OVERDUE POST COMING YOUR WAY!
After our spring break vacation to Hawaii, our lives really picked up. I haven’t had the time to put together this post, but a month (now two, yikes!) later isn’t too bad right?
For spring break, we spent some time in Ewa beach with my Dad & family, as well as Ko Olina for our long awaited stay at Aulani. One of the questions I was asked most about our trip was if Aulani was worth it, and the short answer is hell yes. Especially if you are a Disney fan, this resort has everything you need & then some.
One of the first stops on our trip was North Shore, home of huge waves making it a surfer’s paradise. In lieu of surfing, we opted for shave ice & shopping!
The only place I wanted to grab a sweet treat from was Matsumoto’s shave ice. This place is hand’s down the most popular shave ice establishment in the area. Touristy? Sure, but that’s what we were! It was SO soft & yummy & I loved the variety of tropical flavors like li hing mui, lilkoi, & pickled mango. You know my basic ass went with strawberry & lemonade, no regrets.
Our next stop on the trip was to the Polynesian Cultural Center. The center is a living museum of sorts, highlighting 8 tropical villages throughout Polynesia. Being that I’m 40% Samoan, this was a no brainer. My little brother Jonah also happens to perform in the Samoan village, so I was happy we got to watch his show. Was this why Aubrey was picked to go up on stage? We may never know…
AULANI TIME Y’ALL.
I’ll try my best to offer some advice in terms of the resort, & to highlight the amenities to the best of my ability. Ready to jump in?
We knew we’d end up at Aulani sooner or later, as avid Disney fans it’s our goal to hit up every park & resort. While the place is pricey, it doesn’t come without value.
Aunty’s Beach House is a kids club included with your stay. Open from 8am-9pm daily, you can pre-register for premium activities, or sign-up for free activities on a first come first serve basis. We reserved Aubrey a spot for Kakamora Chaos with Moana. This included one-on-one time with Moana, a wooden oar to decorate, and 90mins of games. She felt so special that day! I love that once your child is registered, you can drop them off at the facility, free to roam the 5,200 square foot facility packed with video games, dress up clothes, craft stations, and an enclosed playground in the backyard. For us, having ‘free’ childcare from childcare professionals was a huge perk of staying at the resort.
We spent most of our time in the lazy river and waterslides. Make sure you get to the lounge chairs early, as most if not all are claimed by 8am!
Bobby, Aubrey, our nephew Jimmy, & my Dad! ^^ When you first walk down through the grounds, you’re greeted by a little pond filled with huge koi fish. There is a premium experience through Aunty’s Beach House where your child can help the caretakers make fish food & feed them.
The view from our room was kind of unbelievable (made possible by a check-in upgrade!). I love that instead of a normal beach, Aulani had a calm cove. I felt completely comfortable with Aubrey in the water, even though she opted for the pools as the salt water made her ‘sticky’. Totally get it, girl.
Did I mentioned how much we loved the lazy river? I could honestly float in that thing all day. Longer if they allowed beverages =] Speaking of, was the $22 pineapple drink necessary? Probably not. Did it taste yummy? Yes. $22 worth of yummy? Hell no. But when in Hawaii…
I’m a sucker for tropical drinks, & Aulani has their fare share of tasty concoctions to try. My favorite go-to on the trip was a mango mojito, with house-made sweet & sour. Their True Blue Hawaii was a close second. You can check out the full poolside menu here.
I tried my best to document my looks from the previous post & failed miserably. As much as I loved the stylized shots from other fashion blogs, I don’t think that’s me. I 100% don’t feel comfortable having my husband or sister-in-law (thanks for humoring me Bonnie!) take 32423 pictures of me trying to look casual. This is really the best of the best down below, you’re welcome?
Ready for the cutest snacks of all time? Disneyland never disappoints with themed snacks & treats, so I was excited to see what Aulani had to offer on their menu. There were a few places to pick up sweet treats, but my favorite was the Ulu Cafe. The variety ranged from grab-and-go treats like donuts & bagels, to hot entrees and snacks like pizza & sandwiches. Everything was fresh & tasty. We also had a few shaved ices on site as well. Something small that made my day: as the vendor was putting sweet milk on tops of my Mickey shaped ice, he broke an ear off. He gave me the broken shaved ice and a new one for free. *The little things*
We dropped Aubrey off at Aunty’s Beach House so we could enjoy a date night at Ama’ Ama, Aulani’s beach front / open air restaurant. It was pouring rain when we went but I wouldn’t let that rain on…no. I won’t do that to you guys. The food was delicious, hands down the best meal we had on the trip. Also the most $$$.
Another dining reservation we made was for Makahiki, a character buffet serving breakfast. Aunty entertained guests with songs, even including the kids with fish puppets for a conga line. The buffet featured your typical breakfast fare but with a Hawaiian twist. 10/10 would eat both places upon our inevitable return.
Finally, we also attended Ka Wa’Wa, a Luau at Aulani. We opted for VIP seating to get to the activities earlier, better seating, *unlimited booze*, & most importantly, the enhanced welcome lei. The pre-show activities were cute & in theme, ranging from ukulele lessons ,taro pounding, and lei making to name a few . My favorite picture of the entire trip is down below & the current screen saver on my phone: Bobby playing the ukulele. The Luau itself was guided by Noah, Aunty’s brother, who told stories of his home and how the island came to be. Moana made an appearance too. I wish I could tell you more about the show, however we left early because Aubrey fell asleep!
A few tips for staying at the resort:
- Make sure to register your kids *early* for Aunty’s Beach House, as they can reach capacity. For the premium experiences, reservations are pretty much mandatory als sell out.
- Save some money by purchasing a resort refillable mug. They are $18.99 and you can fill them up with soda, juice, milk, + my personal fave, COFFEE at three mug stations on-site.
- Check the Daily Iwa (schedule) ahead of time for activities & times. Anything that says “reserve” or “reservations recommended” means it! I missed sunrise yoga because I slacked.
- Get those beach chairs early y’all. They will get claimed early.
- If you get tired of resort food, walk across the street & eat at Monkeypod or one of the other eateries in the area. Cheaper & still yummy.
- Research Research RESEARCH! I read a couple of blogs and pretty much became an expert on the website so there weren’t any surprises.
- The Spa was hands down the best I’ve been to, & I’ve been places.
All in all, I can’t wait to visit Hawaii again. I’m pretty much easy to please & find something to love every place we visit. Hawaii & Aulani was no exception.