Disney’s Aulani Resort is by far the best Disney-owned hotel and resort in the world.
From amazing resort amenities and foods to beautiful rooms and views, this oceanfront property is the epitome of a Hawaiian vacation.
And to fully take advantage of your next visit to Aulani, there are some things you absolutely must do and try during your stay.
So with that being said, here is everything you must add to your Aulani bucket list.
Aulani Bucket List
Here’s everything you must eat, see, and do when you’re at Disney’s Aulani Resort.
1. Get a Mickey Musibi
There’s no place else on earth that you can get an official Mickey Musubi.
2. Dine at the character breakfast
Enjoy a nice breakfast “buffet” with Mickey and friends. The food is okay but the character interaction lasts a lifetime.
3. Snorkel in Rainbow Reef
Aulani is home to 3,800 square food saltwater lagoon that’s home to thousands of tropical fish. Best of all, as a hotel guest, you can snorkel in this serene, man-made lagoon.
The only negative is that it’s ice cold.
4. Watch the sunset from the rocks
One of the highlights of my Aulani vacations is definitely taking in the sunset on rocks near the resort. On both sides of Aulani, there are rock landings where you can take in the sunset. Personally, I recommend you walk to the Four Seasons side since it’s bigger and has such a better view of both the sunset and nearby Jurassic Park-esque mountains.
Plus, be sure to pack a tripod because this is a great photo op.
5. Enjoy a shave ice with Mickey Ears
No visit to Hawaii is complete without a shave iced. But what makes the shave ice from Papalua Shave Ice better is that you can add Mickey ears for only $1.
Personally, I recommend that you get the shave ice with Mickey ears, vanilla ice cream, and a condensed milk drizzle.
6. Grab a Dole Whip
Get a pineapple Dole Whip from the motherland. (To be honest, this one is better than the one at Dole Plantation, but I could be biased.)
7. Try a poke bowl
No Hawaii trip is complete without enjoying a poke bowl. I always opt for the spicy ahi tuna bowl.
Now it’s not as good as the poke bowls from Foodland down the street at Kapolei, but this will do. Plus, I prefer this over the one found at the ABC store across the street.
8. Go to the luau
If this is your first visit to Hawaii, then a luau is a must.
Aulani has has their own luau on property called Ka Wa’a and honestly, it’s okay. There’s a lot of story telling and definitely has a Disney touch. I don’t love it, but I’m also glad I tried it.
If you want a better, slighter less expensive, more authentic luau experience, then I recommend that you go to Paradise Cove right next door. It’s everything you expect from a typical touristy luau.
9. Rent a paddle-board on the lagoon
If you ever wanted to go paddle-boarding, then this is the place to do so especially since there’s almost zero waves to knock you down.
And in case you were wondering, it costs $45 per hour.
10. Relax on the lazy river
Take one or five passes around the lazy river. You’re on vacation, no one can stop you.
11. Go down both water slides
There is both a body slide and a tube slide that you can enjoy. Plus, two people can go down the tube slide together which is great for younger kids that want their sibling, friend, or adult present.
12. Take in the sunset from the infinity hot tub
The adults-only whirlpool spa by far has one of the best pool views that faces the ocean.
I recommend you try to watch the sunset from here at least once.
13. Say aloha to your favorite characters
The characters are abound across Aulani property. I personally love that Goofy actually goes in the water for meet and greets.
14. Get a breakfast platter with Portuguese sausage
If you ever been to a McDonald’s in Hawaii, then you know that a poplar breakfast meal consists of eggs, rice, portuguese sausage and Aloha Shoyu.
Thankfully, Aulani offers the same.
15. Enjoy a sunset dinner at Ama Ama
The dinner at Ama Ama is home to great oceanfront sunset views. The newly reimagined four course dinner menu consists of locally-inspired dishes.
The only negative is that they no longer serve breakfast which is a massive bummer.
16. Have a spa day
The spa and massage treatments at Aulani are amazing, but the hydrotherapy garden is even better. I can’t imagine a visit to Aulani without at least one spa day.
17. Buy Aulani-exclusive merchandise
I rarely buy Disney merch but sometimes the offerings at Aulani are too good to pass up. At both the Kalepa’s Store and Hale Manu, you’ll find Aulani-exclusive merchandise like shirts, hats, Pandora charms, Nike clothes, dresses, homeware, spirit jerseys, and more.
18. Get professional photos taken on the beach
If you want to bring home some of your favorite vacation memories, then be sure to take advantage of every PhotoPass opportunity available during your stay. Plus, you can even book a private profession portrait session on the beach.
19. Do sunrise yoga on the beach
This is just one of those things that you must do if you’re a yogi.
20. Ride on the Sailing Canoe
Enjoy a 2.5 mile sailing canoe adventure that leaves right from the hotel beach. It costs $119 per person and you have to book it at Makiki Joe’s in-person.
21. Take a fitness class on the beach
It’s impossible for me to go to the gym during vacation. That said, I have a lot more motivation if I’m working out on the beach in Hawaii.
22. Enjoy live music at the Olelo Room
Grab a table during the evening and enjoy some live Hawaiian music with a drink in hand, and some fresh sushi on your plate.
23. Stay in an Oceanview Room
After staying in garden and poolside view rooms, the oceanview blows all of them out of the water. There’s no better way to wake up, look out your sliding glass door and see the beautiful Ko’Olina lagoon and Pacific Ocean.
Note: These rooms are a lot more expensive than standard view rooms so if you rather save your money and spend it on something else, I recommend you do. But if you’re someone that loves to sit on balconies and enjoy the view, then this is a must.
24. Stay in a 1-Bedroom Villa
I love the standard room but sometimes you need a little more space. That’s why I recommend that you stay in a 1-Bedroom Villa.
Each room comes with a full kitchen, washer/dryer, shower, separate whirlpool tub, two balconies, a living area, a dining table, and a king sized bed.
For more information, be sure to view my in-depth review.
25. Swim in every pool
There are three large pools and multiple small pools and hot tubs spread out throughout the resort. I make it a mission to swim in all of them during my stay.
26. Get a Liliko’i-lada (preferably in a pineapple)
It’s not a vacation unless you enjoy a nice cold drink by the pool or lagoon. Personally, I recommend you try the liliko’i-lada which is basically a piña colada with a red passion fruit syrup.
27. Take a ukulele lesson
Learn how to play some of Hawaii’s most popular songs using their most popular instrument, the ukulele.
28. Explore the Menehune Adventure rail
The Menehune Adventure trail is a free, high-tech scavenger hunt where you get to solve riddles and search for statues across the resort.
29. Get a birthday button
Get an Aulani-exclusive birthday button if you’re celebrating your birthday.
30. Go to Monkeypod
I’ll be honest, the food isn’t amazing and it’s always crowded since it’s literally the only decent restaurant in Ko Olina that isn’t in a hotel. But Monkeypod does have great drinks and has a pretty cool vibe in the evening thanks to its live music.
Honestly, it’s just a nice alternative to the dining options found at Aulani.
31. Go golfing across the street
If you love to golf, then you’ll love the Ko Olina Golf Club, mainly due to its proximity to Aulani. I’ve personally never golfed here but would love to. It’s just not worth it for me to fly my clubs from Orlando just to slice every drive.
32. Rent a car and leave Ko Olina
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Aulani, but there is so much to see, do, and eat in Hawaii that it’s almost a waste to only spend your entire trip at the hotel. I mean I’ve done it and have zero regrets, but after exploring the island of ‘Oahu by renting a car at either the Alamo at the resort or from the airport, I can’t ever go to Hawaii without one or two exploring days.
Did I miss something?
If so, please let me know about anything that I must add to this Aulani bucket list by leaving a comment below. Thanks!
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