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I loved getting messages on Instagram throughout our sponsored trip with our partners at Disney to Aulani A Disney Resort & Spa. Lots of you were interested in our favorites or “must do” things at the resort so I thought I’d just pull everything together in a list of Aulani tips and favorites. I love hearing other’s experiences too so if you’ve been and have something I didn’t list – go ahead and leave it in the comments. Everyone has different experiences!
Aulani Tips and Favorites
My tips are more about what to pay attention to, what not to miss, and things we did that enhanced our stay. Check out my post on How to Prepare for a Trip to Aulani to check out what we did (or think might benefit you) ahead of time.
- Tours – there are two tours (no extra fee – these are included in your stay) that you can experience at Aulani. Māka‘ika‘i, the Nature and Wildlife of Aulani Resort and Māka‘ika‘i, The Art of Aulani Resort. By taking these tours you will gain a new appreciation for the island and the property that it will make you enjoy your stay even more.
- Book Table Service in Advance – If you want a couple really nice dinners or breakfasts be sure to book those in advance so you don’t have to worry about squeezing an opening into your schedule. ‘AMA‘AMA is absolutely amazing and has such a gorgeous view. You won’t want to miss it! The Character Breakfast at Makahiki Buffet is a great way to see your favorite characters and have a delicious family breakfast all together (and get that iconic shot with Mickey).
- Food on the way in – On your way to the resort from the airport you can stop at Costco, Target, or any grocery store to grab some snacks or easy breakfasts if you like to lounge around in the morning. There’s also an ABC store across the street (a nice, pretty walk from Aulani). We like to have food options (especially with having 2 teenaged boys) and it makes it easy to throw together a day bag if you’re going to explore the island.
- Ulu Cafe – Ulu Cafe is a quick service restaurant and a great little stop to pick up snacks or even beer and wine! This is also where you can get the Poke Bowls, pizzas, flatbreads, and one of the boys’ favorite snacks – the Mickey Spam Musubi!
- Mickey Shave Ice – getting a Mickey shave ice is a MUST. You can get one at Pāpālua Shave Ice in the pool area of the resort. they are open from 11 am – 5 pm so make sure you make time to go once or twice.
- The ‘Ōlelo Room – I think we went to the Olelo Room each night of our trip. Amazing drinks (they have snack/appetizer food but we even had dinner here one night and just shared), amazing live music, and bartenders that are fluent in Hawaiian. It really was our favorite spot!
- Check the Daily Iwa and sign up in the morning – The Daily Iwa will have all the info on activities for the day. When you get up to have your coffee, check online or pick one up in the lobby (you can see future days online). If there’s anything you REALLY want to do, make sure to sign up early. If you’re into activities stop by the Pau Hana (community center) when you first arrive and have them tell you all you need to know!
- Re-useable Cups – if you’re a soda, iced tea or coffee drinker (there are machines in the rooms) make sure to grab a reusable cup at the Ulu Cafe when you first arrive to take advantage of the free refills for your entire stay.
- Plenty of Water – There are lots of water stations around the resort and we often took advantage of these to fill up our water bottles from home (the ones that keep water cold all day).
- Mo‘olelo Fire Pit Storytelling – This was one activity we weren’t going to do but decided to go anyway. We all loved it! Uncle will tell a story of Hawaiian legends and lore surrounding a big fire pit. It’s a great way to end the night.
- Scavenger Hunt – The Menehune Adventure Trail is SO cute and definitely a must do. There are actually 2 trails you can do. One inside and one outside. Stop by the Pau Hana to get all the info. You can start and stop the trail and you’ll pick up where you left off the next time!
- Rent movies & games – when we were walking back to our room one night we saw that the Pau Hana had movies and games out. Turns out you can rent movies and games throughout your stay! The boys loved this and it means you don’t have to pack any games on your trip if you’re like me and like to have something on hand in case everyone needs a relaxing night in.
- Rainbow Reef – Maybe the most fun I’ve had snorkeling next to Castaway Cay! Rainbow Reef is such a great way to snorkel (especially if you have little ones). We loved being close to SO many fish.
- Ka Wa’a A Luau – I think we’ve booked a Laua on every Hawaii trip and Ka Wa’a tops the list! It’s definitely a must do and the perfect excuse to get dressed up and get your Christmas card photo!
- Explore the Island – We were going for a relaxing vacation but wanted to explore at least one day on the island since my boys have never been! I love how easy it is to rent from Alamo right on property! We reserved a car online ahead of time and picked up our keys in the morning (there’s a window in the Convention area of the resort). They pulled the car up in the parking garage for us and we were off. Since we only rented the car for the day, we simply dropped it off at valet when we returned and they took care of everything else! It was so easy and convenient.
We loved our trip to Aulani and have been talking about how it would make an amazing extended family vacation spot as well. Be sure to check out my Aulani Countdown, our Aulani vacation video, and Traveling to Aulani with Teens.