From the minute we arrived at this resort we knew we were in for a treat.
1st Tip: check in is at 4pm! We arrived at 11am.So try to arrive as close to 4pm as possible.
When we first arrived it was very overwhelming.The resort is HUGE, with so much going on at any given time.When we finally got into our room ( we had a pool view villa on level L which was very convenient), we found it to be surprisingly spacious ( after our shoebox size room at Hyatt in Maui).we had our own kitchen,dining table,laundry,spa bath and 2 balconies, oh and plenty on cupboard space!! The Disney side of it is not overdone at all, the rooms are very tastefully decorated and get cleaned daily.Our dishes were even washed and stacked for us, and there is a turn down service at night if you have a rollaway bed which we did.
Every day there is a newsletter called "The Daily Iwa".It lists all the activities that are happening around the resort that day and it is broken down into categories .OHANA ( family)KEIKI (children)& OPIO(youth).
Tip no 2: "The Daily Ewa" is available from 10 pm the night before and it is advisable to get it then,as the activities at Aunty's Beach House ( kids club) fill up very quickly.My husband lined up outside the kids club every day at 8 am with all the other dads,just to put the kids names down for that days activities.
Tip No 3: Some activities are booked out months in advance .( I kid u not!!).so when you book your stay at Aulani,ask for the paid activities that will be on during your time there,and book them.
My son was obsessed with Aunty's Beach House.We would drop him at 9am and would pick him up at 9pm. He would have slept there if he could!he became like part of the furniture.The staff are very professional .The children get tagged with hospital style bracelets upon entry and de-tagged upon exiting the club.If,like us, you did not have an American cell phone,they provided you with one so that you could keep in contact with them.Aunty's Beach House was unbelievable,very professionally run, with activities galore ! Only one issue we had was that the OPIO ( youth) activities start from age 13, and my eldest son is 11, so the KEIKI ( children's) activities were a bit boring for him. But he was kept very busy in the Rainbow Reef pool.A man-made aquarium where you can swim and snorkel with the tropical fish.It is cheaper to buy a pass for the duration of your stay then individual days.
Tip No 4: you can buy refillable flasks(mugs) for $20 each,which you can refill at any time with drinks of your choice, including soda's,hot chocolate and coffee . There are mug washing stations as well.it works out way cheaper to buy these then paying for drinks every day.
Tip No.5: Your room entry card is also a Charge Card! Make sure when u get given your cards at check-in that the Adults cards are the only cards allowed to make purchases on, otherwise the kids will be buying Shave Ice all day!!
There are no shortages of restaurants here.AMA AMA is great for breakfast or dinner with a beautiful view over the ocean. We booked a character breakfast on our first day there at MAKAHIKI, which although very pricey, was loads of fun!
There are plenty of restaurants around the pool areas for snacks and light meals.
If you are looking for other options, your best bet is to walk outside the hotel and down the road to the strip mall. There are a few restaurants and shops here. Notably the coffee shop which sells a very healthy and tasty ACAI berry bowl which I had for breakfast every day. The coffee is good too. The ABC store is very well stocked with everything you need if you don't want to pay resort prices for your food. Fresh fruit & veg,salads,even a make your own salad bar.
There is also a pizza restaurant which was delicious.
Back at the resort, if you want to spoil yourself, go to the Spa!
Whilst it is expensive, it is worth every cent just to experience it.
Tip No.6: Be warned : when you go to pay for your treatment, they automatically add on 20 percent gratuity. You DO NOT have to pay that much and they can override it !
In the resort there is also a store that sells Disney merchandise if you are into that sort of thing.We found a lot more variety at the Disney Store at the Ala Moana shopping centre in Honolulu.
There are no shortage of activities here! The water slides are fantastic and the lazy river is great. In order to go on all the rides, you need to collect a wristband from the towel counter every day. We left all of ours on so by the time we left we had 5 different coloured bands on our wrists.My boys still have them on, 2 weeks later.
Menehune bridge is the children's water play area. If you have young kids,this is where you should sit. ( mad rush in the morning to secure your lounge chairs). This play area is like a fort with water cascading everywhere, every 5 minutes a horn sounds and water comes rushing out of an upturned boat. It's simply unbelievable the effort that has gone into these pool areas.
As if this wasn't enough, there is also a magnificent beach. Here you can do all sorts of water and beach activities.equipment can be hired from Makiki Joe's beach rentals. My eldest son played beach volleyball every day and you can also swim out to, and jump off, pontoons in the water.
The resort is not over run with Disney Characters. There are special times during the day when you can line up on the Halawai Lawn to meet Donald & Daisy Duck,Minnie & Mickey, Chip & Dale etc.
I specially arrived at Aulani on Dec 31 thinking New Years Eve would be a fabulous experience here for the kids. I couldn't have been more wrong. There was a dinner you could book for in advance which we were not told about at the time of booking, but I heard afterwards that it was a disaster anyway. We ate a lovely meal at AMA AMA and the kids went to Aunty's Beach House which was open until 11pm. By which time they were exhausted and there was no way I was waiting around on the beach with thousands of other people,until the 12pm fireworks display which only lasted 10 min anyway. We ended up watching the fireworks from the comfort of our villa .
In saying that, WE WILL BE BACK!! Maybe not for 6 days, 3-4 days is more then enough here.Well Done Aulani on Wonderful Service, brilliant activities & a fabulous holiday !!!
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- Also Known As:
- Aulani, a Disney Resort And Spa In Hawai`i
- Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa In Hawai`i Hotel Kapolei
- Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Hawaii/Oahu