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Full Review of Disney Aulani and Villas
March 8, 2024

UPDATED MARCH 2024. Here at Get Away Today we are regulars at both Disney Resorts and the Hawaiian Islands. When you combine Hawaii with Disney and a stay at Disney Aulani, it’s the perfect escape to paradise for families, couples and friends. Many people want an authentic Hawaiian vacation with that Disney flair which makes Aulani a top destination in the pacific.

If you’re looking for a truly laid back, island style vacation with all the amenities you need right on property, Disney Aulani is exactly what you need.

In this article we’ll discuss everything you need to know about visiting Aulani on the island of Oahu anytime of year.

Disney Aulani Resort Snapshot

Aulani is best for those looking for premium accommodations with the complete resort experience. Here are a few things to know at a quick glance about Disney Aulani Resort.
  • Location: Positioned on the beautiful beaches of Ko Olina on the leeward coast of O‘ahu.
  • Closest Airport: You’ll fly into Honolulu airport (HNL), which is about a 30 minute drive to Aulani.
  • Corporate Brand: Disney
  • Sleeps up To: Four guests in standard hotel rooms or twelve in a Villa
  • Check In/Out Time: 3:00 pm / 11:00 am
  • Get Away Today Perks: Best Price Guarantee
  • Aulani is located on the island of Oahu, home to Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Pearl Harbor and so much more. The best way to get to Aulani from the airport is with a rental car or a shuttle. When you stay at Aulani in a standard room or Villa, you’ll be able to relax by the various pools, stroll through beautiful tropical gardens, sit on the beach with a drink in hand and so much more. Your kids will love it too, as they explore various hidden Mickeys in your room, search for Menehune (men-neh-HOO-nay) and play in multiple pool and splash pad areas. Disney Aulani is a wonderful, relaxing addition to your Hawaiian vacation or serves as an incredible stand alone vacation in the isles of the Pacific.

Disney Aulani Hotel Rooms

Spend your nights above a sparkling pacific bay and the gorgeous island sights of Oahu. Aulani places you in a vacation oasis, just a short drive from Honolulu but so far away in scenery and ambiance. If you’ve ever stayed at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland, you’ll notice some resemblance with the beds and room layout. But here you’re totally immersed in all things Aloha.

Resort Rooms are usually the most affordable rooms, but do not skimp on decor or offerings. Even if you don’t choose a room with a view there are plenty of floor to ceiling windows throughout the hallways so you can enjoy the views all over the resort.

Aulani Resort Rooms

  • Resort Rooms come with a variety of view types including standard, island gardens, poolside gardens, partial ocean view and ocean view
  • Resort Rooms sleep up to four guests
  • 2 Queen Beds or 1 King Bed and 1 Queen-Size Sleeper Sofa

These rooms also come stocked with amenities ready for your arrival:
  • Shower/Tub with Rain Head
  • Hairdryer
  • Ceiling Fan
  • In-Room Safe
  • Bath Products
  • Small Refrigerator
  • Iron & Ironing Board
  • Baby/toddler gear upon request
  • Private Porch or Balcony (Lanai)

Aulani Deluxe Studios

  • Deluxe Studio views are the conference center, or parking area from the room or balcony, mountains, spa or landscaping, partial view of the pool, courtyards, water features or landscaping from the room or balcony, or partial view of the ocean from the room or balcony.
  • Resort Rooms sleep up to four guests
  • 1 Queen Beds and 1 Queen-Size Sleeper Sofa

These rooms also come stocked with amenities ready for your arrival:
  • Shower/Tub with Rain Head
  • Hairdryer
  • Ceiling Fan
  • In-Room Safe
  • Bath Products
  • Small Refrigerator
  • Plates
  • Glasses
  • Toaster
  • Corkscrew
  • Can & Bottle Opener
  • Tea Kettle
  • Disposable flatware
  • Ice Bucket
  • Disposable bowls
  • Coffee Mugs
  • Coffee maker
  • Hangers
  • Iron & Ironing Board
  • Private Porch or Balcony (Lanai)
  • Other kitchen amenities upon request
  • Baby/toddler gear upon request

Disney Aulani DVC Villas

Villas are often referred to as DVC rooms as well. The Disney Vacation Club tower is also open to Get Away Today guests and offers many of the comforts of home for a leisurely vacation by the sea.

There are several different villas you can choose from:
  • 1 Bedroom Villa. Sleeps up to five guests in 1 King Bed and 1 Queen-Size Pull-Down Bed and 1 Twin-Size Pull-Down Bed. View options include conference center, parking area, mountains, spa, landscaping, pool, courtyards, water features or ocean from the room or balcony.
  • 2 Bedroom Villa sleeps up to nine guests in 1 King Bed and 2 Queen Beds and 1 Queen-Size Pull-Down Bed and 1 Twin-Size Pull-Down Bed. View options include conference center, parking area, mountains, spa, landscaping, pool, courtyards, water features or ocean from the room or balcony.
  • 3 Bedroom Grand Villa sleeps up to twelve guests in 1 King Bed and 4 Queen Beds and 2 Twin-Size Pull-Down Beds. Includes pool views, kitchen, dining, living room areas, balcony. View options include conference center, parking area or ocean from the room or balcony.

Each villa is also equipped with many amenities:
  • Mop
  • Robes and slippers (upon request)
  • Stove
  • Voltage Converter (upon request)
  • Dryer
  • Electric Mixer (upon request)
  • Bowls
  • Bed Rails (upon request)
  • Plates
  • Blender (upon request)
  • Washer
  • Iron & Ironing Board
  • Hangers
  • Can & Bottle Opener
  • Glasses
  • Storage Containers
  • Toaster
  • Broom & Dust Pan
  • Flatware
  • Serving Utensils
  • Ice Bucket
  • Storage Containers
  • Toaster
  • Broom & Dust Pan
  • Flatware
  • Serving Utensils
  • Ice Bucket
  • Laundry Basket
  • Tea Kettle
  • Casserole Dish
  • High Chair
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Rice Cooker
  • Baking Sheet
The villas are definitely the best choice for larger groups and longer stays.

Aulani Pools

Being right on the beach is one of the biggest perks of any stay at Aulani. During your stay you can bounce around from slides, lazy rivers, splash zones, swimming pools and the ocean all within easy reach of your room.

Aulani has eight distinctive pool areas meant for all ages and plenty of play. When you stay at Aulani, all of these are yours to explore and included in your stay.

Ka Maka Grotto

This is the main swimming pool that will likely catch your eye as you explore the beautiful outdoor spaces of Aulani. Imagine yourself overlooking Ko Olina Beach and out into the Pacific Ocean from the infinity-edge pool. You can even swim into a misty grotto or enjoy the after-dark experience with thousands of glittering lights.

This pool is part of Ka Maka Landing, which offers additional relax and play spaces including the whirlpool spa for families, overlooking the beach and Keiki Cove Splash Zone, designed for younger kids.

Keiki Cove

Designed for kids ages 5 and under but open to all ages, Keiki Cove is the perfect place for water play at your own pace. This whimsical water playground features aquatic creatures that decorate the pool floor, rainbow water jets and hidden Menehune (the legendary “little people” responsible for mysterious happenings in Hawai‘i).

This splash zone is part of Ka Maka Landing which encompasses Aulani’s family pool area including Ka Maka Grotto and a family whirlpool spa overlooking the beach.

Menehune Bridge

The beach, the water, the rainbows—Hawaii is simply dazzling but we bet your kids will be most drawn to the Menehune Bridge. At 2,100 square feet, Menehune Bridge offers play space and magical features at every turn:
  • 2 water slides for those under 48 inches tall
  • Interactive water elements
  • Spinning gourds
  • A climbing play structure
And don’t forget to look out for Menehune—the legendary “little people” responsible for mysterious happenings on the islands.

Rainbow Reef

A stunning tropical oasis awaits at the center of Aulani. At Rainbow Reef you can enjoy up-close encounters with tropical fish in the only private snorkeling lagoon on Oahu.

The saltwater lagoon at Aulani Resort is home to hundreds of tropical fish. Your family can swim up close among the marine life or take a look at this 3,800-square-foot reef through a viewing window.

There is an additional snorkeling equipment fee to snorkel or swim in Rainbow Reef. However, viewing of the area is totally free. You can watch and take pictures as friends and family snorkel. Children can also enjoy this experience as an easy introduction to snorkeling but ages 11 and under must be accompanied in the water by an adult.

Be sure to check Rainbow Reef hours on your Aulani app and plan to include this special moment in your Aulani vacation.

Waikolohe Pool

The Waikolohe Pool is the largest pool at Aulani where plenty of fun and laughter live on each day. Waikolohe is Hawaiian for “mischievous water”—and soon you’ll see why!

At 8,200-square-foot, this zero-entry pool offers something enticing for every member of your ‘ohana including:
  • Volcanic Vertical, the thrilling tunnel body slide
  • Poolside Disney Character visits
  • Age specific parties for teens-only, tweens-only or all-ages throughout your stay

Waikolohe Stream & Waterslides

River tubes are included, so grab a tube or two and let the gentle current carry you through the Waikolohe Valley in this lazy river. Drifting through rock formations and natural details inspired by the island around you, you can dodge the fountain springs or delight in the bursts of cooling refreshment.

Connected to Waikolohe Stream are two water slides from atop Pu‘u Kilo—a craggy peak overlooking Waikolohe Valley.
  • Volcanic Vertical: An enclosed, extreme body slide that plunges you into Waikolohe Pool
  • Tubestone Curl: An open-air, twisting and turning tube adventure that eventually launches you into Waikolohe Stream—ride it solo or with a partner and tubes are included with your stay.

Wailana Pool

Take a dip with the whole family––or lounge poolside and bask in the tropical atmosphere. Here you’ll find a 1,500-square-foot, tension-edge pool with a water wall that empties into the deep end of the pool, all surrounded by tropical shade trees.

Whirlpool Spas

Take a dip in one of 4 whirlpool spas at Aulani—there are both family friendly options and adults only escapes. One thing is for sure, there is always a hot tub nearby!
  • Whirlpool spa near Waikolohe Pool
  • Whirlpool spa near Waikolohe Stream
  • Whirlpool spa near Ka Maka Grotto
  • Two whirlpool spas at ‘Alohi Point ages 18 and older

Aulani Pool FAQs

While there are tons of pools to enjoy, you may still have a few questions about the pool areas of Aulani. Let us help with the answers!

Are Aulani pools exclusive to guests only?
Yes, you must be a registered guest to use any of the pools and spas at Aulani. Guests are given wristbands each day of their stay in order to access the pool areas.

Do I need a wristband to use the pool area at Aulani?
Yes, wristbands are only given to those staying at Aulani Resort. Your daily allocation of wristbands is based on the number of guests in your travel party, and cannot exceed the maximum occupancy for your specific room type. You must wear a wristband to use the pools, pool chairs and beach chairs at Aulani Resort.

Where do we pick up our wristbands to use the pools at Aulani?
A new wristband is required each day. Bring your room key to any towel station in the Waikolohe Valley pool area during operating hours to claim your wristbands for the day. You can also visit the towel station later in the afternoon/evening to pick up wristbands for the next day if you’d like.

Does Aulani provide pool and beach towels?
Yes, you can receive pool towels and beach towels at the towel stations throughout the day. No need to bring your own from home.

Does Aulani have cabanas?
Yes, while pool chairs, tables and lounge chairs are available on a first come, first serve basis you can also opt to upgrade to a cabana or casabella.

Cabanas provide comfortable, luxurious and convenient space for up to 7 guests and include:
  • 43-inch flat-panel TV
  • Ceiling fan
  • Refrigerator
  • Wi-Fi access
  • Upgraded furniture
  • Fruit bowl
  • Complimentary bottled water
Casabellas at ‘AMA‘AMA offers a similar luxury with saltwater appeal in a 2-seat lounger with awning overlooking Ko Olina Beach. Located on the lanai (veranda) of ‘AMA‘AMA restaurant where privacy and comfort comes first.

Who are the Menehune?
According to Hawaiian tradition, the Menehune are master builders, capable of mighty feats of construction overnight. At the Menehune Bridge, they’ve created a special water play area just for younger children. You’ll spot the Menehune on the bridge in statue form—or perhaps frozen in plain sight—caught in the act of spilling and shooting water, or just planning their next mischievous activity. Menehune Bridge combines local lore with an imaginative play structure, so your kids can learn about Hawaiian culture as they have fun.

Are there pool parties at Aulani?
Yes, check the daily schedule on the Aulani app to see what’s happening during your stay. One pool party often hosted at Aulani is the Shake-A-Shaka Pool Party. You can join the fun and learn about surf culture, dance, play games, meet some favorite Disney Characters and more.

Disney Aulani Dining & More Amenities

There is so much delicious food to look forward to during your Aulani vacation, but before we get into the full run down we suggest taking a look at the most popular dining here—Aulani character dining.

If you’re looking for an adult escape you will absolutely want to check out Laniwai – A Disney Spa. Laniwai offers Oahu's only outdoor hydrotherapy garden. Enjoy access to this soothing oasis with the purchase of any full-service spa treatment.

Before your spa treatment you’ll get a tour and full use of this gorgeous space. Early Hawaiians used similar ancient therapy as they bathed in fresh cool streams, mineral baths and the sea. The fluctuations in water temperature helped “reset” the body's regulatory system, boost the immune system and increase circulation, which washed away daily aches and pains.

  • Private vitality baths
  • Co-ed soaking pools
  • A reflexology path designed to massage the feet and lower legs
  • Cold water therapy plunge pool
  • 6 rain-style showers
  • Heated whirlpool jet spas
  • A lounge area with a menu of healthy foods and beverages

And best of all, there’s no time but island time here so you can fully relax until you get called back for your spa treatment. Choose from massages, salon services and more. There’s a sauna inside the locker room as well.

If keeping fit is a priority for you on vacation, you’ll certainly love the Mikimiki Fitness Center, optional fitness classes and specialized training. The salon, spa and fitness center are all located in the same area so you can explore and book appointments with ease.

Beyond that’s there is so much more to explore at Aulani including:
  • Pau Hana Room – Community Hall for games and family activities.
  • Aunty’s Beach House – Kids explore Hawaiian culture, art and music—with a dash of Disney magic—at this supervised activities club for Guests ages 4 to 12. Most activities are complimentary; select experiences are available at a fee.
  • Golf at Ko Olina Golf Club, located beside Aulani.

One thing is certain, there’s no better time to book your stay than now. Book online or call our vacation specialists at 855-GET-AWAY to help you plan.

Book online or call our vacation specialists at 855-GET-AWAY to help you plan.

Disney Aulani Guide || Get Away Today

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