Located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa is the perfect starting point to the ultimate Hawaiian vacation. Aulani has recently introduced more experiences to immerse guests further into the rich traditions and culture of Hawaii. Check out what’s new at Aulani, including appearances by Disney’s Polynesian hero, Moana.
Disney’s Aulani opened in 2011. Since that time, families from across the world have experienced the delights of Ko Olina on the island of Oahu. From the start, Aulani has told the stories of Polynesian mythology including the tale of Maui who used his fishhook to create the Hawaiian islands. Now with the success of Disney’s Moana, Aulani has introduced new characters and experiences your family will love. Here’s a look at what’s new at Aulani.
What’s New at Aulani?
My family first visited Aulani in 2016. When looking to visit again in 2017, I wondered what’s new at Aulani. Turns out, Aulani had introduced several new experiences including their own luau. I knew it was time to head back. My kids were most excited to learn that Moana had arrived at the resort to help tell the stories of the island on which the resort is built.
Moana at Aulani
Moana hit theaters in 2016, beating numerous box office records. Families all over the world fell in love with the female heroine who was not a princess. Now Moana is taking her rightful spot at Aulani with these new exclusive experiences.
1. Meet Moana at Aulani
Meeting Moana at Aulani is a very cool experience. Due to her popularity, Moana appears several times a day. Arrive at the meeting spot 15 minutes before it is scheduled to start to ensure a visit. My kids told Moana tales of their own Hawaiian adventures and were very excited to hear about hers. Our meet and greet lasted about 5 minutes, and it is one the kids won’t forget for a long time.
2. Storytime with Moana and Uncle
The firepit at Aulani is home to some amazing experiences. It makes the list of what’s new at Aulani because Moana now joins Uncle in the traditional Polynesian storytelling. Twice a day, Moana tells the tales of her brave adventure and friendship with Maui. Arrive 30 minutes early and relax with a Hawaiian shave ice to ensure you have a good seat.
3. Moana and Uncle’s Canoe Race
The canoe (wa’a) plays a vital role in both the movie Moana and Hawaiian culture. Uncle has told tales of adventures on the ocean for years at Aulani. Now Moana joins in to teach kids how her ancestors explored the islands using traditional canoes. Kids are invited to build their own model wa’a and head over to the lagoon for a canoe race.
4. Moana Makeover
Kids all over the world spend their days pretending to be Moana. This list of what’s new at Aulani wouldn’t be complete without the Moana Makeover. At arrival, I quickly noticed kids dressed in Moana gear. I was excited to hear that Painted Sky, the teen spa at Aulani, had introduced a Moana Makeover. Kids can dress to impress with a Moana themed costume, a Moana inspired hairstyle (hair is styled not cut), manicure, pedicure and light makeup. For added fun, book this experience on the day you are going to take part in the next event on our what’s new at Aulani list.
5. KA WA‘A – A Lū‘au at Aulani
Traditional Hawaiian luaus take place across Oahu. The new KA WA’A Lū‘au at Aulani is one of the best luaus for kids. Families head to the Aulani lawn to take part in traditional Hawaiian activities like lei making and tattooing. The fun kicks off early enough that kids have time to play and explore before dinner begins.
Dinner is a mix of traditional Hawaiian foods like suckling pig, poi, and fresh local seafood. Don’t fret if you have a picky eater. Aulani takes the stress out of dinner by providing a table of kid-friendly foods like Mickey Mouse pasta. Aulani does not restrict kids to the kids’ food and invites them to try the traditional Hawaiian foods.
As dinner concludes, Aunty and Uncle kick off the luau by telling the tale of how the Hawaiian islands came to be. While Moana does not make an appearance at the luau, kids will be excited to hear about the demi-god Maui. Aulani even gives kids a fishhook necklace to commemorate the luau.
Special Guests at KA WA‘A – A Lū‘au
Talented Hawaiian dancers and performers entertain families for a total of three hours. The luau performers invite children to join in a dance with Mickey and Minnie Mouse part way through the show. Near the end, performers hand out traditional Hawaiian instruments to children. Kids then take the stage for one last performance.
KA WA‘A, A Kid-Friendly Luau
One of the best parts of the luau is that it begins early enough that kids will still make their normal bedtimes. Children under 3 attend Aulani’s KA’WAA Lū‘au for free. Reservations can be made in advance of arrival by calling (808) 674-6320 between 7:00 AM and 4:30 PM HST.
That’s What’s New At Aulani!
Aulani’s newest experiences including interacting with Moana blew us away. Disney is meeting its goal to provide a place where families can experience the wonders and rich traditions of Hawaii. Kids get a kick experiencing moments portrayed in Moana from seeing sea turtles in the bay to making canoes. The next thing on the list of what’s new at Aulani should be you.