Disney’s Hawaiian Paradise: Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa
Deluxe Disney, Hawaiian Style
While Disney is well known for its magical themed Resort Hotels at Walt Disney World, Disneyland and other exotic theme park destinations, many people don’t realize that Disney also has an incredible luxury beach resort in Hawaii.
Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, is a Hawaiian paradise like no other (especially if you are a fan of Disney). Located in the upscale and laid back community of Ko Olina on Oahu’s west coast, Aulani brings the magic of Disney Imagineering to the unbeatable Hawaiian Islands in a way that no other resort can match.
Disney Imagineers Embrace Hawaiian Culture at Aulani
One of the things that makes Aulani shine is the impressive job that Disney Imagineers did in fully embracing local Hawaiian culture throughout the entire fabric of this incredible Deluxe Resort. While there are subtle welcome touches of Disney magic around every corner, the real stars of the Aulani theming are the Hawaiian Islands themselves. This includes celebrations of the Hawaiian people, heritage and local culture. Disney Imagineers did their homework here and the results speak for themselves.
From the hotel design, to the room adornments, to the locally-inspired dining and activities, everything you’ll encounter at Aulani is pure Hawaii, amplified with a dose of Pixie Dust that only Disney Imagineers can blend so perfectly.
It’s very clear that in conceiving and building this family resort property, special attention was paid to the details of the local culture to guide every decision. Not only will you enjoy the first rate Disney guest experience that you know and love, but you will do so in an environment of pure Hawaii, with the opportunity to learn as much as you like about the local culture, language, history, art, activities and much much more. Immersing yourself in Hawaiian culture is a big part of what Aulani is all about–and by the way, it’s a lot of fun as well.
Accommodations and Activities that Reflect the Hawaiian Islands
Aulani is a fairly large resort. It is comprised of hotel rooms and suites and also includes Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Villa accommodations (featuring kitchen facilities more in line with condominium accommodations). There is something for everyone here: from incredible Children’s activities at Aunty’s Beach House, to the amazing pool complex (with two water slides and a lazy river, known as Waikolohe Valley), to the spas for adults and teens, and so much more.
The beachfront cove on the Pacific Ocean is sheltered from the open waters, leaving you with a shimmering stretch of sand and surf where you can swim, paddle board, kayak and more. Surrounded by Hawaiian palms gently swaying in the ocean breeze, you will experience some of the most spectacular Hawaiian sunsets every night at Aulani. No need for fireworks shows here: Aulani leaves the nightly show in the capable hands of Mother Nature herself.
Aulani is Ideally Located for Sightseeing, Shopping, Dining and More
Aulani is ideally positioned on Oahu. It is an easy drive (approximately an hour) from Honolulu Airport (where we rented a car upon landing). So it’s close enough to Honolulu if you want to go sightseeing, but not too close as to be part of the Honolulu rush. In terms of shopping, the town of Kapolei is a quick 15-minute drive from Aulani. In Kapolei you will find all your essentials in familiar stores such as Target, WalMart, Home Depot, Costco and more. It’s particularly convenient if you have a Villa and want to stock up on food or beverages for your stay.
In terms of dining, in addition to the several restaurants that you will find onsite at the resort itself (there are at least 10 different options, including table service dining, quick service dining, character dining, snack stops and more), there is a very handy area right across the street called Ko Olina Station. At Ko Olina Station you will find many more restaurants (and several shops), which make it very easy to have a fair bit of dining flexibility for the duration of your stay (all without having to drive anywhere).
Within the Ko Olina area itself, Aulani is also very well positioned. There is an long waterfront promenade, of which Aulani is one resort among the many upscale resorts along the way. Nearby neighbours along this paved oceanfront walkway include a Four Seasons Resort and a Marriott Resort, among other upscale and luxury resort properties (where you can stop for a drink or a bite to eat on outdoor patios). The walkway ends to the south at Ko Olina Beach Park. Across the way from Disney Aulani and next to Ko Olina Station is the Ko Olina Golf Club. This is very handy for anyone looking to spend some time on the golf course during their stay.
Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa is a Premier Destination on Oahu
When planning your Hawaiian vacation, there are many beautiful resorts from which to choose across the breadth of the Hawaiian Islands. Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa is definitely among the best that you will find on Oahu, providing a perfect blend of upscale amenities, a family-friendly environment, a premium location and just the right amount of Disney magic.
A vacation to Disney Aulani should be at least 10 days, with two weeks being an ideal length of stay. There is so much to see and do at the resort, in the general area and across the island of Oahu, that the added time at Disney Aulani will be well worth it.
If you are considering a Hawaiian vacation and would like more information about Disney’s Aulani Resort–including the vast array of things that you can see and do on Oahu during your stay–please search for Aulani in my Luxury Disney Travel Blog to find the latest posts and information.
Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Deluxe Disney Travel Specialist
The Finer Side of Travel™