Aulani is Disney’s luxurious Hawaiian resort located on the island of Oahu. There are endless Disney Aulani activities at the resort, so you may find you do not even need to leave the hotel. If you are wondering what to do at Disney Aulani before your upcoming trip, we’ve got you covered with activities onsite, as well things to do around Oahu.
What to Do at Disney Aulani
Disney’s Aulani has pools, a quiet beachfront lagoon, water play areas, ukelele lessons, and more. If you find yourself struggling with what to do at Disney Aulani during your trip, do not fret, we have all the options.
Besides swimming, and beachfront activities, Disney Aulani activities include: painting lessons, make your own Mickey Ears, fire pit storytelling, movie and karaoke nights, paddle boarding, and even a luau.
Ultimate Beach Activities Guide
No Hawaiian vacation is complete without some time, or a lot of time, spent at the beach. Disney Aulani activities at the beach are endless, as the resort is located with direct water access.
To find the beach, simply head through the pools to the open side of the horseshoe layout, and go down the steps. Here, you will find the Disney Aulani and Four seasons lagoon called Kohola Lagoon.
There are four lagoons that can be accessed from Aulani. When you first arrive at the resort and are wondering what to do at Disney Aulani, we highly recommend taking the walking trail around all four of the lagoons. This will help you locate the prime locations for swimming and snorkeling.
The Disney lagoon is the first lagoon, but by taking a left from the resort and following the paved trail, you will find 3 more.
All four lagoons offer white sand beaches with calming and quiet waves. These lagoons are manmade and contain wave breaks to keep the water safer to swim in for all ages. When entering the water you will find it slowly gets deeper with no steep drop offs, making it the perfect place for timid beachgoers, or children.
If one of your desired Disney Aulani activities is sun tanning, Kohola Lagoon features beach chairs for the resort guests to utilize. If you are looking for some protection from the sun, beach umbrellas can also be found and used here.
Towels can be brought to the beach from the resort, with towel locations being found near Keiki Cove, and between the Menehune Bridge and the volcano. For a more comprehensive description of the resort layout, as well as more Aulani information, click here.
Remember, to access the towels and beach chairs, resort guests will need a wristband from the towel stations. These can be picked up by scanning your room key when picking up your towels.
For an added level of extravagance, Disney cast members patrol the beach ready to take your food and drink orders, and then deliver them promptly to you.
Disney Aulani Activities: Complimentary Beach Activities
If you are looking for more than swimming and sunbathing, many Disney Aulani activities commence on the beach, and a lot of them are included with your stay.
Head to Makiki Joe’s Beach rental shack to rent your complimentary boogie boards, sand toys, or life jackets. Additionally, guests can stop here for ping pong paddles to use on the nearby table, or for the pieces to play on the giant connect four game which can be found beachside.
Looking for additional beach equipment, don’t be afraid to ask. Aulani often has additional beach toys not listed on their site.
What to Do at Disney Aulani: Beach Rentals
Along with the complimentary beach rentals listed above, guests can rent more equipment for a fee. Makiki Joe’s offers guests the opportunity to rent paddle boards and snorkeling equipment.
The snorkeling equipment is $25 per day per guest, or $45 for the entire stay. The equipment must be returned each day, and cannot be taken off of the lagoon. They do not have flippers for rent, but one of the premium fitness classes utilizes flippers, (more information below.)
Any snorkel rental at the resort comes with an added bonus Disney Aulani Activity. The Rainbow Reef, a manmade snorkeling lagoon located poolside, is included with the snorkel rental.
This big pool is filled to the brim with tropical fish and is exclusive to Disney guests. The rainbow reef is the ideal place for beginners to learn to snorkel before heading out into the ocean.
If you are looking for snorkeling gear and do not mind purchasing it, head across the street to Island Country Markets. This store is just a short walk from the resort and sells snorkeling gear and flippers for an affordable rate. Food, clothes swimsuits and toys can also be purchased here.
Makiki Joe’s also rents stand up paddle boards for $45 per hour for guests to use in the lagoon.
Private beachside cabanas and casabellas (two-person lounge with shade cover) can be rented here as well. For rates, click here.
Luxurious Spa Treatments
What to do at Disney Aulani? How about a spa experience?
For full disclosure, I did not experience the spa during my recent trip, but, I did take a peak and made note of the services offered.
If you need a break from the faster paced Disney Aulani Activities, consider getting a facial or massage at Laniwai.
Laniwai features adult only options, family options, and even a style studio exclusively for kids.
Massages: Various traditional Hawaiian massages including hot stone massages, poultice massages, and a water massage.
Facials: Facial services include an organic facial, a skin rejuvenating facial, a facial to reduce fine lines and sign of aging, and more.
Just for Men: Services for men include a facial service, traditional shave, and manicure, and hair grooming services.
Couples Experiences: Couples can experience a couples massage and exfoliation treatment.
Family Treatments: These include experiences specifically for expecting mothers, as well as group massages.
Additionally, Laniwai features a private hydrotherapy garden retreat. This features vitality baths, rain showers, spa tubs, and more inside of a 5000 square foot garden retreat.
What to Do at Disney Aulani: Salon Services
In addition to a full spa, more Disney Aulani activities include a full salon. Here, guests can get hair and nail services, waxing services, and services just for men.
The Painted Sky: Hi Style Studio is a salon just for kids. Here, kids aged 3 through 12 can receive a complete makeover, including outfit choices. They will be treated to a full makeover based on their tastes and hairstyle choices.
The kids salon features rainbow LED lighting, and even a Frozen Yogurt shop inside.
Disney Aulani Activities: Fitness Classes
In addition to a full gym near the Laniwai Spa, and a beachside jogging trail, you’ll find an array of fitness classes in the Disney Aulani activities lineup. These include options like beachside yoga, paddleboard workouts, fitness classes on the beach and in the lagoon, and even personal training in the gym or outside.
Some of these fitness classes are included in your stay, while others are a premium experience. For more information and booking, click here.
As travel agents for Mickey World Travel, we can book your Aulani vacation. Receive a quote today!
Explore Hawaiian Culture with Disney Aulani Activities
Many Disney Aulani activities include performances that utilize the Hawaiian cultural that surrounds the resort. In the lobby, you will find ukulele performances, singers and hula dancers.
Look at the tops of all the elevators for the menehune statues. In Hawaiian cultures, Menehune are magical “little people” who have mystical powers and are full of mischief. These statues are also hidden throughout the entire resort, in the landscaping and under rocks, to be discovered by children, and adults alike.
The Hawaiian culture is also brought to the resort in many Disney’s Aulani Activities. Nighttime fireside story telling shares tales of wayfinding with the stars and additional stories from the area. Puppetry and magical effects are included to add some extra Disney magic to this experience.
The Menehune Adventure Trail is the perfect way to combine fun and learning for kids. During this activity, kids can check out an adventure tablet from the Pau Hana room and explore the resort following clues.
Kids can learn about Menehune legends while the tablet interacts with different areas of the resort, and releases magic when clues are found.
The resort also offers walking activities for adults, (or children,) that discuss the architecture of the resort and how it relates to Hawaiian culture. An additional garden tour discusses the traditional Hawaiian plants found around the resort.
Enjoy Hawaii’s Best Luaus at Aulani
The most cultural thing to do at Aulani is the luau. If you are staying at the resort, the Luau is worth the splurge! If you can swing it, we highly recommend getting the preferred seating as well. This offers a better view, better service, and the option to be seated and enter the buffet first.
Aulani’s Luau combines traditional music, instruments, Hawaiian storytelling, hula dancing, and fire twirling to share the tale of Ko’Olina and the island of Oahu.
The food is phenomenal and contains many diverse Hawaiian options. Dinner is served buffet style, all you care to eat, so expect to leave full. The show will leave you mesmerized, amazed, and happy.
Pools, Parties, and Water Parks
What to Do at Disney Aulani: Pools
If you are wondering what to do at Disney Aulani besides swimming in the lagoon, try the pools. Disney Aulani has the Waikolohe Pool, with volcano vertical body slide, as well as a one or two person tube slide that ends in the Waikolohe Stream, a twisting lazy river with waterfalls and jumping spouts of water.
The Ka Maka Grotto Pool is a bustling pool with lit up rockwork and an ocean view. For a more quiet poolside experience, head to the Wailana Pool, and enjoy a drink from the Wailana Pool bar, or head to one of the quiet adult pools or spas.
Keiki Cove is a splash zone for littles only, and the Menehune Bridge is a whimsical water play structure for any kid under 48”. It features two waterslides designed just for the little ones.
For a more secluded, safe, snorkeling experience, the Rainbow Reef is the only private saltwater snorkeling lagoon on the island.
Parties and Other Fun
For non-water related Disney Aulani activities, head to either the Pau Hana Room or Aunty’s Beach House.
Aunty’s Beach House hosts dance parties and kid activities during the day, and teen karaoke and game nights in the evening.
The Pau Hana Room hosts all other activities found on the Daily Activities Calendar. This calendar changes based on time of year and day, so be sure to check often to ensure you do not miss out on the fun.
In the Pau Hana room, you can sign up for Disney Aulani activities such as ukelele lessons, painting, resort tours, and the beloved Make Your Own Mickey Ears experience.
This premium experience gives guests the opportunity to make their own Mickey Ears with Hawaiian flowers and even LED lights on them. This experience often sells out, so be sure to head to the Pau Hana room early during your trip to book.
Special Events at Disney Aulani
Disney’s Aulani does have the accommodations to host special events ranging from weddings to corporate retreats and conferences.
The Wedding chapel faces the lagoon and offers a picturesque backdrop. In addition to weddings, guests can rent out a variety of resort spaces for family reunions, vow renewals, and birthdays.
The Wailana Pool, 2 different ballrooms, the Rainbow Reef patio, the Ama Ama Patio, the Lagoon, the Kipuka Lawn and more can all be rented for private events.
Additionally, the conference center can be booked out for corporate events, and Aulani can handle the catering.
Explore an Underwater Paradise
If you have gotten this far and are still wondering what to do at Aulani, you may consider snorkeling. Above, we discussed where to rent or buy snorkeling gear, and how to access the rainbow reef, but if the Rainbow Reef is too tame for you, try the lagoon.
Another Disney Aulani activity is snorkeling inside the Disney lagoon, or any of the four lagoons at Ko’Olina. The snorkeling in these lagoons is not only phenomenal, but safe. The manmade lagoons contain wave breaks to help protect from waves and offer a more pleasant snorkeling experience.
The reefs and rocks in the father parts of all four lagoons are teeming with fish life. We even saw multiple sea turtles exploring the lagoons.
Other Aulani Activities: Nearby Destinations
If you are renting a car, or utilizing Uber, there are endless things to do near Aulani. Drive up to the north shore to watch wind surfers and watch the large waves, or shop at quaint beach town stores.
For a less out-there adventure, explore the Dole Pineapple Plantation, or drive into Waikiki for high end shopping and beach fun. Visit the Al Moana Shopping complex for the largest open-air mall in America.
The Waikiki Aquarium or Honolulu Zoo offer the opportunity to see native species up close. For more nature experiences, head out on a hike to Diamond Head Crater.
If you do not have a car and prefer more structured adventures, stop by the Tours Desk in the Aulani Lobby for an explanation of Disney Aulani activities as well as various island tours that depart from the resort.
Here, you can schedule tours of Pearl Harbor, Waikiki, waterfalls on the island, the Polynesian Cultural Center and more.