Best Spots to Take a Break at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Touring Disney's Animal Kingdom is a different experience than touring any of the other theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort. The terrain is different, the walkways a bit uneven at times, the park is spread out, and during most of the year it feels like they're pumping extra heat and humidity into the park.

Take a break at Disney';s Animal Kingdom!Take a break at Disney';s Animal Kingdom!

There's hot and then there's Animal Kingdom hot. Which means you'll want some nice spots to relax during your Animal Kingdom day. Lucky for us, there are several great areas to find some shade (or air conditioning) and enjoy a drink, a snack, or just rest your weary feet for a little while.

One of the best new areas to take a break is the recently opened Harambe Market. This new counter service spot is home to four serving stations and Zuri's Sweets Shop, giving guests some delicious options for a quick meal, a snack, or even an adult beverage.

Shaded seating in the Harambe MarketShaded seating in the Harambe Market

The counter service spots in the Market are Chef Mwagna's Ribs Shop, Kitamu Grill, Famous Sausages, and Wanjohi Refreshments. Each of the food locations offer something different from sausages fried in curry batter to ribs, and you'll find an icy cool adult beverage, The Starr of Harambe, at Wanjohi Refreshments.

There are several areas for seating within the Harambe Market, including a covered seating area and umbrella-topped tables.

Starr of Harambe frozen cocktailStarr of Harambe frozen cocktail

Another great place for shade and cool drinks is our personal favorite, the Dawa Bar. This spot, located across from Tamu Tamu Refreshments, has a great menu of Bloody Marys (if those are your preferred drink) and other grownup concoctions.

You'll find a few assorted chairs at the bar and a few tables in the shade, but we like this spot for the drinks more than for the seating. Even if you're standing, as long as you have an ice cold beverage in your hand it's relaxing!

In addition to the new Bloody Mary menu you'll also find an African Margarita, a Harambe Cooler, a Lost on Safari (both of which use the house mix Pangani Punch), white wines, red wines, beers, and the Dawa Colada. Take a break, order a drink, and relax!

African Margarita at the Dawa BarAfrican Margarita at the Dawa Bar

If your idea of relaxing includes taking part in an attraction or show, we have a few suggestions starting with the Kilimanjaro Safaris. Sure, it's a little bumpy but you're sitting for an extended period of time and you get to see some incredible animals. Your feet will thank you. We recommend making a FastPass+ reservation for this attraction.

Other indoor attractions that are perfect for taking a break include the Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo: The Musical. The Festival of the Lion King is located in its new home, the Harambe Theater and Finding Nemo: The Musical is located in DinoLand U.S.A. Both are in air conditioned buildings so they're a perfect spot to take a break and cool off.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the Festival of The Lion KingSit back, relax, and enjoy the Festival of The Lion King

The Flame Tree Barbecue is another favorite spot when we're looking for ample seating and great food (plus there's a lot of shade) but that spot is currently closed for refurbishment and isn't expected to reopen until at least July 1. But once it is reopened it's a great place to rest your feet and eat some delicious food.

And since we are talking about the Animal Kingdom, pretty much anywhere you can find a shaded spot is prime real estate. The park is hot most of the year, but during the summer months it can be downright unbearable. Our recommendation: get yourself a cool drink (water is always a good idea!) and find some shade.

Where's your favorite place to take a break at Disney's Animal Kingdom? Let us know in the comments.

Many thanks to the Disney Food Blog for use of their photos.

Kristen K. wrote on Tue, 06/23/2015 - 23:37:

Kristen K.'s picture

I'm really looking to checking out the Flame Tree BBQ seating once everything is in for Rivers of Light. I have a feeling it may become an ace spot.

JayA wrote on Sun, 07/05/2015 - 12:43:

JayA's picture

It is always more humid at Animal Kingdom but I think the sheer amount of open concrete at Epcot makes it hotter there. Having arthritis always reminds me how little seating there is in all the World. Sometimes I just want to sit down to beat the heat and I've had an easier time finding out of the way places to sit at AK than anywhere else.

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