Trips to Walt Disney World are expensive, so it is great to find an often overlooked, free activity for foodies like me that is available all year ’round, the Jiko & Boma Culinary Tour at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jambo House. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is easily one of our favourite resorts. It’s remarkably stunning and tranquil. We often hear that staying there is like a vacation within your vacation. As of now, the Culinary Tour of Jiko – The Cooking Place and Boma-Flavors of Africa is still available. Guests are encouraged to meet in the lobby near Jiko – The Cooking Place prior to the 4:15 p.m. start time.
This review is presented by a loyal Mouse Travel Matters reader and is written in the first person. We have yet to experience it. Next time.
This tour gives guests the opportunity to walk around, to learn more about the restaurants, the cultural symbolism incorporated into the theming, and sample a few of the things offered during dinner service. This tour does not give information on ingredients, offer recipes, or the chance to talk to the chefs. The tour takes just over 30 minutes and is a welcome respite from the Florida sun.
[thrive_text_block color=”teal” headline=””] NOTE: If you are staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge, check the Recreation Calendar that you are given in your Welcome Packet at check-in to confirm the start time. [/thrive_text_block]
There were 14 people attending the tour and 2 hosts, one at each restaurant. We started at Jiko, which means The Cooking Place. Our guide described the decor – The birds on the ceiling are called prosperity birds, the ceiling in the restaurant is blue representing the sky. The multicolour tiles in the pillars represent the multi-cultures and all the countries in Africa.
The African wine collection is one of the largest African wine collections in the world outside of Africa.
The pillars had gold coloured rings that represented status symbols. The pillars had different numbers of rings to represent different statuses of people. The more rings an African woman has around her neck, the higher her status. We were shown the ovens, representing traditional cooking hearths, and were treated to a flatbread service with various dips that were bursting with flavour.
We then transferred to Boma where we passed a replica of the Victoria Falls before we entered the safe area ‘Boma’ which protected us from the animals. In one part of the Boma is the Kings table. The King’s table is colourful and has a sample of an African woman’s cloth fabric within the tabletop.
The rest of the tabletops within the restaurant are a plain dark brown wood colour. The is another special table that is actually in the shape of Africa. We toured the buffet and learned about some of the food. A few buffet items were pointed out to us before we tried Spicy Peanut soup. I don’t do well with spice and had no trouble enjoying it. We also got to try the delicious Zebra domes dessert.
Making Zebra domes is a 3-day process and contains the Amarula fruit which they say makes the elephants tipsy. The desert is cold and smooth, not too sweet.
The whole tour was less than 30 minutes and went so quickly I would like to do it again.
When the restaurant was opened guests were welcomed with drummers and music. We went upstairs for a Smoked Turkey cocktail and Magical Star Cocktail before wandering around the beautiful, unique resort and appreciating the savanna.
Things To Know Before The Tour
The free Boma and Jiko culinary tour is offered daily. Registration is not needed, which makes this a perfect way to weave in some spontaneous fun during a relaxing afternoon. Tour time is currently 4:15 p.m., though this is subject to change so reviewing the Animal Kingdom Lodge Activities Guide is highly recommended. Those wanting to do tour meet at the entrance of the Boma restaurant.
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