Why My Family Loves Aulani
Let me preface by letting you know that I live in Southern California and live close to the Disneyland Resort. My family is fortunate enough to have Disneyland Annual Passes so we can enjoy family time and all thing Disney. We've been lucky to also vacation in Hawaii before the Aulani was there so the state was already a favorite vacation destination for us. Being able to buy into a DVC membership with Aulani as our home resort made sense for my family. We are always going to go to Hawaii and we love Disney.
Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa is small "d" Disney and Big "H" Hawaiian.
The one big reason we love going to Aulani is because it's a whole lot Hawaiian and very subtle Disney. The Hawaiian culture is definitely the star of the Aulani as told by Disney. All the Disney touches help to highlight the Hawaiian people, their history, and their lifestyle.
Cast Members epitomize the Hawaiian people.
Most of the Cast Members are native Hawaiian and are happy to share their culture with guests. The Hawaiian culture prides itself on its hospitality. Its people are very friendly so when you have that personality and you add Disney pixie dust to that, the Aulani Cast Members are all engaging, helpful, and endearing. They all know they live in paradise, work for Mickey, and love their job.
Aulani decor and aesthetic celebrates the Hawaii culture.
Aulani was designed by Walt Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde who grew up in Hawaii. There is a thoughtful amount of details at Aulani to tell the story of the Hawaiian people and culture. Like any Disney resort, the overall design has a lot of intention. It would have been easy to create a resort in Hawaii and decorate it with all things Hawaiian, but Aulani strives to tell the story of the Hawaiian people through the architecture, the layout of the resort, decor and sounds through the resort. You won't find posters or statues of Disney characters. You'll find patterns, designs, and materials that have a Hawaiian style.
Disney Characters are on vacation, too.
All of that said, Aulani is also still a Disney resort. One of the things that is so charming at Aulani is that the Disney characters are on vacation, too. They are dressed in their Hawaiian attire and they want to have some fun, too. You'll find them poolside or in the Waikolohe Valley taking vacation photos with everyone.
Here are a couple favorite photos that captured some fun moments. Stitch has his "aloha" on with his cool hat and lei. One monring I was sitting outside my room and Mickey happened to be walking by. I gave him a shout and he took the time to send me a greeting back.
Aulani is centrally located to enjoy Oahu.
You can really enjoy leisure time to relax on the lazy river, at the beach or at the Laniwai Spa. You can experience a beautiful luau (Ka'Wa'a) or a character breakfast. Aulani is centrally located in Ko Olina so it is easy to rent a car if you want to take some day trips to explore all the Oahu has to offer (eg. The North Shore, Pearl Harbor, snorkeling). During our last trip we went off property to do some zip lining, scuba, and my daughter even went skydiving. We also took day trips to go shopping and find some good eats.
While taking advantage of all Oahu has to offer was fun, returning "home" to Aulani every time was great.
I'll have more posts in the next couple days to detail our latest trip to Aulani so stay tuned,