Aloha Hawaii: Aulani: Disney Resort & Spa Review

Posted on October 1, 2013

A family friend was attending a conference at the hotel with one night’s stay so I was lucky enough to tag along and enjoy the resort. My experience at Aulani was good but it didn’t have the Disney feel that I was expecting.

It has about an 80% relaxing, Polynesian resort feel (which was beautiful) but only a 20% Disney feel. The lobby had nothing to indicate that it was Disney and in our hotel room (two double beds), there was one Disney item – a wooden lamp with Mickey carved into it. Being a big Disney fan, I was disappointed.

However, they had Mickey and Minnie walking around all day so people could take pictures with them. The photographer gives you a PhotoPass card so you can check your pictures online after but they also offer to take pictures for you with your own camera or phone! I was very impressed with this!

I went in September so there weren’t a lot of people as kids are back to school. Lots of chairs to lay on, tubes to go down the slide in and the lazy river was peaceful.

What the water park has:

  • There are two water slides – one where you slide down sitting on an inner tube and one where you slide down on your butt and the entire tunnel is pitch black.
  • The lazy river is quite long and very enjoyable
  • There are two small infinity hot tubs for adults to relax in
  • A shallow pools for kids to swim in
  • An adult pool with a pool-side bar
  • A man-made lagoon with calm water and smooth sand
  • If you want to snorkel, you can pay $15-20 to go into the Rainbow Reef tank
  • There was an interactive play area where kids can run around in the pirate ship and streams of water

Things to note:

You can still stay the whole day after you check out at 11am. The Pau Hana Center has free lockers and  showers for you to use before you head to the airport. Lots of towels in there and even has hairdryers! You can also make leis for free, just ask the attendant for string.

Everyday you need to show your room key to get a coloured wrist band in order to use the pool but no beach is private in hawaii so you are welcome to walk in, check the place out and enjoy the beach.

Parking was $35 for valet or self-park


I would recommend this place for families with small kids who love playing in the water every day but not if you’re hoping for Disney themed things everywhere. Personally, since I don’t have kids – if I had the money, I’d pay for the hotel for one night, play in the pools for two days (since you can stay the day after you check out at 11am) and then move to another hotel.

Check out the rest of my highlights in Honolulu!

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