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Guest Review: Dawa Bar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Welcome to Friday Happy Hour! Guest Author Melissa Sue Sorrells Galley takes us to one of our favorite rest stops — the Dawa Bar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

You sure do a lot of walking in Animal Kingdom. The paths are beautiful, but they’re long. And after a morning touring Disney’s most animalriffic theme park, I like to stop for a nice, refreshing drink. Luckily, there’s a perfect place for resting and sipping in Africa’s Harambe Village.

Dawa Bar in Harambe Village

Atmosphere

Located just as you cross the bridge into Harambe, Dawa Bar is inside a huge, covered pavilion just next to the line to get into Tusker House and across from Tamu Tamu Refreshments.

Dawa Bar Seating

It’s a great place to sit, relax and watch Harambe pass you by. If you time your cocktail right, you can even catch a performance by Tam Tam Congo. But even when they’re not performing, there’s a great loop of music playing through the speakers in the pavilion, creating a fun, casual atmosphere.

Harambe Drummers

The bar itself is beautiful—it looks like an honest-to-goodness thatched-roofed hut, complete with overhead fans and bare lighting. It’s decorated with multicolored liquor and beer bottles from all over the world, a sight for sore eyes (and feet).

Dawa Bar

Drinks

Dawa offers a full menu of beers and wines—both domestic and imported from Africa. But on this day, Tracy and I were there for the specialty cocktails.

Bottled beers include American favorites like Blue Moon and more obscure lagers like Tusker.

My blogging partner-in-crime photographs Dawa’s cocktail menu.

Remember: we’re in Animal Kingdom, and that means all of our straws are made of paper. If you’re actually planning to use the straw, ask for some extras to take back to your seat with you. I hate watching my straw melt in my drink.

Bartender Bob from Boston pours them strong.

Tracy ordered the African Margarita, which is made with Sauza Gold Tequila, Van der Hum Tangerine Liqueur, sweet and sour mix and lime juice. She doesn’t like salt in her drinks, so she was drinking through her straw, and without salt, the drink was slightly bitter.

I took my sip from the salty rim, though, and I have to say, the salt really brightened up the margarita a lot! I’m definitely a tequila girl, and I really liked this one.

Harambe Cooler and African Margarita.

I ordered the Harambe Cooler, a mix of Starr African Rum and Myers’ Original Dark Rum mixed with Pangani Punch. I don’t know what’s in Pangani Punch, but this drink certainly packs a punch!

It was extremely strong and sweet. And delicious, of course.

Overall

Dawa Bar is a boozy haven in the middle of a very busy part of the park. The bartenders are friendly, the drinks are strong and the ambiance is casual. Both of our drinks were generous, as were the pours of liquor, and they could easily have been shared. Add it to your touring plan.

Melissa Sue Sorrells Galley works in higher education communications in upstate New York, where she lives with her husband, Robert, and her cavapoo, George. She’s is the co-editor of Mouse on the Mind.

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9 Comments

  1. Samantha says:

    That sounds great! Thanks for this review, i think my bf will care for an chilled african beer!

  2. Shayne says:

    The Harambe Punch looks refreshing! I’ve never stopped for a drink here, but on a warm day, it looks like just the perfect thing.

  3. A boozy haven? I’m obsessed with this phrase. I must must make time to stop at the Dawa Bar the next time I’m in AK. :) Great review!

  4. I love Dawa Bar. It’s such a nice convenient place for everyone to rest in the middle of the day. Margaritas for the grown-ups; shade and entertainment for the kiddies. I think it’s AK’s best kept secret.

  5. Melissa Sue says:

    Sorry I told, Diane!!

  6. Mark D. says:

    I will take one of each please.

  7. Melissa Sue says:

    @Shayne: You have to try it!!

    @Estelle: Maybe we’ll grab a drink in September/October??

    @Mark: Take it slow! They’re really strong …

  8. Val says:

    Yum, now I’m craving rum. Off to the kitchen for a shot! ;)

  9. Alan says:

    This is my favorite drinking hole at Walt Disney World BAR none. Well except maybe the Hole in the Wall, and maybe Rose and Crown. Of course there’s the Big River, the Cava, Paradiso 37, the River Roost………

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