A big happy birthday to my wonderful
husband! We took him to Hawaii to
celebrate and are staying at the
Disney Aulani Resort
The Aulani Resort is only a little over a year old
and done up in Disney style
with all of the amazing details you expect from Disney.
The architecture of course if stunning and grand.
We were able to find a special on a two bedroom suite.
This is the master bedroom
and the secondary bedroom. both were beautifully appointed.
The master bath had a huge shower and a garden tub
and the secondary bath even had a rain head and a
hand held shower in the bath. Such nice accommodations.
The living area had a pull out couch and a pull out chair
so the suite could accommodate nine.
The kitchenette was really nice, although we didn't end
up doing any cooking in it, but it was nice to have a
This resort is on the leeward side of Oahu and doesn't have
natural beeches so they created lagoons with fabulous
white sand beaches.
There are four lagoons, the other three serve other resorts.
Everything is so spread out here that you don't feel
the hustle and bustle of Waikiki, but an amazing
sense of peace and relaxation.
You can see at the back of this picture where the rock
has been opened up and dug out to create the lagoon.
The lagoon features all kinds of fun ocean activities and
the water is so pristine. It was really warm this time of year.
This is one of the hot tubs on property. It is a two level
hot tub and one of the nicest hot tubs I have ever
You are looking over the zero edge of the hot tub and seeing
into the lower hot tub here.
I am sure it gets a lot busier during the holiday season and
the summer but in October, it was not crowded and there
was plenty of space.
It definitely wasn't just for families with children as we
saw many, many couples just like ourselves enjoying
There is the birthday boy on the right with your friends,
James and Rachel Williams. James is an architect
and he is working on the Polynesian Cultural Center
on the north side of Oahu so that is why we came
along. It was his suggestion that we stay at the
Aulani as he had walked through the property before.
James is the architect that
I posted about before that created Pirate's Cove.
As you would expect, the pools are amazing and a big part of the
amenities here. This is the mountain in the middle of the pool
which has two great water slides and is surrounded by a
It is very lazy, but it seems to go on and on.
There are waterfalls all through the lazy river.
There is even a snorkeling area where others can watch you
snorkeling or just watch the fish.
You know me, I just couldn't stop thinking how much
my kids and grandkids would love this place!
While there are still hidden Mickeys to look for throughout
the property, there are more Menehunes to hunt for.
Menehunes are mythical creatures who love to create
mischief. You might find one peeking from the rafters
in the restaurant, or hidden in the plants, or even
hiding up in the corner of the elevator.
The Menehune dominate the water park for kids.
Doesn't this look fabulous for kids?
Of course you are going to see the famous Disney characters
throughout the day. Actually they are a lot easier
to find here than they are at Disneyland or Disneyworld.
Here Goofey actually was dancing in the water
with the kids.
Minnie preferred not to get wet, but she was there
at the pool entertaining and posing for pictures too.
We were thrilled with the quality of food and for Hawaii resort
food, we thought the prices were very reasonable.
This was a fruit crepe for breakfast at the oceanside
Ama Ama restaurant.
How about a Mexican take on eggs benedict?
Or maybe you would rather have french toast stuffed
with chocolate, peanut butter and bananas and served
with chocolate and peanut butter sauces.
What about this banana bread pudding topped with creme anglaise
served in a coconut shell and topped with a macadamia nut
cookie as a lid. This is all served alongside a scoop of
macadamia nut ice cream sitting on a bed of chopped
The problem is definitely going to be fitting into
my swim suit!
There is fun and delicious food everywhere and for
us, that is part of the Disney magic.
One day they even brought frozen pops around
the pool and handed them out!
Of course they have wonderful shaved ice at
the pool and lots of other goodies.
I love the presentation of the poolside food.
Since we were in a suite, I decided to have a little
fun and create a
Disney Aulani Tablescape
using all of their kitchen items.
I just love this fun banquet seating with the two little stools.
We actually found the stools to be really comfortable.
Can you spot the hidden Mickey in the fun upholstery
on the back of the banquet?
A Hawaiin Mickey lamp becomes the centerpiece
with the kukui nut lei the men receive upon arriving
at the resort.
Wine glasses and regular glasses are stocked in the kitchenette.
There is an ample supply of white dinnerware
which got dressed up a little with orchids that are left in your
room daily. They also have bowls of orchids around
the property and you are encouraged to take
as many as you like.
The fun aqua accents are so pretty against the dark wood
and I love the carpet with its highly textured
tropical leaf pattern.
The flatware was surprisingly heavy and elegant for such a use
We had to laugh wondering what the maid thought
as she saw the table set up.
In my opinion, Mickey always makes for a great party.
And speaking of a great party, we traveled to the
north side of the island to see all of the work
James Williams has been doing on the
Polynesian Cultural Center.
This is the beautifully remodeled dining facility
that he has been working on.
It is extremely impressive and grand with a fabulous mural
that circles the building telling Hawaii's history.
This is one of the massive double doors that you
enter the dining facility through
I just loved the lights on the gigantic lodge poles. The
quality and detail reminds me of Disney-like
The current project they are working on there is
a remodel of the IMAX theater that is
being recreated into a volcano. We
were able to go behind the scenes and
see this work in progress.
While we were there we also attended their famous
Haunted Lagoon Ride.
Although I couldn't take any pictures on the ride,
it was a fabulous and thrilling ride in
large canoes with about 25 people in
each canoe. Each canoe has a driver who operates
it with a pole. The spooky story is told with
actors and lighting and sound effects along eac
side of the canoe as you travel the lagoon and
the real thrill is when characters jump into the
water and come after the canoe, or characters -
swamp people - come up out of the water and
lean on your side of the boat.
It takes about 45
minutes and is a lot of fun.
It is wildly popular so expect a long wait in line,
but you can spend some extra money and get
a fast pass, which is what we did. They also
do a keiki ride (little children ride) at the
beginning of the evening where the characters
and actors just wave at the kids.
The birthday boy and his wife (that's me) got a special
birthday treat by an afternoon in the Laniwai spa
at the Aulani resort.
I think this was the most wonderful spa experience
we have had because of the marvelous staff
who were so warm and friendly and
really explained how to best use the facility.
Our favorite part was using the facilities out in the
private garden both before and after our treatment.
There were multiple hot tubs with varying
temperatures and a cold plunge.
There was also a circular structure made of stone that had
six or more different showers that were heated to 95 degrees.
We enjoyed the garden for an hour before our massage
and then were encouraged to go back out and
enjoy it. I think our friends thought we were
Alas, sunsets come too early and a wonderful vacation
like thisends too early too.
But with sunsets come beautiful views
and great memories of a wonderful
Hawaiian experience done with Disney style!
Have a little Disney Magic.
Poor Beaulah got all dressed up with a shell
lei and a flower in her hat and even posed in front
of a palm tree, but alas, she had to stay home -
she would have taken up too much room
in my suitcase!
I will be posting this with