Add Disney magic to that laid back island vibe and you get Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa! This incredible resort is in the Ko Olina area on the western or leeward side of Oahu. Disney’s Aulani is the perfect way to give your kids a Disney vacation while relaxing on a beach instead of standing in long lines at a theme park!
The resort itself is beautiful and evokes a traditional Hawaiian charm. The “Mickey Mouse” touches are subtle and incorporate into the Hawaiian decor beautifully. It is situated on a man made cove which is perfect for kids. This cove creates a calm wave- free ocean experience and at the time we had toddlers who were able to frolic in the ocean as though it were a swimming pool.
The Aulani beach is very well maintained with plenty of lounge chairs and s snack bar where you can get some of your Disney favorites like a Mickey ice cream bar. Eat it fast!!
The spa at Aulani was of course my favorite experience of our stay! I was fortunate enough to enjoy an 80 minute Lomilomi massage and I have to say it was the BEST massage of my life. While I didn’t get any pictures of the spa I can assure you that it is everything you expect from a high end spa and comes with all the amenities. The hydro therapy pools are outdoors shaded by palm trees and lush tropical foliage creating a calm and relaxing vibe. Worth. Every. Penny.
When traveling with kids it can be hard to break away to enjoy the adult amenities at a resort such as the spa. Disney makes it easy! The resort has an adorable kids club where kids 3 and up can be checked in while the parents enjoy some grown up time. The kids club is called Aunty’s Beach House and true to Disney form it looks exactly like a Hawaiian craftsman style home complete with a backyard. Disney’s cast members are always above and beyond, but the staff at Aunty’s Beach House are truly exceptional. They made my kids feel totally comfortable and welcome and keep them busy with all kinds of crafts, hula lessons, free play, dress up time, and of course all their favorite Disney movies. Aunty’s Beach House also offers times throughout the day where parents are welcome to stay and play with their kids.
Aulani has really great food options for all. They really try to keep the Hawaiian flavor throughout the restaurants, but you will of course find burgers, hots dogs etc. as well. The restaurants range from a sit down 3 course dinner to “grab and go” options. Because of our kids ages at the time, we mostly utilized the pool side snack bar and the grab and go breakfast at Ulu Cafe. All the food we tried was great and reasonably priced considering that you are at a Disney resort in Hawaii. Of course, some of the food comes in a special shape…
The one “splurge” meal that we decided to do was the famous character breakfast, a feature at all Disney resorts. If you have never done a character breakfast before I highly recommend it! If you are at the theme parks you can do a character meal and knock a lot of characters off your list without waiting in line! Some of those character lines are long and SLOW moving! The characters come right up to your table and take their time with your kids. At Aulani the characters have certain locations and times that they appear and we didn’t want to have to leave the pool or beach for a quick meet and greet. The Aulani character breakfast is a beautiful buffet with great Hawaiian touches and the characters are all decked out in their Hawaiian best!
Aulani offers a daily activity schedule and these activities are not to be missed! From pool parties with characters to evening entertainment, you could spend your whole vacation at the resort and be completely entertained the whole time.Be sure to visit the Pau Hana Room where you can enjoy crafts, movies, and games and pick up your devices for the the magical Menehune Adventure trail, a scavenger hunt throughout the resort!
Even though the resort has more than enough to keep you busy, most people like to explore the island. There is actually an Alamo car rental branch on site making it super easy to explore Oahu on your own or you can visit the vacation planning desk in the lobby and book excursions that depart from the hotel. We rented a car and visited the Dole Plantation, the North Shore, Waikiki, and Pearl Harbor.
Somehow I failed to get photos of our room. We had a resort view with a balcony. The room was very clean and had a nice big tub perfect for de-sanding little kids post beach. Aulani does offer full suites with a kitchen, but we opted for the more standard hotel room. I rarely pay extra for a view, but we thoroughly enjoyed our upgraded view this time. We had a view of the entire pool area and could see the ocean and sunsets as well. Our favorite part about the balcony was getting the occasional glimpse of a spontaneous character meet and greet! Just a quick elevator ride and we were able to meet Chip and Dale and the Hawaiian favorite- Stitch!!
Within walking distance from the hotel there are several restaurants, shops, and a grocery store. You can also walk to a a natural beach cove that has some decent snorkeling. We saw a seal hanging out on the beach and several turtles in the water. This cove is a quiet and peaceful break from the busy resort.
While Aulani offers several Hawaiian shows, they do not have a traditional Luau. The Paradise Cove luau is within walking distance and is a wonderful experience. They start with traditional Hawaiian games and crafts on the beach and then serve dinner followed by an amazing show.
We enjoyed our stay at Aulani so much and my kids still talk about this trip years later! With everything that Aulani has to offer you can guarantee a wonderful and memorable vacation for your family. Contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org to start planning!