5 Reasons to Visit Disney’s Aulani Resort

Mickey and Minnie in Hawaiian Clothes
Credit: Disney Aulani

Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort can be fantastic places to spend time with family. They both provide amazing theme parks, world-class hotels, and breathtaking entertainment options that provide timeless memories. But there’s another major Disney destination in the United States that doesn’t get nearly enough attention: Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa in Hawaii.

Aerial View of Disney's Aulani

Credit: Aulani

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Located on the island of Oahu, it has many magical benefits, that are only found at Disney Resorts. So let’s explore the top 5 reasons Aulani should be on the bucket list of any hardcore Disney fan.

Luxury in Paradise

Disney’s Aulani Resort is located on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Although you’ll feel like you’re in a remote, tropical paradise, you’re still only half an hour from the airport in Honolulu and about 40 minutes from Waikiki Beach. While its remote feel is definitely part of its charm, Disney’s Aulani is located pretty far from the rest of the world.

Aulani Resort

Credit: Disney

The Resort is rated five stars, offering world-class Resort and spa amenities. It contains several swimming pools, including ones for families and adult-only areas.

In addition, Disney’s Resort prides itself in celebrating Hawaiian culture. Guests will find themselves immersed in Hawaiian art, architecture, and history including the iconic arched lobby and Hawaiian music played throughout the Resort.

Character Experiences

Although you won’t find as many characters or as wide a variety as you will when visiting a Disney theme Park, there are still many character meet-and-greet options. In addition, you can schedule Disney character breakfasts where Guests can spend time with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and other friends. Familiar characters at the Resort include Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Daisy Duck, Chip n’ Dale, Duffy, Moana, and Stitch.

Disney Characters at Aulani

Credit: Aulani

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Disney Level Service

As any Disney fan knows, the Cast Members’ service is one of the unique elements that make a visit to the theme parks so enjoyable. You won’t find the same level of service, excitement, and love for the company when visiting a Six Flags theme Park or other competitors. The same applies to Cast Members who work at the on-property hotels. And that superior level of service extends to Aulani.

Children Swimming at Aulani

Credit: Disney Aulani

From the moment you pull in until the minute you check out, a friendly Disney Cast Member will greet you with a smile and go above and beyond to be helpful.

You will also discover Disney touches everywhere during your stay – including access to Dole Whip and Mickey Mouse ice cream bars.

RELATED: Disney Hits 1 Million Cast Compliments

Pools, Water Fun, and More

The Disney Aulani Resort offers Guests a variety of swimming and water play areas included with your stay:

Ka Maka Grotto – An infinity-edge family pool with a grotto that comes alive at nighttime.

View of Ka Maka Grotto

Credit: Disney Aulani

Keiki Cove – An interactive splash zone designed for children under 5.

Menehune Bridge – A water playground with two slides, a climbing structure, and interactive water elements.

Water Fun at Aulani

Credit: Disney Aulani

Waikolohe Stream – A 900-foot-long interactive lazy river.

Lazy River at Disney's Aulani

Photo Credit: DisneyParksBlog

Waikolohe Pool – An 8,200 square foot pool with caves and a volcano-themed water slide.

Wailana Pool – A 1,500 calm pool with a couple of shady spots.

Whirl Pool Spas – A series of four unique spas at Aulani that provide family-friendly options and areas exclusive to adults.

The Resort also offers a private beach that has free lounge chairs and beach umbrellas. The water is sheltered, so there are no big waves, making it perfect for little ones. Disney will also loan out sand toys and boogie boards (for free), and you can pay to rent snorkel equipment and stand-up paddle boards on site.

Swimming Father and Daughter at Aulani Coast

Credit: Disney Aulani

RELATED: Disney World’s Best Resort Pools

Nearby Attractions

Although Hawaii does offer many places to visit and a few different islands to explore, Oahu provides several activities to enjoy (even if not staying on Disney property). Among the many attractions are the Pearl Harbor Memorial, Diamond Head volcano, Kualoa Ranch Tours (where you can see locales used in Jurassic Park, LOST, and other movies and TV shows), and the entire city of Honolulu to explore.

Oahu also provides multiple opportunities to parasail, snorkel, and Waikiki beach has many opportunities for surfing, building sand castles, and swimming.

minnie and mickey at the aulani resort

Credit: Disney

Final Comments

One of the most significant concerns regarding Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai‘i, is the price. However, if you are interested in visiting but looking for ways to save money, one of the best ways is to travel in the off season, and perhaps even break up your Hawaiian vacation between a few days at Aulani and a few days at a more affordable option.

It’s never a good idea to splurge on a vacation you can’t afford. But even if you’re in Hawaii and don’t stay at Aulani, you can still visit as a Guest, which is a great way to see the Resort even if you aren’t staying there.

Of course, you won’t be able to gain access to their hotel rooms, but you can still enjoy the lobby, dine at one of the onsite restaurants, and maybe steal a visit with a character…

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About Steven Wilk

Steven has a complicated relationship with Disney. As a child, he visited Walt Disney World every few years with his family. But he never understood why kids his age (and older) were so scared of Snow White or Alien Encounter. He is a former participant of the Disney College Program (left early…long story), and he also previously worked in Children’s publishing, where he adapted multiple Disney movies and TV shows. He has many controversial opinions about Disney…like having a positive view of Michael Eisner, believing Return of the Jedi is superior to The Empire Strikes Back, and that Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge should have never been built (at least not at Hollywood Studios). Every year for the past two decades, Steven has visited either Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or went on a Disney Cruise. He’s happy to share any and all knowledge of the Disney destinations (and he likes using parenthesis a lot…as well as ellipses…)