Hawai’i’s Disney Resort

by Angelique Platas

May 8, 2019

© Nadja Jacobson | Dreamstime.com

Trends / Unique Itineraries & Tours

For guests that want that added touch of Disney magic, characters and themed fun, a resort on the Island of Oahu seems like a natural next step for the family-friendly giant. It’s a highly coveted destination and a beloved brand. Match made.


Those more interested in the natural beauty, authentic culture and varied tropical landscape, however, may not necessarily feel the same way. When both opinions are deemed valid and heard, you get Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa.


You may be picturing an over-the-top, imposing, fictional world smack-dab in the middle of an oasis, but not so much. This resort is far subtler than families and guests may expect. Even the design of the hotel is with the surrounding landscape and culture in mind. Disney Imagineers visited with the locals and Hawaiian Cultural Advisors to create something truly representative of the local traditions, history and beliefs. In Hawai’ian culture, things of value are held high up, literally, and as guests walk into the lobby and see the mural depicting Hawai’ian culture painted high up toward the ceiling, that’s just exhibit A in a long list of details making this resort unique.


Disney definitely plays second fiddle to the exotic locale of Hawai’i.


Sure, there is the option for Disney-themed everything, from character breakfasts and merchandise, to mouse-shaped shaved ice, but there’s also a parallel universe where guests can opt for a more natural experience.


Lay on the beach and swim in the lagoon, sip on tropical drinks by the adults-only pool, lounge in the lazy river, snorkel, paddleboard, walk along the Ko Olina paths visiting other lagoons and tidepools (and resort beach-side bars), take a boat out or plan an off-resort excursion like rainforest hikes and hired cars to take you to the Dole Plantation — the Aulani Resort is your oyster.


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