Our Guide to Disney’s Aulani

We’ve dreamed of staying in at Aulani for a long time. I mean, it’s Disney AND Hawaii – is there a better combination in the world? We got to spend two perfect days at Aulani this past week, as part of our bigger trip to Oahu. Today, we’re sharing our guide to the resort, to make your planning easier.

Aulani has SO many activities to choose from, it’s impossible to be bored. There’s everything from pools, to a beautiful beach, and a full service spa. We’re listing our favorite ‘not to be missed’ activities for your trip.

-Ka Maka Grotto
This pool is a combination infinity pool, and hot tub, with views of the ocean, and an elaborate cavern built over part of it.

-Rainbow Reef
Rainbow Reef is an extra cost, but if snorkeling is on your list in Hawaii, we definitely recommend it. Rainbow Reef includes a ton of tropical fish, which you most likely wouldn’t encounter in the wild, plus the bonus of feeling safe (no Jaws theme song playing in your head).

-Waikolohe Stream
This is Aulani’s answer to a lazy river, which includes free single and double tubes, and two slides – a body slide, and a tube slide.

-Whirlpool Spas
The Whirlpool Spas are a two story, infinity hot tub, for those eighteen and up. There’s plenty of room, and views of the ocean.

-Community Room Movie Rentals
You can check out two free Disney movies a night at the Community Room, to enjoy back in your room. Since nightlife is scarce in this part of the island, we really recommend taking advantage of this amenity.

-Aunty’s Beach House
Aunty’s Beach House is complimentary, supervised childcare, for children ages 3-12.

-Makiki Joe’s Beach Rentals
This rental place on the beach provides both complimentary rentals (such as sand toys and boogie boards), and rentals at a cost, such as stand up paddleboards.

-Mo‘olelo Fire Pit Storytelling
Several times a night, a Hawaiian story-teller comes out to share stories of the island by the fire. It’s mainly aimed at kids, but is fun for all ages.

Aulani has some great food options, especially during the day. Unfortunately, a lot of food options are closed at night – so we do recommend a rental car while staying at the resort, to broaden your dining options. There’s a lot of great places within a ten minute drive.

-Makahiki — The Bounty of the Islands
Makahiki is a character breakfast, and casual buffet dinner. The food is good (nothing to write home about, but good), but we recommend it for breakfast as a fun way to meet characters in their beach gear.

-Ulu Cafe
Ulu Cafe is a great lunch option, especially the poke bowl that’s available. This is also where you can get the famous Mickey spam musubi.

-Off The Hook
Off The Hook is one of the best places to grab drinks throughout the day, or some of their small appetizers.

-Mama’s Snack Stop
Mama’s Snack Stop is a quick service option, open throughout the day, with items like fish and chips, and coconut shrimp. Everything we tried here was great, and big enough to share.

-Pāpālua Shave Ice
Papalua is where you can get the famous (and photoworthy) Mickey shaped Shave ice. Our favorite flavors where coconut, mango, and passionfruit.


AMA AMA is Disney’s signature dining option at Aulani. We prefer it for lunch, with views of the ocean, and a more reasonably priced menu.

We always recommend using Small World Vacations to book your Disney trips, to help take some of the planning and guess work stress off of you. Small World Vacations is the only Authorized Disney Vacation Planners that we recommend – their agents are passionate about Disney, and great at what they do. Right now, Small World Vacations has a promotion going on for this fall, where you can book three nights, and receive a fourth free. We highly recommend getting in touch with them if you’re wanting to go to Aulani.

All in all, we loved Aulani. The resort does a great job of blending the beauty of the islands, with what you’ve come to expect from a Disney resort.