Seven Days at Disney Aulani: Tips and Tricks #FamilyTravel

Last March my family vacationed at Disney Aulani on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. We shared a two bedroom villa with our friends who are Disney Vacation Club members.

My family travels to Hawaii every year and were very familiar with Aulani. We had often gone there for meals and had visited Mickey and Minnie on the property before.

We were so excited to spend an entire week at Aulani. We knew we would have a fabulous time and our kids (aged 4 and 8) would absolutely love it.

{Aulani Favourites}

My favourite things about Aulani include:

  • The beautiful property: The landscaping is gorgeous, the decor is authentic Hawaiian, fun beach themes in front of Auntie’s Beach House, the Shave Ice shack and more
  • The pools: Aulani has 3 pools, one of them being for adults only. There are four hot tubs on the property, one exclusively for adults. All pools and hot tubs close at 8pm.

Disney Aulani review

Disney Aulani pool

  • The lazy river: We loved the lazy river, it was a bit chilly at times (some areas are quite shaded) but overall it was a fun experience. My kids asked to go on the lazy river every day!
  • The water slides: Aulani has two fun water slides. One slide is a tube slide, you can either go solo or with a friend. The second tube slide is completely dark (think Space Mountain but on a slide!!)

Disney Aulani review

  • Menahune Bridge: The Menahune Bridge is a water park for kids only. If adults try to step foot on the Menahune Bridge they will be asked to leave. My kids LOVED the Menahune Bridge. They figured out pretty quickly how to miss the big splashes of water falling all over and soon knew how to run through without getting wet. They also loved the water slides at the water park.

Disney Aulani review

  • The Lagoon: Aulani is situated on a man made lagoon. It’s gorgeous, super safe for kids, shallow and warm. There are tons of long chairs available for guests of Aulani at the Lagoon, there are also several beach umbrellas. You can rent complimentary beach toys and boogies boards at the beach hut. You can also rent SUP boards, kayaks and more for a small fee. We loved the lagoon, it was not as busy as the pool area and the kids loved building sand castles and more.

Disney Aulani review

  • Auntie’s Beach House: Auntie’s Beach House is Aulani’s complimentary kids club. Auntie’s is probably the BEST part of Aulani. My eldest absolutely loved going, my youngest had to be bribed to go but had a great time once he got there. Auntie’s is large, well laid out and filled with great staff. My kids watched movies there, did crafts, played on the cool playground and more.
  • Character Breakfast: The Makahiki Buffet has a character breakfast everyday. My husband and I love the breakfast, it has a large selection of food for everyone in the family. Young kids will love the entertainment and posing for pictures with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and more.

{Things To Know about Aulani}

A new daily ‘IWA is available every night at 7pm. The daily ‘IWA (aka: the day’s special programs and more) will tell you all you need to know for the next day. Things highlighted include kids’ programs, what live entertainment are offered and the days weather.

Aulani is a very busy resort. We had to go down to “reserve” chairs by the pool every morning at around 7:45am. Once you “reserve” your chair you are clocked. You must return to your chair within one hour. If you don’t, your towel and personal belongings will be taken and put into a locker. This was a bit of a stressful process but worked out for us on everyday. Ideally people would not reserve chairs and there would be enough chairs for everyone to come and go.

Disney Aulani review

You must sign up, in person, for special programs at Auntie’s Beach House. A line up forms early every day and you can sign up for programs for your child for the entire day. The first day we were there we thought “Stitch’s Space Goo” was only offered on that day so I sent my husband to sign up our kids. We soon realized that this program was offered almost everyday during our stay. You can also sign up your child for lunch or dinner at Auntie’s. There is an extra fee but it’s well worth it if you want to go our for dinner without the kids.

There is nightly entertainment every night on the Halawai Lawn. I had heard a lot about the Starlit Hui and was so looking forward to watching it. Like programs at Auntie’s Beach House the Starlight Hui repeats itself several times during the week. Again, I did not know about this so we went on the first night we saw it advertised. The Starlit Hui was great but I would have enjoyed seeing different live entertainment shows offered. There are also Movie nights on the lawn a few nights per week.

{Can Non-Registered Guests Use the Facilities?}

I don’t know how many times people have asked me this. The answer is NO. If you are not staying at Aulani you cannot use their pools or watch their shows. There are no day passes available. Every morning registered guests need to show their personalized room key at the towel hut and obtain a new bracelet. You cannot get towels without the days’ bracelet. When you go to the shows on the lawn you either have to show your bracelet from that day or show your room key.

My family really enjoyed our stay at Disney Aulani. Aulani is a beautiful resort and we will always remember our week there.

Disney Aulani review

To learn more about Disney Aulani you can check out their website. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Do you have any questions about Disney Aulani? Ask away! I’d love to answer them!

25 Comments

  1. Those pools!?!!! And I LOVE lazy rivers. What an incredible family vacation for you. I need to add going to Disney Aulani on to my bucket list!! Breathtaking!

  2. There seems like there are so many fun water things to do at the Aulani. I would like the lazy river too. I don’t like the fact that you have to reserve the chairs and all like that. THere should be enough for all the guests.

  3. This is actually a literal paradise! I know that I can be a worry wart BUT, I love that people can’t come in and use the facilities without staying there. It makes me feel safer about my kids. I want to go there so bad! Getting a bunch of families together would be so fun!

  4. Wow, this is one vacation I am putting on our to-do list. It sounds amazing. I have always wanted to go. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It’s only a few years old Chelley. I hope you convince him to go, Aulani is super fun!

  5. This looks like an amazing resort! I could only dream of visiting someday!

  6. I have always wanted to go there. Someday I will make it there 🙂

  7. That looks amazing! You did such a great job that I actually don’t have any questions. I think you pretty much covered everything.

    1. Thanks Stacie! We had a great time. I could probably write several more posts about Aulani… there is so much to see and do there!

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