Boma Review

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Boma – Flavors of Africa is a buffet in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World. This review features photos and thoughts about dinner at Boma. The menu at Boma features a wide variety of American and African cuisine, and features both adventurous cuisine and more conventional options, making it one of the most diverse buffets at Walt Disney World. Arguably the best buffet at Walt Disney World, participates in the Disney Dining Plan, and accepts Tables in Wonderland for a 20% discount. While it’s not a great use of a Disney Dining Plan table service credit if you’re trying to maximize your value on the Disney Dining Plan, it isn’t a bad option either.

We’ve dined at Boma for dinner on a few different occasions, and each time have been really full. It’s certainly not the cheapest buffet on property, but we think it’s the best due to its huge range of high quality options, especially the soups, meats, and desserts (especially those delicious zebra domes pictured above). It’s not a character buffet, so if that matters to you but you still want the kids of foods found at Boma, we recommend lunch at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom (the park) instead. In terms of cuisine, it’s like Boma-lite.

Boma is located on the lower level of Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House, adjacent to Jiko – The Cooking Place (one of our favorite restaurants at Walt Disney World) and The Mara (one of the best counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World). With this hard-hitting trio plus the often-overlooked Sanaa in Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Kidani Village, Animal Kingdom Lodge has arguably the best dining of any resort hotel at Walt Disney World. Only the Grand Floridian really gives it a run for its money.

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In terms of ambiance, Boma is solid. The lighting is low and moody, and to the extent that a Walt Disney World buffet can be romantic, Boma is. (That extent isn’t very great for those wondering, but still…) Its design features motifs of pillars, thatches of sticks, huts, and animal carvings. It reminds me a bit of an open air African marketplace, although it definitely is not themed to one. I’d say it has an evocative design more than themed design, meaning that it draws inspiration from locales in Africa rather than trying to replicate them directly. In that regard, it’s definitely not like Tusker House.

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Here’s one of the animal carvings. Also notice the bottles of wine–Animal Kingdom Lodge touts its exhaustive wine list. Apparently, Animal Kingdom Lodge has the most African wines in North America or something like that. I can’t imagine many restaurants in North American try for long lists of African wines, so I’m not sure what kind of bragging rights that entails. Perhaps about the same as being the toy store in Canada with the most authentic Australian kangaroo toys.

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Everyone knows beer > wine, and fortunately, Boma also has some solid African beer choices.

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Boma works just like every other Walt Disney World buffet. You’re seated by a host or hostess who gets your drinks, and you’re free to then go to the buffet line and pile plates of meat so high that you’d make a velociraptor blush.

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Among the best meat options (in my opinion) are the salmon, spiced chicken, and pork ribs. The pork ribs have an African twist but will still appeal to an American palate. They’re absolutely delicious.

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Here’s a plate full of various meats. Besides what’s mentioned above, the highlight is definitely the Spice Crusted Beef Striploin, carved to order. This is always juicy and tender, and perfectly spiced. If you’re anything like me, you’ll become close friends with the Cast Member carving the striploin by the end of your meal. ;) As you can probably guess, I focus on the meats and only have small samplings of the “other stuff” at Boma during an average meal.

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Sarah loves the soups at Boma, and from what I’ve tasted of them, they are very good. I’m not huge on soups (especially when unlimited meats are available), but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by them. Definitely don’t overlook them.

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Boma also has a variety of salads, ranging from conventional stuff like greens salads and cole slaw to more exotic choices like watermelon, couscous, and quinoa salads.

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Sarah likes interesting, healthy options, and she is a huge fan of Boma due to this incredible range of salads.

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There’s also a pita station with a variety of different flavors of hummus.

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Boma only has a handful of dessert choices (about an average amount for a buffet, but considering how many entrees they have, it seems like not much), but they are pretty much all good to excellent.

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The highlights from dessert include the coffee tarts, banana bread pudding, and cheesecake. Of, and of course, the Zebra Domes. Ahhh, those Zebra Domes. These are some of the most hyped up Walt Disney World snacks, and we think they totally live up to the hype. What is a zebra dome? Glad you asked! Contrary to popular belief, these are not made of milk from a lactating female zebra, but are instead domes of Amarula Liqueur mousse, coated in a white chocolate ganache, with a dark chocolate ganache drizzle, all on a white cake base. What’s Amarula Liqueur? Glad you asked! Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just a fancy name for Kahula, but instead is liqueur from the African Marula tree, and has a slightly fruity, caramel flavor. This is probably more than you ever wanted to know about Zebra Domes, but seriously, these things are good. Save some room for a baker’s dozen of them!

Tip: if you’re at Animal Kingdom Lodge but aren’t dining at Boma, you can purchase a 6-pack of Zebra Domes from the cooler at The Mara.

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Overall, there should be little question why Boma is the #1 buffet at Walt Disney World (perhaps #2 if you care about characters). Its versatility means it can be different things for different people. For me, it’s an all you can eat restaurant with the (almost) refined ambiance of a table service restaurant, and some incredible meats and desserts that offer a slight African flair. For Sarah, it’s the rare Walt Disney World buffet that makes an earnest effort on something more than just comfort food (the salads and soups here aren’t just token offerings). Its a buffet where kids or picky eaters can get very standard options, and, at the other end of the spectrum, those looking for a more exotic meal will be able to find an impressive buffet. If I were looking for a table service restaurant to take a large group of diverse, big eaters, Boma would probably be the top location on my list. While it’s not of the same quality as the nearby Jiko, it’s also a cheaper, all you can eat buffet, so there’s really no comparison. As far as buffets go, Boma is not cheap and it can get very busy, but we can really think of no reason not to recommend Boma.

Overall Score: 10/10

To read other Disney restaurant reviews from Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland, organized by location, check out our Disney Dining Reviews Index.

Your Thoughts…

Have you been to Boma – Flavors of Africa? What did you think of it? Is it something you’d like to try? Any specific recommendations from the buffet? If you have any questions or thoughts to share, please post them in the comments. We love hearing from readers!

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40 Responses to “Boma Review”

  1. Tammy says:

    We have an ADR for Boma the end of April. Can’t wait!

  2. Chuck says:

    I couldn’t agree more with everything you just said! Head and shoulders above any other buffet! Honestly its my 2nd favorite non signature only to Sanaa and I would say its better than some Signatures ie Citrico’s, Narcoossee’s!!!

    “If I were looking for a table service restaurant to take a large group of diverse, big eaters, Boma would probably be the top location on my list.”

    This is 100% true!

    We have a group of 18 people going there in October (before my 21st on the Dream!) and I am extremely excited! I think this restaurant is the best option for everyone to have a great dining experience at a reasonable cost!!!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I’d agree with you that Boma is better than Citricos and Narcoossee’s–and that’s straight up, not even considering money. Better remarkable considering Boma is a buffet.

  3. Mitch says:

    Yep, Boma is all kinds of amazing. We enjoyed breakfast there immensely. So immensely that I don’t recall if I ate the rest if the entire day. Jungle Juice, press pot coffee, and seemingly endless choices of great food. Add some jungle book characters like Baloo to this breakfast and it’d be the perfect disney start to your day.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      While the idea of a Jungle Book (or “animals” in general) sounds cool, I’d prefer it be without characters. I know it’s not the same thing, but Tusker House does character meals, and it’s similar-enough.

      Then again, maybe I’m just frustrated because I really want to eat at Akershus, but I have no interest in the princess upcharge. Is it too much to ask that each restaurant have at least one character-free meal?

      • Mitch says:

        I have the same feeling about Akershus and Cinderella’s Royal Table. They’d appeal to me more without the characters. It seems like when characters are part of the mix that food quality isn’t the priority any longer. So maybe Boma is better off that way- but if I had children and was staying at AKL I would appreciate the ability to have a character dining experience on site (like most other deluxe hotels offer). I have never tried a character breakfast- can’t get over the price when I know I can go to a place like Kona Cafe and have an amazing meal for $11.

  4. Don Livingston says:

    We eat there every trip. It’s great for breakfast (actually it’s more like brunch) and dinner. The soups at dinner are really unique and the Turkey Bobotie at breakfast is dynamite. No matter breakfast or dinner it is a meat lovers paradise! Tables in Wonderland can save you a pretty penny if you eat here often. i will say the service is consistently slow at breakfast so sip your coffee slowly.

  5. Kevin says:

    We haven’t been in a few years and it looks like the menu has changed on the meat-front. (Or perhaps my memory is faulty.)

    I’d agree with #1 buffet (if you don’t care about characters). It also has the plus/downside of being in AKL – somewhat tough to get to if you aren’t staying there, but a beautiful location.

  6. Travis Belton says:

    AKL is our home resort for DVC and we have dinner at Boma every time we go to WDW. Such a wide variety of unique favors, wonderfully spicy and non-spicy foods, truly something there for every palate. It is our favorite restaurant at WDW. Highly recommended!

  7. Charlotte says:

    My favorite restaurant on property. Our favorite is the Coconut Chicken Curry Soup… It’s usually served on Wednesdays and Sundays, I believe. And, I’d have to agree with you about the meat. Oh my god, the hand carved meat. To die for.

    Our other favorites are the Babootie (a must try) and the FuFu (also a must try). Honorable mention goes to the curried salmon… So good.

    Unfortunately, while we love the zebra domes, we always bulk up on all the amazing food that we never leave room for dessert anymore. It’s good to know your favorites! :)

    Thanks for another great review, Tom!

  8. Zavandor says:

    I love Boma! And for those not staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge it is worth to take a bit of time to visit the resort as well. There are a number of activities everyone can enjoy, like watching the animals with night vision goggles.
    Last time I ate there, the waiter said that Boma rotates two different menus, depending on the day of the week. He told me how the rotation is but I cannot remember it. I’d like to eat there twice next time an try both menus.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Interesting, I didn’t know about the rotation. I’m guessing most of the menu stays the same, with minor changes, but still cool that they change it up!

    • Aly says:

      I’m sure they include the soups. I know depending on the day of the week they either serve butternut squash or carrot & ginger. Last time I missed the carrot & ginger and was so disappointed! I’m curious now what other items they rotate…

  9. Donna says:

    We love Boma! If you haven’t tried it, there is also a short free tour of Boma and Jiko around 4 or 4:30pm. Your learn about the stories behind the designs and get little tastes of the food. On one tour, one of the chefs was showing the soups and I mentioned that the Butternut Squash soup they had that night was my second favorite soup there. He asked me what my favorite was and I told him Carrot Ginger. Later as we were eating dinner, he came to our table with Carrot Ginger soup that he had made just for us! Disney magic at work!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Excellent tip about the free tour. Totally forgot to mention that in my post! Would you say the tour was worth doing? Did you learn a lot?

      Awesome story about the chef, by the way. Now that’s the Disney Difference in action!

  10. My family absolutely loves Boma! We visit this place for breakfast several times on each of our vacations. The food is always warm and fresh and the service is excellent. We’ve been going there so many times over the years that we’ve come to know one of the servers, Albert. It is so much fun to see him on each trip to catch up on life in general and to check out how tall my boys are getting compared to him! If you have the chance, I highly recommend checking this place out and say “Hello” to Albert. He’s the best! :)

  11. Wendy says:

    Yum, Boma! I’ve only been for dinner once, but I’m returning for my 2nd breakfast at Boma in October. I think breakfast is even better there (but dinner was definitely great, not taking away from that). They had something like a french toast bread pudding…? It was incredible! And my husband was a huge fan of the corned beef hash. Can’t wait to go back and introduce some other members of my family to the breakfast buffet!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Breakfast is BETTER? Wow, that’s high praise. I can count the number of places where I’ve had a very good breakfast at Walt Disney World on one hand, so you definitely have me intrigued! :)

    • Don Livingston says:

      It’s the best breakfast on property IMO. If you go around 10ish you can pretty much knock out breakfast and lunch since there is so much food to eat and you are right, that corned beef hash is awesome and my twin girls swear by the French bread pudding! I also like the grilled tomatoes and asparagus as well. They also serve the jungle juice here at breakfast which is good stuff.

  12. Kelly says:

    Agree with everything you have written! We took a large group to Boma (including four toddlers/babies under 3) there the week before Christmas. It was an awesome dinner!

  13. FredK says:

    It’s odd that you rate Boma as the highest for a buffet, but you don’t give it the highest value in maximizing table service restaurants. This does not mean you should not attend it. The list is already outdated since #2 Kouzzina by Cat Cora has closed.

    You should be maximizing “value” with regard to table service restaurants with the Disney Dining Plan. Value is the best median between food quality and price. For some restaurants where you don’t care for much like the #1 ranked Tutto Italia, it isn’t really the best value for the Dining Plan as the patrons are being steered in the wrong direction. Also, not everyone will enjoy steak and consider it the best food value especially if they care for something else on the menu and another restaurant does a better job with chicken or seafood.

    I would probably go to Boma instead of Sanaa if I’m at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Kouzzina is still open; it doesn’t close until the end of September.

      Value is a subjective thing, meaning any authoritative statements about what value “is” are necessarily incorrect. I address each one of your concerns, and in fact, in the very beginning of the article, I state:

      “This list is completely objective. If a restaurant ranked better thanks to its pricier options, it’s on the list, regardless of whether we think its food stinks. When actually planning where YOU want to dine on your trip, it’s very important to consider quality of food, not just prices, when determining where you want to eat. We thus recommend weighing these ‘value maximization’ lists we have along with our subjective Disney Restaurant Reviews when making your Advance Dining Reservations.”

      If anyone is “steered in the wrong direction” by the list, it’s because they choose to blatantly disregard reading the explanation of the list at the beginning of the article.

      • FredK says:

        You implied that Boma is not superior to the other strategy with “While it’s not a great use of a Disney Dining Plan table service credit if you’re trying to maximize your value on the Disney Dining Plan, it isn’t a bad option either.”

        This was why I wrote my response.

      • Tom Bricker says:

        …And you clicked on the link within the sentence you quoted, as you mentioned some of its contents. I certainly didn’t mention Kouzzina in the Boma Review.

        I appreciate comments, but you’ve left several here with an authoritative tone flat out stating that I’m wrong for this reason or that. I don’t begrudge anyone their opinions nor do I mind people disagreeing with me (at all), it just has come across as snide. I’m sorry if that’s not your intent–maybe I’m misreading your comments.

      • FredK says:

        I beg of you… the offering of my mere personal opinions is without discourtesy. There is no authority in my opinion as I am a mere commoner.

  14. Laurie says:

    My teen son loved Boma for dinner many years ago, but especially for the ribs. I would love to set up a dinner for him on our trip this spring but I have heard they don’t always serve the ribs and I know he would be highly disappointed if not. Do you or anyone else know what days if there are only specific days that the ribs are served? Thanks, great reviews by the way. Always love to hear reviews from the both of you :)

  15. Karen says:

    We have eaten at Boma once, and my husband is a real tough critic when it comes to food. He could care less if it’s Disney or not. Last time we went we did the Disney Dining plan and ate at 20 or so table service restaurants; Boma was his favorite. So much so when we go back in May of this year, that was the one place to asked for us to eat again.
    I love the atmosphere, the service was great and the food was very good. Thank you for reviewing this buffet, as well as all the other reviews and photos you post.

  16. Aly says:

    Omg, the soups here are amazing. I love the carrot & ginger — so much so that I’ve looked up the recipe and made it at home (though not nearly as well). The butternut squash soup is good too — they alternate between those, so depending on what night you dine you’ll get a different soup. They used to serve the carrot & ginger at Jiko and if you asked they would bring you a bowl, but not anymore. Bummer! I missed it on our last trip. Glad to see such a positive review of this place! It’s one of our family favorites.

  17. Ashleigh says:

    What perfect timing! I was just about to look up reviews and photos of Boma. I got an ADR for June and I am now even more excited! Thanks for the review!

  18. Jason says:

    My wife and I have been to Boma three or four times and we think it’s fantastic. The mulligatawny is one of the best soups I’ve ever tasted in a restaurant or even at home. Yum! I wish the Mara served bowls of it…but they’ve only offered butternut squash when I’ve been there.

  19. Boma is probably my favorite place to go on property if I’m having a celebration- family reunion, birthday, anniversary, whatever. Instead of just the fabulous dessert options, they will bring you out a plate of African truffles.

    Amazing Disney touches – it’s how Walt would have wanted it.

  20. Melanie says:

    Love Boma for breakfast and dinner! I’d say it’s the best for both. Plus, last time I was there for dinner I was informed that I could (and I did) get the jungle juice for my drink choice! :)

  21. Josh says:

    Tried Boma for the first time when I went back in Jan of this year. My GF and I went for breakfast though and it was amazing!! Best breakfast of the vacation by far. I’d go back again next time simply to get the French Toast Bread Pudding with Pecan Praline Sauce, OUT OF THIS WORLD!!

  22. LeeSandra says:

    We are going to Boma for the first time during our trip next month. I’m very excited to try it!
    Unfortunately for my nephew, it took the place of his favorite, Chef Mickey’s, but I hate the food there and he’s always too distracted by the characters to eat anyways. I figure he will get more than enough character interactions in the parks, so I just made an executive decision to get my way :) lol.

  23. Matt K says:

    We’re going in Dec and will at most have 2 dinners in Animal Kingdom (staying at Cornado w/Park Hopper so it’s possible) and I was wondering which you thought was best picks between Tusker House and Boma. It’s just the wife and me and we’re more interested in the food (and a relatively adventurous palate). I figure the second meal would be Sanaa unless you recommend that to be first (we’re on the meal plan so no Jinko).

  24. Laurin G. says:

    My family loves Boma! It is our favorite buffet in WDW (and arguably the best meals we have had in WDW). I particularly enjoyed the BBQ pork ribs, beef strip loin and peanut stew. I liked the zebra domes, but a true standout dessert for me was the banana bread pudding. Everything was so good we wanted to keep eating, but simply ran out of stomach real estate!

  25. Kevin says:

    Can’t decide whether we should dine at Boma or Sanaa! The Zebra Domes alone make me want to choose this place.

  26. Katharine says:

    100% agree with your review! We eat here at the end of the day every time we go to Animal Kingdom. It is actually ours kids favorite place to eat in all of Disney.

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