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We recently took a vacation to Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii. It was a dream come true kind of vacation! All of the Disney magic combined with all of the Hawaiian relaxation and fun. If you are a family like ours, you must go to Disney’s Aulani! Here are 12 things that you can look forward to when you are there:
Things You Must Do at Disney’s Aulani in Hawaii
Now, I could go on and on (and on and on and ON) about how much we enjoyed our vacation. But, to keep this quick and concise, I’m going to list our favorite activities and describe the magical experience through photos. Just so you know, we went in December and it was about 80 degrees each day. We stayed in a room with a full kitchen, which we highly recommend if you have little ones (going out for every meal with toddlers can be challenging). The activities that I reccomend below are just some of the magical things that you can experience at the hotel. We wish we could have stayed for 2 weeks instead of 1! There is SO much entertainment built into the hotel that it is difficult to pack it all into a one week stay. But we certainly aren’t complaining:) We did as much as we could and enjoyed every second of it.
We highly recommend the Starlit Hui. It’s not a traditional luau, but it is a Hawaiian Disney show with lots of educational arts and crafts. Plus, as you can see, some of your favorite Disney characters will be there to dance the hula with you!
If you go into the Community Hall, you can find movies to rent, lots of coloring and craft activities, and you can learn how to surf with Chip and Dale!
Each and every day there is a pool party! Not just any pool party, a Disney pool party with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and more! Can you tell Stella was having the time of her life?
Oh, and speaking of pools. The resort is packed with gorgeous pools! There are infinity pools, splash pools, and jacuzzis. I was walking back to our seats when I snapped this quick picture of our kids splashing around:
Ok, I should be totally honest. I wasn’t just walking around the pool for my health when I captured the photo above. I was actually on my way back from one of the pool bars with THIS beautiful gem of a mai tai (who knew Mickey made mai tais?)
One day, when we were lounging around, Mickey came and took Stella for a stroll around the resort. It was magical! When you go to Aulani, always be on the look out for your favorite characters. They will treat your children like princes and princesses. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw this photo the day that it happened. It was PRICELESS to see my daughter this happy!
Did you know that Aulani has their own private beach? Yup, with comfy chairs, a full menu with beachside service, paddle boards, kayaks, and complimentary beach toys. We spent hours at the beach! We gave it a 5 star rating for Disney lovin’ families like ourselves:)
When you’re ready to really relax in the water, be sure to hop in a raft and meander around the resort in the lazy river. Just LOOK at this lazy river:
I did not take that photo above (it’s from the Aulani Resort homepage). After all, my camera is the heart of this blog and so I have to keep that baby safe! She stayed back in the room while we lazy river’ed it.
The resort has a private snorkeling lagoon located in the resort. It is breathtaking! Because our kids are so little, we weren’t able to actually snorkel with the fish, but we were able to watch the fish from above! Here you can see us exploring one of the many beautiful koi ponds. There are so many learning opportunities at this resort!
Speaking of learning, I MUST tell you about Auntie’s Beach House. It is a big kid-friendly entertainment area. You can have them watch your kids while you slip away for dinner, or you can visit during family time, like we did. There are educational activities, computers, games, and lots of places to run around! Your kids will want to stay here for hours.
This is my husband Jeff, hanging out at Auntie’s Beach House with Stella:
One of the most memorable parts about Disney’s Aulani were the mischievous Menehune. When your car rolls up on the day you check in, your kids are given a Menehune necklace that describes the funny behavior of these legendary “little people” as they say. There are hundreds of Menehune around the resort and it was hilarious trying to find as many as we could. Some are bigger, some are smaller, but they are all mischievous. Look for them in the hotel lobby, in the restaurants, at the pools, in the lazy river, and even in the elevators. Better yet, go on a high-tech scavenger hunt along the Menehune Adventure trail. It is SO fun!
Let’s talk food people.
I know I already mentioned the poolside bars as well as the full service beachside dining, but there are also several cafes and restaurants at the resort. Since we had our own kitchen, we ended up buying some groceries in the store at the resort, but we also visited the local Target 10 minutes away. When you are ready for a very nice family meal (or check your kids into Auntie’s Beach House and have a romantic dinner), you must go to ‘Ama ‘Ama. It’s definitely the fanciest of all the resort restaurants, which is why we went early with our little ones. Moms and Dads- you know how that goes! The food is authentically Hawaiian with several signature dishes. But, let me just be real for a moment. I almost died over the Mickey sprinkles that were on top of Stella & Mitch’s ice cream!
Finally, be sure to dine with the characters for breakfast! Look who we go to brunch with!
If you’re a coffee lover, like yours truly, just know that Aulani serves thee best Kona coffee in the wee hours of the morning at the Ulu cafe. When you’re vacationing with toddlers, you know you are up early and functioning without coffee is impossible! Throw on your flip flops before the sun even comes out, walk down to the Ulu Cafe in the warm weather, and pick up a cup of Kona coffee that will have you operating at full speed for the rest of the day!
Ok- I’m going to stop there! I could go on and on (and on and on and on) about everything there is to do at Disney’s Aulani! When you go, be sure to experience all of the things I talked about above! You will have the time of your life and you’ll never want to leave:) We’re looking forward to going back next year!
Would you recommend Aulani for a family with teenagers?
It’s hard to say because I don’t have teenagers. But, I do know a family with 2 teenagers and, when asked where they wanted to stay in Hawaii, but teenage boys said Aulani. So, that’s a great sign! I haven’t experienced any of the teenage activities myself, but I’m sure Disney does it right:)
Went to Hawaii back in 2009. Had so much fun. Unfortunately the AULANI Hadnt been built or was under construction. I do remember them building something. I am 63 years old and i want to go back. Thank you Wonderful brother for the best vacation ever. I love you.
I found your blog on Pinterest. We are headed to aulani in five weeks and we cannot wait! We are also bringing our 3.5 year old, so I was happy to see all of the activities your little ones got to enjoy. Just wondering if you did anything out around Oahu. Trying to decide what would be good to do with a 3.5 year old.