Jolly Holiday: A Trip to Boma!

In today's column, Jason and Caitie -- our newlywed Disney fans -- have a love/hate discussion about a restaurant many of us know well... Boma in Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.


So far, Caitie and I have been pretty civilized in our discussion here. There have been points of disagreement, sure, but we haven't brought out the real points of contention in our Disney fandom-fueled marriage.

We decided enough was enough, and it was time to take the gloves off.

Our first item of real disagreement, one that actually helped us decide to write the column in the first place, is Boma, the African buffet in the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Simply put, I consider Boma to be my favorite restaurant, not just in Disney World, but anywhere.

I was introduced to it years ago. My dad had gone to Disney World on a business trip, and it was recommended to him by some friends. When we took a trip as a family a couple of years later, when I was seventeen, he took us to Boma. I remember liking it a lot then, and have insisted that I return to eat there in each subsequent trip. I admit thinking "it can't be as good as I remember" every time I've gone " in fact, it's better.

I'm not going to pick apart every menu item here, mostly because it's impossible. The menu changes constantly from my experience, but I will highlight some of the foods that have made my mouth water and made me go back to the buffet for seconds and thirds each time I've gone.

To begin, the soups in Boma are simply the best I've ever had. I know they rotate the soups so there are five available on any given day. My favorite, I remember from two trips ago, was the mulligatawny, which I sorely missed on our last trip. Still, between the sweet carrot ginger soup, savory coconut chicken curry soup, and delicious crab soup, I didn't have long to miss it.

Next came the salads " something I admit I often will skip on buffets, but the options are so unique in Boma that this would just be a shame. I love the watermelon rind salad and the avocado, grapefruit and papaya salad especially. The sweetness of the fruit is not something we're used to at this part of a meal in America, and it's very refreshing before the main course.


I'm always willing to try various meat dishes, so the slow roasted pork ribs and roasted chicken were right up my alley. I also remember loving the potatoes with Afritude. Last time we were there they had a corn/spinach pudding that was so good we asked for the recipe (which we subsequently misplaced " if anyone has it and wants to share, we'd love it!).

Dessert is assorted pastries (zebra domes!) and fresh fruit. Even Caitie, I'd think, will admit dessert is pretty good here, if not necessarily a central attraction of the restaurant.

Add to the incredibly good food a light, fun atmosphere, friendly servers, and classic Disney crowd management most days, and Boma is a restaurant I will point anyone who is visiting Disney World to as a MUST try!

Jason dragged me here our first trip together swearing I would love it. I was skeptical at best. I don't like a lot of spicy food and everything on the sample menu online looked awful to me. But I said I would try it because he liked it so much.

Uh yeah, I did NOT like it. Those soups Jason loves? I hate curry and thought the carrot ginger was disgusting. And I don't do crab or shrimp. I thought I would love the salads, I love fruit in my salads, but I hated the dressing and mix of flavors.

I tried the meats and they were okay. One had some curry on it, so that stayed on my plate. The part that was the most disappointing to me was that the things I thought I would love still weren't good. They added all of the tastes and flavors I dislike to my favorite dishes - coconut in the rice, shrimp with anything (I am allergic to shrimp), and the American food (pasta, chicken fingers, mac and cheese, etc.) for people that aren't crazy about the ethnic stuff is just bad.

Cookies Ready to be ServedCookies Ready to be Served

I really don't like it. I wish I did. Dessert there is wonderful though, and it is my reward for putting up with a restaurant I don't like for Jason!

I will also give it this - breakfast at Boma is AWESOME! Western Africa Frunch is the best juice I have ever had. I think I had three or four glasses when we went! There are omelets made to order and made perfectly. It is my one "Must Do" for breakfast, so now we head to Boma twice a trip.

Do you love Boma like Jason or hate it like Caitie? Is it even possible to be in between with this restaurant? Let us know in the comments.

gaylin wrote on Thu, 02/24/2011 - 07:31:

gaylin's picture

I have had dinner at Boma 4 times and had a great meal every time. I don't care for the soups but there is enough other food to keep me happy. I am allergic to grains, yep all of them, including rice, so any buffet that I can get enough to eat at makes me happy. A chef always walks me through to let me know if there have been any recipe changes and I pick up a plate and dig in.

Now, it sounds like I need to get there for breakfast as well!

katrina1122 wrote on Thu, 02/24/2011 - 14:35:

katrina1122's picture

I love Boma for Breakfast and Dinner! You guys know that, so if we all make it down there together, we'll go 2 times :-)

Don't forget the Jamba juice though. How could you not mention that?

Brian wrote on Thu, 02/24/2011 - 16:21:

Brian's picture

I love Boma! Speaking as a vegetarian, it's a great place to eat because there are tons of interesting and delicious options.

On our last visit, we weren't able to do Boma but we did have lunch at the similarly-menued-but-a-bit-more-accessible Tusker House and it was equally amazing!

Great article, keep up the good work!

Chris wrote on Fri, 02/25/2011 - 00:00:

Chris's picture

Boma is ALWAYS on the menu when we head down to Disney. I can't imagine a trip and missing out on the dinner buffet - I think I'd miss my plane reservations and stay in Disney an extra day instead! The selection is incredible. I can't think of anything I've disliked that I have tried there. I can't comment on the dessert table, as I am just a strange person who doesn't like dessert, but my first and only recipe request was their Carrot Ginger soup. (I've edited it a bit to lower the calories, but I still make it several times a year.) I think, though, better than anything else I love to watch my mother try everything. She's a meat and potatoes farmer's daughter, but if it is made by Disney, she'll cautiously try it. It is so much fun to see her loving things she'd NEVER touch otherwise and that is better than any zebra domes in my opinion. She often jokes, "I can't pronounce it, but I'm going back for seconds!" Boma is definitely my must visit dinner.

JeffC wrote on Fri, 02/25/2011 - 00:54:

We really enjoyed the Boma breakfast, but, well, I was totally underwhelmed with the dinner and would almost go so far as cait and say I hated it! Eek!!

I tried alot of things I never thought I would try, and some of it was just gross.

No need for us to ever go back...once was enough!

AmyKB wrote on Fri, 02/25/2011 - 07:27:

AmyKB's picture

I've only eaten at Animal Kingdom once, and it wasn't Boma. However, I'm really excited to try it now, and will definitely try to schedule a meal (for dinner I think) there next time I'm doing Disney!! As intriguing as Jason makes each dish sound, I am wary of the combinations... like Caitie, I don't do coconut or crab (love shrimp, tho). Guess I'll find out!

worldfanatic wrote on Sun, 02/27/2011 - 03:28:

worldfanatic's picture

Once at Boma was enough for us as well.
With Jiko, our favorite restaurant in all of WDW, just steps away, and Sanaa, another gem, just a short walk away at Kidani Village, Boma just doesn't measure up.
But we do enjoy looking down on it from Victoria Falls Lounge though.

jules wrote on Tue, 03/01/2011 - 16:51:

jules's picture

This might be great for hubby, who is a vegetarian! Looking forward to our May trip!

Julie wrote on Wed, 03/02/2011 - 02:40:

Boma is our absolute favorite restaurant in all of Disney! We have been going there regularly since it opened (we have annual passes) and have never had a bad meal. Whenever we have visitors and play disney tour guide hosts, Boma is a must eat! We've taken many friends and relatives there and they all rave about it as well. The variety is great and there is something for everyone.

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