When in Hawaii… Visit Disney Aulani!

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All checked in!

All checked in!

As we inched towards the last few weeks of school, one of the parents at my son’s preschool sent a mass email to the class asking if parents would be interested in going to Disney Aulani for the Memorial Day weekend (to celebrate the last day of school).  In doing so, she could organize a group rate.  We’ve never been to the resort so decided to jump on the bandwagon with the another 14 families (we needed 10 room bookings to confirm a group rate).

From what we heard, Aulani was a great place for kids.  The pools, beach and activities at Aunties Beach House (included with room rate) gives parents a break from the kids if needed. The room type that was available at the time was $279 +13.962% tax (Studio room), it had 1 queen bed with a queen-sized sofa bed (no rooms with 2 beds are available at this rate).  This room rate also is limited to 4 guests (including children) in the room.  Since we wanted grandma to come (5 in total) we would have to book a one-bedroom at a rate of $399 (a bit pricey but we took into account the resort activities and ammenities that were available). Aulani is quite strict on the number of guests per room because in order to just lounge around the pool, you need to have a pool wristband (which you get by room number). So we booked a one-bedroom for 4 nights and waited until Memorial weekend arrived!

The day finally came and upon arrival we were greeted with leis, fruit infused water and quickly checked ourselves into our room.  The kids wasted no time, asking us to take them to the pool to meet up with the other families and friends. As we walked towards the pool we saw Stitch!

Hi Stitch!

Hi Stitch!

 There were many pools on the property; Waikolohe Stream had 2 tube waterslides, one faster than the other with twists and turns. The Waikolohe Pool, had a tunnel body slide for all ages.
IMG_5451

Main pool

Menehune Bridge was a water play structure that had 2 slides, the kids loved this area!
Menehune Bridge

Menehune Bridge

The Ka Maka Grotto pool was great at sunset since it has an infinity-edge pool that overlooks Ko Olina beach. Keiki Cove Splash Zone wasn’t working when we were there, but looked like it resembled a tidal pool. There was also the Wailana Pool, off limits to children so much more quiet and serene for adults.  Finally the Whirlpool Spas were also facing the beach so you could watch the sunset, this area is off limits to kids as well. We spent most of our time near the Waikolohe Pool, which was right near the towel and wristband location and food stands.
Waikolohe Pool was where all the Disney Characters came for pictures!

Waikolohe Pool was where all the Disney Characters came for pictures!

Waikolohe Pool

Waikolohe Pool

Standing in line for SHAVE ICE!

Standing in line for SHAVE ICE!

Lilikoi, Coconut and Guava… YUM!

Lilikoi, Coconut and Guava… YUM!

We loved our room too!  It had it’s own kitchen with everything you’d need to cook with (even a rice cooker).  The breakfast nook was awesome and where the kids spent time coloring and eating.  Our one-bedroom had a jacuzzi, a sofa bed  and another pull down bed.
Breakfast area

Breakfast area

Pop up bed from under the TV!  So cool!

Pop up bed from under the TV! So cool!

There was a sofa bed too!

There was a sofa bed too!

That evening the parents decided to go our for dinner and watch the sunset.  We put the kids into Aunties Beach House, paid extra $60 per child for dinner from 5:30-8:30 and left them there for 4 hours, they loved it and so did we!

Boys playing video games….

Boys playing video games….

Look what we made!

Look what we made at Aunty’s House!

The adults roamed the beach and watched the sunset, it was absolutely beautiful.  We then went for dinner across the street at a local Mexican restaurant called Just Tacos.  Since we’ve been eating resort food all day, having the option to leave the resort, walk across the street and eat was great.

Sunset on the beach

Sunset on the beach

Beautiful

Beautiful

Around 8:30pm we picked up the kids and decided to go for a swim, the main pools didn’t close until 10pm so the kids kept on going.  Nearby, around 9:15pm there was Mo’olelo Fire Pit storytelling going on.  The kids listened in as “Uncle” told age old stories and traditions handed down from generation to generation.

Night swimming!

Night swimming!

Water was warm...

Water was warm…

Say Cheese!

Say Cheese!

Uncle plays music and tells stories :)

Uncle plays music and tells stories 🙂

Staying warm...

Staying warm…

The next morning we ordered breakfast in our room.  It was delicious!  Our cousins came for the day and we decided to go on an early morning interactive treasure hunt with them.  The Aulani provides an online game that let’s you find treasures around the resort, it was loads of fun!

Waffles.. Our favorite!

Waffles.. Our favorite!

Mickey was here.

Mickey was here.

Our cousins came by and joined us for a night :)

Our cousins came by and joined us for a night 🙂

Very cool treasure hunt in the lobby!

Very cool treasure hunt in the lobby!

After another full day of swimming and sunburn, the kids went back into Aunties Beach House for a few more hours and then we all headed to the Aulani Starlit Hui, a Hawaiian hula show on the Halawai Lawn for the whole family.  Pre-show they had areas where people could learn about different Hawaiian instruments and how to make flower leis.

Learning about Hawaiian instruments

Learning about Hawaiian instruments

Learning from Uncle

Learning from Uncle

Making a flower lei

Making a flower lei

The kids went crazy as they heard the announcement that Mickey had arrived and the show was about to begin.  We sat on large lauhala mats and watched the show.  The kids loved it.  Especially after the show was over and the mini-disco began.

The crowds getting bigger!

The crowds getting bigger!

Mickey's Here!

Mickey’s Here!

Without ruining the surprise too much, we highly recommend staying the Disney Aulani resort on Oahu when you visit the islands, especially if you have kids.  Unfortunately, children have to be potty trained to enter Aunties Beach House, but its worth every penny you pay for staying at the resort.  The kids kept asking to go back there every day and would stay for hours, we literally had to pull them away from the place to eat lunch or dinner.

We recommend at least 3 days to a week to take full advantage of all the activities and amenities there.  There is so much to do we wish we would have stayed the entire week. Our stay was over, but the memories will live on forever in our hearts.  We LOVE Disney Aulani and will be back next year again!

Wonderful end to a wonderful vacation!

Wonderful end to a wonderful vacation!

For more information on Disney Aulani click here: http://resorts.disney.go.com/aulani-hawaii-resort/

 

 

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