Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa: The Beauty and Culture of Hawaii with the Magical Disney Touch

Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa: The Beauty and Culture of Hawaii with the Magical Disney Touch

There are few places on Earth that can compare to the natural breathtaking beauty of the Hawaiian Islands.  If you mix in the magic of Disney, you will find yourself at Aulani Resort and Spa.  It might be the perfect relaxing and enjoyable family vacation destination.

On top of the luxury of the resort itself, the island of Oahu is home to some of the most fascinating places to visit during your trip.  The best part is you don’t have to travel far to take advantage of all of them.

Not to mention the sunsets…

photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Let’s take an in-depth look at Aulani Resort and Spa

Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa opened in 2011 in Ko Olina, Hi on the leeward coast of Oahu.  It has 359 hotel rooms including 16 (1 and 2 bedroom) suites as well as 481 Disney Vacation Club villas. The resort also has Laniwai spa on property and a full fitness center.  That’s just the basics!

Disney states, “Aulani Resort combines the beauty and spirit of Hawaii with the magic of Disney”.  What does that mean?  That means the resort keeps a heavy focus on the people and rich culture of Hawaii through its design elements, and amenities.  Plus, they have Goofy, Mickey, Minnie, and other special guests to help entertain the whole group.

Swim beneath a natural waterfall at Kualoa Ranch
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Amenities at Aulani

There is no lack of things to do and see at this resort.  Whether you are on an adult or on a family vacation, you will find your spot either at the pool areas or on the private beach.  From the Keiki Cove splash zone for kids 5 years old and younger, to the quiet, tranquil infinity edge pool, Wailana, the resort has something for everyone! 

Snorkel in a private lagoon at Rainbow Reef
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations

In between those options are Waikolohe and Ka Maka Grotto, family pools, Wakolohe Stream, a lazy river that circles the center activity area of the resort, Rainbow Reef, a private snorkeling lagoon and 4 whirlpool spas.

Do you know about the Menehune?

In Hawaiian culture, the Menehune are small mythical creatures who create architectural wonders overnight while we sleep.  You will find hints of the Menehune all over the Aulani Resort and Spa including at the Menehune Bridge and water slides as well as a scavenger hunt for kids known as the Menehune Adventure Trail.   

Welcome to your private beach at Aulani Resort and Spa

On this resort’s private beach guests can sit back, relax, and enjoy the tropical vibes on complimentary beach chairs with umbrellas while snacking and sipping on cocktails from Little Ophi’s beach shack. 

Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Need more activity?  How about paddle boards, snorkeling, canoeing, or taking in some surf lessons?  Guests can rent equipment for a full day of fun in the sun!

Activities

On top of the Menehune Adventure Trail, kids ages 5-12 can find friends and plenty of fun activities at Auntie’s Beach House.  Auntie greets her guests with fun crafts, games, and stories specific to the Hawaiian life. 

Auntie’s Beach house
Photo credit: Disney Destinations

Ka WA’A takes place on select nights for guest who would love to take part in an authentic Luau.  This dinner show is enjoyment for all ages, and it’s delicious!      

Disney at Aulani Resort and Spa

Not only might you find Mickey, Minnie, and other Disney characters at this resort, but Moana is ever present to meet guests of all ages.  You may find her telling her tale alongside “Uncle” at Mo’Olelo Fireside Storytelling.   At Painted Sky: Hawaii Style Studio little ones can get a Moana style make over to add to the feel of the island vibe.

O’Hana Disney Movie Nights brings guests together under the stars to watch classic Disney films to end their day.

Resort Dining and Quick Service at Aulani Resort and Spa

Kakigori: Hawaiian shaved ice dessert Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

When it’s time to enjoy a bite to eat, Aulani offers a lot of options.  There are table service restaurants as well as quick service locations, pool bars, cafes, and lounges for guests to choose from:

  • Makahiki– you can enjoy breakfast and dinner at this casual, family-friendly table service restaurant.
  • Ama Ama– this recently refurbished elegant, signature restaurant is oceanfront. Guests can enjoy Hawaiian cuisine for dinner in an open-air atmosphere.
  • Off The Hook– a casual poolside lounge.  This “fisherman’s shack” is perfect for quick service eats and cocktails.
  • Olelo Room– Enjoy cocktails and appetizers in this lounge inspired by the beauty of the Hawaiian language.  The bartenders and staff take pride in educating guests on the origin of Hawaiian culture.
Elegant Dining Oceanfront at the newly refurbished Ama Ama
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations

Places to visit outside of the resort…

The best part about vacationing at this stunning island resort is that there are many other activities to do beyond its boundaries.  Oahu is a compact island but packs a huge punch of fascinating and historic places to visit.  Here are some ideas:

@bizzyrundiz

Byodo-In Temple Kahaluu, Oahu HI at the foot of the Ko’olau mountains in Temple Valley #byodointemple #oahuhawaii #diznvacationswithjessicayashin

♬ Healing music with peaceful music(1015672) – Healing Music Lab
TikTok credit: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Byodo-In Temple – a smaller but exact replica of an ancient temple in Uji, Japan built to honor the first Japanese settlers on the island.

Kualoe Ranch– Hike this spectacular area where many Hollywood films were created including Jurassic Park, Jumanji, and many others.  You can explore on your own or take one of many paid tours including a zipline tour. 

Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Dole Plantation– Visit the site of where Dole Whip dreams are made. 

The Dole Plantation
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn
A beautiful view from the tour at the Dole Plantation
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

North Shore– Watch professional and amateur surfers brave the giant waves.  There is a food truck paradise available for dining here as well

Diamond Head State Monument Volcano Hike– yes, you can hike an extinct volcano just outside of Waikiki and get an amazing 360-degree view of everything at the top.

photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Pearl Harbor Historical Memorials– These most somber and emotional sites will leave you breathless. 

Memorial to the USS Arizona at historical Pearl Harbor
photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn
Pearl Harbor Memorial Site
Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Special Offers at Aulani Resort and Spa

For stays at Aulani between January 5,2023 and March 30,2023 Disney is offering guests:

  • 25% off 5-night stays on select rooms
  • 20% off 4-night stays on select rooms

This offer excludes 3-bedroom villas.  Are you considering a vacation in Hawaii? I heavily recommend this resort and spa as your choice of accommodations.  If you have any questions, or if you have stayed at this resort and would like to share your experience, please comment below!

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