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Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Flavors of Africa Tour

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Flavors of Africa

In addition to Private Safaris and VIP Magic Kingdom Tours, did you know that Boma and Jiko restaurants at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge offer free culinary tours? One afternoon I had just had it. I needed peace. I needed quiet. I needed solace. And I made up some lame excuse to make a quick visit to the sundries shop in the lobby. Instead, I headed to the ground floor, put my phone on airplane mode, and decided to take one of these complimentary behind-the-scenes tastings while visiting Walt Disney World for the  Disney Social Media Moms Conference.


The tours are held daily each afternoon prior to the “First Family’s” dinner seating, and reservations are not required for this activity, just show up! In my opinion, it truly is one of AKL’s best-kept secrets. The JetSet Family has called Animal Kingdom Lodge “home” for over a decade since purchasing our Disney Vacation Club back in 2007, and Jiko and Boma remain two of our favorite Walt Disney World restaurants no matter which property we end up staying at.


Recipe for Boma's Butternut Squash Soup


So how do you claim your spot on the tour so you can taste your way through Boma and Jiko? Simply show up! One of the on-staff cultural guides will promptly begin the tour in the Jiko lobby area at 4:15 pm, but it’s best to arrive a wee bit early and check with the Animal Kingdom Lodge Activity Guide which is published daily. For this post, we’re going to concentrate on Boma’s food tour, and stay tuned because we will feature Jiko’s soon!


Recipe for Boma's Butternut Squash Soup


From the moment you arrive inside Animal Kingdom Lodge, it’s hard not to be impressed by the Savannah view complete with patio overlooking the animals, to the IgboIjele Mask which measures over 15 feet tall, surrounded by many other African artworks and artifacts. My personal favorites are the colorful bowls hanging on the walls handmade with telephone wires from different villages throughout Africa.


Boma: “Place of Safety”

It’s no secret that Disney Imagineers carefully curate every inch of the parks, properties, and restaurants, with distinct details tied into the theme. And there is no exception when dining at Boma. Meaning a “Place of Saftey” in Swahili, the pillars seen throughout the family-style buffet restaurant replicate the pots used for pounding nuts. Each one is carefully painted to match the color of the African sunset, and the walls are decorated with stamped African coins.


Boma Flavors of Africa Tasting Tour Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom Village


One of my favorite features of Boma is “The Family Table.” At first glance, it may seem like a typical dining area, but when you look closely you can tell it is carved into the shape of the continent of Africa. This is where the “First Family” of the evening will be randomly selected and participate in a festive welcoming to mark the official opening of the evening.


Recipe for Boma's Butternut Squash Soup


It is also important to notice that many, if not all, of the hosts and staff of Boma and Jiko are native to Africa, so this is your opportunity to soak up as much information as possible. As we toured the kitchen, the buffet stockpots were overflowing with African inspired recipes and lots of kid-friendly meal options available to make family dining pleasant for everyone.


Recipe for Boma's Butternut Squash Soup


One sampling that blew my mind was the Butternut Squash Soup. I loved it so much that I asked the chef to email it to me so I can share it with you on the blog. This flavorful soup is so savory and delicious, I’m sure you’ll go back for seconds…perhaps even thirds.




Have You Visited Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge?

We would love to know more about your experience. By sharing your tips, recommendations and memories in our comment section below, you help fellow members of The JetSet Family community decide the best fit for them and their families. Let us know what you liked most, or if you have any questions about our recent stay. 


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  • Flyingkids June 4, 2018

    Haven’t really tried African cuisine but looking at it, it sounds so good and appetizing!


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