Harambe Market Expands Disney Animal Kingdom Experience With Authentic Flavors of Africa

Filed in: Disney's Animal Kingdom

Harambe Market, a bustling marketplace alive with the aromas and flavors of African street foods, adds an exciting new dimension to the expanded Harambe Village experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in Walt Disney World Resort.

Built around a Colonial-era train depot design complete with a 1960s water tower, Harambe Market invites Disney guests to sample true flavors of Africa before or after they embark on the Kilimanjaro Safaris wild animal adventure. Four themed shops offer fresh meals, snacks and beverages like those found in an African street market.

Each quick-service shop window built into colorful store fronts reflects the shop owner’s personality and offers plenty of guest dining options, including:

  • Kitamu Grill featuring skewered chicken and a kebab flatbread sandwich.
  • Famous Sausagesshowcasing a corndog made with a South African boerewors sausage dipped in curry-infused corn batter.
  • Chef Mwanga’s spice-rubbed Karubi Rib paired with green papaya-carrot slaw.
  • Wanjohi Refreshments (wanjohi means “brewer” in Swahili) quenches thirsts with craft draft beers like Safari Amber Lager; six South African wines by the glass, The Starr of Harambe frozen drink with Starr African rum and mango puree in a souvenir mug, red Sangria with Van der Hum tangerine liqueur, and non alcoholic tangerine lemonade or fountain beverages like Sparberry from Zimbabwe.

“Boats, trains and travel led to the discovery of exotic spices that were traded and brought from foreign lands,” Chef Lenny DeGeorge says. “These foods have been tailored for the locals. With the ribs, we have a ras el hanout spice blend, which has about 20 different spices mixed in. The berbere spice is on the chicken skewer and the kebab sandwich. We used madras curry powder in the corndog batter.”

Walt Disney Imagineering developed the authentic Harambe Market concept during travel and research in Africa, says Walt Disney Imagineering art director Joan Hartwig.

“When guests come to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we want them to be excited by the adventure of experiencing different cultures,” she says. “For Harambe Market, we had the opportunity to travel in east Africa and bring back details that our guests will be able to experience here. So when guests finish their safari, they can come to a real east African marketplace and sit down and enjoy the authentic flavors of Africa.”

With the recent addition of the Festival of the Lion King theater district and the new market, Harambe Village has nearly doubled in size and “you feel like you are actually in a real village in Africa,” says Walt Disney Imagineering show producer Emily O’Brien.

“You have the whole gamut of experiences, with the central area, the theater district, specialty vendors and a great market. Guests will really feel like they’ve been transported to another place for a really fun experience.”

Harambe Market offers shaded tables for dining, and area shops sell wares from Africa. The marketplace will offer direct access to Kilimanjaro Safaris, the Wildlife Express train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch and a path to Asia attractions like Expedition Everest.

Paired with previously announced projects throughout the park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park is undergoing the largest expansion in its history.

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