🌴DISNEY AULANI REVIEW 🌴
Finally ya’ll I have a second to sit down + recap my amazing trip to Disney Aulani Resort & Spa! ICYMI – Mike + I headed to Aulani at the beginning of February to celebrate my birthday, our anniversary and then…he PROPOSED! Yay! Our full engagement story is already live on the blog HERE so this post is all about our experience at Aulani, what to do, what to explore, where to eat + MORE!
Let me first start by saying our trip to Disney Aulani was one of the BEST trips we’ve ever been on (and it’s not just because we got engaged there hehe :p) We both had never to anywhere tropical for a vacation so we may be slightly biased in saying Hawaii itself is stunning + magical but hey I’m saying it haha From the moment we landed at the airport we could sense we landed in paradise.
Where to start…let’s kick it off with the rooms + overall look + feel of the resort!
We splurged and got an ocean view room + it was definitely worth the extra spend. Our view was looking out towards the ocean and then over the resort where you can see the pools, lazy river + more. If you want 100% only ocean view that is a major splurge and reserved just for 3 bed suites I believe and can cost a lot but if you are a big family traveling that may be a great option for you.
Our room had two queen beds, patio, gorgeous bathroom and plenty of closet and storage space. While you spend most of your time out and around the resort I loved the room to rest my head at night + housekeeping made it every bit magical with chocolates, flowers to put in your hair, a Lei upon arrival + more!
One of the things I loved most about Disney Aulani is their gorgeous private beach…you can go out to the beach, watch the sunrise and sunset, do yoga on the beach, parasail, play games + so much more. It’s only open to resort guests and it is absolutely stunning, I’ve never seen such clear ocean and beautiful sand. You can go to the beach anytime you want and there are lounge chairs, umbrellas, etc. There’s a snack stand down by the beach and you can bring food and drink down to the beach as well! (on the beach is where Mike proposed to me at sunset on my birthday hehe :p)
The Pools, Slides + Resort Activities
This trip was very different from our normal vacations which are usually to Disney World racing to the theme parks to get on the most rides as possible. This trip was all about rest + relaxation! There are multiple pools and jacuzzi’s on property, some for families + there are a few adult only ones as well so don’t worry even if you travel to Aulani without kids there are plenty of places to go that are relaxing and quiet away from child friendly areas.
Aulani has two fun water slides, one you go down with a raft and the other one you go down on your own. Both are super fun and there aren’t any lines like when you go to a water park which is a total plus! I love all the pools and my favorite is the lazy river, grab a raft and just go around all day, it’s heaven!
Everyday there are fun activities you can participate in around the resort whether at the kids club like make your own Minnie Ears or view the stars on the beach or snorkel in the rainbow reef…the options are endless. They are outside your normal resort rate but there are other ones you can join like the night time Luau or fireside story time or musical performances, there’s a ton to experience around the resort for kids + adults.
One of my favorite parts of Aulani is all the amazing food. The resort has plenty of quick serve dining options along with sit down character dining options fun for families! For my birthday we headed to character dinner at Makahiki where they had traditional American dishes like Mickey shaped desserts, mac & cheese etc but they also had traditional Hawaiin dishes which were awesome to try. If you are interested in character breakfast or dinner at Makahiki I recommend booking ahead of time by calling the resort since reservations fill up fast.
Around the resort there were a bunch of quick serve snack stops that had sushi, American food, BBQ + more and plenty of bars and refreshing treats. One of my favorites what the snow cone shop next to the water slides where you can pick multiple flavors and even get a Mickey shaped snow cone….gotta do it for the gram!
As with every Disney destination, Aulani has some amazing merch! If you are anything like me you are a huge fan of ears, Loungefly backpacks, Spirit Jerseys + Pandora charms so what is awesome about Aulani is that they have so many EXCLUSIVE merch items you can only get at the resort so you know I stocked up! I love their ears because they are Hawaii themed with Plumeria flowers and tropical colors like coral + purple. They have Loungefly backpacks with palm print designs, Pandora charms with Minnie on vacation + so much more. Definitely save up to grab some Aulani exclusive merch while you visit – you won’t regret it.
OK, this was my FAVORITE part of Aulani…the Laniwai Spa! I have been to a TON of spas at the various Disney Resorts in California + Florida + even Disney Cruiseline, but hands down my favorite spa is the Laniwai Spa at Aulani. The spa itself is STUNNING. The relaxation room filled with yummy snacks is pure bliss, the staff is beyond sweet, the amenities are to die for + the services are top notch. The spa was hands down the best part of the trip besides getting engaged of course. I loved it so much I went back a few times throughout the trip to get services. I got a pedicure, body treatment, facial + massage…they were all equally worth the price tag. I am going to say be prepared and save up as this is the most expensive Disney spa I’ve ever been to and they don’t offer any discounts (I am a Disney Visa card holder so at Disney World or Disney Cruiseline spas I get a discount but not at Aulani).
The price is probably a little more of a splurge because of the amenities the spa has exclusive to spa guests who are getting a service. From 8am-8pm you can take advantage of their multiple jacuzzi’s + pools in a hidden oasis, saunas, rainforest showers, multiple bath salt stations + more!
It wouldn’t be a Disney trip without seeing some of my favorite pals and Aulani has so many fun spots to meet your favorite characters. You can meet your pals at Character Dining options I talked about in the food section but also you can see them throughout the resort at certain locations + times each day.
It’s important to note locations + times you can meet the characters changes day to day so you have to call a number the front desk gives you on the activities sheet each morning and jot down where each character will be and when – also note they switch out the characters so one day you may be able to see Stitch and the next day maybe there will be Goofy. Usually you have a chance to see everyone during your trip + I love their Aulani themed outfits!
If you are contemplating a trip to Aulani I say 100% go for it! You will have the best time + love every second of it!
Have you been to Disney Aulani?
P.S. if you are looking for great merch + styles to bring or shop for Aulani you can check out my Aulani Ready post HERE!