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, how it compares to other WDW buffets, and our thoughts on the experience of eating here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Everyone knows beer > wine, and fortunately, Boma also has some solid African beer choices.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sarah likes interesting, healthy options, and she is a huge fan of Boma due to this incredible range of salads.
There’s also a pita station with a variety of different flavors of hummus.
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.
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.
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.
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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!