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by JollyFrogger Diva

Tips for Planning Your First Trip to Aulani

Hawaii has always been on my bucket list. In light of the last 2 years of uncertainty and struggle due to the pandemic, my husband and I decided to plan a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. We are planning to visit Hawaii for the first time in October of 2022 and spend 6 wonderful nights enjoying Oahu and Disney’s Aulani. I have spent a great deal of time researching all Oahu and Aulani have to offer so I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned with our readers to save them a bit of time in researching or planning their own Aulani vacation.

Use a Travel Agent
Did you know that a Disney affiliated Travel Agent can book your trip at no cost to you? Not only does using a Travel Agent save you the time trying to call or go online to book your trip through Disney, they can also save you money. If Disney released a discount special during your travel dates, your Travel Agent can help rebook your trip under the discounted rate. We at Tips from the Disney Diva recommend Patricia with All for Dreams Travel. You can visit her website for a free quote on your next Disney vacation whether it be to Aulani or any other Disney destination

All For Dreams Travel

Reservations at Aulani
Although planning a trip to Aulani requires less reservations than our typical trip to Walt Disney World, there are some important dates to remember, depending on the type of reservations you are interested in.

  • Cabanas: If you want to ensure your family has a shady spot to rest during your stay at Aulani, you may want to consider renting a cabana. Aulani says they take reservations for Cabanas up to 1 year in advance. You can book your rental by calling 1-808-674-6200. From everything I’ve learned in my research, Cabanas reservations usually go fast so you may want to book right at the year mark or as soon as you make your hotel reservations.
Say "Aloha" to Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

photo courtesy of Disney Magic Diva

  • Laniwai- a Disney Spa: If you’re looking for a bit of pampering on your vacation, consider visiting Aulani’s spa Laniwai. Reservations can be made up to 9 months in advance online or by calling 1-808-674-6300. Doctor Disney Devo shares his review of Disney’s Laniwai Spa here. You can visit Aulani’s website for a comprehensive list of treatments and services available.
  • KA WA‘A Luau: Perhaps you’re looking for bit of Hawaiian culture and some quality Disney entertainment on your vacation. Consider booking KA Wa’A Luau for your family. Reservations can be made approximately 6 months in advance online or by calling 1-844-284-7644.
  • Excursions:  Do you want to explore Hawaii while letting Disney handle all the planning? Check out the many excursions offered on Aulani’s website. There are options for every family and budget- trips to Pearl Harbor, surfing, zip lining, and more. You can make reservations online up to 6 months in advance.
  • Dining: At this time, Disney only offers dining reservations for Makahiki. They offer a 3 course breakfast with visits from some of your favorite Disney characters as well as a 3 course dinner menu. ‘Ama ‘Ama is set to open in Fall 2022 and it’s expected they will accept reservations as well. You can book dining up to 30 days in advance online starting at midnight HST.
ÁMA ÁMA at Disney's Aulani Resort: Idyllic Beachfront

photo courtesy of Disney Magic Diva

  • Aunty’s Beach House: If you’re traveling with children ages 5 to 12, you may want to consider booking them at Aunty’s Beach House. There are two types of activities- the weeklong activities that are no extra cost, and premium activities that cost an additional fee. Reservations are available starting at 7am HST 2 weeks before your desired date and they go extremely quickly. You can book online or by calling 1-808-674-6943

Consider Extras
Did you know Aulani does not offer transportation from the airport to the resort? Aulani’s website recommends different ways you can get around Oahu but if you plan to explore on your own during your stay then you may want to consider renting a car. Aulani offers a rental car service at the resort. It’s important to note that Aulani charges $37/night for parking so you may not want to rent a car for your entire stay if you’re trying to be budget conscious. If you’re a golf enthusiast, Ko Olina Golf Club is located right beside Aulani and you can book a tee time online or by calling 1-808-676-5300. Do you want to get some great photos of your family while in paradise? Aulani offers photography services such as a private portrait sessions as well as PhotoPass photographers located throughout the resort. You can book a private photo session by calling 1-808-674-6988.

Say "Aloha" to Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

photo courtesy of Disney Magic Diva


When it comes to planning your trip to Aulani, there’s a lot to consider. You can book a relaxing vacation with little to nothing planned and just enjoy the beautiful beaches and sun or you can try to cram as much adventure and fun into your trip as time, energy, and budget allow. My family is taking a middle-of-the-road approach- we have some plans for dining and exploring Oahu, but we also have some time allotted to enjoy Aulani and all that this charming resort has to offer. I can’t wait to share our experiences with you once we return. In the meantime, join me in reading about Disney Magic Divia’s Five Favorite Things about Aulani and her tips for Getting Ready for a Trip to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Aloha!