Yay! We made it to Aulani. When we decided to bring Aly to Hawaii, I knew this resort was a must visit for our family. I really didn’t plan any excursions in the area, because for us, the point of staying at Aulani was to really enjoy relaxing together as a family and 3 days of pool and beach time at the resort together sounded perfect! After getting in late last night, this morning was really our first chance to check out the resort and WOW. This place is so beautiful. They did quickly tell us about the lobby last night, and the painting was all done by local Hawaiian artisans. Disney magic + some locals to help with project = one amazing resort!
We decided to head down to the Ulu Cafe for breakfast as we haven’t had a chance to shop for any food here yet. Aly chose the keiki platter and ended up with eggs, bacon and French toast. Chris got a breakfast flatbread that was huge and definitely shareable, and I got the tropical açaí bowl (yes!) that was large enough to share, but honestly I didn’t really want to. I am already thinking about my next opportunity to get one of these in my hands. We found some chairs on a little walkway behind the main pool, and overlooking the ocean. Can’t beat that breakfast view to start the vacation.
We were all stoked to check out the pool area and were not disappointed. There are 2 waterslides here, and they are fantastic! There is a tube slide that is completely dark inside (sorry Aly!) and an open slide that you ride down an inner tube on—single or double tube. We convinced Aly to try both, and much to our surprise, she loved the dark slide (whew!) The inner tube slide lands you straight at a get-in point for the lazy river, Waikohloe Stream, so we continued on to that next. This lazy river is quite long and there are several chances to get wet/have a daughter/husband/etc that pushes you into the water. We spent the rest of the morning checking out all of the pool areas (Aly decided she is now too big for the kids play area, the Menehune Bridge, and even declared their slide “lame” thought it looked like a cute, popular area for children just a bit younger than her). There was a Shake a Shaka pool party where the characters came out and the kids played pool games, and we even saw Moana a few times as we walked around the pool area!
We also went down to the Ko Olina lagoons beach along the Aulani property this afternoon. We snagged a bag of free sand toys at the rental hut, and Aly dug and built castles to her heart’s content. We all had fun splashing in the waves and Chris and Aly both did backflips—I’ll let you guess which one wasn’t intentional! After the beach, we went to the Pau Hana room, which is the family community room here at the resort. This is where you can check out games or DVDs and they hold the family events in this room daily as well. Chris had seen something about a scavenger hunt on the website, and this is where that started. The hunt is actually interactive, and they give you a tablet where Aunty tells you all about the Menehune and you walk all over the property (you choose inside or out) to help them. The Menehune are a Hawaiian legend of small people who work at night to help build things, but can also be quite mischievous! Aly absolutely LOVED this. It had us walking all over the pool area, so Chris and I easily got over our step goals for the day. As Disney does so well, there were different things that would light up, make sounds, move, etc, but I don’t want to spoil the magic for everyone else. Definitely worth doing when you need a break from swimming! The tablets check out for an hour, so after a while, it was time to find dinner.
We drove to Costco to quickly pick up some drinks and snacks for the room. Aly even found a bottle of soy sauce that may be big enough for her and Chris! Always fun to see the different snack foods they have at Costco in other states, but we decided to leave the giant shrimp chips on the shelf.
Then off to the Ko Olina shopping center across the street from Aulani. There are a few different restaurants over there, the most popular being MonkeyPod, but I really didn’t feel like a sit-down restaurant after a full day at the pool and beach so we grabbed some pizzas to go. Of course we had to get one of our faves, a Hawaiian, in Hawaii. We also got a local flavor, the Kailua pork, that had a mango spread and was pretty tasty. We ventured down to the shops (because we all know that’s what Disney really does best, is SELL, followed closely by magic) as Aly forgot to bring a stuffed animal and we promised her she could look for another to hang out with her on the trip. She settled on (another) bunny, this one named Stella Lou, and our happy little girl was ready to get to bed after a long day!