tend to be tucked away in Disney World, and this one is fairly prominent by comparison — great idea to catch the parade from there.

    Have you sampled the new Kidani Village pool “room service,” where you can order room service to the pool? I think that’s a great idea! And I agree that Maji is very cool.

  9. Meg says:

    This is my favorite place in AK! It’s the best place to rest and enjoy a cold drink, and one of my favorite things to do is to sit back, relax, and watch the kids get to join in the show with the excellent tribal dancers. Not to be missed!

  10. AJ says:

    I agree, Meg!

  11. Alan says:

    On a hot day as my wife shopped in a clothing store across the way, I found my way into the shade of the roof of the Dawa bar. It was early but very hot so I checked out the bar. When I saw the various african beers I was intrigued. The bartender actually gave me two samples. It all seems so unreal I could almost believe I was no longer in Orlando. The Safari Amber is a good intro to more flavorful beers.

  12. Katie says:

    They had super yummy sugarcane mojitos when I went last weekend. Probably my favorite spot in the animal kingdom. Best part: no strollers!

  13. Stefanie says:

    The African Margarita is one of the drinks I crave between visits to the parks! I’ve tried with no success to find the Van Der Hum liqueur they use for it in local liquor stores near me. Until I am able to get that & make my own, I will have to be patient to get my fix. I love it because unlike some margaritas, it’s not too sweet or too sour due to the ingrediants, namely that liqueur they use.

  14. don says:

    The African margarita has changed according to a bartender there. I tried it any way, as I was looking forward to something similar . Sorry, it just wasn’t the same. I’m starting over looking for my new favorite margarita. Any suggestions?

  15. AJ says:

    Don — Have you gone over to Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico and tried the margaritas there? Lots to choose from, and all great!

  16. Stefanie says:

    Don- Yes it has. It looks like they have a machine now & it’s premixed. I tried it too a couple weeks ago & was disappointed that it was not as fresh as when they made it to order. I also like the Golden Margarita that is frozen at Anaheim Produce in Hollywood Studios. Even though it is premixed as well it still tastes good. :-) And the frozen margarita & Yak Attack from the Yak & Yeti counter service drink stand were pretty good, too.

  17. don says:

    Thanks so much for all the suggestions. I’m going to try them all in June. Happy margarita in late Feb.

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