REVIEW – Aulani Resort Offers Picture Perfect Disney Magic, Hawaiian Style


Aloha fellow Disney Fans! My name is Catherine and I’m here to talk about my absolute favorite vacation destination-Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa on the beautiful island of Oahu in Ko Olina Hawaii! Ever since I was a young child, I’ve always had a love for all things Disney.

My family and I began our annual Disney trips when I was just a year old. We would travel to Orlando quite often to visit family and of course, head to Disney World! Over the years we have created so many wonderful memories, and my husband and I have continued this tradition with our own son. We have celebrated every one of his birthdays from his 1st to his most recent 5th birthday in Disney World.

So, to say we are huge Disney fans would be quite an understatement!

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My husband is a manager for the airlines so we are traveling all of the time. When contemplating vacation choices, having young children can limit your options. We have always dreamed of someday visiting the beautiful islands of Hawaii, and when I heard about Aulani opening I was beyond thrilled and excited!

Knowing it is a Disney resort, I knew it would be the right vacation choice for my Ohana. Ohana means family, and no one does family vacations better than Disney! This was our chance to experience a destination we have always dreamed of together as a family. We visited Aulani this past October, and are currently planning our second trip!

I cannot begin to describe how breathtakingly beautiful Aulani is. From the moment we pulled up to the resort, my eyes were filled with tears! I am one of those people who cry watching the fireworks at Disney World, so it was no surprise how emotional I was feeling to be blessed with the opportunity to visit this spectacular island paradise. We arrived just after a short 30 minute shuttle ride from the Honolulu Airport and I was greeted with a beautiful flower lei, my husband with a kukui nut lei, and my son an adorable menehune necklace. Menehune are the mischievous little creatures on the island that “Uncle” will tell you all about at his fireside story telling.

After we checked in we explored the gorgeous lobby and hallways filled with beautiful Hawaiian contemporary art. When we entered our room we were greeted with a surprise phone call from…guess who?! The one and only Mickey Mouse! I’m not sure who was more excited, me or my son!

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We spent our week in an island/ garden view room and were pleasantly surprised when we stepped out onto our balcony to see spectacular views of the mountains on the island. The room decor is bright and clean and pays tribute to the Hawaiian culture, with a few special Disney finishing touches.

After getting settled, we stepped outside and I could not wait to see what else we were in store for. As we walked toward the beach, we passed the amazing pool areas and the Waikolohe Valley where there is a relaxing stream you can float across on inner tubes, giving you a lovely view of the resort and pool areas.

There are several incredible pools and water activities at Aulani including two water slides, an infinity pool for adults only, private snorkeling at the Rainbow reef, and the Menehune Bridge- a kid friendly interactive splash area that will ensure hours of fun for your little ones. There is also the fun Shake-a-Shaka pool party with Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy that we very much enjoyed. And then there’s my favorite part of the resort..the incredible beach!

If I were to close my eyes and imagine what paradise would look like…this would be it! The palm trees swaying in the gentle wind, the gorgeous blue waters of the pacific and the calm waves of the ocean make this the most fantastic beach setting I have ever seen!

When it comes to dining, there are plenty of delicious options to choose from. Aulani offers quick service style dining at the Ulu Cafe, similar to what you would find at the Disney World resorts. Along with fine dining options featuring fantastic meal choices with exquisite ocean views.

If you and your significant other wish to have a romantic dining experience away from the keiki (little ones), feel free to check out the incredible kids club called Auntie’s Beach house. With loads of fun activities, a movie room, and special Disney character appearances, your kids can have a great time while you enjoy dinner and take in a beautiful sunset.

Aulani also offers a fun filled breakfast buffet with “Auntie” and some of your favorite Disney characters, complete with Mickey waffles and all your favorite breakfast items. We also loved the adorable refillable mugs for purchase, never leaving us thirsty and allowing us to keep a special Disney souvenir to take home.

There are so many amazing things Aulani has to offer. There is truly something for everyone! I spent most of my time on the beach and at the pool so I did not have the opportunity to experience everything there is to see and do, which gives us a great reason to go back!

When I return I am most excited and looking forward to the brand new Luau experience called Ka Wa’a, an enchanting journey through Hawaiian history. I also plan on making my reservations to be pampered at the award winning Laniwai Spa- meaning “Fresh water heaven”. And we can’t wait to meet the beautiful Moana and hear all about her adventures along side our favorite Demigod Maui!

When planning your trip to Aulani, be sure to check out the Daily ‘Iwa, a daily calendar of events and activities for you and your family to enjoy! I cannot tell you enough how incredible this resort is. With its magnificent views, world class service, incredible pools and beach, delicious dining, rich Hawaiian culture, and so much more… Aulani is absolute paradise!

Our trip to Aulani was a truly unforgettable experience. If your family is looking for a spectacular, fun-filled, relaxing, picture perfect vacation with a touch of Disney magic, Aulani is definitely the place for you! I know my family will be returning to Aulani again and again and again!

As they say in Hawaiian… E Komo Mai! (Welcome home) and Mahalo for reading!

[Some Photos: Disney]

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