Aulani – A Disney Resort & Spa…it is a dream vacation for many Disney fanatics. So, when I was able to take a trip to the Hawaiian Islands recently, I knew that I had to find a way to make a stop at this incredible resort possible.
After staying an incredible six days on Maui, we took a quick flight over to Oahu one morning so we could have the Aulani experience for just once brief night. (Altogether we were at the resort for 36 hours or so.) To get to the resort, since they don’t offer transportation, we utilized Speedi Shuttle which took us right to the resort which is located in Ko Olina, Hawai’i.
As we drove up, I could immediately tell which one was the Disney resort. The arrival kind of felt similar to how it does when traveling to Port Canaveral for a Disney Cruise. You see the resort in all its majesty in the distance. The resort overall appeared breathtaking.
Walking in the door, it immediately felt familiar. This resort had the feel of not only Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, but also felt exceptionally similar to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. With dark woods that abounded and beautiful artwork everywhere, this resort felt homey and luxurious. That homey feeling makes sense because Aulani is a Disney Vacation Club resort, however Guests can also book this resort without being a DVC Member.
The lobby itself was much smaller than I was used to, comparative to the other two similar feeling resorts. But if you looked around, you would see the story that is being told is about the history of Hawaii.
The entire resort is really a paradise. There is lush greenery everywhere, pools that abound, water play areas, a semi-small but serviceable beach, great dining, and so much more! I mean did you know that this resort has two water slides AND a lazy river? Both were so much fun to experience and I may have done them a few times during our trip. There is also the ability to snorkel with fish, for those who are so inclined! The best way to describe the resort though is that is really is an oasis of relaxation.
I will say though that Guests who are staying here will want to make sure to get their spots staked out early! Even during slower times, chairs are quickly gobbled up by Guests, so if you have a place you want to sit, make sure you grab it early in the morning. (But, do know that you cannot just leave your stuff on a chair and leave for the day. Disney does have Cast Members sort of monitoring the situation and will remove chairs that do not appear to be actually in use by Guests.)
For those who were looking for shopping, Aulani had you covered! There were plenty of Disney/Aulani related items, including everyone’s favorite, Duffy and ShellieMay (more on them in a minute.) Hawaiian candy, There was also the Hale Manu shop, which seemed to sell more higher-end merchandise.
Aulani includes many different dining establishments. There’s the Ulu Cafe, which is more like a traditional Disney counter service location. Here Guests can pick up grab and go items, hot dishes, snacks, refillable mugs, and more. At Makahiki, Guests can experience a delicious and well stocked buffet with many great items to choose from. Off the Hook is a traditional pool bar that serves up bar food with a twist. Guests should also consider a stop at the Olelo Room, which is another great bar just off of Makahiki. Finally, there’s the signature restaurant, Ama Ama, which has an incredible view and also incredible food. Guests can also stop at many of the snack stands onsite, as well as a few additional quick bars.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Disney resort without characters, right? Well, trust me, Aulani has you covered! Here, Guests can meet some of their favorites, including Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Stitch, and yes, ShellieMay and Duffy! Matter of fact, the line for those two was exceptionally long, so I actually decided to skip it!
There are lots of great activities for the whole family! Kids won’t want to miss hanging out at Auntie’s Beach House! This reminded me of the kids clubs on Disney Cruise Line, as there are lots of great activities planned for little ones to participate in. There’s also story time with Uncle at the fire pit! He regales stories of the Hawaiian culture.
Aulani – A Disney Resort & Spa really is a luxurious place. Please make sure to take a look at our overview video because writing about it can’t describe it’s majesty. You really have to see it!
Also, stay tuned because for the next few weeks, I’m going to share with you more stories and experiences about my Aulani experience. This is really just the beginning.
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In addition to being the Blog Admin and a Website Content Creator here at The Mouse For Less, as well as editor of the Mouse For Less Newsletter, I am also the co-host of the Be Our Guest WDW Trip Planning Podcast and I post articles for TouringPlans.