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. (more…)

S.S. Columbia Dining Room Review

The S.S. Columbia Dining Room is located onboard the eponymous ocean-liner in the American Waterfront port of call at Tokyo DisneySea. It’s considered one of the flagship (that’s awful pun #2,573 on this blog, for those keeping score at home!) restaurants at Tokyo DisneySea, along with Magellan’s. Certainly, they’re the two most expensive restaurants in the park. Prior to our first trip to Tokyo Disney Resort, we decided to do a few table service meals at restaurants that were highly regarded, and the S.S. Columbia Dining Room fit the bill.

In terms of theme, the S.S. Columbia Dining Room is styled with an elegant Art Nouveau look. It definitely has strong elements of Art Nouveau, but overall it felt to me less like a luxury ocean-liner (like the Disney Dream cruise ship) and more of a cross between the Grand Floridian and Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom due to the color palette used throughout. (more…)

Hungry Bear Restaurant Review

Hungry Bear Restaurant is a counter service dining location in Tokyo Disneyland’s Westernland. Despite sharing them sharing a name, this restaurant bears no resemblance to Disneyland’s Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country. Besides maybe the fact that both contain some stray Country Bear Jamboree references (Hungry Bear Restaurant in Tokyo Disneyland is right next to Country Bear Theater; Hungry Bear Restaurant in Disneyland used to be right next to Counter Bear Playhouse).

This version of Hungry Bear Restaurant specializes in curry. And by specializes, I mean that’s the only thing on the menu. There are a couple of curry restaurants in Tokyo Disney Resort, including our beloved Casbah Food Court, and if these restaurants are any indication, curry is relatively popular in Japan. In fact, Hungry Bear Restaurant is so popular that it hungered for an expansion a couple of years ago and consumed Mile Long Bar in the process.

Terrible puns aside, Hungry Bear Restaurant is absolutely huge, but it doesn’t feel like it at all. Each room in the restaurant looks and feels different, and is very well detailed. It can be very busy in Hungry Bear Restaurant during the prime dining hours, but it never feels like a loud mess hall due to how the restaurant is divided up. Some booths are even located in jail cells! (more…)

Awesome Tokyo DisneySea Snacks

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Not only is Tokyo DisneySea the greatest theme park in the world, but it’s also one of the greatest in terms of food and snacks. Beyond the famous popcorn flavors and their prized-after popcorn buckets (check out the Christmas 2013 green alien above!), and the Gyoza Dog, Tokyo DisneySea has some incredible lesser-known snacks. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of our favorite snacks in Tokyo DisneySea. If you’re looking for snacks in Tokyo Disneyland, check out our Awesome Tokyo Disneyland Snacks post.

Although many snacks and food options can seem odd to foreigners, many of these snacks are quite normal, and in terms of taste, pretty much all of them would appeal to an ordinary American palate. With that said, we approach food with open minds when traveling, and eat just about anything we come across.

We’ll start out this post with my absolute favorite spot in Tokyo DisneySea, which is Sultan’s Oasis in the Arabian Coast port of call (otherwise known as “Chanduland”). (more…)

2014 Disney Dining Plan Costs, Info & Tips

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Disney World’s 2014 standard Disney Dining Plan costs $60.64/night. Disney’s cheapest meal plan (besides “Free Dining” which is available for these dates) is the Quick Service Plan, which includes 2 counter service meals per day and a snack for $41.99/night. The Deluxe Disney Dining Plan costs $109.53/night for significantly more. We’ll get to what each version of the Disney Dining Plan includes and whether the Disney Dining Plan is worth the money below. (Note: Disney Dining Plan prices for 2014 increased again in March 2014, so if you find lower prices listed on another site, they’re no longer accurate.) First, some basics.

For those who are unfamiliar with it, the Disney Dining Plan is a prepaid meal plan offered at Walt Disney World so guests can budget their dining costs in advance and (potentially) save money. The various plans provide guests with a set number of credits that may be redeemed for snacks, counter service (Disney-speak for fast food) meals, table service meals, or signature dining (Disney-speak for fine dining) meals. These credits are stored on the guest’s MagicBand or Key to the World room key, with the receipt provided after redeeming the credits indicating how many credits remain.

The credits don’t have a set dollar value–for example, a table service credit may be redeemed at an inexpensive restaurant for a water, sandwich, and ice cream dessert that would normally cost $23 total, or it can be redeemed at a nicer restaurant for a smoothie, swordfish steak, and Copetta Sotto Bosco that would normally cost $51 total. (These are actual examples from Walt Disney World restaurants, demonstrating the big difference in value a credit may have depending upon at which restaurant and for which menu items it’s redeemed). A lot of information exists about the Disney Dining Plan, with most focusing on how to best utilize these credits so you get better value out of the credits. In fact, our most popular articles concerning the Disney Dining Plan are our Top 10 Restaurants for Maximizing Table Service Credit Value, Top 10 Restaurants for Maximizing Counter Service Credit Value, and Tips for Maximizing Snack Credit Value. Frequent users of the Disney Dining Plan become pretty adept at getting more bang for their buck on the Dining Plan, but some advance planning, first-time visitors to Walt Disney World can also make the most of the Dining Plan.

From time to time, the Disney Dining Plan is offered for free to Walt Disney World guests who purchase a vacation package (including hotel and park tickets). This is known as the “Free Dining” promotion, and is incredibly popular with Disney fans. This promotion is not always offered, but you can see whether there are currently any dates for free dining by clicking here. Remember that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. If “Free Dining” is available, you forfeit another discount that might be available (for example, a percentage off discount on the hotel room). Compare the “Free” Dining Plan to other discounts. With “Free Dining,” you pay rack rate for the hotel room and full price for a minimum number of tickets. For most people, Free Dining is the best discount offered by Walt Disney World. Whether Free Dining is best depends upon party size and resort tier (it’s less likely to be a good deal for smaller parties staying in Deluxe Resorts), so do the math and compare the Free Disney Dining Plan promotion to other available discounts–if there are other available discounts. (more…)

Blue Bayou Restaurant Review

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Blue Bayou is a restaurant inside Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris (Blue Lagoon there). This Blue Bayou review covers the Tokyo Disneyland version of the restaurant. Design-wise, this version of the restaurant is very similar to Disneyland’s Blue Bayou, although cuisine-wise, they’re substantially different.

Due to its location adjacent to Pirates of the Caribbean with boats of guests on the attraction floating past the waterfront restaurant, Blue Bayou Restaurant has become a quintessential Disney experience. Even those who have never been to the parks know that there is a restaurant “in” Pirates of the Caribbean, and want to eat there. The proximity to the attraction and the ambiance of the restaurant are unquestionably the big draw, with the food often taking a backseat to the experience of the restaurant.

This is certainly the case in Disneyland, where Blue Bayou has decent to good food, but comes up short as compared to its less-expensive counterpart, Cafe Orleans. In Tokyo Disneyland, the dynamic is different, as Cafe Orleans is an excellent counter service restaurant for crepes, with no other table service restaurants in the New Orleans Square sub-land of Adventureland.

Tokyo Disneyland guests get the best of both worlds, as the its Blue Bayou has the same great ambiance as Disneyland’s, and it also serves very good food at reasonable (given the location) prices. (more…)