For our honeymoon, my husband and I took a two-week vacation to Hawaii. We’d been to Oahu, the home of Aulani, before, but had never made the trip over from Waikiki Beach to Ko Olina, where Aulani is located, so we decided to take a day trip and explore the resort! Here, I’m bringing you my trip report from my magical day at Aulani!
We were staying on Waikiki Beach, about a 40 minute drive (with no traffic, which there is plenty of!) from Aulani. As New Yorkers, we decided against renting a car, and took a Lyft to Ko Olina, which was about $60 each direction. We hit a bit of traffic, but nothing terrible!
Let me start by saying how incredible Aulani is, visually. With high ceilings, dark woodwork, and nods to Hawaiian culture, I felt immediately at home when I walked into the lobby. My eyes were drawn to the open-air portion of the lobby that overlooked the pool and beach. While the pool is only open to resort guests, the beach is public, and worth checking out as a day guest! There are multiple dining options, including ‘Ama ‘Ama, a beautiful open-air fine dining option, and Papalua Shave Ice for the classic frozen treat. There’s also a beautiful spa on property, which is worth checking out if you have the time!
OUR AFTERNOON AT AULANI
Our Aulani plans centered around attending the Ka Wa’a Luau, which took place in the evening, so we came over early to explore the resort and enjoy some Disney magic. We browsed the shops, took in the sights, and spent the majority of our afternoon outside enjoying Hawaii.
As pools are for resort guests only, we didn’t get to go for a swim, but we did enjoy the beachfront seating with a delicious Mickey shave ice in hand. We also had to indulge in a Dole Whip, of course! We enjoyed the many chairs facing toward the beach, and made ourselves at home watching the sun go down over the ocean, chatting and relaxing.
THE KA WA’A LUAU
As I mentioned before, we were attending the Ka Wa’a Luau that evening, and general admission entry began at 5:15 pm, so we headed in as soon as possible to enjoy the amenities offered! We were welcomed with the traditional lei greeting, received our complementary drinks (a blue coconutty rum drink for adults, and a POG juice for kids (and for those of us who hate coconut!)), and were assigned our table. We were then able to enjoy multiple activities before the dinner buffet began, such as lei-making with fresh orchids, taro pounding, ukulele lessons, and more! This luau did a great job providing kid-friendly pre-luau entertainment, and the kids seemed to be having a blast!
Dinner was a nice spread of foods inspired by traditional Hawaiian offerings and contemporary favorites, alike. Among the poi, suckling pig, and taro rolls, we found some extra special offerings, such as prime rib (!!!) at the carving station and delicious macaroni and cheese on the keiki (kids) buffet station.
The luau, itself, was absolutely beautiful, telling the story of the land of ‘Ewa, where the luau takes place. Mickey and Minnie made a brief appearance at the beginning of the luau, but the majority of the show focused on Hawaiian culture and history, which we really enjoyed. And yes, the fire dancers closed out the show!
We really enjoyed our day at Aulani. Though many amenities are reserved for resort guests only, we still had a wonderful time exploring the resort, snacking on shave ice (everything tastes better when its Mickey-shaped!), and watching the sun set on beautiful Hawaii. Though we attended a luau, we agreed we would like to check out the gorgeous ‘Ama ‘Ama restaurant for dinner on our next visit! Whether traveling with children or, like us, on a honeymoon, you’ll be sure to find something to entertain you on a day-trip to Aulani!
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