We hope you’ve got your trekking shoes on because we’re taking you with us on a trip all the way to Africa in Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
A few days ago, we noticed some signs that several bars around Disney World might be preparing to reopen. And just like that, Dawa Bar has now reopened in Animal Kingdom! Come take a (virtual) tour of one of our favorite places to relax, soak up the atmosphere, and enjoy a delicious drink!
It hadn’t moved very far… you can still find the Dawa Bar tucked under the same roofing that provides shade for guests waiting to dine at Tusker House, though now — facing Tusker House — you’ll see the Dawa Bar on your right instead of your left.
Aside from the small location switch to accommodate Animal Kingdom construction and a fresh coat of paint, not much has changed at the Dawa Bar (with the exception of the Bloody Mary menu added last fall). And I’m inclined to say that’s a pretty good thing. Today we’re trying some of those classic drinks that bring guests back to the Dawa Bar time and time again (and grabbing one of those Bloody Marys while we’re at it).
I’d mentioned the high rate of return for Dawa Bar guests, but I think over the past year some new folks have made the discovery, too. Maybe I’m just imagining it, but it does seem to me that the new location has brought more guests to this fabulous little oasis.
It’s just a lot easier to see the bar while strolling in Harambe Village from its current location, whereas previously it was tucked toward the back and somewhat hard to spot unless you knew it was there. For that reason, it seems to have lost just a bit of its “hidden gem” status, but it’s managed to keep that “this is my Disney vacation home away from home” feel — in no small part thanks to the great bartenders and relaxing vibe.
The cooling shade is another draw here, and the stools and neat chairs invite you sit and stay a while.
Even though it’s probably the least comfortable, you’ve gotta love the conga chair. Even if you don’t sit in it, you can still appreciate the artistry of the carvings on the bottom.
But no matter where you sit, it’s much more about what you sip!
The “eats” here are actually nothing but beverages. And though today we’ll be focusing on the specialty drinks, you’ll always find a terrific selection of African wines and beers here, proudly featuring Tusker Lager.
You can have any of the drinks you’re about to see served to you in a Mask Tumbler if you’re looking for a souvenir from your time at the Dawa Bar. These hit the scene around the same time the Musical Tumbler arrived at various spots around Animal Kingdom. It’ll up your beverage cost by about $6 per drink.
One of the cocktails that has been a hit for a long time here is the Sugar Cane Mojito. Now, one reason I personally haven’t sampled the Sugar Cane Mojito previously is because I’m really not into mojitos in general. But this drink’s reputation precedes itself, and from the moment it was placed in front of me I started to understand why.
It’s a gorgeous drink — strikingly clear. I was mesmerized by the sunlight shining through the drink. (And, no, I hadn’t started drinking, yet. ;-D)
Even though the general components are the same as a typical mojito (plenty of mint, and in this case the rum is African Starr mixed with Sugar Cane Syrup — complete with a stalk of sugar cane), I really did enjoy this one.
As mentioned above, the Dawa Bar added Bloody Marys to the mix last fall, and the different twists are [Read more…]
Karibuni!! Welcome to Harambe Nights!
We were so excited to attend a “sneak peek” of this all-new hard-ticket event, debuting at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on Saturday, June 7, and running every Saturday evening through August 9th.
While the centerpiece of the evening will be the brand new show, The Lion King –A Concert in the Wild, Harambe Nights will also feature a Welcome Reception, a street party, and an all-inclusive and wide-ranging selection of food.
Guests at Harambe Nights will be welcomed into Harambe Village, and into its traditions as reflected in music, story-telling, and cuisine. The primary story will be that of Simba, the Lion King, as it is told by the people of Harambe Village, allowing this well-loved story to be told in a whole new way in honor of the film’s 20th anniversary.
This event promises to be a full sensory experience, engaging sight, sound, smell, and taste. Since we here at the DFB are all about taste 😉 , allow me to share a few of the culinary highlights in the order that they will be experienced in the event.
Harambe Nights will begin with a Welcome Reception where guests will have their first chance to sample the cuisine with an assortment of appetizers.
I was able to sample two of the four appetizers, including the Safari Cheeseburger Rolls with Tomato Curry Aioli. The playful presentation helped set a celebratory tone.
I also enjoyed the Moroccan Beef Kefta Meatball with Tamarind Glaze.
Of-age guests can pair with African-inspired wine and beer. I particularly liked “Goats do Roam” white from the popular South African Vineyard.
Jungle Juice — that refreshing mix of passion fruit, guava, and orange juice — was available as well.
Unfortunately, I missed the Pickled Fennel Paneer Cheese with Tomato and the Durban-spiced Chicken Tenders… but there is much more to come!
The Lion King — A Concert in the Wild
After the Welcome Reception, guests will proceed into the brand new Harambe Theater to enjoy The Lion King – A Concert in the Wild. Prior to the show, attendees will be given a special treat.
This snack is seriously one of my new favorite things on earth… LION CHOW!
This mix is much more complex than it appears. The sesame bits, candied pecans, raisins, dried fruit, and spiced toasted chips offer a full and surprising range of flavors. It’s sweet, salty, and mildly spicy all at once (I think it’s the candied ginger that delivers that bit of kick).
I’ve got half a mind to start a petition for a Lion Chow kiosk in Animal Kingdom – it’s seriously addicting!
Guests will be able to enjoy their Lion Chow during the performance. We were given the unique opportunity to see three numbers that will be performed in the show. Understandably, we were not able to take photographs or record this portion of the evening.
Honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to capture the power and beauty of the performance even if cameras had been allowed. I can only say that it was a truly special experience watching these performers bring the story of “The Lion King” to new life with such talent and passion. Marsha Jackson-Randolph — the production’s director — called the production an “endeavor of love,” and it shows.
Having seen the numbers in rehearsal clothing, I can only imagine what amazing things are in store when the entire concert is presented in full costume with a 25-piece orchestra, 16-voice choir, celebrity narrator and co-narrator, 8 dancers, and pivotal moments of the film presented on screens during select moments throughout. I am sincerely excited for those who get to enjoy it.
Once the show ends, the night continues on! Harambe Village will invite guests to join in the Harambe Nights Street Party, which will feature (among other things) live music as well as sound by DJ Khalifa, dance, street performers, glow-in-the-dark face painting (yes!), and a few of your best Disney friends.
It will also feature African-inspired food, presented at stations throughout the Village.
We’ll start with the Breads and Salads Station. Fans of Sanaa’s bread service will appreciate the assortment of Naan, Onion Kulcha, and Pappadum breads.
Accompaniments include Roasted Pepper Hummus, Garlic-Ginger Pickle, and Cucumber Raita. At Boma, I always love the Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, but I really enjoyed that Raita as well.
The salads were simply gorgeous. Even better, they were fresh, flavorful, colorful, and original.
Choices include a Watercress, Melon, Feta, and Berry Balsamic Salad and Roasted Beetroot Salad with Sunflower Seeds. My favorite was the Kachumbari Salad with Tomato, Paneer, Carrot, and Cilantro.
Rarely do I feel that salads are among the highlights of a meal, but here I did.
I was really impressed with the vegetarian options available – not only at the Bread and Salad station, but throughout the selections. One example is the Spicy Vegetable Samosa (a Mango Chutney was available for dipping).
I neglected to snap a picture of the Creamy Macaroni and Cheese, but I can’t resist sharing some Disney mac and cheese deliciousness with you today!
Moving on to the Surf and Turf Station, there are two other [Read more…]
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.
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.
It’s a great place to sit, relax and watch Harambe pass you by. If you time your cocktail right, you can even [Read more…]