Planning for Disney’s Aulani- a Hawaiian Resort & Spa

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Planning for Disney's Aulani - a Hawaiian Resort | Disney's Aulani
Photos by Rikki Niblett

For several years, I’ve been dreaming of a family trip to Hawaii.  When I heard that Disney had a resort on one of the islands, Disney’s Aulani, I knew that I had to visit.

Just what (and where) is the resort?

Disney’s Hawaii Resort is named Aulani and is located in Ko Olina, on the island of O’ahu.  This 21 acre resort has 819 rooms, partially composed of hotel rooms while Disney Vacation Club villas make up the remaining rooms.  The resort features the normal amenities of a fitness center, Spa, and restaurants to go with multiple pools.  Then there is the Disney Difference which includes a lazy river, water slides, and a complimentary kid’s club- plus Disney characters!

What about dining?

There are also several sit down dining options available to fit everyone’s tastes.  First of all, there is Makahiki– the Aulani version of a Disney Character Meal, available for breakfast or dinner, depending on the day of the week.  There is also ‘Ama ‘Ama, which is an open-air restaurant that looks out over the beach. Take a look at our thoughts of these restaurants here.

When it comes to a quick service meal, Aulani offers those options as well.  Ulu Café features poolside grab-and-go along with hot meals.  There are also two walk-up locations- Mama’s Snack Stop and Lille ‘Ophi’s.  Both of these offer light meals or snacks including fish and chips, chicken tenders, salads, sandwiches, and snacks.

And of course, you can’t go to Aulani without having a Dole Whip- which is my favorite Disney snack.  It can be found in The Lava Shack which offers other grab and go food items along with pool and beach items.

Refillable Mugs | Disney's Aulani
Refillable Mugs (Photos by Rikki Niblett)

Resort-refillable mugs are available for purchase, which can be used for the length of your stay.  The cost is $18.99 plus tax and can be refilled at Ulu Cafe, Lava Shack, and One Paddle Two Paddle.

What are the room options?

The room types vary from standard hotel rooms to a 3 bedroom villa, including studio suites, one, and two bedroom villas.  All suites include a full kitchen and a washer and dryer as are standard in the Disney Vacation Club rooms.  There are also varied views from your room.  These include Standard View, Island Gardens View, Partial Ocean View, Poolside Gardens View, and Ocean View.  The standard hotel rooms and studio suites each sleep four people, while a one bedroom features a single pull down bed allowing it to sleep five.  The two bedroom villas sleep up to nine adults while the 3 bedroom villas have room for up to twelve adults.

What else is there?

Really there is more than what can be stated in one post- but here are some highlights.  Laniwai is the Disney Spa which receives nothing but high praise for their services tailored to everyone from kids, individuals, couples, and families.  Of significant note is that access to Kalu Wai which is the Outdoor Hydrotherapy Spa only available to those receiving spa treatments.

Just like the Disney parks, Disney’s Aulani has Photopass Service.  For a fee, the photographers will capture photos both around the resort and at character dining experiences.  This includes underwater photography at Rainbow Reef- Aulani’s saltwater lagoon where guests can snorkel with sea life.  Note that there is an additional charge for Rainbow Reef.

Since it is Hawaii, of course Aulani features an award-winning beach.  This goes with the pool, splash zone, adult-only pool, a lazy river, and four whirlpool spas.

Judging by the list of activities available on Disney’s Aulani website, this is just a short list of adventures that are in store for my trip to Hawaii.

If you want to see an overview of the resort, take a look at our video.

Overall, I look forward to my trip.  I plan to try out all of these things- and as many more as I can.

Have you visited Aulani? What tips do you have? Let us know your suggestions in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter!

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Want to visit Aulani – A Disney Resort & Spa? Contact The Magic for Less Travel for more information and a free, no-obligation quote.

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