Pool at sunrise with palm trees

Everything You Need to Know about Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

With pristine beaches, stunning mountains, verdant forests and rich culture, Hawai’i is a dream vacation destination for many. The Disney Aulani Resort & Spa immerses guests in Hawai’i’s fascinating culture and stunning natural beauty with a dash of Disney magic, making it the perfect stay for couples and families alike. Keep reading to learn more about this one-of-a-kind Disney resort.  

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Paradise

Nestled along O’ahu’s leeward coast in the beautiful area of Ko Olina, the Aulani Resort is a Disney destination unlike any other. Secluded away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki on 21 oceanfront acres, Aulani offers an enchanting mix of Hawaiian culture, lush forests, beach views and peaceful serenity. 

Aulani Pool Fountains Surrounded by Bridges and Rock

In the past, Ko Olina (meaning “Place of Joy”) was a sacred place Hawaiian leaders and monarchs could escape the stresses of everyday life. Today, it carries on that tradition as a scenic resort community, offering everything from spectacular beaches and crystalline lagoons – complete with water sports – to shopping, dining and a championship golf course. 

Staying at the Disney Aulani Resort 

Aulani may be a Disney resort, but it’s unlike anything you can typically experience at Walt Disney World or Disneyland. From global cultures at Epcot and Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World to the diverse beauty of the Golden State at California Adventure Park in the Disneyland Resort, Disney Imagineers have long been inspired by the world around us. 

The Aulani Resort & Spa takes that inspiration to a whole new level. Guided by the meaning of “Aulani,” or “messenger of a chief” or “the place that speaks for the great ones” in Hawaiian, the resort tells the story of the islands and its many time-honored traditions. With the help of cultural experts and local artisans, Aulani brings the spirit of aloha to life. 

Disney's Aulani Resort and Beach Front at Sunset

From contemporary Hawaiian art and handicrafts studded throughout the resort to customary activities like hula dancing and lei making, all set to a soundtrack of live music, the resort is a love letter to Hawai’i. Of course, as this is a Disney resort, you’ll also find plenty of magical touches, including visits from some of your favorite Disney characters. It’s paradise with a sprinkle of pixie dust. 

Aulani Room Types – Resort Rooms, Suites, Studios & Villas

The tropical vibes and Hawaiian spirit carry through to the guestrooms, effortlessly blending luxe finishes and amenities with nods to local culture and a few cheeky, Disney-inspired touches. From the smaller rooms and deluxe studios to the spacious villas and suites, all Aulani room types share a similar design that feels authentic to the area. 

Rooms are airy and welcoming with a feeling of laidback luxury, featuring sandy-hued walls and dark woods offset by pops of bright, tropical colors like warm oranges, cool blues and hot pinks reminiscent of a classic orchid lei. Not only are the rooms inspired by Hawai’i’s great natural beauty, but you can also drink in the views for yourself out on your room’s private porch, patio or balcony. 

Disney's Aulani resort aerial view

After catching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean, head to the bathroom for even more relaxation. While you certainly don’t want to get caught in the rain during your Hawaiian vacation, rainfall shower heads in all guestroom baths make for an especially soothing way to wash the day (and sand) away. 

Aulani Rooms

In general, all standard guestrooms at the Aulani Disney Resort are comfortably appointed with everything you need for a relaxing stay, including bathrobes, a hairdryer, luxurious bath products, a small refrigerator, coffee maker and tea service, iron and ironing board, in-room safe, flat-panel TV and a Blu-Ray player. 

Families traveling with small children can also request a number of special amenities with comfort, convenience and safety in mind. These include a Pack ‘n Play Playard, diaper disposal system, bottle warmer, highchair and outlet covers. 

3 bedroom villa living room

Standard View

  • Sleeps up to 4 adults
  • Comes with 1 King Bed and 1 Queen-sized Sofa Sleeper or 2 Queen Beds 
  • View of the parking area or conference center

Island Gardens View

  • Sleeps up to 4 adults
  • Comes with 1 King Bed and 1 Queen-sized Sofa Sleeper or 2 Queen Beds 
  • At least a partial view of lush landscaping, mountains or the Laniwai spa

Partial Ocean View

  • Sleeps up to 4 adults
  • Comes with 1 King Bed and 1 Queen-sized Sofa Sleeper or 2 Queen Beds 
  • Partial view of the Pacific Ocean

Standard hotel room with beds

Poolside Gardens View

  • Sleeps up to 4 adults
  • Comes with 1 King Bed and 1 Queen-sized Sofa Sleeper or 2 Queen Beds 
  • At least a partial view of the pool, courtyards, lush landscaping or soothing water features

Ocean View

  • Sleeps up to 4 adults
  • Comes with 1 King Bed and 1 Queen-sized Sofa Sleeper or 2 Queen Beds 
  • At least a partial view of the Pacific Ocean

Aulani Deluxe Studios & Villas

Offering a little – or a lot – more space than the regular guestrooms, deluxe studios and villas at Aulani are filled with many of the comforts of home. Complete with a small kitchenette stocked with essentials like disposable dishes and flatware and a small refrigerator, an Aulani Deluxe Studio is perfect for small families hoping to enjoy a few meals from the privacy of their room.  

Guest suite with living room

Aulani Disney Vacation Club Villas, meanwhile, are ideal for larger groups looking to save some money by doing their own cooking in the fully outfitted kitchen. Other thoughtful amenities include a stove, dishes, flatware, serving utensils, glasses, mugs, corkscrew, can opener, storage containers, toaster, casserole dish, mixing bowls, baking sheet and even a rice cooker. 

If you’d like to use some fresh Hawaiian produce to cook up a smoothie, icy alcoholic beverages or other tasty treats, a blender and electric mixer are also available upon request. Need to do some laundry after a long day at the beach? No worries! A washer and dryer are on hand in your room, as is a laundry basket.

Aulani Deluxe Studio

  • Sleeps up to 4 adults
  • Comes with 1 Queen Bed and 1 Queen-sized Sofa Sleeper 
  • Available with:
    • Standard View 
    • Island Gardens View 
    • Poolside Gardens View 
    • Ocean View 

Aulani 1-Bedroom Villa

  • Sleeps up to 5 adults
  • Comes with 1 King Bed, 1 Queen-sized Sofa Sleeper and 1 Single Pull-Down Bed
  • Available with:
    • Standard View 
    • Island Gardens View 
    • Poolside Gardens View 
    • Ocean View 

Aulani 2-Bedroom Villa

  • Sleeps up to 9 adults
  • Comes with 1 King Bed, 2 Queen Beds, 1 Queen-sized Sofa Sleeper and 1 Twin-sized Sleeper Chair
  • Available with:
    • Standard View 
    • Island Gardens View 
    • Poolside Gardens View 
    • Ocean View 

Aulani 3-Bedroom Grand Villa

  • Sleeps up to 12 adults
  • Comes with 1 King Bed, 4 Queen Beds, 1 Queen-sized Sofa Sleeper and 1 Twin-sized Sleeper Chair
  • Available with:
    • Standard View 
    • Ocean View 

Aulani Suites

If you need a little more space to spread out, consider reserving an Aulani suite. Parlor Suites are ideal for families needing some extra privacy without having to pay for access to a kitchenette or fully stocked kitchen. 

Or, for the ultimate luxury during your stay at Aulani, book one of the resort’s signature suites. Decked out with plush amenities like deluxe robes, three flat-panel TVs, a microwave, abutler pantry and a swanky bathroom outfitted with a whirlpool tub, steam shower with body jets and a rain head, they’re a sumptuous retreat for your tropical vacation.  

Parlor Suite

  • Sleeps up to 5 adults
  • Comes with 1 King Bed, 1 Queen-sized Sofa Sleeper and 1 Single Pull-Down Bed
  • Available with:
    • Partial Ocean View 
    • Ocean View 

Lei Hulu – Signature 1-Bedroom Suite

  • Sleeps up to 5 adults
  • Comes with 1 King Bed, 1 Queen Bed and 1 Twin-sized Sleeper Chair
  • At least a partial view of the Pacific Ocean

Aulani Resort Prices

As with Disney’s many other hotels, room rates at the Aulani Resort are based on a variety of factors, such as the time of year you choose to stay, how much space you need and what you’d like to see when you look out your window. For example, traveling during the busy season, such as the ever-popular winter holidays, will cost you the most, while visiting over the less crowded low season will earn you more wallet-friendly rates. 

Additionally, Aulani is also a Disney Vacation Club Resort. So, while you don’t need to be a DVC member to stay there, those that are can use vacation points to stay there. In fact, even if you are a Disney Vacation Club member, you can also stay on vacation points by renting them from someone else. 

No matter when you visit, a night at Aulani doesn’t come cheap. Between the next-level amenities and comfortably appointed rooms, this upscale resort is comparable to the deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World. So, you can expect rooms to be similarly pricey. Here are the starting rates to give you an idea of what you might pay per night. Just remember that prices do increase considerably over busy periods. 

  • Standard View Resort Room – From $564 or 16 DVC points
  • Island Gardens View Resort Room – From $604 
  • Poolside Gardens View Resort Room – From $639 
  • Partial Ocean View Resort Room – From $649 
  • Ocean View Resort Room – From $754 
  • Standard View Deluxe Studio – From $564 or 17 DVC points
  • Island Gardens View Deluxe Studio – From $604 or 19 DVC points
  • Poolside Gardens View Deluxe Studios – From $639 or 23 DVC points
  • Ocean View Deluxe Studio – From $754 or 25 DVC points
  • Standard View 1-Bedroom Villa – From $864 or 34 DVC points
  • Island Gardens View 1-Bedroom Villa – From $944 or 35 DVC points
  • Poolside Gardens View 1-Bedroom Villa – From $1,009 or 44 DVC points
  • Ocean View 1-Bedroom Villa – From $1,124 or 46 DVC points
  • Standard View 2-Bedroom Villa – From $1,279 or 47 DVC points
  • Island Gardens View 2-Bedroom Villa – From $1,369 or 49 DVC points
  • Poolside Gardens View 2-Bedroom Villa – From $1,469 or 59 DVC points
  • Ocean View 2-Bedroom Villa – From $1,774 or 62 DVC points
  • Standard View 3-Bedroom Grand Villa – From $2,479 or 95 DVC points
  • Ocean View 3-Bedroom Grand Villa – From $3,149 or 122 DVC points
  • Partial Ocean View Parlor Suite – From $1,239 
  • Ocean View Parlor Suite – From $1,499 
  • Lei Hulu Signature 1-Bedroom Suite – From $3,034 

Aulani Resort Dining, Recreation & Other Amenities

Along with the higher price tag, another thing Aulani shares with other deluxe Disney resorts is the incredible amenities. Whether you’re craving a memorable meal or some quality time with your loved ones, Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa has you covered. 

Aulani Restaurants

One of the highlights of any Disney vacation is the food – at least in our opinion, anyway. So, it’s no surprise that you’ll find a smorgasbord of dining options at the Aulani Resort. From quick service to table service, from fruity shave ice to a traditional Hawaiian luau, you can sample it all.  

KA WA’A – A Lū‘au

It wouldn’t be a trip to Hawai’i without going to a luau. This incredible, three-hour dining experience immerses guests in Hawaiian history, including the founding of Ko Olina by ancient seafarers. Featuring a sprawling buffet overflowing with island flavors and exhilarating storytelling through traditional song and dance, this is one Aulani offering you won’t want to miss. Open for dinner

Makahiki – The Bounty of the Islands

Inspired by the Makahiki (or harvest) season, this casual, family-friendly eatery celebrates this bountiful time of year with a delicious, three-course meal of fresh local ingredients, artwork crafted by area artists and a splash of Disney magic. In the morning, tuck into AM favorites with a tropical twist during the resort’s character breakfast. Then, return for dishes like an Asian-inspired Farm-Raised Salmon and Roasted Pineapple Cobbler.  Open for breakfast and dinner

Ulu Café 

For a quick bite to eat, you can’t beat the Ulu Café. Offering both self-serve items and cooked-to-order dishes, this is the perfect spot for good food served fast and, best of all, relatively cheap. Go for a classic sandwich or pizza or try a refreshing Poke Bowl, a Hawaiian specialty. Be sure to save some room for Dole Whip for dessert. Open breakfast, lunch and dinner

Off the Hook

We love a bar or restaurant with a view. Located in the Waikolohe Valley pool area with views of the beautiful Pacific Ocean, Off the Hook is a little bit of both. Reminiscent of a fisherman’s beachside shack, with clever touches like cowry-shell lures and shark-tooth knives, it’s a fun spot to unwind. For lunch, snack on light bites like sandwiches and salads. For dinner, enjoy regional favorites like a Hawaiian Bento Box. Wash it all down with a cocktail or local beer. Open for lunch, dinner and drink service

The ‘Ōlelo Room

Hawai’i may be a state, but sometimes, the otherworldly vistas and fascinating Hawaiian language can make you feel like you’re in another country. At The ‘Ōlelo Room, learn a few Hawaiian words – with some guidance from the friendly bartenders – as you sip on tropical cocktails and snack on local dishes like kālua pork gratin and fresh sushi. One of the best ways to learn another language is by listening to the music, so stick around for a live show each evening. Open for grab-and-go breakfast, dinner and drink service

Wailana Pool Bar

After splashing around in the pool, cool off even more with a drink from this picturesque pool bar. Named for the Hawaiian word for quiet or calm, this serene escape located away from the swimming action is great for a morning coffee, bar bites or a refreshing alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage. Open for coffee service, lunch and drink service

Mama’s Snack Stop

Swimming can take a lot out of you. Refuel for more watery adventures at Mama’s Snack Stop, a quick-service eatery cooking up kid-friendly dishes with Hawaiian flair, such as Coconut-Breaded Shrimp, Fish and Chips and Mini Corn Dog Bites. Open for afternoon snacks

Pāpālua Shave Ice

One of the best ways to cool down in the hot Hawaiian sun is with fruity shave ice. At this vibrant snack shack, this quintessential Hawaiian dessert is dished up in a variety of combinations. Customize your frozen treat from a selection of classic bases and flavors. Open for afternoon snacks

Little ‘Opihi’s – Beachside Kiosk

Beach bums will love Little ‘Opihi’s. Nestled next to Makiki Joe’s on Ko Olina Beach, guests can order from a selection of snacks and drinks either at the counter or when stretched out on a lounge chair. Cool off with fresh fruit, ice cream, DOLE Whip or an icy beverage. Open for afternoon snacks

Disney Aulani Resort Recreational Offerings

Aulani might be a Disney resort, but it also shares some similarities with the wonderful Disney Cruise Line, particularly when it comes to the sheer number of recreational activities on offer. From spendy excursions to complimentary offerings and everything in between, there’s something for guests of all ages. 

Included Activities

A stay at Aulani is expensive enough as it is. So, we wouldn’t blame you if you’d rather not spend more money on stuff to do around the resort. Fortunately, many amenities are free to access for overnight guests. To cool off, swim or sunbathe at the Ko Olina Lagoon, the resort’s award-winning beach, or splash around in the pools. Or, for a truly Hawaiian experience, learn how to play the ‘ukulele. 

But, that’s not all. As a Disney resort, there’s no shortage of activities for the kids and teens. Along with Disney character experiences, young guests can also hang out at Aunty’s Beach House, a supervised activity center, track down on the Menehune Adventure Trail, a techy scavenger hunt, or listen to stories around a roaring bonfire. Adults, meanwhile, will appreciate fascinating walking tours themed around the resort’s vast Hawaiian art collection or its lush landscaping and Hawai’i’s abundant natural beauty. 

Kid-Friendly Experiences

In addition to the free offerings above, there are also several other paid experiences available that kids, tweens and teens are sure to love. For more outdoor adventures, grab a sand toy, snorkel set, boogie board or stand-up paddleboard rental from Makiki Joe’s or dive in for some snorkeling at Rainbow Reef. 

Feeling inspired? Unleash their creativity with light painting or arts and crafts like t-shirt stamping, painting or DIY Mickey Ears. They can even get all gussied up, island style, in the HI Style Studio.

Laniwai Spa & Other Grown-Up Offerings

For most adults, the best vacations are all about relaxation. Luckily, there’s no shortage of that available at the Disney Aulani Resort & Spa. In the morning, greet the sun with an energizing yoga class on the beach. Then, head to the resort’s stunning Laniwai Spa, a luxurious retreat offering a range of spa treatments and salon services. Guests can also experience the healing power of water at Kula Wai, the spa’s outdoor hydrotherapy garden.  

Hoping to enjoy some retail therapy instead? Shopping is available at Aulani, as well as throughout O’ahu. At the resort, Kalepa’s Store is great for sundries and Disney basics, while shopaholics can hunt for high-end fashion and other souvenir treasures at Hale Manu. 

Hawaiian Excursions

Although you could certainly hang out at the resort all day, with so much to see and do around O’ahu, be sure to try one of the Aulani Resort Excursions for a true taste of the islands. These exciting experiences offer something for everyone. Prices range from around $50 to $500 or more, depending on what you choose.

For the adventurous families, consider a thrilling zipline tour through the treetops, go surfing or sea kayaking or bump around on an off-roading expedition. Want to learn something during your vacation? Get to know a friendly pod of dolphins, catch a glimpse of some of Hawai’i’s Hollywood film sites or take a trip to Pearl Harbor. Or, witness some of O’ahu’s beauty on a stunning tour. 

Aulani FAQs

Ready to spend some quality time with your ‘ohana (that means ‘family’ in Hawaiian) at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? Here are some things to keep in mind when booking your reservation. 

Is Aulani all-inclusive?

Unfortunately, Disney’s Aulani is not an all-inclusive resort. So, not only are food and drinks not included at Aulani, but you’ll also have to pay to experience certain activities and amenities, such as access to treatments at the Laniwai Spa, snorkel equipment rentals, excursions and more. 

That being said, there are a host of experiences that are complimentary with your stay, including Disney character interactions, Aunty’s Beach House (the resort’s supervised activity center for kids ages 5 to 12), Disney movie nights, activities inspired by Hawaiian culture like live music and hula dancing, and access to resort pools and the Ko Olina Lagoon. 

What airport do you fly into for Aulani?

The closest airport to Aulani is Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), which is located about 20 miles, or a 26-minute drive, from the resort. While a car rental is a great way to get around the island, you can also take a shuttle between the airport and Aulani. Traveling each way, the Hele Hele Shuttle costs $24 per person for individuals ages 3 and up and $10 each for young children ages 2 and below. 

When is the best time to stay at Aulani?

In terms of the weather, there really isn’t a bad time to go to Aulani. Temperatures are pleasant all year round, lingering in the 70s and 80s. However, some times of the year are busier and, as a result, more expensive than others, such as during the winter holidays. Another time you might want to avoid is called Golden Week, which typically lasts from late April to early May and is a popular travel time for Japanese tourists. 

For fewer crowds and lower rates, try to plan your trip to Aulani for during the low season. Traveling during May, September and October will net you a savings and help you avoid the heavy school break and holiday crowds. 

Can you swim at Aulani if you’re not a guest?

Unfortunately, no day passes are available for non-guests to experience Aulani amenities like the pools, beach rentals and other resort activities. However, even if you aren’t staying at Aulani overnight, you are still welcome to take advantage of some other Aulani offerings, such as restaurants, stores and the Laniwai Spa. 

How many days do you need at Aulani?

It really depends on your priorities and what you’d like to experience. There’s a whole lot to see and do just at Aulani, not to mention the rest of  O’ahu and the other Hawaiian Islands. At the least, plan to spend two to three nights to experience Aulani’s many amenities. Or, if you’re looking for a more leisurely vacation with some exploring away from the resort, plus some time to adjust to the jet lag, four to six nights would be better. 

Well, island hoppers, that wraps up our visit to Aulani, Disney’s Hawaiian resort. Have you had the opportunity to visit this incredible property? Let us know in the comments! Then, find out how to save on other magical vacations with our discount Disney tickets.