“Under thatched roofs, savor vibrant flavors from over 50 African countries—along with favorite American classics.” (Excerpt from the Walt Disney World website)
During the planning stage of our trip to Walt Disney World Resort, I searched, as I always do, for a “new to us” restaurant to try. I turned to my fellow Disney loving friends for suggestions and the recommendations flowed in. Of course with so many restaurants to choose from, their opinions varied; however, a popular favorite was Boma-Flavors of Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
While we don’t mind trying new cuisine, we aren’t what most would consider adventurous eaters and we had never tried African style foods. I was a bit on the leery side of booking a reservation until I did more research on the food items available on their buffet.
When I read the above description on the Walt Disney World website, the last few words- “along with favorite American classics“- caught my attention. If we were ever going to try what we considered exotic foods, a buffet style restaurant would be the place to do it. Plus, I figured if we didn’t like the African inspired dishes on the menu, there would still be plenty of other food for us to dine on. Decision made, I booked an Advance Dining Reservation for dinner and I’ll tell you now that we were glad I did!
We drive to Walt Disney World but once we park our car, it doesn’t move again until we depart for home. We let Disney do the driving for us which meant that we needed to leave early in order to get to our dining reservation. We were at the bus stop at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort approximately an hour before our advance dining reservation and caught the first park bus that arrived which was an Animal Kingdom Park bus. Once we reached the park, we transferred to a Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge bus and made it well prior to appointed time and were given a buzzer upon check-in.
DIStracted Tip: Boma is located in Jambo House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. When you enter the resort, you are not on the first floor but are on the third. You will need to take the elevators located to the right of the entrance to get to Boma.
The restaurant itself is stunningly beautiful! Portions of dining area sit underneath a thatched roof and the furniture and fixtures are so gorgeous and unique.
Boma serves both breakfast and dinner and features an exhibit kitchen, wood burning grill and rotisserie. This restaurant is set up differently than other buffets in that Boma has “pods” or sections much like those found on the Disney Cruise Line ships. Each pod has a selection of food and most have a chef on hand to answer any guest questions. While a visit to the typical buffet means starting at one end and working your way to the other, it is perfectly acceptable to visit only the pods serving the foods that you want. As you can see from the picture below, plates and bowls are near each of the pods.
Because this was our first visit to Boma and we wanted to see everything that was offered, we started at the meat carving station and continued on to each of the pods. Having learned my lesson from attempting to take pictures with my larger camera at House of Blues Gospel Brunch, I took only my cellphone to take pictures. As I did at the gospel brunch, I took these pictures quickly so as not to hold up the other guests. In addition to the meats at the carving station, other meats and fish were available as well.
If you are worried that you won’t know what a certain food is, worry no more. There are small signs on top of the buffets giving the names of the dish and the signs sometimes even have a short description.
There was quite a selection of soups and stews including butternut squash, chicken corn chowder and Buerwors Sausage Stew. A bit further along, was an assortment of casseroles, vegetables and side dishes such as peanut butter rice, mashed potatoes, spiced sweet potatoes and couscous. For those seeking the more “American classics”, there were, among other dishes, chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, peas and corn and broccoli.
I love salad and was very impressed by wide variety of salads from which to choose. You could make your own salad using the lettuce provided and adding the toppings of your choice or you could have one of the freshly prepared salads. I tried a little of almost all of them and while some were a little “different” in my opinion, I was pleased with those that I did like.
One pod had nothing but breads and the spreads to go with them as well as butter. I have only one picture of the bread selection which shows the rolls, cornbread muffins, butter and just a small part of one of the several bowls of hummus.
I didn’t take any pictures of the kids’ station which had many choices for the kids or even adults. Among the selections were mac ‘n cheese, penne pasta with meatballs, chicken nuggets, sea bites and mealie dogs.
The last food station was the dessert station and there were all sorts of desserts to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. There were zebra domes, cassava cakes, Kenyan coffee tarts and an assortment of cookies and brownies. For guests wanting a more healthy sweet choice, the station also had fresh melon, strawberries, pineapple and grapes.
We all sampled a little of this and a little of that and went back for seconds of our favorites. I have to say that some of the foods that we tried were not to our liking but there was so much that we did enjoy that we were very satisfied with our meal. The chicken corn chowder was a favorite as were the Durban-style Roasted Chicken, Pork Shoulder and Kool Slaai.
If you are on the fence about booking a dining reservation at Boma, take my advice and do it! Our group included a couple of picky eaters and even they walked away from the restaurant fully satisfied. Every single person in our eleven person group agreed that Boma received a big two thumbs up.
Boma is considered a table service restaurant and one table service credit per person is required when using the Disney Dining Plan. Reservations are recommended and can be made up to 180 prior to your visit.
DIStracted Tip: When making your reservations, try to factor in some time to explore the resort and the animal viewing areas before or after your meal. Both are an added bonus to a fantastic dining experience.
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