Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa
The great thing about a Disney Cruise is that it really gives everyone a vacation. There is great family time, and there are places just for the kids and relaxing adult experiences. I hear from clients that they want all that the Disney Cruises have to offer they just don’t like sailing. The solution? Aulani, a Disney Resort and spa in Ko’Olina Hawaii. I find all of the things we love about the Disney Cruises are there too - fantastic entertainment, delicious food, fun family activities, and great adult amenities. The wonderful thing about Aulani is that it’s all right there, just like being on the ship. Let me tell you a bit more.
It’s always 80 degrees
It’s not really but the average high year round is in the 80s which means that most days are perfect to play in the ocean or in the pool. This is one advantage of Aulani verses a cruise, there are times of year when the cruises that go out of Miami or Port Canaveral are a little chiller and not great if you are looking to swim and soak up the sun. There is a raining season in Hawaii and Ko Olina sees the most rain in November, December and January. That being said the monthly persipitation is unusually under 4 inches which means although it rains more then, you will still see dry days or many times most of the day will be dry with just a bit of rain. We were just there in November and it rained over night a couple days but during the day it was clear and warm.
There are so many options for playing and relaxing in the water! You can spend the day on the beach playing in the sand and water. The beach in on a cove so the water is calm and great for all ages. At the beach you can rent a paddle board, or grab a snorkel and explore the cove. There are also sand toys to can get to build a castle. In addition to the beach there are pools, pools and more pools. There are a variety of family pools to choose from as well as an adult only pool if you are looking for some quiet time. There is also a lazy river if you want to float around and find the menehune (mythical mischievous little people) hidden throughout the river and the resort. Two slides are also in that area, one that exits into the lazy river.
One of the unique water experiences is the Rainbow Reef where you can snorkel in a salt water lagoon and see tons of colorful fish. This is a great place for first time snorklers to try it. Partly because it’s a small area and the fish are always abundant. This is a paid experience but well worth the cost. And if you have little ones that are not quite ready for snorkeling there are windows where you can see the fish swimming under the water.
The Delicious Food!
Like the Disney Cruise Ships there are some fantastic food options. At Makahiki you can enjoy breakfast with the characters! Of course a Disney resort would not be complete without a little character magic and this is the place. But besides the characters you also can enjoy the music Aunty plays on the ukulele and games she invites the kids to join in on. And the buffet leaves little to be desired, it is full of your favorites and lots of island flavors too. And I can never get enough of the POG (Passion, Orange and Guava juice).
My other favorite place to eat is ‘AMA ‘AMA. I prefer to leave the kids at Aunty’s Beach House (I’ll talk about that next) but kids are also welcome. ‘AMA ‘AMA is an elegant restaurant over looking the ocean. My favorite time to eat there is at sunset, it’s gorgeous. And the food! It’s a foodie’s dream. So many great and unique flavors. The seafood of course is some of the best. Their wine and drink list is also well curated and creative. Do yourself a favor and order a Hanalei by the Bay while you look over the rest of the menu.
The Place Your Kids Won’t Want to Leave
Disney Cruise Line ships have the Oceaneers Club, Aulani has Aunty’s Beach House. This are is open to family’s for an hour in the morning and then it is a kid only play space with an outdoor playground, craft space, interactive gaming area, pretend play area, Disney Junior room and lots of activities provided by the facilitators. My kids LOVED it there. They never wanted to leave. It was great to feel like the kids were enjoying time away from us when we were enjoying the spa and dinner without them. It was also neat to be able to go in and play with the kids there in the morning. One morning my little girl and I did hula lessons there while my husband and son played a board game. Another morning we made leis together.
Beyond Aunties Beach House there are other activities that are hosted in Pau Hana room. There they do ukulele lessons for everyone as well as a variety of art classes. Every night around 7PM the ‘Iwa is printed, this is a schedule of activities for the next day. You can pick this up at the front desk. There was alway more than we could fit it which means we are looking forward to going back!
There is so much more to experience that I haven’t touched on - the spas, the luau, the excursions! I will be covering those in another blog, so stay tuned! But I hope this article gave you a feel for the abundance of what Aulani has to offer. There is so much to see in do in one place. So if cruises aren’t your thing, Aulani may be the perfect vacation to experience a little magic and lots of fun!