"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."
- Mark Twain
Ohana means family, and everyone at Aulani truly knows how to make you feel like part of their ohana.
Upon arrival, you're greeted with big smiles and the traditional lei. Once in the lobby, the beautiful high ceilings and artwork are a sight to behold. "As guests enter, they are flanked by a ki'i representing masculinity on the right, and a ki'i representing femininity on the left." "A third piece, topped with the image of the 'io, or Hawaiian hawk, represents the many generations of Hawaiian people who descended from these ancestors. (disneyaulaninews.com)
The rooms are gorgeous and highlight the Hawaiian culture in big and small ways, from the lamps made with the same lava stone as the Pohaku ku'i 'ai (poi pounders), to the rugs featuring taro leaves typical of Hawai'i. The "rooms are angled and views include ocean and partial-ocean, poolside garden, island garden, and standard". (disneyaulaninews.com)
The concept of femininity and masculinity are echoed throughout the resort, with a mural of goddess Hina on the outside of one building, and a mural of demi-god Maui on the other.
The word Laniwai means "freshwater heaven". As Lucia Rodriguez, Spa Director, explained, Laniwai features 15 treatment rooms, each with a name inspired by rainbows, a full service salon and fitness center, and a hydrotherapy garden.
If you're getting a spa treatment, plan on enjoying the Kula Wai Hydrotherapy Garden. "The 5,000-square-foot garden retreat offers pampering amenities, including private vitality pools, a reflexology path, six rain-style showers, whirlpool jet spas and a lounge area with a menu of healthy snacks". (disneyaulaninews.com). Ask for a menu as you come in and enjoy lunch in the garden. You won't be sorry.
There are plenty of dining options at Aulani.
If you want a quick bite, visit the Ulu Café. They offer fast service and plenty of options. Quick tip: buy the Aulani refillable mug when you arrive, and you will be able to reuse it throughout your stay (excludes alcoholic drinks).
You can't miss the Disney Character Breakfast at Makahiki. The buffet is amazing, and who can say no to Mickey-shaped pancakes? The best part: Mickey and Minney come by to say "Aloha!" to all the guests!
For a beautiful dining experience, visit 'AMA'AMA, the resort's signature restaurant, located just steps away from the beach. Their menu consists of Contemporary Island cooking made with fresh local ingredients. Make dinner reservations and enjoy a stunning sunset worthy of a movie scene.
Pick up The Daily 'Iwa, the resort newsletter, for a list of daily activities and entertainment offered at the resort for guests of all ages. Just a few of your options are:
Aunty's Beach House
A "5,200-square-foot, state-of-the-art kids club designed to entertain and delight". (disneyaulaninews.com) Kids, 3-12 yrs, can become part of Aunty's extended ohana, while parents relax and enjoy some alone-time.
Stop by from 8-9:30 for the open house, and register your kids online (at least 2 but no more than 90 days ahead of time) to save time.
Children with special needs are accepted on a case by case basis.
Mo'Olelo Fire Pit Storytelling with Uncle and Moana
Learn about Hawaii's legend and lore as you listen to master storyteller, Uncle, with his special guest, Moana, Disney's newest heroine. The entire family will be mesmerized "as the stories come to life with magical effects". (disneyaulaninews.com)
Island Excursions: Gold Coast Catamaran Experience
Sail aboard a 53-foot catamaran and enjoy an exciting adventure with Hawaii Nautical! During the shuttle ride to the beach, Adventure Guides will regale visitors with fun facts about Hawai'i flora, fauna, and folklore! Once aboard the catamaran, a lunch will be served. Bring your swimsuits and jump in the water for some snorkeling, or simply enjoy the tranquil view of Oahu's Leeward Coast.
Other adventures offered include horseback riding, kayaking through protected inlets, and more.
KA WA'A - A Lu'au at Aulani
If you're visiting Aulani you simply cannot miss their new and exciting KA WA'A luau! Disney incorporates Hawai'i tradition, music, and storytelling to create an unforgettable show that will move and inspire you.
"KA WA'A or "the canoe," symbolizes the incredible journey across the ocean by the Hawaiian people--from ancient times to the present day." (disneyaulaninews.com)
Before the luau, Disney cast members will teach you and your little ones the art of lei making, ku'i kalo (taro pounding), kāpala (printing), and the hula kahiko, a traditional Hawaiian dance.
Guest will also enjoy a veritable feast of traditional foods and lively music.
For your next family vacation, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Hawai'i, should definitely be at the top of your list!
For more information, visit DisneyAulani.com