Located in the Animal Kingdom area of the Walt Disney World Resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge opened in April of 2001. Since opening, guests have been greeted by the magnificent and grand architecture of this beautiful resort. Designed by Peter Dominick, who also designed Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Grand Californian Resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge is stunningly built. Upon entering the lobby, African drum music, dark woods and authentic artifacts seem to carry guests to another time and place. While taking in these beautiful sights and sounds, you’ll find it hard to ignore your sense of smell. Making their way through the atmosphere of the lobby, are the delicious and tempting smells from Boma – Flavors of Africa.
Boma is located on the ground level of Animal Kingdom Lodge. Guests can take either stairs or elevators to the restaurant. Feeling like an African marketplace, print cloths are draped beautifully along the ceiling while a dark wood banister guides guests to the dining area. Toward the back of the dining room are structures which resemble straw huts, which guests can dine under. Behind the seating area are tall windows, which let some natural light in. The restaurant can feel dark to some, though I find the dimmer lighting to be nice and relaxing after a day in the parks. While you are dining, take some time to notice the details such as the lanterns on the ceiling, bamboo along the walls and the designs of the chairs. While in line at the buffet, you can watch the chefs hard at work making the food in an open kitchen.
Boma is a buffet style restaurant which is open for both breakfast and dinner. While much of the cuisine, particularly at dinner, is African inspired, there are options for the less adventurous of eaters as well. My husband, Rich, and I have eaten here a handful of times and it has become one of our favorite dining choices on Walt Disney World property. Rich has always been the braver of the two of us when it comes to trying new foods. My rule was, if I couldn’t pronounce it, I wasn’t eating it. But after eating at Boma several times, I’m pleased to say I’ve become much more open minded to trying new foods. I was a bit hesitant on our first visit, but after one dinner there, I became a fan.
For breakfast fans, Boma aims to please. From 7:30 am – 11:00 am, guests can start their day with the filling fare of a delicious buffet. Fresh fruits, muffins and bagels, as well as cereals, are on hand for those with maybe a lighter appetite. However, if you’re starting your day at Boma, chances are, you’re not there for a small breakfast. Carved breakfast ham, cured pork loin, bacon and sausage are just the start of the hearty menu. Corn Beef Bobotie, a type of quiche, along with Brioche, a French toast like item with raisins, bring a little adventure to your breakfast plate. Waffles, pancakes and pastries are available as well. For coffee and tea drinkers, you can have your own press pot of African Blend coffee and assorted teas brought to your table for an additional price.
In the evening, the wood-burning grill and rotisserie are fired up once again to produce delicious dinner for guests. At the meat carving pod, chefs are ready and waiting to cut and cook beef to your liking. This happens to be my husband’s favorite part of the Boma dining experience. Well, aside from the Zebra Domes, but we’ll get to those later. Along with carved meat, Durban Spiced Roasted chicken, grilled seafood and a lamb and beef Bobotie are a great way to start your meal. With soups like creamy carrot and ginger and butternut squash soup, along with salads such as the spinach and beet salad or the curry cucumber salad, you’ll need more than one plate. Additional side dishes include Moroccan seafood salad, saffron rice, veggie skewers, potato salad, African breads and mixed greens. For guests with a more simple appetite, chicken tenders, macaroni & cheese, spaghetti and meatballs are on hand. Once you’ve finished dinner and are ready for a sweet ending to your meal, make your way to the dessert pod. Mini cheesecakes, fruit cobbler, peanut butter and toffee desserts and chocolate mousse crunch are lined up and waiting to be enjoyed. But the one dessert everyone wants is the Zebra Dome – coffee Kahlua flavored deliciousness drizzled in chocolate. You can’t eat just one.
Non-alcoholic beverages are included with your price of dinner and alcoholic beverages are available for an additional price. Adults looking to enjoy an alcoholic beverage can choose from a wide array of drinks. African beers like Castle Lager and Savannah Cider are available, as well as domestic beers (on tap and by the bottle). Wine enthusiasts can choose from a selection of over 20 white and red wines, by the glass or bottle. For a more distinct drink, try the Safari Martini, Pretoria Punch or the Mt. Kilimarita - which all bring a fruity splash of refreshment to your taste buds. And while we’re discussing drinks, you may notice that your straw seems a little different than what you’re used to. Along with Animal Kingdom Park, all of the straws used are made of paper instead of plastic, to go forth with Disney’s conservation and animal protection habits. Plastic lids are also not allowed, or balloons.
After either breakfast or dinner at Boma, your visit to Animal Kingdom Lodge doesn’t have to end! One of our favorite things to do after dinner is to take a stroll to the Savanna outlook. Giraffes, zebras and wildebeests make themselves at home here, along with flamingos and ostriches. Off of the lobby you can also find lookout points with rocking chairs overlooking the Savanna. After a long day of walking the parks and a full belly from a delicious meal at Boma, kicking back in a rocking chair and watching these beautiful animals roam is the perfect ending to a wonderful Disney day.