In 2011, Disney opened its first resort in Hawaii, the Disney Aulani Resort. It is located on Oahu’s Waianae coast and was built from scratch to combine Disney aspects with the Native Hawaiian culture. It also became the first mixed-use resort the company has ever had; it features hotel rooms and Disney Vacation Club timeshare villas. The standard rooms cost $399 per night, while those with an ocean view go for at least $524. Despite the steep charges, there are many reasons to stay at Disney Aulani Resort, as you shall see below.
1. You Can’t Run Out of Fun Activities
Disney Aulani is the ideal family getaway because everyone’s idea of fun has been catered for by the variety of fun things to do. Anyone who loves scavenger hunts must go on the Menehune Adventure Trail, which is best done at night so that the light and fire special effects make it more memorable. Just because you are on vacation does not mean you have to forego your fitness schedule. Disney Aulani helps you by offering a few fitness activities in the early morning. Children will love the storytelling and the evening meet and greet tours with Disney characters.
2. The Sumptuous Food
Going by the people who reviewed the resort and gave it five stars, the food is to die for at Aulani. As some say, the food is consistently good and easily accessible from wherever you are. It has a wide range of food and drinks to satisfy your palate; in fact, the options at Aulani hardly compare to any other Disney resort or park. You can go for a spicy pork bowl topped with fried onions and an Umami drizzle from Ulu Cafe, and when the temperatures are high, you can cool down with Hawaiian-style shaved ice from Papalua Shave Ice. For an extra dollar, the shaved ice comes with Mickey's ears.
3. Worth Every Penny
Sometimes you deny yourself a few things in life to save for a dream vacation, only to end up in a resort that barely meets your expectations. Luckily, Disney Aulani does not disappoint; it may cost you more than the average hotel room, but when you compare the money you fork out with the services you get in return, you do not feel the pinch. Julie Treimane published on SFGate that she wanted to maximize the time she spent at the resort because although she was spending as much per night as the most expensive hotel in Disneyland, she was getting her money’s worth.
4. The Customer Service
You probably have had the unfortunate experience of being in a hotel where employees take their time before coming to attend to you. Disney Aulani will blow your mind with the staff that is ever eager to lend a hand and ear, going as far as making meaningful conversation. They provide useful information to make your stay worthwhile.
5. The Views
The rooms offer a variety of views, including partial and ocean views and poolside garden, standard and island garden views. According to Adventures by Katie, besides the ocean, you can spot other resort rooms and the adult pool from the balcony of an ocean view room. However, the most beautiful thing to wait for has to be the sunset. The partial view rooms, as the name suggests, only offer a partial view of the ocean. If oceans do not delight you, maybe you can go for the rooms with garden views.
6. Learn about Hawaiian Culture
If the only things you know about Hawaiian culture are from watching “Hawaii Five-0,” and “Magnum P.I,” then you should make a point of visiting Disney Aulani. In 2010 as the resort prepared to open, Ed Fouché, the then-Senior Vice President of Travel and Industry Sales for the Americas said that Walt Disney loves the beauty of Hawaii and its diverse culture. Since Hawaii has tremendously rich stories, Fouché said the company would be honored to help share them in new ways with the resort’s guests. Their goal was to have whoever walks into Disney Aulani feel like they are walking into a play, story, or film, and Joe Rhode, an “Imagineer,” at Disney, helped implement the culture and legends at the resort.
7. Lots of Souvenirs from Gift Shops
No trip is complete until you take a piece of the experience with you, and at Disney Aulani, you will find something that appeals to everyone in the family. It could be a backpack with Minnie’s ears or shirts and dresses with motif patterns on them. Some of the products bear the resort’s logo.
8. Full-Service Spa
Disney does not spare any expense in offering its guests the best spa services at the resort’s Lanawai Spa, which translates to “Heavenly Waters.” Indeed there are heavenly waters because it focuses on healing waters, rituals, and rainbows. You choose a polished stone with an inspirational message to focus on during the spa treatment session. When you book a full-service spa treatment, you can also take advantage of the Kula Wai hydrotherapy garden. No spa treatment is complete without massages, foot rubs, pedicures, and manicures.
9. Complimentary Services
Disney Aulani ensures that they throw in a few things to make your stay more comfortable. According to Disney Aulani, among the many advantages of staying with them include over 30 complimentary services, complimentary kids' club activities, and character experiences. Your children will love these, and if you happen to have teenagers, they will appreciate the complimentary wireless Internet access.
10. Childcare Programs
No matter how much you love your children and want to spend time with them, you will need a few minutes to yourself to get the ultimate experience at Disney Aulani. The resort understands and provides Aunty’s Beach House. According to Seattle Magazine, it is a high-tech, well-designed childcare facility included in the cost of your stay. Kids will enjoy playing videos in the game room, watching films in the movie room, dancing, storytelling, and playing dress-up.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson