Thursday, May 1, 2014

Our Hawaii Trip - Part 2

After our 5 days in Waikiki we grabbed a cab for the drive an hour west to the Aulani Disney Resort. We knew the boys would love this place plus we knew it would be a relaxing end to the trip as it is quite isolated and not much to see.
(a view over the Aulani grounds)
As soon as you walk into the lobby at Aulani it feels quite grand and magical. You are offered 'Mickey water' on arrival ( normal water but with Mickey shaped oranges & limes in it) and the lobby looks out to the fantastic grounds and water park. There is a lazy river running through the grounds and the first impression is one of fun!
All the activities are pretty much water based here and we were blessed with great weather and blue sunny skies.
Each morning we woke up and had breakfast. I really recommend doing the Character breakfast at least once. Mickey, Minnie and Goofy stroll through the restaurant stopping at tables for photos and a hug.There is also singing and a conga line.
 The boys loved it. 
There is a buffet of cereal, fruit, every type of hot breakfast you can think of and cute touches like Mickey shaped waffles.
After doing the buffet a couple of times we bought fruit, yoghurt and cereal and had it in the room. We couldn't handle the thought of all that food! 
You can buy these items from the Ulu Cafe in the resort or there is an ABC type shop about a 5 min walk away if you want a greater selection or need to stock up on toiletries etc.
We then headed to the pools & slides. Hotel guests are given coloured wristbands each day (to ensure that no outside guests use the facilities) We grabbed some towels and set up on some sun loungers than headed for the slides. There were 2 slides. 1 was a steep, dark ride(!)And the other more family friendly slide that you rode down on a tube and could double up on. This was our favourite, so we would slide down on our tubes into the lazy river and do a couple of laps of the river.
Then we would go into one of 4 pools. The main pool is perfect for kids as it's a gradual slope in so they could splash in the shallows and the water is warmer than a regular pool but not too warm. They had a Disney Pool Party show each day and Mickey and the gang would come out and dance around for 30 minutes or so. You could also grab a photo with the characters too. 
Noah would usually fall asleep at this stage so we would put him in the pram and let him sleep for a couple of hours.
 At this time Jasper would go to the kids club (so much fun and run like a military operation security wise, so I felt really comfortable) and Finn would go off and ride more slides or snorkel with the fish. 
Simon and I would chill out on the lounger and relax!
Lunch was usually by the pool and something easy like a salad or sandwich. Oh and hot chips were always available!!
There was always loungers free by the pool so you didn't feel like you had to get up early to bags one and staff were always wandering around offering food & beverage service and dry towels. Bliss! 
It was a cashless resort and everyone had a room key that doubled as a charge card. This made it so easy as you didn't have to worry about your bag/wallet through the day.
Aulani also has a manmade beach/lagoon at the bottom of the resort but I have to admit we didn't really use it as the boys were just loving the pool, slides and lazy river. There is also a water park full of steps, tunnels and water shooting out everywhere.
Our room was a one bedroom villa with a full kitchen, 2 balconies and a huge bathroom with shower and a spa bath. It also had a washer and dryer which was great so I could do some washing. I love to come home with the suitcases full of clean clothes.
We ate mainly at the hotel (5 restaurants to choose from) but there were a few shops and restaurants an easy five minute walk away. A convenience store, ice cream parlour, coffee shop, pizza restaurant, mexican restaurant and the Monkey Pod which we had dinner at. They had a lovely singer playing acoustic guitar during dinner. Such a great atmosphere!
The J.W Marriott hotel is next door to Aulani if you wanted to pop over and have dinner there as well.
Some of our favourite things at Aulani
*Our 4pm shaved ice fix from a stall near the pool
*Warming up at the end of the day in the 'hot tub'
*The grounds were beautiful and great to walk around
*It never felt busy or overcrowded
*The magical iPad Disney treasure hunt. You hired a special iPad from Reception and followed the map to different points around the ground for more clues. Jasper & Finn loved this and Finn wasn't too old at 11.
*Auntys beach house (kids club) for when the kids needed a break from the pool. You could also book in to do special activities but you have to be quick as these book out fast!
*The Disney Character breakfast
*The overall atmosphere of the Resort. We really loved it and I can see us making the trip here again. For maybe a week next time. I would definitely recommend it to families.
So that's about it! We had a fantastic time in Hawaii and I hope I've answered any questions you had. Let me know if there is anything else you would like to know x

7 comments:

  1. This post makes me so happy! I spent my honeymoon at Aulani just six months ago. While we were there, we imagined someday having children and bringing them there. Thank you for helping me reminisce.

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    1. Oh we saw lots of honeymooners. Perfect place to go back to with your family x

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  2. Hi Simone, thanks so much for all your lovely photos and information we have a 10 yr old boy and a 3 yr old girl so I think this looks as though it would suit us. How did the boys go on the flight being so long? Thanks again! :)

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    1. Hi Blair, they were all fine. Thank goodness for iPads and snacks! x

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  3. What an awesome place. you guys are such a gorgeous family xx

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  4. Thanks for sharing your concept about it. Actually i had no concept about but now i am clear. schools in Hawaii

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Thanks for leaving a comment :) You just made my day xx

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