Last week we embarked on our family vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa, located in Ko Olina, Hawaii. This was only our second time staying on site and this time with both kids. We usually do a family vacation around this time to celebrate the kids birthdays, so this vacation seemed like the perfect spot for all to enjoy; and that we sure did! Here are the Pro’s and Con’s of our Hawaiian Disney family vacation:
The service: From the moment we stepped on site, we were quickly greeted with Lei’s for the adults and little Tahitian necklaces for the kids. We were offered water and escorted right to the front desk for check in. From the smiles to the Aloha’s the service and professional attitude from ALL staff members made us feel extra special. We were allowed to start enjoying all the amenities of the resort, left our bags at the bell desk, and were texted when our room was ready, super convenient.
The Pool: At the time, the hotel was at 98% capacity, which means yes, it was crowded. The resort includes many different pool options. There were water slides, a kid splash zone/water bridge, lazy river, infinity pool, hot tubs, and even an adult’s only pool. Also, was a private resort only access right to the beach lagoon with complimentary chair and umbrellas for you to enjoy. I was also quite happy with the amount of lifeguards on hand, which I think is very important especially among children during water play. The whole family enjoyed the water slides and especially the lazy river.
Kids club: INCLUDED WITH YOUR STAY. Yes, you read that right; there is a Kids club where kids 3-12 can enjoy an array of different activities, all complimentary. While I was excited for our kids to try out Aunty’s Beach house, I was still hesitant to leave them in there with out my supervision. Would they get bored? Would they eat? Would they be nice to them in there? These were just some of my thoughts going through my head while signing them into the center. All I can say is that all of these thoughts and concerns were quickly reassured and calmed from the moment we started the check in process.
Each child is given a green band that acts as its check in ticket/security tracking. Everyone entering the house is required to wash their hands; I loved this, such a good idea to help fight germs. As soon as you walk in, it is quite large, very clean, very tidy, with cast members standing and observing all around. Let’s just say I never had to worry that my kids were unattended. With a 5,200 square foot house, there was a game room, movie room, arts and crafts room, eating room, and a huge outdoor play ground.
I was comforted by the cast member that the kids would be taken care of, would have a blast, and for us adults to go have a date night! I was honestly surprised at how calm she was, reassuring that they would be fine, and not to worry and HAVE FUN! As soon as we walked out of the kids club, my husband and I both looked at each other and were at lost about what to do with out the kids around, lol. Because of this great amenity, we were able to have some adult time, date nights and great reconnecting time. You can even call or go into the kids club anytime to check on the kids and see how they were doing. The kids center is open daily from 9:30 am – 9:00 pm for open play, they can come and go any time as long as they weren’t at max capacity.
Parking: The overnight parking fee is $37 per night. This is outrageous in my opinion. We never left the resort, so our car literally just sat there paying rent for the 3 days we were there. Parking options are non-existent around that area, so we really had no choice but to pay it.
Food Options: While the food itself is good on site, the options in my opinion are limited. I would’ve liked to see a casual dining restaurant that wasn’t pool based, but still quick and easy. I heard from guest that they would walk next door over to the Four Seasons because their prices were substantially lower than Aulani’s.
Characters: This is a Disney Hotel, and they do have scheduled character meetings, but I just wish they had more. My kids would’ve liked to see MORE characters walking around interacting in different type of activities rather than just standing in line to take a picture with them.
Summary: This is definitely one of the best family vacations we’ve ever had, and would recommend it as a a great family vacation spot. It’s a great place for the whole family to come together. There were many grandparents who were vacationing with their kids and grandkids . With the high price tag per night, I would say it’s worth it, with all the amenities for kids and things to do as a family. We didn’t want to leave by the end of our stay and will for sure make it back for at least one more stay during our time in Hawaii!