I had a wad of Disney gift cards burning a hole in my wallet the evening we took the whole family to dinner at Boma ÔÇô Flavors of Africa. Without those cards, I probably wouldÔÇÖve chickened out. With them, I reasoned that the gift-giver had wanted me to treat my family of six to a nice dinner out in Walt Disney World. Plus, this outing to Boma had been years in the making. The cards ended up taking the edge nicely off the final bill (including tip), but the next time I visit Boma, it will be date night for Mom and Dad only!
I donÔÇÖt regret bringing along our Mouseketeers (as if we had much choice), but most of the foods on the dinner buffet were too unfamiliar for their taste. Mind you, these are not particularly picky eaters and are generally complacent about eating what is served to them at home. We let them fill their plates from the ÔÇ£childrenÔÇÖs stationÔÇØ (mac ÔÇÿn cheese, chicken) and the fresh fruit selections ÔÇô then offered them samples of the more exotic fare from our plates. I wasnÔÇÖt at all surprised when our 7-year-old daughter asked for seconds of the African spice-crusted strip sirloin dipped in tamarind barbecue sauce. Or when our 2-year-old kept reaching over to grab the fantastic, tender baked salmon with Boma mustard off my plate.
So, obviously kids inflate the food bill (scarfing down their macaroni and Sprite). The other, shall we gently say, drawback of bringing them to a more adult dining venue is that they will inevitably finish their meal and beg for dessert while youÔÇÖre still making your way through the soup course (and a very tasty soup course at that ÔÇô try the curried coconut seafood stew!) Dad and I knew we wouldnÔÇÖt be able to linger over the foods we enjoyed. And we knew we wouldnÔÇÖt have the time to sample as many of the salads as we wouldÔÇÖve cared to from the wide assortment: curried pasta, watermelon rind, Tunisian couscous, fresh greens with interesting vinaigrettes. Not to mention the myriad other side dishes we wanted to squeeze in ÔÇô pita with white bean hummus, cornbread, peanut rice and a dish of roasted root vegetables.
When Dad and I caught up with the kids at the dessert course, IÔÇÖm surprised we still had room left in our bellies. But we simply had to try the zebra domes, our 4-year-old daughter insisted (the spiked mousse didnÔÇÖt seem to faze her)! And the tiny cylinders of orange-almond cheesecake, our 8-year-old son chimed in. Soon we had an entire army of two-bite desserts lined up in front of us. IÔÇÖm surprised the kind African drummers outside the buffet didnÔÇÖt have to roll us out of the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Speaking of those drummers, they were wonderful entertainment for our children as they waited for dinner to open at 4:30pm (we were advised to arrive early as we hadn’t made an ADR). We sat by the lovely pool of water that is meant to collect from the ÔÇ£Victoria FallsÔÇØ Lounge above Boma. The women at the drums were happy to have accompaniment as we whiled away the time. Didn’t even object when our toddler sneaked off her sandals and started pounding on the drum with her toes. Case in point. Our next trip to Boma’s a date night.
Location: Find Boma – Flavors of Africa inside Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House (lobby building), Walt Disney World Resort.
Touring Tip: Boma also offers a breakfast buffet from 7:30 – 11am.