View Full Version : OK, so shoot us! Boma was not a high point.

05-09-2002, 01:53 PM
Following all the rave reviews around here, we decided to try Boma on our recent trip. I'm afraid we were not as impressed as we'd hoped.

First, the lodge. My son is animal-mad, so we expected to love it. Not so. The whole place is REALLY dark, much more so than WL. (DH even complained that the men's room was so dimly lit that he had trouble helping DS with his snaps.) My family's favorite thing about it was the glass mosiacs in the front entry pavement. While the details at the lodge are impressive, I'm afraid the mood was just too dark for me on a vacation. I'm not sure I really like the restaurant "pit" thing, either. Is it just me, or does anyone else get the feeling that they took the general exterior plan for WL and pasted on thatch? The interior is very different, but the exterior structure is remarkably similar. Also, the chairs at Boma, while lovely, are unfortunate for a buffet, people's clothing kept catching on my chair as they passed me on their way to the pods.

We've decided that if that is African-inspired food, then we really don't care for it. I love trying exotic foods, but that was some of the blandest, uniformly soft-textured food I have ever had in my life. (Only one exception; I did like the Chicken Pepper Pot.) The other thing that I disliked about it was the use of green bell pepper to flavor almost everything. I love bell peppers, but I prefer to stay away from the green ones, which are essentially unripe. I ended up with the most horrendous intestinal gas problem I have ever had; I was popping simethicone like Chiclets, but I was in pain for 2 days. The prime rib was decent, I'll admit, but the tilapia was so tasteless it was duller than eating unseasoned white rice. The available poultry offerings were all dark meat and undercooked, and there was an aura of oiliness about most of the main dishes, which I did not care for, either.

The desserts were very good, as promised, but it will take more than a Zebra dome to get us back to Boma anytime soon. Oh, well, can't win em' all. Did we just hit them on a bad day or something?

05-09-2002, 02:07 PM
We dined at Boma in February and had the same type of experience.

I thought it would be great fun and really wanted to enjoy the food, but I found little to my liking.

I doubt we will be returning to Boma during our next visit, even though we plan on spending a couple of days at AKL.

I agree that the lodge is dark, but I think it reflects the type of environment that they were trying to capture.

05-09-2002, 02:09 PM
Thus is the curse of a buffet. It must be prepared in very bulk fashion and it must also be prepared to sit out for irregular intervals in less than ideal conditions.
Perhaps a trip to Jiko (should you ever find your desire to try African-themed food again) would give you a better representation of the cuisine.

Josiah Harper
05-09-2002, 02:56 PM
...to admit that I thought less of Boma than (it seems) most people do. After sampling almost everything, I still didn't feel as though I'd had a very satisfying dining experience. None of the food really stood out, or impressed me.

Perhaps next time, I'll try Jiko, as Andrew suggests. I really like AKL (but stay at BWV, usually), so I love a good restaurant as an excuse to visit other resorts.

***"A WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT OUTING" NEW TRAVEL GUIDE*** (http://www.dannhazel.com)

05-09-2002, 09:03 PM
You are not alone, but still in the minority. After all the hype, we too thought Boma was just okay when we dined there last summer. We won't be returning to eat there this year. :rolleyes:

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

05-09-2002, 09:19 PM
Shoot me, too! We didnt care for Boma either! I agree the desserts were good. We are going to try Jiko this trip and possibly the Boma breakfast. Im sure thats completely different from dinner. What can you really do to mess up eggs?

05-09-2002, 09:25 PM
Thus is the curse of a buffet. It must be prepared in very bulk fashion and it must also be prepared to sit out for irregular intervals in less than ideal conditions.

As amw5g posted above....

..I could have not said it better. I have not been to BOMA.. yet....
we have a PS for Breakfast as we will be staying at the lodge.
I have been in the food service
industry my whole life and this is often a problem with buffets.I( am the Catering Director at a high volume Catering Company in Washington State.)
I on the other hand have heard
great things about BOMA, we have decided since its a buffet to do BOMA as a breakfast and Jiko as our dinner.

05-09-2002, 09:30 PM
While I enjoyed the food at Boma, I agree that AKL looks like the Wilderness Lodge with thatch! I thought the interior details were well done, but neither the WL or the AKL is my "type" of hotel. I prefer the look of the Grand Floridian. ;)

05-09-2002, 09:36 PM
Thank you so much for the honest and thorough review. I truly appreciate it. It is good to have all points of view. And, I think, my experience will be better because I am not expecting too much!:p

We will be staying one night at AKL on August 15th. We have eaten at Jiko before and we really enjoyed it! But my friends ate at Boma recently and they recommended not going. Since we will be at the AKL, and we have done Jiko, shall I try Boma for breakfast?

Thanks again.

:earsgirl: :earsboy: :earsgirl: :earsgirl:

05-10-2002, 06:04 AM
I posted my opinions on the BOMA breakfast, after we returned from our Feb. trip. Maybe I was expecting too much, but noone in my family (DH, DS 10, and myself) enjoyed the experience. The buffet line was very narrow and we spent most of our time standing back trying to keep from getting run over by oncoming traffic. It was also very loud. Even my DS couldn't wait to get out of there. The food was mediocre at best. So far we rank this break. as the worst we've had at WDW. And we've been to quite a few. This is one rest. we won't return to, but would like to go to Jiko soon.

05-10-2002, 08:35 AM
ditto on all of the above...nothing great about the Boma dinner, but the desserts were good! We don't plan on returning anytime soon. :o

05-10-2002, 09:38 AM
Thank you, thank you, thank you. My husband and I were starting to think we were crazy. I thought hands down Boma was the worst meal I've ever had at Disney. I agree with everything you said skeezixspud. And to tell you the truth, I though the desserts were even overrated. The coconut tiramasu was my favorite, but I've had better desserts at Disney.

05-10-2002, 10:47 AM
Although I enjoyed sampling the different foods at Boma's, I expected more in the way of different spices and unique foods. I think that perhap's in trying to please a wide range of people, they may have 'Americanized' the food too much for what I was expecting.
My husband and I really enjoy different ethnic foods, so I think we expected something truly different and unique.
IMHO people do need to try it and see for themselves, after all everyone's taste's are different and many people love Boma's.
Love Disney! :)

05-10-2002, 10:56 AM
I think what happens is that when a restaurant gets a lot of hype, you tend to have unrealistic expectations of what the meal will be like. It's probably better to go eat with out any expectations, and hope for the best!:D

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

05-10-2002, 11:16 AM
skeezixspud, don't feel you have to apologize for not liking something. Everyone has different tastes. While I liked Boma, and the savannah of AKL, I too felt it was very dark for my taste. I also feel this way about WL.

That is the beauty of WDW... there are resorts and restaurants to suit everyone's taste, so you don't have to feel bad if something is not to your liking. Now that you have visited, it has actually saved you money from staying there and possibly spending money on something with which you would not have been happy.

So smile, now you know, and you are better off for it!

05-10-2002, 01:08 PM
We ate at Boma in November and we also were very disappointed. The desserts were very nice and the service was good but we just did not enjoy the dinner all that much. We are looking forward to trying Jiko on our next visit.

05-10-2002, 01:21 PM
I'm not sure that I buy the theory of buffet food being bad because it has to be served in quantity and kept warm; that is usually a function of what one chooses to serve. Some things just do not hold well, and those things don't belong on buffets. That wasn't the problem, I don't think, unless they chose badly. Besides, the food hadn't BEEN out, we were the second table seated for the evening, right at opening time. They were still filling the pods when we arrived.

It was really the blandness that puzzled me; we have an Ethiopian and a Moroccan restaurant where we live, and both of them have very nicely spiced food; I was expecting to encounter similar seasonings. Other buffets at WDW seem to have no trouble seasoning food decently, so why not Boma? I know WDW buffets are always toned down to suit a range of tastes, but this was ridiculous.

I wasn't apologizing, really. I was just puzzled how my experience could differ so widely from the general consensus around here, which I usually tend to agree with. Does everyone LIKE bland food that falls apart when the fork touches it? (BTW; the name Pap for the cornmeal dish made me laugh. I grew up knowing the word Pap as describing rice cereal baby food. I'm sure that is what the cornmeal paste is really called, but it has unfortunate connotations in English.)

BTW, I'm all for theme lighting, but in a public restroom? We like WL; the dimness there feels soothing and cool. The dimness at AKL seemed somehow forbidding to me, perhaps because the ceilings are lower.

05-10-2002, 02:16 PM
Okay, we've heard from a number of people asking that they be shot because they don't like Boma. Is there anyone out there that can give a contrasting view? Is there anyone out there that likes the food at Boma and if so what did you like? I've got PS's for dinner and am wondering if I should cancel them.

05-10-2002, 02:35 PM
Well, let me offer a different opinion.
My dh and I LOVE BOMA!!! :)
We have dined there for dinner on 4 occassions now, most recently for my moms 50th birthday in April. Our entire group loved it and ranked it as our favorite.
We took our younger cousins to WDW last December and, while afraid they would hate it, they LOVED Boma so much they ask us to take them back! :)

I am sorry that your experience was so poor. We have had nothing but exceptional service (Michael has been our waiter every time) and the food has been spicy, hot, and very interesting. We swear by the Boma Mustard and my husband LOVES the Oxtail soup.

I guess it is to each his own. But I did want to chime in with a vote for Boma! It is our favorite place to have dinner at WDW, and we have tried MANY.

Just my opinions. :)


05-10-2002, 02:52 PM
Kamgen-I'm so happy to see a positive opinion about Boma! I have a PS there for next weekend to take my mom & mom-in-law out for a late Mother's Day dinner...reading this thread had me about ready to cancel & take them somewhere else!

05-10-2002, 03:58 PM
We are in the group that likes Boma's. We took my father last September and went to quite a few nice WDW restaurants during the two week period and he liked Boma's the best. We are going back in July with my brother and his family, who also rate it quite high. But, I agree that it could be overhype. I heard so much about the Zebra Domes, and I love coffee flavored desserts, but they weren't my favorites. There was some kind of a bar cookie with jam that I just loved. But, to each his own. I would love to try Jiko, hopefully on my solo trip.


05-10-2002, 07:02 PM
We thought Boma was ok but I will admit I had really high expectations and was disappointed. Jiko though we love!

05-10-2002, 07:23 PM
we agree again :-)

We stayed at akl in June 2001 and while we LOVED the resort, Boma was not the highlight. DH and I put the kids in the club and went for dinner. We found the food mediocre and the service poor. We did however love Mara, the "fast food type" restaurant and Jiko on another night. Jiko was awesome as was the kids club! We loved our room at AKL as we had a great view of the animals from our balcony.


05-11-2002, 12:06 AM
Our last 4 trips have been to WL ,and roaring Forks does have a limited menu....how varied is Mara's menu?


05-11-2002, 07:02 AM
What did you like so much about the kids club? Is it that different form the other clubs at the other resorts? I am thinking about taking my DD4 (almost 5) there in August when we stay at the AKL.

Thanks for any info,

05-11-2002, 09:26 AM
OK. Maybe I shouldn't let one thread change my mind... BUT, it did. I just switched out Boma's for Jiko's. We went to Jiko's last year ( I think it had just opened). I don't remember what I had, but I do recall we had a fantastic dinner, and wonderful time overall, visiting the resort. So. The Boma experiment is cancelled, and so it's back to Jiko's!

05-11-2002, 12:13 PM
We also loved Boma... the food was fantastic, and we found it to be appropriately spiced according to the dish. This food is not all Morroccan, but based on food in the Southern areas of Africa with which we may not be as familiar. I say try it, or you will never know!

Lisa F
05-11-2002, 01:03 PM
I think the reason you haven't seen more people in support of Boma on this thread is that if someone posts something negative about something at Disney and a bunch of other people argue that they had a wonderful time there, it often turns into the old "you are so blinded by disney that you think everything is perfect there" fight. I'm guessing that most of Boma's fans have held their tongues so that the people who don't like it don't feel like they will get flamed for expressing their opinion.

My husband and I loved boma, both for breakfast and dinner. I am not in general a buffet fan but we really enjoyed the variety and quality of Boma. Some of our favorite cuisines are Indian, Middle Eastern and North African and we definately enjoy interestingly spiced foods and weren't disappointed at Boma. Although as others observed, tastes do differ among different people and I didn't find the zebra dome to be all that great. We haven't tried Jiko yet, but are very much looking forward to it.

Personally, I think that comparing Jiko to Boma would be like comparing Victoria and Alberts or Citricos to 1900 Park Faire at the grand floridian. If you are looking for a fine dining experience like Citricos, you are going to be disappointed by Park Faire. Likewise if you really just want a casual experience then Citricos might not be the right choice. The reason we haven't yet tried Jiko is that whenever we were at the AKL we were in the mood for a more casual meal.


05-11-2002, 02:50 PM
Yes, Lisa F, you may be right! Although I do enjoy hearing all opinions. Sometimes it is personal opinion, sometimes an off night at the restaurant, sometimes it is the server, and sometimes it is our own moods! I definitely want to "peek" in at Boma and see how it is going when I will be staying at AKL!:p

05-11-2002, 05:30 PM
With all the complaints here, i was wondering, did anyone mention these same complaints to the people at AKL or Disney? It won't improve if Disney does not get feedback both good or bad, it is important..smjj

05-11-2002, 06:16 PM
I personally think you made the right choice switching from Boma to Jiko. We found Boma ok but Jiko is exceptional!

05-11-2002, 06:43 PM
We ate dinner at both Boma's & Jiko's last January. I have never particularly like buffets but I didn't think boma was bad. There were a few things I especially liked but I can't remember what they were. I know I did like the oxtail soup. I probably won't want to go back for quite a while but I am glad that we went. The quality of the food at Jiko's was better I thought. I had a salmon dish that I liked and I tasted my husband's monkfish which was wonderful. The bread they served with the meal was good and the appetizer which was some sort of flatbread (olive maybe?) was delicious.

07-15-2003, 01:47 AM
the first time the meal was outstanding...the second it was only ok...

but there will be a third we plan on eating there again this trip.

I think every rest has a day when the chef is off and the food is less than great. I just hope we have a replay of our first boma expierence this trip.

I love the Seafood Coconut soup!


07-15-2003, 08:19 AM
The other thing that I disliked about it was the use of green bell pepper to flavor almost everything. OMG - thank you so much for posting this!! No one else has ever mentioned it, and since I won't eat anything that has ever met a green pepper, this is crucial info for me. Ugh. *crossing Boma right off my list!!!*

[Sorry for the melodrama :) but I really do hate those suckers!]

07-15-2003, 08:24 AM
If you have nut allergies, skip Boma. There is almost nothing you can eat. They use coconut in almost everthing.

I'm allergic to tree nuts, coconut, water chestnuts and scallops, and can't stand curry. That rules out just about everything on the buffet, including the entire dessert bar.

$25 for a plate of pap doesn't work for me.


07-15-2003, 09:15 AM
Although we LOVE AKL (and probably won't stay anywhere else), I must agree that we did not enjoy Boma for dinner. I guess it's just because I am a picky eater so I mainly ate of the children's section but even DH (who loves anything) wasn't impressed. We won't go back for dinner but I will definitely try it for breakfast.

07-15-2003, 09:50 AM
WE have been to Boma twice. The first time we went (two years ago), we loved it. Last year, we went again. It was okay, but we didn't love it. I can't put my finger on it. The room was so loud, we could hardly have a conversation. We felt like we were yelling. The food was fine, but not spectacular.

We are leaving Friday and Boma is not on our list this time.

We thought the Animal Kingdom Lodge was beautiful, but it IS dark.

07-15-2003, 10:48 AM
I enjoyed Boma but I think more for the overall experience than the actual tastiness of the food. There was definitely some good stuff especially a chocolate mousse on a cookie thing but a few items weren't so good to me like a squash soup that I tried. We did have excellent service and I personally love the dark atmosphere of AKL. I get tired of all of that hot, BRIGHT sun that we deal with all day and it feels good to me to enter the AKL "cave".

07-15-2003, 11:02 AM
I have eaten dinner at Boma twice and have eaten breakfast there twice as well. I love the breakfast and have a mixed opinion of dinner.

My first dinner there was a real stand-out of the trip. The pork tenderloin was some of the best, most tender meat I've ever had. Yum! My friend also loved her mahi mahi, and she is a real fish lover. My second dinner there wasn't bad, it just wasn't great. The only non-red meat entree they had was the rotisserie chicken, which we found a little bland.

Both my breakfasts there have been quite tasty, but we did have a long wait once (even with a PS). I do love it though.

As far as the resort itself goes, I like the darker, relaxed atmosphere a lot. It really gives it a nice laid back feel to me. Of course, I can see how people would find it too dark. Luckily WDW has tons of resorts to choose from. :)

07-15-2003, 11:22 AM
2 yrs ago Great last year only so-so I wonder if they have a new chef?!?!?!?

that seems to happen at WDW they hire a great chef he gets the reputation going for the place and bam he is gone and the new chef just can't cut the mustard so to speak...

Anyone know if that is the case here?


PS for the record I like the atmoshere at AKL also it is peaceful & relaxing to have the light so subdued.

07-15-2003, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by ducklite
If you have nut allergies, skip Boma. There is almost nothing you can eat. They use coconut in almost everthing.

They also use quite a bit of almonds... and it's NOT marked on the dishes, or noticable when you look at the dishes (although some had almond sprinkled on the top, or whole nuts mixed in). I discovered this by accident when chatting with one of the chefs at the pods. I was commenting that the salmon looked wonderful, but it had almonds on it, and I was allergic. She quickly pointed out about 20 dishes on the line, including soups with almond paste, and almost all of the desserts (goodbye zebra domes :(.

She was quite accomodating though, and offered to bring me freshly prepared food without the nuts. I had not expected or even hinted that this was necessary. I thought this was going above and beyond for a buffet restaurant, where the theory is usually "take it or leave it".

I can't say that Boma's is in my top 10 restaurants at WDW, but it's not in the bottom 10 either. We probably won't choose to dine here often because of my allergies. The experience has taught me to ask about ingredients I am allergic to even if I don't notice them.

07-15-2003, 12:47 PM
Originally posted by Maleficent2
2 yrs ago Great last year only so-so I wonder if they have a new chef?!?!?!?

If I recall correctly, I think that the original chef has moved... maybe to one of the monorail resorts? And I agree. The food was much better the first time we were here. I thought I read that a lot of people complained that the food was too spicy, so it was toned down...

07-15-2003, 12:49 PM
Ditto my experience. In my case the server had a chef come out and walk me through. It was so disappointing. They didn't offer to make me anything special until I had filled up on the three items I could eat. I would have JUMPED at the option of a grilled chicken breast and some rice. It was almost an afterthought on their part. They did offer to bring me some sorbet from Jiko for dessert because there was nothing on the dessert pod that I could eat. And I mean nothing.


07-15-2003, 12:56 PM
We Loved Boma and we will be returning in September and we will be eating there again.

07-15-2003, 01:04 PM
I stayed at AKL last week and also ate at BOMA. After traveling to WDW six times in the last six years, this was the best meal I ever had. From the prime rib to the simple corn meal, all of the tastes were a welcome break from the "standard" WDW buffet lineup. The desserts alone are worth the price of admission. I also experienced something new. As I was getting seconds of a great soup, the chef behind the counter asked me if I had any questions or needed anything. The service was great. Was the room loud? Probably. Is the atmosphere dark? Sometimes. Was the eating experience worth my time? Definitley!

07-15-2003, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by ducklite
If you have nut allergies, skip Boma. There is almost nothing you can eat. They use coconut in almost everthing.

I do not like coconut....so I probably will not like Boma then? If I can see the coconut I won't eat it, but if you can't see it then I would probably try it. I have made my PS because I wanted to go, but now??


07-15-2003, 02:53 PM
I went there last fall and enjoyed it. I HATE green pepper and will not eat anything with it in, but I don't remember a lot of items with green pepper in it. The server did tell me they vary the menu each night so maybe it was that. I though the food was good for a buffet and different than most buffets. Not everything was great, but there were a lot of choices and I had plenty of non-mushy foods to try. The cooks were always there to explain what the dishes were and were really friendly. I didn't like the zebra domes, because I don't like coffee, but there were several others that were very good. Overall, I was glad I went.

While the lighing is not bright, it was not too dim and I did not find the AKL in general to be too dark- dark wood, maybe but plenty of light to see. GUess that comes down to personnel prefernences. I plan on going back on my next visit.

07-16-2003, 08:12 PM
I'm so thankful that I opened this thread; I have a reservation for a party of 10 in September that I'll cancel tomorrow. Most of us can't stand green peppers, so I can't take the chance that they'll be the main flavoring that night. Or even that they will be a minor flavoring.

07-16-2003, 11:18 PM
I won't shoot you here! On our trip in June, our first reservation for Bomas, DH and I had to stay at the villa with an ill DD. The rest of our party dined there and they raved about it and made another reservation for a few nights later so we could enjoy it also.

Well, we waited over an hour after our PS time and it took DH threatening to take our party over to the McDonald's at Downtown Disney to get them to get us seated! The soda fountain was broken, our waiter was slow, and the menu was different than the first dining experience. I did not find anything that I really liked and neither did DH. The rest of our party agreed that the second night was just not up to par compared to the first night. Don't think I can convince DH to try it one more time......

08-03-2003, 12:52 AM
:bounce: :bounce:

Please Please ladies and gentlement when u go eat anywhere if u have alergic or special dietary restriction or requirement ...ask for the CHEF and Inform your server ....The Chef at BOMA will take care you........

:Pinkbounc :Pinkbounc