Our family is a huge fan of the Hawaii islands! We have been to Hawaii over 8 times. With so many amazing places to visit, Hawaii draws us back again and again (even with that 10 hour flight!) On this visit to Hawaii, we enjoyed time at Disney Aulani Resort. As you may know, we are HUGE Disney fans. We have always wanted to spend some time as this resort where Mickey Mouse goes on vacation!
Disney Aulani Resort Rooms
Aulani, A Disney Resort offers several room categories, including Studios, 1-Bedroom, and 2-Bedroom Villas. We stayed in a 1-Bedroom Villa. These rooms are amazing! As you enter, you pass a huge kitchen with refrigerator, stove, and coffee maker. They even have a rice cooker, if you want to make rice for dinner. They have a kitchen table that overlooks the living room area.
The living room has a flat screen tv, couch, chairs, table, and even a pull down trundle bed. Hunter slept on this bed, because it was just a little too small for our teen. Kelly did sleep on the pull out sofa bed and was completely comfortable. The living room opens up to a balcony with a sliding glass door. Our room overlooked the spectacular pool area and ocean. It was so beautiful! I did spend a few mornings drinking my coffee and enjoying the view.
There is one bedroom in this villa with a King Bed, flat screen tv, chair, and desk. This bedroom also opens up to another private balcony overlooking the pool. On the other side of the room, you walk into the bathroom with tub (that opens up to the bedroom) and vanity. There is another bathroom with a rainforest shower, sink/vanity, and toilet.
There are several closest tucked around the room to hold your luggage, beach stuff, and dirty laundry. They also have a washer and dryer. This was probably the first vacation where I washed my clothes, before I left the vacation. I actually packed clean clothes, so I did not have to worry about laundry when I got home. WHAT?!?
Disney Aulani Resort Pools
We love pool time! We are big swimmers in our family and love all water! Disney’s Aulani Resort had lots of water to play in.
The main pool featured (2) water slides. There was one body slide and one tube slide. Both were tons of fun!
The tube slide ends in the lazy river, so you can just keep on floating on the tube around the lazy river. This is a relaxing river winding around the inside courtyard of Disney’s Aulani Resort. Watch out for characters, you may see Goofy!
For the younger kids, there is a huge splash park themed after those cute mischief makers in Hawaii called Menehunes. This splash park has water jets, slides, and tons of water for those little ones.
For an extra fee, you can snorkel and see thousands of fish in the Rainbow Reef. This is an amazing area where you are provides a mask and snorkel. You are then invited to take your time and enjoy the Rainbow Reef. I would plan on snorkeling during feeding time. That was amazing to see the fish eat. We were surrounded by hundreds of the colorful fish!
Besides the pool fun, there are tasty pool treats. You can get a Dole Whip or Shaved Ice! We do love the authentic Hawaiian Shaved Ice, but you can have a little fun and get the one with Mickey Mouse ears. These are a refreshing break during your time at the pool.
Other Activities at Disney Aulani Resort
The beach is public beach access, but there are chair and umbrellas set aside for Disney Aulani guests. You also get free access to boogie boards and sand toys. Our kids loved that! If you purchased Rainbow Reef, you can also get free snorkeling equipment to swim around the lagoon.
For an extra cost, you can also rent paddle boards or even go on a Hawaii kayak ride.
The spa at Disney’s Aulani Resort is LaniWai. This spa will relax you, as soon as you walk through the door. You can experience spa treatments; including massages, skin care treatments, and salon treatments. You are welcome to come early and stay after your treatments to enjoy the spa amenities. Teens even have special spa treatments, just for them at the Painted Sky. Be sure you make reservations, because these spa treatments do book up.
Throughout Disney’s Aulani Resort, your family can hunt for Menehune. This is a fun activity for the whole family! You are given an ipad with the Menehune Hunt and then you are off to track down these mischief makers.
Aunty’s Beach House
Did you know that Disney’s Aulani Resort had childcare? They do! It is called Aunty’s Beach House. It is open usually from 9:30-9:00 PM for kids from 3-12 years old. There are so many amazing activities for the kiddos at Aunty’s Beach House. This gives mom and dad some time to relax at the pool or sip on a tropical drink!
There are so many things to do in Oahu. Disney’s Aulani Resort has the Holoholo Desk, where you can book excursions to Waimea Valley, Manoa Valley, Kualoa Ranch, and even a Catamaran Experience. These excursions pick you up, right in the lobby and transport you to the excursion. They are so easy and so much fun. These are all additional fees. Be sure you also pack some tip money for the guides, during the excursion.
Disney’s Aulani Resort also has an Alamo Car Rental on site, where you can rent a car. We rented a car one day and drove up to the North Shore. We enjoyed the original shaved ice and walked on the shore of Pipeline! I would recommend renting a car (at least one day) to venture throughout Oahu.
There are so many other fun activities at Disney’s Aulani Resort. You can pick up a guide of activities in the weekly ‘IWA at the front desk. Most of the activities are free. There are a few that are an extra cost.
Disney Aulani Resort Dining
There are so many dining options at Aulani, A Disney Resort. There are three main restaurants and several pool bars/lounges. There are even some quick grab and go spots at the pool and beach. There are even two character dining experiences. There is a character breakfast with an all-you-can-eat buffet with Mickey Mouse and friends.
In the evening hours, there is a character dinner with Stitch and friends with an all-you-can-eat dinner buffet. For this restaurant, there is seating inside and outside. During the day, I love the seating outside. In the evening hours, I love the seating inside. Both of these character dining experiences were fun meeting the Disney characters and had activities for the kids.
On select nights, you can experience Ka Wa’a, a Luau at Aulani. You will start with tons of activities for the kids, like taro grinding, flower leis, temporary tattoos, and more. You will then enjoy a delicious authentic Hawaiian buffet. Then the luau takes you on a journey across the ocean by the Hawaiian people from ancient times to present day. It was one of our favorite luau experiences!
Just like the Disney Resorts at Disney World, Disney’s Aulani Resort has refillable mugs. This is such a money saver! You can get unlimited water, soda, coffee, and tea throughout Aulani. Plus, you have a fun souvenir to take home and remember your Hawaii vacation.
Don’t forget to go off site! You can literally walk across the street at Disney’s Aulani Resort to get coffee, snacks, and even meals. We love the ABC store (this is a classic Hawaii tourist store) for coffee and snacks. They have a tasty vanilla macadamia nut coffee!
Disney Aulani Resort Review
So…what did we think? The Jones Family shares their review of Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa.
Tim: 4 out of 5 stars! I liked the location and that Disney focuses on Hawaii first. I also really enjoyed the luau. I liked the breakfast character breakfast, but I would skip the dinner character breakfast. We had to get wrist bands every day to use the pool. This is because the resort is open to the locals. That was a little frustrating, but turned into a contest to see who get get the most wrist bands by the end of the trip.
Allison: 4 out of 5 stars! I loved the resort! My favorite was the pool! I loved the water slides, lazy river, Rainbow Reef, and Mickey Mouse shaved ice. I also loved the Alamo Car Rental on site to just quickly rent a car to go off adventuring. For my next visit, I would probably skip the character dinner. It was really dark, so hard to see and the food was not my favorite. I think my favorite place to dine was the Off the Hook poolside bar. We dined there several times and loved the food and fun pool atmosphere.
Kelly (teen boy): 4 1/2 out of 5 stars! I liked the food, especially the Dole Whips. I think I had two of them during our vacation. The pool was cool! I loved the tube slide and the lazy river. I also liked the lobby and the rooms, with the Hawaiian touches.
Hunter (tween girl): 4 out of 5 stars! I loved the food! They had really good food. My favorite food was the Dole Whips at the beach. I loved the beach area with the free snorkeling gear and boogie boards. I loved the Hawaiian culture at the resort. They added Hawaiian touches, so you were learning without realizing it. My mom says “homeschool in action!” The staff was also really nice and friendly.
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