Put a Little Aloha in your Life; A Tour of Aulani!


Aloha! I recently got to tour and experience Aulani; A Disney Resort and Spa in beautiful Ko’Olina, Hawaii! This is absolutely a bucket list trip that any family needs to consider.

There are a few things you need to know about Aulani that will really help you plan your trip. First and foremost, think of it as Mickey and Minnies vacation destination and not their home. You may run into them, but their presence is notably subtle. What you do get is the Disney world class service you are used to from check in to check out!

There are several on site restaurants to choose from including the signature Ama Ama, Makahiki which runs a character breakfast and buffet style dinner, Ulu Cafe for quick service meals and then several poolside options. Though the food is good, I will encourage you to try the Monkey Pod Restaurant across the street or rent a car and explore other area dining options.

A cute breakfast choice at Makahiki Character Breakfast!

A cute breakfast choice at Makahiki Character Breakfast!

Ama Ama Signature Dining

Ama Ama Signature Dining

Ulu Cafe; Quick Service Dining

Ulu Cafe; Quick Service Dining

You absolutely need to buy the refillable resort mug which runs $18.99. They offer many beverage options and it truly is a savings. You can also purchase a quick service meal plan, though this is in its infancy stages. It is a savings over purchasing out of pocket, though you are only allotted one quick service meal plus a beverage per day.


Mamas Beach Shack Home to the Best Coconut Shrimp!

Mamas Beach Shack Home to the Best Coconut Shrimp!

Make sure you try the hot malasada for breakfast at least once!


Also, make sure you hit up the Oleo room for happy hour each evening. You will get some decent beverage and app deals! Plus you will learn a little Hawaiian as well!



The pools are incredible and plentiful, though chairs can be hard to find especially later in the day! Chair saving is not allowed so be sure you are ready to hunt out a good spot and hang out at the pool all day at least once! There is an adults only pool, an infinity pool and hot tub, the main pool with slide, a kids splash area, and you will love them all!



Kids Water Play Area

Kids Water Play Area

Of course, you cannot come to Hawaii without enjoying the Beach and Aulani has a beautiful beach area! Very safe, eye catching, and lots to do! Rent snorkeling equipment, learn to paddle board or surf, go out on a boat, or just enjoy the sunshine. The beach is not private, as with all beaches in Hawaii, it is public so do not go out without your room key! That being said, you will not feel like you are on a public beach in any way. Aulani’s closest neighbor is the 4 Seasons Hotel, so you are in very good company!


Aulani offers many activities throughout the day from character meets to animation classes, ukelele classes, storytelling, and fitness instruction and musical entertainment. You can read about the offerings each morning in the daily Iwa!



There are also some activities you can do for a small to moderate additional fee. One of these is the Rainbow Reef. This is a large enclosed snorkeling reef in the pool area. This reef is home to many fish! You can snorkel here once for $20 or $39 for the length of your stay. Your fee also includes snorkel rentals for the duration of your commitment. I did a length of stay pass and though I only used the reef once, I did use the snorkel equipment by the beach several times making the length of stay pass well worth it. The reef is VERY cold and I am not sure I would do this again, but once was good!


Rainbow Reef Viewing Area

There are also a few excursions you can do that are hosted by Adventures by Disney! These include horse back riding, surfing, and hiking. I chose to take part in the hiking adventure and though a little more challenging than I expected, it was a fun way to spend an afternoon while meeting people and seeing the beautiful vegetation.


Hiked to this waterfall!

Here is a quick DO/DON’T Aulani List.

  1. Do book a Villa if possible. Having a kitchen at this resort is going to be nice!
  2. Do book the Character Breakfast at Makahiki, but skip the dinner buffet!
  3. Don’t stay longer than 5 nights. Hawaii is big and beautiful and you need to incorporate more into your trip. A night in Waikiki to start your trip and maybe a few nights on the North Shore to close it out!
  4. Don’t bother with the Paradise Cove Luau. This is down the street from Aulani, and was just not worth the money!
  5. Do purchase the refillable mug and quick service dining plan as these will both save you money.
  6. Do rent a car for a day from Alamo, right at the resort, and go explore! Many times Aulani offers a free car with your stay!

This is a beautiful resort and Hawaii is a bucket list destination. It needs to be on your list! Let’s make it happen! Jess@pixievacations.com

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