Aloha! Is there anything that Disney doesn’t do perfectly? We took a family trip to the Aulani Resort at Ko’Olina with ages ranging from 18 to 52, and discovered that the magic exists outside of the Florida and California resorts.
1. IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS
From the moment we stepped out of the car, Aulani was a luxury experience. We were greeted with lei’s and fruit infused waters. We had a personal vacation assistant who walked us through the cultural influences of the resort. The resort itself is beautiful, it has elements of Hawaiian culture and touches of Disney combined throughout. Hint: Check for the hidden menehune in lieu of hidden Mickey’s. Everything from the seating to the rafters incorporate some sort of Hawaiian culture. The resort does a great job seamlessly mixing everyone’s favorite characters with a bit of magic already part of the island.
We went to Aulani to celebrate my younger sister graduating from college, and waiting in our room was a celebratory treat for the family to enjoy. This extra touch started our vacation off on the best note. After a long flight nothing seemed more refreshing than those cold strawberries covered in chocolate. The Cast Members at Aulani truly went above and beyond to make sure that we felt like part of the family.
2. RELAX AND RECHARGE
Lazy river floats after dinner, snorkeling in a private reef, sun bathing on the resort beach, jumping waves in crystal water; what could possibly be better than that? Aulani has made it possible to stay on the resort and want for nothing. You can spend your entire vacation enjoying the perks of the resort without ever stepping foot off the property.
I splurged on a spa day at Laniwai Spa inside the resort and treated myself to a hot stone massage. I enjoyed the most relaxing morning being pampered in the way only Disney could accomplish. Arriving early for your appointment ensures ample time to enjoy the hot tubs and saunas to relax inside the spa. A relaxation room also provides infused water, and light treats. I had more infused water during this vacation than I’d ever had before, and I regret nothing!
One of my favorite parts of our time on the Resort was the character breakfast at Makahiki. The characters came around to the tables, and they sang and danced their way through the buffet style breakfast. It was relaxing, entertaining, and an overall great experience with the family.
For the explorers out there, Aulani offers many off property views and excursions. One evening, my friend and I hiked away from the resort, and discovered a beautiful rocky lookout over the ocean. It was one of the best views I got the entire trip. It was a quiet stretch of rocks that was uninhabited by other tourists. Don’t forget that there is plenty to see outside of the resort!
The resort also helps you plan other excursions with third party companies. We chose to go see the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor which was an emotional and eye opening experience. I also opted to go scuba diving in search of sea turtles. I was not disappointed, I was also pleased to discover that a wetsuit was not necessary. There are endless amounts of excursions to choose from to meet everyone’s needs and age range.
Disney has created the best vacation experience by combining culture, relaxation, and fun for all ages. That’s what they do best. Aulani is a fantastic vacation experience, and I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to visit the beautiful island and enjoy the beauty of Disney’s Aulani Resort.