Friday, January 24, 2014

DrinkWallah Area at Disney's Animal Kingdom

   Inspired by a recent blog post on Jambo Everyone, I wanted to take a closer look at one of my favorite areas of Disney's Animal Kingdom.
   DrinkWallah is a rather discrete beverage and snack stand along the water in Asia.  Though its offerings are meager (coke products, chips, and fruit…) the theming is no less spectacular than what you would expect at Animal Kingdom.  

   The theme here is decidedly ramshackle and run down…much like the rest of Asia.  I mean this in the best possible way.  The signs are rusted and worn down, and the pan-Asian knick knacks are placed in perfect disarray.  Even the use of Coca-Cola paraphernalia throughout lends an air of authenticity.  Though I usually don't enjoy sponsors littering their logo everywhere, here it just works.  Drinkwallah reappropriates the corporate symbol as folk art. Very cool.

   But the interior is only half the story at Drinkwallah.  There is an underutilized area here as well, the lower garden, which acts as the gorgeous seating area, and is worth a peak.

    The garden sits directly on the water, and though it only has a few tables, is worth visiting for the view alone.  Along the shore you can get a closer look of the little trade boat. (I've always called this a "chinese junk" but I think I'm using that incorrectly. If someone knows what kind of boat this is…please write in.)   The detail of the boat is amazing…and I love that it appears to be trading pumpkins, among other things.

view of the Discovery Island bridge from the lower garden...

   The lower garden also has a fabulous melange of random equipment and decaying artifacts.  These treasures just add to the "real life" feel of Drinkwallah.  This shack feels lived in and excessively used.  The string of lights isn't merely for show. At night the lower garden is among the most beautiful spots in Animal Kingdom.  If you ever have a chance to visit the park at night, make this area a priority for pictures.

   This just goes to show, that no matter how big a space is it can really pack a thematic punch.  The small space adds so much aesthetic value to Asia, regardless of how popular it is.  Its these nooks and crannies that really make the park special, and Drinkwallah (and its lower garden…) are among the best.


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