Want to know what it's like to stay at Disney's Aulani in Oahu ? Our Editor, Lissa Poirot, was on hand for the 2011 grand opening, and explored the resort's accommodations, restaurants, kids' clubs, water parks, pools, beaches, and spas.


Today's Video: Disney Aluani's Inspiration
Aulani honors its Hawaiian location by incorporating a bit of Hawaii into every aspect of its design. Meet the lead designer as he discusses the resort's inspiration and magic.


Aulani Resort Adventure
We're on a quest to find Menehune. Menehune are legendary little people and on the property there are 300 hidden Menehune! You can spot them in the elevators, in the gardens, in bookcases, in restaurants, near the pools- they pop up everywhere. Even better is Disney has created a Menehune Adventure Trail, a scavenger hunt using a special device that helps locate them!


Accommodations
Get a sneak peek at Aulani's 359 hotel rooms and 16 suites, which are, of course, perfect for families of all sizes. Rooms are decorated in the spirit of Hawaii with Disney's special touch. Standard rooms feature two queen beds and sleep four; suites can sleep five with one king master bedroom, a queen sleeper sofa, and a pull-down bunk bed or sleep chair; and the Ahu Ula suite can accommodate six in two bedrooms and a parlor.


Beach & Pools
Disney likens this new resort to a cruise ship on land, with a number of entertainment and fun activities offered daily for families. Get a look at the resort's beach, private snorkeling lagoon, water play area, lazy rive and 8,200-square-foot, zero-entry pool.


Dining
No one will go hungry at Aulani with its four full-service restaurants, buffets, snack shops, and, of course, Disney's popular character breakfast with all your favorite Disney characters.


Entertainment
Aulani offers a variety of entertainment, including a sunset ceremony, scavenger hunt, hula dancing, fireside storytelling and movie nights. Here is a peek into the evening entertainment at the Aulani. You won't find a "traditional" luau here, but instead hula dancers, ukulele players, and other singers and dancers putting on a show like only Disney can.


Kids' Clubs
Disney provides activities and entertainment for adults, teens, 'tweens, kids and infants throughout the resort. Take a look at Aunty's Beach House, a kids' club for children 3 to 10, that gives kids a chance to learn and explore the Hawaiian culture.


Laniwai Spa
Disney indulges guests at its two heavenly spas. Laniwai Spa is a gorgeous setting that pampers adult guests and connects them to nature, especially the island's freshwater, through a variety of luxurious treatments. Its neighboring Painted Sky spa is available for teens 13+, with treatments, a mixology bar, yogurt bar, and relaxation/computer station. Say "aaaahhh!"


Rainbow Reef
Aulani's Rainbow Reef is a saltwater lagoon pool with a man-made reef and more than 1,300 tropical fish. Swimmers of all levels can enjoy the calm waters, along with brightly colored fish in hues of yellow, blue, red and orange. Only five snorkelers maximum are allowed into the reef, ensuring the experience remains more personal, and doesn't harm the native fish.


More From Family Vacation Critic:
Review: Disney's Aulani Resort
10 Best Disney World Resorts for Families

Written by Lissa Poirot


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