This vacation was so much more than just visiting Disney. It was about cultivating a lifelong memory for my boys and my mother-in-law as well. she was turning 80 years old On November 20th. We knew that we had to find a way to incorporate her birthday celebration with the entire family present. What better way than to celebrate at a Disney Resort property! The Animal Kingdom Lodge was perfect. Even more fitting was having our celebration at the Animal Kingdom’s Lodge restaurant, Boma.
When our window of time opened for making advanced dining reservations (ADRs), I knew this would be the most difficult because of our large family. I was pleasantly surprised when I was immediately able to grab a reservation for all 16 of us (which turned out to be 2+ more) for breakfast at Boma’s! My original plan was to try to find an early lunch reservation anywhere. My mother-in-law is not a big eater, and eating later in the day tends to be just a light meal for her. I knew that for her to enjoy it, it would need to be for an early lunch. When I discovered a reservation for breakfast at Boma’s was available for our large group, I grabbed it! Perfect! Breakfast is the perfect time of the day (even though the reservation was for 10:30am) for my mother-in-law. Of course, most of us wouldn’t complain about having breakfast out either!
So, after two days at the parks, we thought a day in between would be the perfect time to celebrate her birthday and, at the same time, give everyone a nice break between our next two park days. It worked out perfectly for us.
No one in my family had ever been to the Animal Kingdom Lodge and we were all very excited to see it! I had heard about how beautiful it is and how the delicious the food is at Boma’s. As we entered under the gates to make our way towards the Lodge, I got goosebumps. There’s just something about being on a Disney property that overwhelms me – but in a good way. It was beautiful that day. The sun was out and it was warm but not too hot.
Walking into the lobby of the Animal Kingdom Lodge is mind-boggling. Its beauty immediately pulls you in and makes you feel as if you are wrapped in a virtual warm blanket. I didn’t know where to look first – up, down, left or right; there was so much to take in. It is so dramatic, yet cozy. I had all the ‘feels’ the moment I walked into the lodge. As I looked around at the rest of family, all I could see were endless smiles. My mother-in-law loved it! As we were making our way to Boma’s, I could hear giggles from my boys, and ooh’s and ah’s coming from my family. I think it’s safe to say, this was probably the highlight of the trip for many of us.
Boma’s restaurant is located on the lower level of the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The breakfast buffet menu features American and African flavor, offering a wide variety of different kinds of food to sample. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can certainly try the many African dishes offered or you may also be happy to hear that this buffet offers many of the traditional American breakfast staples.
Like I said previously, we had two more people we needed to add to our party. My nephew and his girlfriend were in Orlando during the same time and were able to stay with us a few nights. Thankfully, Boma’s was very accommodating. We were seated at two tables right next to each other with a great view and few quick steps away from the breakfast buffet. Everything smelled amazing! I ordered my coffee right away, of course! Then they offered us to try their specialty juice called, (I believe) “Jungle Juice.” I have heard of the juice being called a few different names. Regardless of what the official name is, I really thought it was delicious.
We wasted no time in helping ourselves to the buffet to start eating! Everything looked delicious. The presentation, the aroma and helpful staff all added to the unique experience at Boma’s. Every dish was labeled with the name of the food and it was quite helpful if you weren’t familiar with African dishes. I can’t tell you what my favorite dish was because I truly enjoyed all of it. If I had to narrow it down, I would say the eggs were so good. I don’t know how they made them, but they were really tasty. The tater tots were awesome. I also made sure to try some of the African dishes as well. I sampled a little bit of the Turkey Boboti, the grilled asparagus with tomatoes and, of course, the French Toast Bread Pudding. I enjoyed it all!
As everyone was settling down, trying not to roll off of our chairs from eating so much food, it was time to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday. When making our reservations, I was told to add a Disney Special Event to it and they would bring out a little something special for the birthday girl. As our waitress brought out a very special cupcake with a birthday candle on top, we began to sing “Happy Birthday” to Teresa. She was surprised and smiling as we sang to her. I’ll insert a little video clip of that moment here. It was so nice to see her smiling and surrounded by the love of her family. I’m pretty sure it’s something she will always remember.
As we finished our birthday breakfast celebration, we all had different plans for the remainder of the day. Some of us were headed to Disney Springs, a few were going to other areas of Orlando, and some back to the house to enjoy the pool. Before we left the resort, a few of us stayed around for a bit to explore the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
We walked around, took a few pictures and did a little shopping at the hotel gift shop. I couldn’t leave without getting a little memento to remember this day. I quickly spotted a magnet with the Animal Kingdom Lodge and that was it for me! When I look at it on my refrigerator door, it immediately brings a smile to my face. Personally, this was a true highlight of the trip for me. I was so happy everyone enjoyed it, especially my mother-in-law.
As we left the Lodge, I took one look back and honestly had tears in my eyes. I think I was so worked up over planning it, it was just such a relief that it had gone well. Being the party planner obsessed person I am, I had to have a little party favor for everyone to remember this special day. I wanted something that represented the Animal Lodge, as well as the reason for the celebration. I chose to have stemless wine glasses imprinted with a frosted image of different animals seen on the Safari on one side. Around each animal, it read “Cheers to Eighty Years,” again in a frosted print. See the picture below.
Our birthday celebration at Boma’s was excellent. I highly recommend giving it a try as you plan your dining reservations. I hope to be able to go back again one day. After breakfast we headed over to Disney Springs and I’ll write more about the rest of our day in a future blog post.
Have you been to Boma’s? Did you enjoy it? Where is your favorite place to eat breakfast? I’d love to hear in the comments below.