Elegant lobby of Aulani Resort with a high vaulted ceiling, ornate hanging lanterns, and Polynesian-inspired decor. Large windows provide a view of tropical landscaping outside, and the space is furnished with comfortable seating areas.

Is Aulani Worth It? A Review of Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii- 2024

🌺 Aloha, fellow Disney lover! If you’re anything like me, the mere mention of Disney fills your heart with joy and excitement!

And now, imagine combining that magic with the allure of the Hawaiian islands – sounds like a dream come true, right? That’s exactly what Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii offers.

As someone who lives and breathes all things Disney, I couldn’t resist the call of this tropical oasis infused with the magic of Disney! But now, the big question looms: Is Aulani truly worth it?

I’m super excited to share with you my firsthand experience, favorite moments, and honest insights.

Whether you’re a die-hard Disney fanatic, a beach lover, or simply seeking a magical escape, this review of Disney Aulani Resort aims to uncover whether Aulani lives up to the Disney hype and the allure of Hawaiian paradise.

So, let’s dive in and answer the question that’s on everyone’s mind- Is Disney Aulani worth it?

Pssst…..I’m also a travel agent who specializes in Disney Destinations, so contact me and I can help plan and book your Hawaiian or Aulani vacation.

Disney Aulani Location

Disney Aulani Resort is located on the island of Oahu in the state of Hawaii. It is specifically situated in the Ko Olina area.

Ko Olina is a picturesque area on the western coast of Oahu, about a 30-40 minute drive from the bustling city of Honolulu. It is known for its beautiful beaches, calm lagoons, and upscale resort properties.

A map of Ko Olina showing all the resorts and the walkable path connecting them.

This location offers a perfect blend of tranquility and convenience, allowing guests to enjoy the peacefulness of the Hawaiian coast while still being relatively close to everything Oahu has to offer.

Theming

The theming at Disney Aulani Resort is like stepping into a captivating blend of Hawaiian paradise and Disney enchantment. 🌺 ✨

From the moment you arrive, you’re greeted by a world that beautifully merges the rich heritage of Hawaii with the whimsy of Disney storytelling.

The resort’s design feels like a heartfelt tribute to Hawaiian culture, with intricate details inspired by traditional architecture, art, and nature. It’s as if every corner echoes the spirit of “aloha,” creating a genuine connection to the local way of life.

Interior of Aulani Resort showcasing traditional Polynesian wooden carvings standing in the lobby, with a colorful mural depicting Hawaiian culture in the background, and natural stone architecture surrounding the scene.

Walking into the lobby at Aulani, I was overwhelmed by its beauty, grandeur, and at the same time the peacefulness this resort gives off!

After just checking out of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach, this resort gave off a totally different vibe. I absolutely loved the Hilton too, but this resort has a completely different personality and is on a whole other level!

Elegant lobby of Aulani Resort with a high vaulted ceiling, ornate hanging lanterns, and Polynesian-inspired decor. Large windows provide a view of tropical landscaping outside, and the space is furnished with comfortable seating areas.

I knew right away that I made the right decision by booking Aulani. The price of Aulani was high, but I could tell right away it was going to be worth every penny!

As I always say, nobody does it like Disney! And this definitely rings true for Aulani too!

If I were to compare this resort to another Disney Resort, I would say it compares most similarly to a cross between Animal Kingdom Lodge and Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World.

Rooms & Suites

Disney Aulani Resort offers a wide variety of luxurious accommodations for its guests. Each accommodation type embraces the resort’s Hawaiian-inspired aesthetic while providing a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.

Here’s an overview of the rooms and suites at Aulani:

Close-up of a hand holding an Aulani Resort room key card, which features the Aulani logo against a blue sky and ocean backdrop.

Standard Rooms

The Standard Rooms at Aulani sleep up to 4 guests and are designed for convenience and comfort, featuring plush bedding, modern amenities, and tasteful Hawaiian decor. Depending on the view category you choose, you might enjoy the sights of the lush gardens, the sparkling ocean, or the enchanting resort surroundings.

1 Bedroom Suite

The 1 Bedroom Suite sleeps up to 5 guests. It includes 1 king bed in the master bedroom, 1 queen-size sleeper sofa, and 1 twin-size pull-down bed in the parlor. It has 1.5 half bathrooms, a kitchenette, and a private porch or balcony.

Signature 1 Bedroom Suite

The Signature 1 Bedroom Suite also sleeps up to 5 guests. It includes 1 king bed in the master bedroom. In the parlor is 1 queen bed and 1 sleeper chair. It has a private porch or balcony and with the Signature Suite, you get 2 full bathrooms and a full kitchen.

Signature 2 Bedroom Suite

The spacious Signature 2 Bedroom Suite is over 1900 square feet and sleeps up to 6 guests. It has 1 king bed in the master bedroom and 1 queen bed and a queen sleeper sofa in the second bedroom. It has 3 full bathrooms, a full kitchen, a butler’s pantry, and a private porch or balcony.

Villas

The Disney Vacation Club Villas give you even more space and flexibility, which is perfect if you’re traveling with a bigger group or if you want to have a longer stay. It’s like having your little vacation home right in the heart of Aulani Resort.

Plus, if you’re staying in the 1,2, or 3-bedroom villas, they offer a washer and dryer which is super nice on vacation!

Deluxe Studios

The Deluxe Studios at Aulani sleeps up to 4 guests. The difference between the Standard-Size Room and the Studio is that the Studio has a kitchenette. Besides having a small refrigerator, coffee maker, and tea service, the kitchenette also includes a microwave, toaster, and bar sink.

One-Bedroom Villas

One-bedroom Villas are ideal for families or groups who want a bit more space to spread out. These accommodations sleep up to 5 guests and feature a separate bedroom with a king-size bed, a living room with a queen-size sleeper sofa and a pull-down twin-size bed, and a fully equipped kitchen. The villa also has a washer and dryer and a private balcony/ patio to enjoy the outdoors.

Two-Bedroom Villas

Two-bedroom Villas offer even more space, making them perfect for larger families or groups. They sleep up to 9 guests! These accommodations include two separate bedrooms, a spacious living and dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and 2.5 bathrooms. The master bedroom features a king-size bed, while the second bedroom includes two queen-size beds. These villas also feature a washer/dryer and a private balcony/patio.

Three-Bedroom Grand Villas

For those seeking the ultimate in space and luxury, the Three-Bedroom Grand Villas are an excellent choice. These expansive accommodations have over 2,100 square feet and can comfortably accommodate up to 12 guests! They include three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a gourmet kitchen, a dining room, a large living area, and a private balcony/patio. A washer and dryer are also provided for your convenience.

Disney Aulani Review of Our 1 Bedroom Villa

My family of 5 stayed in the One-Bedroom Villa during our stay.

Upon walking in I was first amazed by the spaciousness of the villa and the beautiful island-themed aesthetics.

On the left was the kitchen area and to the right was the spacious bathroom.

The kitchen had a full-size refrigerator, stove, oven, full sets of dishes and glasses, microwave, and dishwasher. Next to the kitchen was a dining room table perfect for our needs.

The kitchen and dining area of a one-bedroom villa at Aulani, featuring warm wood cabinetry, modern appliances, a spacious dining table with patterned bench seating, and elegant lighting above.

In the living area was a queen-sized sleeper sofa and a couple of chairs. Below the tv, was a pull-down twin-size bed for that 5th sleeper.

A cozy living room within a one-bedroom villa at Aulani, featuring a plush sofa with vibrant cushions, a matching armchair, a large flat-screen TV displaying a welcome message, tropical-themed artwork, and warm lighting creating an inviting ambiance.

Private Balcony/Lanai

I was amazed to see we had 2 private balconies! The living area had a balcony and the master bedroom had its own balcony.

View from a balcony at Aulani Resort overlooking lush tropical landscaping, with palm trees and the lazy river.

Master Bedroom

I really enjoyed the private balcony my husband and I had off the master bedroom. We had a lazy river view room and it was nice to look out and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the pool and resort area. I enjoyed watching the rest of the family go down the lazy river while I relaxed in the room.

Kim stands smiling on the balcony of her villa at Aulani, dressed in a pink top and cream shorts, with a 'Happy Birthday' button. Behind her is a scenic view of the resort's pool area and lazy river, with the striking architecture of Aulani in the backdrop.

The master bedroom was also very spacious and it had its own entrance to the bathroom.

The bedroom of a one-bedroom villa at Aulani, displaying a large bed with a geometric-patterned cover, flanked by nightstands with warm lamps, against a mustard-colored wall adorned with Hawaiian-themed art and a wooden writing desk beside the window.

Also, in the Master Bedroom was the adorable lamp featuring Hawaiian Mickey holding a ukulele. They sell these lamps in Aulani’s Gift Shop and you can get them to ship them to your home.

A whimsical table lamp base featuring a carved wooden Mickey Mouse holding a ukulele, with a 'Happy Birthday' pin for Kim.

Washer/Dryer

What I really liked about this villa was having a washer and dryer. Well, I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it like a fun activity, because who enjoys doing laundry, right? 🤪 But having the washer/dryer halfway through our Hawaiian vacation gave us the ability to wash all our clothes and have them nice and clean before boarding the plane for our next stop in Maui.

Check out my TikTok video here to get a glimpse into our 1 Bedroom Villa at Aulani!

Pool Area

Let me just say the pool area at Aulani is AMAZING!! There are no words to describe just how amazing it is!!

In fact, I think Disney’s Aulani Resort has to have one of the best resort pool areas I have ever seen!! And I travel a lot!!

You’ll get your first peek into the gorgeous Waikohohe Valley pool area when you first step foot in Aulani’s lobby. The pool area is the center of the property and it really shines from every angle of the resort.

And what’s great about Aulani’s pool area is that all of the resort’s pools are together. There’s no having to go from one side of the resort to another like it is at a lot of resorts.

NOTE: Wristbands are required for hotel guests to access the pool area. The wristband colors are changed every day to prevent non-hotel guests from utilizing the pools.

So, now let’s talk about the amazing offerings at the Aulani pool area:

Waikolohe Stream

My favorite part of the Disney Aulani pool area is the Waikolohe Stream. Waikolohe Stream is the lazy river at Aulani that is surrounded by lush greenery and the soothing sounds of waterfalls.

Scenic view of the Aulani Resort pool area, with guests enjoying the water amidst lush tropical vegetation. The resort's distinctive architecture looms in the background, with palm trees and clear skies.

Floating along the Waikolohe Stream is like taking a relaxing journey through a tropical paradise. You grab an inflatable tube (single tubes or double tubes), settle in, and let the gentle current carry you along.

Ethan relaxes on a yellow inner tube floating down the lazy river at Aulani Resort.

But what makes this lazy river different from other lazy rivers is the fun hidden gems along the way. You’ll encounter many water features on this lazy river that add an extra touch of excitement. Imagine steering through little sprays of water, caverns, and waterfalls that make you laugh and smile.

Waterslides

Aulani Resort offers two exciting waterslides that promise a splash of adventure and fun.

Let’s take a closer look at each of them:

Volcanic Vertical: The Volcanic Vertical waterslide at Aulani Resort is a thrilling tunnel body slide that will get your heart pumping. Imagine standing at the top of a volcano-themed slide, ready to plunge down its twisting path.

Tubestone Curl: The Tubestone Curl is a tubing waterslide adventure with lots of twists, turns, and surprises. It will land you into the Waikolohe Stream (lazy river). You can ride this solo or on a double tube.

Waikolohe Pool

Waikolohe Pool is an 8,200-square-foot, zero-entry pool. This pool is great for swimming, splashing around, and having an amazing time.

Waikolohe Pool is also where you’ll find the exciting Shake-A-Shaka Pool Party. At this pool party, there will be games, dancing, music, and even Disney characters!

Tranquil early morning scene at Aulani Resort's outdoor pool area, with crystal clear waters, a rock cave structure, and lush tropical plants.

Menehune Bridge

Menehune Bridge is the kid’s play area full of water fun at Aulani Resort. It’s designed for kids under 48 inches who want to have a great time splashing and playing in the water.

View of Menehune Bridge at Aulani Resort, a children's water play area with whimsical structures and slides.

At Menehune Bridge, you’ll find a big water playground with slides, fountains, and water jets.

“Menehune” is the name for the mythological species of “little people” in Hawaii who were amazing craftspeople. These “little people” statues are found all throughout Menehune Bridge. Tell your kids to look out for the Menehune and tell them the meaning behind it. It’s a fun way for your kids to learn about Hawaiian culture.

Ka Maka Grotto

Ka Maka Grotto is an infinity-edge pool overlooking Ko Olina Beach. It offers sweeping ocean views and a grotto with a whirlpool spa.

Keiki Cove

Located next to Ka Maka Grotto is Keiki Cove. This is an interactive splash zone with gentle water jets, perfect for the littlest Aulani guests.

Early morning at Aulani Resort, featuring a tranquil splash pad with water gently flowing over its patterned surface, surrounded by tropical plants and palm trees.

Rainbow Reef

Rainbow Reef is a unique offering that Aulani Resort & Spa offers its guests. It’s like a real-life fish tank that you can swim in.

Imagine being able to snorkel and see colorful fish and marine life up close without having to go to the ocean. 🐠 🐟 🤿 For those who are scared of the ocean like me, this is the perfect opportunity to snorkel!

Rainbow Reef at Aulani Resort, a snorkeling pool with a view above and below the water. Above, the pool blends with the resort's landscape, while below, a clear underwater perspective showcases tropical fish in a simulated coral reef environment.

Rainbow Reef is great for both beginners and experienced snorkelers. You can take your time and enjoy the view of the fish and the hidden Menehune.

NOTE: The Rainbow Reef is an additional cost.

Wailana Pool

Wailana Pool is a tension edge pool at Aulani Resort that is away from all the other pools in the main area.

It’s located next to the Wailana Pool Bar, so it’s a great place to grab and drink and relax.

Whirlpool Spas

The are 5 whirlpool spas located in the Aulani pool area.

Two of these whirlpool spas are for adults only. These adult-only infinity-edge whirlpool spas are at ‘Alohi Point. This is the perfect romantic spot while the kids are playing at Aunty’s Beach House.

Private Cabanas

If you’re looking for a touch of luxury and privacy, you can rent a private cabana at Aulani Resort for the day. These cozy retreats offer comfortable seating for up to 7 guests, shade, and exclusive services to make your pool day even more special.

Amenities of a Private Cabana include a flat panel TV, ceiling fan, refrigerator, Wi-Fi access, upgraded furniture, fruit bowl, and bottled water.

Advanced reservations for a Private Cabana at Aulani Resort are required.

Poolside Dining, Snacks, and Drinks

Surrounding the pool area are several convenient dining options, ranging from casual bites to full-service restaurants.

You can enjoy tropical drinks, and Hawaiian-inspired dishes, and even indulge in delicious Mickey Shave Ice to keep you refreshed while enjoying your time at the pool.

Ethan sitting in a louge chair at the pool with a Mickey Mouse shave ice.

And if you happen to forget sunscreen or swimwear, head to The Lava Shack in the pool area. This shop offers snacks, drinks, sunscreen, swimwear, and other merchandise.

The Lava Shack at Aulani Resort nestled in a faux rock structure, decorated with colorful string lights and signage for Coca-Cola and ice cream, offering refreshments and souvenirs to guests.

Beach/Lagoon Area

Imagine a calm and breathtaking beach with clear blue water – that’s the beach lagoon area at Aulani Resort!

Peaceful morning view at Aulani Resort's beach with rows of closed umbrellas and sun loungers facing a calm lagoon, framed by tropical palm trees and a clear sky at sunrise.

This beach area is perfect for enjoying the ocean without big waves. It’s like a shallow and gentle swimming pool. You can wade in the water, build sandcastles, or simply relax on the beach.

Beach chairs, umbrellas, and boogie boards are complimentary for resort guests. Snorkel gear, stand-up paddleboards, and beachside casabellas are available for rent.

Around the beach/lagoon area, you’ll also find Giant Connect 4 games and a ping pong table.

A vibrant outdoor play area at Aulani Resort featuring oversized connect-four games on a lush green lawn.

And when you want a little snack on the beach, Little ‘Opihi’s is your spot. Here is where you can get your Dole Whip at Aulani, fresh fruit, soft drink, or cocktail.

The lagoon is also a wonderful place to walk or jog. The scenery here is just stunning~you’re surrounded and palm trees and tropical plants and paved walkways leading from Aulani to other resorts in Ko Olina.

Dining

Aulani Resort, A Disney Resort & Spa has many great dining options from casual bites to more upscale dining experiences.

Here’s a review of the dining experience at Disney Aulani Resort:

Makahiki-The Bounty of the Islands

Makahiki is home to Disney Aulani’s character breakfast. This is a three-course breakfast in a beautiful setting where you get to meet some of your favorite Disney characters.

Inside Makahiki restaurant at Aulani Resort, featuring cozy seating with a large, colorful mural of Hawaiian life on the wall, wooden carved pillars, and ambient lighting creating a warm and cultural dining atmosphere.

Mahikiki also serves a three-course dinner featuring seasonal ingredients.

I absolutely love the atmosphere of Makahiki. I recommend eating here during your time at Aulani.

Make sure to make a reservation, especially if you plan on doing the character breakfast. You can make an Advanced Dining Reservation on the Aulani app.

‘AMA ‘AMA – Contemporary Island Cooking

‘AMA ‘AMA is an upscale oceanfront restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and provides a refined dining experience.

It offers a diverse menu that combines traditional Hawaiian flavors with modern culinary techniques. The beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean add to the restaurant’s appeal, especially during sunset.

Advanced dining reservations are recommended.

Ula Cafe

Ulu Cafe is a convenient and casual spot for quick bites and refreshments. From breakfast items to sandwiches, salads, and pizza, Ulu Cafe offers a wide range of options.

The grab-and-go selections are also perfect for guests who want to enjoy a meal by the pool or in their room.

Ula Cafe is also a great spot at Aulani to pick up some super cute Mickey and Disney-themed desserts! 😋

An assortment of festively decorated cookies and treats wrapped in clear cellophane, featuring Disney characters.

Pāpālua Shave Ice

Looking to get your Mickey Shave Ice at Aulani? Pāpālua Shave Ice is your destination! This charming spot is located in the pool area and is a must-visit for a taste of the Hawaiian classic – shaved ice.

With a variety of flavors and toppings to choose from, Pāpālua Shave Ice is a refreshing treat, especially on warm Hawaiian days.

A colorful shave ice shaped like Mickey Ears, with yellow and blue sections.

Off the Hook

Located by the pool, Off the Hook is a poolside bar and restaurant that serves great appetizers, drinks, and meals.

Kim is enjoying a tropical drink at Off the Hook outdoor seating area in Aulani Resort.

This is an excellent breakfast, lunch, or dinner option at Aualni that does not require reservations.

We ate here for both breakfast and dinner and greatly enjoyed both!

And if you’re looking for Mickey Waffles at Aulani, this is your spot if you can’t get into the Makahiki character breakfast.

A delicious breakfast plate from 'Off the Hook' at Aulani Resort, featuring Mickey-shaped waffles sprinkled with powdered sugar, accompanied by crispy bacon and a side of fresh berries.

Mama’s Snack Stop

Mama’s Snack Stop is the perfect spot to grab a snack or lunch while in the Waikolohe Valley pool area.

The menu board at Mama's Snack Stop at Aulani Resort, featuring a selection of entrees, snacks, and beverages including local style 'Fish & Chips', 'Ono Sandwich', coconut breaded shrimp, and Kona Longboard Island Lager, with operating hours from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Menu items here include fish and chips, an ono sandwich, coconut-breaded shrimp, and chicken tenders. Snacks include mozzarella sticks, a mini corn dog bite, and fries.

Shows, Entertainment & Kids Activities

One of the best things about Aulani Resort is its wide range of activities for the whole family!

Here are some of the shows, entertainment and kids activities at Disney’s Aulani Resort:

Aunty’s Beach House

Aunty’s Beach House is a fun supervised clubhouse for kids ages 4-12 years old at Aulani Resort. It’s a place where kids can play games, do crafts, and have exciting adventures while their grown-ups relax. 👧🏻 👦🏼 🎨

KA WA‘A – A Lū‘au on Oʻahu at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

When in Hawaii, a luau is a must, and KA WA‘A is an incredible one! Here you can enjoy yummy Hawaiian dishes, watch hula dancers, and listen to beautiful Hawaiian songs. It’s a chance to experience Hawaiian culture and have a festive evening with your family and friends.

A captivating scene from the luau at Aulani Resort, showing performers in traditional Polynesian attire demonstrating fire dancing.

Menehune Adventure Trail

Menehune Adventure Trail is an interactive scavenger hunt that takes families on a journey through the resort, solving puzzles and discovering hidden surprises that connect to Hawaiian folklore.

Mo‘olelo Fire Pit Storytelling

Mo‘olelo Fire Pit Storytelling is a magical way to spend the evening, feeling the warmth of the fire and getting lost in wonderful stories. You’ll gather around the firepit to listen to Hawaiian legends and tales told by Uncle.

Pau Hana Room – Community Hall

Pau Hana Room is the place at Aulani that holds all of the family fun activities, crafts, and more.

Some activities you’ll find here include Make Your Own Mickey Ears, learn to play the ukulele, t-shirt stamping activity, and the Ohana Painting Party.

‘Ohana Disney Movie Nights

Ohana Disney Movie Nights are outdoor movie nights at Aulani that take place under the stars. You can grab a comfy seat and watch classic Disney movies with your family. It’s a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend the evening, surrounded by the beauty of Aulani Resort.

‘Imi Loa Nāa Hōkū (Explore the Stars)

‘Imi Loa Nāa Hōkū is a stargazing experience where you learn about the stars in the Hawaiian sky. You can use telescopes to see planets, constellations, and even the moon. It’s a fascinating way to explore the nighttime sky and learn about the wonders of space. 🔭 ✨

NOTE: Check the Aulani app each day during your stay for the Daily Activities.

Spa & Fitness

Laniwai- A Disney Spa

The spa at Aulani Resort is a luxurious retreat for relaxation and rejuvenation. It’s a place where you can pamper yourself with treatments like massages, facials, and body scrubs.

A serene area of the spa at Aulani Resort, featuring an elegant stone-filled basin with a single water spout, surrounded by slender wooden beams under soft ambient lighting, creating a tranquil and meditative space.

What’s unique about the Laniwai- A Disney Spa is they do family massages! They also have salon services for ages 5 and up.

Another unique offering at Disney Aulani’s Spa is Painted Sky: HI Style Studio. If you’re familiar with Bibbibi Bobbidi Boutique at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, this is Aulani’s version of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

Here girls and boys ages 3-12 can get makeovers, costumes, and accessories with their choice of either: Luau Bound, Surf and Swim, or Moana.

And Aulani doesn’t forget about teens either. They have special facials and massages offered at the spa just for teens.

Fitness at Aulani

Mikimiki Fitness Center is Aulani’s 2,000-square-foot gym where you can get your fitness on while on vacation.

But what’s also great about Aulani is they offer a variety of fitness classes on their beautiful Ko Olina lagoon. This is a great way to stay fit while enjoying the Hawaiian scenery.

Characters

At Disney Aulani Resort, you can meet and interact with a variety of beloved Disney characters, all of whom have embraced the spirit of the Hawaiian islands.

And what I will say about the characters at Aulani is they are super engaging and so much fun!!

These character experiences add an extra layer of magic to your vacation, allowing you to create unforgettable memories and capture unique photos.

Here are some of the characters you can expect to encounter at the resort:

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse

Mickey and Minnie are the stars of the show, appearing in their Hawaiian-inspired outfits to welcome guests with warmth and aloha. You can find them at various locations throughout the resort, dressed in vibrant island attire.

Three happy kids posing with Mickey Mouse doing the haka.

Goofy

Goofy joins in the fun, showcasing his Hawaiian spirit with his unique charm and antics. Meeting Goofy is sure to bring laughter and joy to both kids and adults.

Goofy giving Chris a high five at Makahiki restaurant.

Stitch & Angel

Stitch, the mischievous character from “Lilo & Stitch,” is a popular presence at Aulani. His playful nature and Hawaiian adventures make him a perfect fit for the tropical setting.

Stitch and Angel posing on the vibrant green lawn at Aulani.

Stitch might be up to his usual playful antics, while his counterpart Angel’s tender demeanor will warm your heart.

Moana

Moana is a popular character meet and greet at Aulani Resort. Meeting Moana is a chance to connect with the spirit of the ocean and the heart of Polynesian culture.

Moana smiling and posing at Aulani Resort.

Pluto

Whether you’re a longtime fan of Pluto or just meeting him for the first time, encountering this iconic Disney character at Aulani Resort adds a touch of magic and excitement to your vacation.

Pluto giving Ethan a hug at Makahiki character breakfast.

Duffy the Disney Bear and Friends

At Aulani Resort, you may have the chance to see characters that you’ll only find at Aulani!

Duffy the Disney Bear and Friends including ‘Olu Mel, a super cute turtle who plays the ukulele make appearances throughout the resort.

These Duffy and Friends characters are popular at Aulani and you can even find a lot of their merchandise in the Aulani Gift Shops.

Donald & Daisy Duck

Donald Duck, the spirited and sometimes a bit clumsy duck, and Daisy Duck, his sophisticated and stylish friend, often make appearances around the resort.

Meeting them is a wonderful experience where you can take photos, interact, and enjoy their playful interactions.

Max

Max, the son of Goofy, is known for his cool and adventurous personality. Interacting with Max brings a touch of goofiness and cheer to your Aulani adventure.

NOTE: Keep in mind that character experiences at Aulani may vary. Check the Aulani app during your stay to see what characters are on the daily schedule and when and where you can meet them.

Aulani Resort Cost

So, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa definitely comes at a price tag. 💲💲💲💲

Prices of accommodations greatly depend on the time of the year and the type of room, suite, or villa.

If you’re used to staying Deluxe at a Walt Disney World Resort, be prepared to probably even fork out more money here at Aulani!

However, Aulani Resort does NOT charge a resort fee which is excellent! I have found most resorts in Hawaii do charge resort fees, so consider this when comparing it to other resorts.

The Not-So-Good About Disney Aulani Resort

I have only one negative thing to say about Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa. And it’s really not such a negative thing, because the resort does have a policy in regards to helping the situation.

This not-so-good experience I had with Aulani Resort was with the chair availability at the pools.

On our day of check-in, we arrived early afternoon and went straight to the pool area while waiting for our villa to be ready. We walked around for about 15 minutes trying to find 1 lounge chair to put our belongings on!

Lounge chairs are super hard to come by here in the pool area. And because of this, Aulani has a rule in place to help with the limited chair situation.

Aulani Lounge Chair Rule:

  • If you arrive before 8:00 a.m., you must be sitting in the chair. If you leave your items unattended they will be taken to Kawele Korner.
  • From 8:00 a.m. until pool closing, if your belongings are left unattended for more than an hour they will taken to Kawele Korner. Disney Aulani Cast Members keep track of this by placing a towel on top of the chairs and if you’re not back within the hour to remove that towel they will take your belongings to Kawele Korner.

Even though we were only able to find 1 chair at the time, eventually the other people surrounding us left, so we were able to get lounge chairs for all 5 of us.

This is not a reason to not go to Aulani though! This is only to warn you what happens if you arrive at the pool during prime hours. If you arrive at the pool area at a decent time in the morning or even later in the afternoon you shouldn’t have a problem finding a lounge chair.

Is Disney Aulani Resort Worth It?

So after this in-depth Disney Aulani review, what do you think? Is Disney Aulani worth it?

Well, here’s what I think….

If you’re a Disney lover whose heart fills with happiness and excitement when you think about anything related to Disney, whether it’s the parks or the iconic characters like Mickey Mouse, ……then no doubt Disney Aulani is definitely worth it!!

Aulani Resort allows you to enjoy your favorite Disney characters in a stunning Hawaiian setting. It’s a chance to experience the magic you love while being surrounded by the tropical beauty of the islands.

The Swanson Family posing with Goofy at the Aulani character breakfast.

Plus, what’s not to like about seeing your favorite Disney characters decked out in their Hawaiian outfits?!

Now, what about those people who are not “Disney” people?

I still definitely think Disney Aulani Resort is worth it! Disney Aulani Resort is not in your face “Disney.”

But what you get by staying at Aulani is “The Disney Difference.” And like I said earlier, no one does it like Disney! Disney has it down when it comes to family vacations.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa is worth it for its luxurious accommodations, outstanding service, recreational activities for all ages, incredible pool area, and amazing dining options.

Now, if the price scares you a little, no worries! Consider doing a split stay at another hotel during your time in Oahu. This will help keep the cost down and you’ll still get to experience the incredibleness of Aulani!

Book Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

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Kim stands on a balcony at Aulani Resort, smiling and wearing festive ears. Behind her is a picturesque view of the resort's lush landscapes, water features, and the distinctive architecture of the hotel buildings under a clear blue sky.

I am a travel agent who specializes in Disney Destinations. I also provide custom itinerary planning for Hawaii and can help you plan and book the rest of your Hawaiian vacation!

Contact me today and let’s get planning! I look forward to hearing from you!

FAQs

A statue of Stitch adorned with a lei and a crown of flowers, capturing the playful spirit of the character amidst the lush greenery of Aulani Resort.
Is Aulani expensive?

Yes, Aulani Resort can be considered expensive, especially when compared to other vacation options. The cost of staying at Aulani depends on various factors such as the type of room or villa, the time of year, and the length of your stay. But staying at Aulani gives you the luxurious amenities, Disney brand, and magic that only Disney can provide.

Is Aulani all-inclusive?

Aulani is NOT an all-inclusive resort. This means that you have to pay for your food and any dining on your own. However, when staying at Aulani Resort, you have access to the incredible pool area, character meet and greets, and many of the activities free of charge.

Does Aulani have a dress code?

No, Aulani does not have a dress code. Most people walk around the resort in t-shirts, shorts, and bathing suits. However, bring some nicer pieces, if you’d like to look a little nicer for dinner. This could mean a cute dress for women or a polo or Hawaiian shirt for men.

Can you eat at Aulani if you don’t stay there?

Yes, you can eat at Aulani if you don’t stay at the resort. However, for some of the restaurants, a reservation is recommended or even required. For example, you will need a reservation for the character breakfast at Makahiki. You can easily make a dining reservation on the Aulani app.

Does Aulani have a luau every night?

No, Aulani does not have a luau every night. Depending on the time of the year depends on how many luaus go on. But usually, there are at least 3 luaus a week. The Aulani luau called, KA WA‘A books up super quick, so make sure to book the Aulani luau months in advance.

How far is Disney Aulani from airport?

Disney Aulani Resort is approximately 20 miles and a 26-minute drive from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL).

Do they have Mickey Waffles at Aulani?

Yes, they do!! You can get Mickey Waffles at either the Makahiki character breakfast or Off the Hook. Off the Hook does not require reservations, but Advanced Dining Reservations at Makhiki are required.

Final Thoughts- Is Aulani Worth It?

In the end, after immersing myself in the enchanting world of Disney Aulani Resort, I can confidently say that Aulani Resort is absolutely worth it!!

Scenic view of Aulani Resort in Hawaii, with its distinctive architecture and sprawling beachfront. The calm lagoon in the foreground reflects the resort buildings, set against a backdrop of lush mountains.

From the moment I stepped foot onto the resort grounds, I felt the magic of Disney seamlessly intertwining with the beauty of Hawaii.

From our amazing villa to the incredible pool area to the character interactions– they all came together to create an unforgettable adventure that touched my heart!

While Aulani may come with a higher price tag, the memories, the joy, and the Disney magic you’ll share with your loved ones under the Hawaiian sun are truly priceless!

So, if you’re a Disney lover seeking a vacation that’s equal parts relaxation and the magic of Disney, Aulani is a destination that delivers on its promise and leaves you with a treasure trove of memories to last a lifetime.

✨And if you need help planning your Hawaiian vacation, be sure to contact me, and let’s get started!

Aloha! 🌺