Aulani Hawaii
Photo by Peter Lee
By Dani LeCompte

Is Aulani right for kids? Sure, it’s a Disney Resort but, there isn’t an amusement park attached to it! Will they still enjoy it???  YES!!!!!!!!!

 

All right, let’s get to the good stuff. Aulani in a word = AWESOME! OK, not really, it actually means “the place that speaks for the great ones” Which is beautiful but, for us… it was awesome! The pictures just don’t do it justice. From the moment you arrive you are surrounded by the beauty and detail that only Disney can provide. We were greeted by Aulani Cast Members, the first-rate service you expect from Disney was certainly present here. We were given leis and escorted into the “lobby”(I feel that is such a lame and inadequate word) The “lobby” is gorgeous, with rich wood, open doors to let the trade winds welcome you, beautiful murals and their compass rose. You are given a Daily ‘IWA (daily newsletter) giving you all the information you need. With Activity options and times, you don’t want to miss a thing! While you are busy checking in there is a children’s waiting room with a TV and Hawaiian artifacts they can admire. You might even see a Menehune. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for Hidden Mickey’s.

Our guest room was fabulous! Tropical colors blended together with perfection. Nice and spacious, with a Flat Panel TV, DVD Player, Mini Fridge and Laptop hook-up station. Our balcony had breathtaking views of the Ocean, Beach and Waikolohe Valley. After exploring for a bit, we headed out to the Lazy River, enjoyed the water slides, lounged by the pool and watched the kids playing on MENEHUNE Bridge. They also do pool time activites to get everyone involved. I can’t imagine anything better than lounging by the pool in the afternoon. All pool and water areas were extremely clean and very safe. Plenty of Life Guards on duty to watch over everyone!

We also spotted a few familair faces. A Disney Resort wouldn’t be complete without Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Stitch and occasionally the Chipmunks ( I was sad that Pluto wasn’t here but, Mickey & Minnie are on vacation. They told us that Lilo was still in school). These friends do Meet & Greets, some will make appearances at “Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration” – is a buffet and can get pretty loud but the kids always love Character Dining! The young and young at heart can share adventures together on the Menehune Adventure Trail (similar to a scavenger hunt). Menehune are shy folk who come out mostly at night. They are said to be gifted, possibly magical, craftspeople and if you come across a work-in-progress bridge or canoe (as you just might, when visiting Aulani), chances are it’s the work of the Menehune. The Menehune are scattered through out the resort and your kids will spend hours trying to count them all! If you want a quiet night alone, the kids can play at Aunty’s Beach House. Aunty’s Beach House is a Kids Club where they are closely monitored to ensure safety while having access to a play ground, arts and crafts, visits by Disney Characters, Movies and Dress-Up’s. Ages 3- 12 are all welcome, although your child must be potty trained!

We ate at AMA AMA, which is an upscale intimate restaurant. I will say my only let down with this resort was the cost of food, but I should have known better— we were in Hawaii & at a Disney resort and the cost was bound to be high. Luckily the the atmosphere made up for it! Disney is aware that they have had some complaints where food is concerned; they are addressing that and were adding a quick service option featuring Hamburgers, Corn Dogs and Ice Cream.

If I had to pick the best part of our trip, I would go with the SPA! Laniwai Spa was absolute bliss!!! You can take a tour of the spa, we had booked the Pili Aloha Couples Package in advance. It was worth every penny, with access to Kula Wai.

The only outdoor hydrotherapy garden on Oʻahu. It offers private vitality pools, co-ed mineral baths, 6 different “rain” showers, and whirlpool jet spas. As if that wasn’t enough, our treatment was a body exfoliation (which they mix especially for you), a massage and facial. I felt like I was floating on air!!! Painted Sky is the only Teen Spa on the island. Your teens can enjoy Manicures, Pedicures,TV, Video Games, and a Frozen Yogurt Stand!

The next day we snorkeled at Rainbow Reef. If you are nervous about your children, snorkeling in the ocean than this is the perfect alternative.  They can see beautiful tropical fish while a you take pictures and there is a Life Guard on watch! We also enjoyed the Makai Preserve. In the conservation pool, we encountered stingrays and learned all about the rays and their individual personalities. The marine biologists have trained them and talk to them like they’re kids. It was an amazing experience. All proceeds support Hawaiian research and conservation efforts.

I know I just keep going, but there was so much to see and do! Make sure you check out the pictures. Really the only option is for you to see it for yourself… until then Aloha and Mahalo!!!

Dani LeCompte works for Mouseketrips and blogs at danidisneyblog.com.

https://greatfamilyvacationdestinations.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/aulani hawaii.jpghttps://greatfamilyvacationdestinations.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/aulani hawaii-150x150.jpggreatfamilyHawaii Travel - Family Vacations in HIaulani,Disney,HawaiiBy Dani LeCompte Is Aulani right for kids? Sure, it's a Disney Resort but, there isn't an amusement park attached to it! Will they still enjoy it???  YES!!!!!!!!!   All right, let's get to the good stuff. Aulani in a word = AWESOME! OK, not really, it actually means...Family Travel Ideas and Deals