An Extended Weekend in Hawaii: Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa

It's hard to believe that summer is already over and fall is upon us in Puget Sound. The sun is rising later and the sun is setting earlier. It's just a matter of time before we only have about 8 hours of overcast skies as daylight and extremely dark nights. We all try to escape here and there to get some sunshine through the winter months and I have found your new place to get away and get your vitamin D fix: Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa! 

I had the pleasure of spending the past week there and I have to tell you, there wasn't one single thing that I didn't love! 

As soon as I walked into Aulani, it felt like I had entered into a world of relaxation. You're immediately greeted by smiling faces of local Hawaiians. After the excitement of receiving a lei, you can't help but notice the breathtaking interior of the resort. Aulani is situated on the mountain side of the island where it is lush and tropical. The interior of the lobby is decorated with gorgeous local wood and Hawaiian decorations. 

If that isn't relaxing enough, the rooms are THE BEST rooms I've seen at a resort EVER. I was able to tour the Grand Villa, which is equipped with 3 bedrooms with sea views, 3 bathrooms, a full dining room and kitchen area, a living room, a television within the master bathroom mirror and an enormous jetted tub! 

Once you're all settled in your villa and rested, you'll probably be starving and Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa does not disappoint in the food department. They have talented local chefs that use only the freshest ingredients that are true to the island. While some treats are Disney themed (such as their Mickey Mouse shaped shave ice or Mickey Macaroons which are a must try), I was able to sit down and enjoy some of their other options such as the shrimp pasta and truffle mac n' cheese at their restaurant "Ama Ama" that is equipped with an ocean view. You can also eat at their buffet, Off the Hook bar or if you're on the go, you can grab a quick snack at the Ulu Cafe. 

You'll find that once you're at Aulani, you'll want to be near or in the water at all times. Their water features consist of a lazy river, infinity pools, an adult pool with bar, a family pool, a private snorkeling lagoon, private access to an ocean lagoon, water slide and children pool area. I spent a lot of time in the lazy river, ocean and adult pool and may have taken a break or two to snap a quick pic of me doing some of my favorite things like drinking and swimming at the same time! 

As I spent more time doing activities at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa, I found myself more and more intrigued by the culture of local Hawaiians. What I found most special about the resort was local Hawaiians wanting to share education about their culture with visitors. I got to meet so many cool people like Manako who is the Aulani ambassador and lives on the north end of the island! He is fluent in the Hawaiian language which has recently been recognized as an official language! 

A must do while staying at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa, is finding time to go to their luau that offers Hawaiian food in a buffet style and also traditional stories about the mighty Maui and how he saved the day for his mother! It's also a perfect way to keep the kiddos occupied with activities such as lei making, but also find time for you and your significant other to have a romantic night. 

You'll see that exploring and trying new things is what Aulani is all about! Kids can pop by Aunty's Beach House or listen to story telling around the fire pit while you head to the spa that offers both aquatic therapy, hands on massage therapy and a reflexology path to relax your tired feet. 

Pro tip to maximize your stay at Aulani: the Blue Hawaiian or Mai Tai's were my go to drinks! 

In all honesty, not even a detailed travel blog can capture the magic that Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa offers for you, your friends and family! You'll just have to check it out for yourself! Trust me, you won't regret it! While you're there, make sure to keep track of all of the hidden Disney magic around the resort that you'll find in paintings and some of the decorations!

And definitely find time to snap a quick pic with your fav Disney character! 

Most importantly, make sure to create lasting memories with friends and family because Aulani has plenty of ways for your to create them!! 

Zann

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