KAPOLEI, Hawaii — Like all things Disney, Aulani Resort and Spa is built for fun. Located on the island of Oahu, this place is a celebration of all things Hawaiian.
"It starts off with the name. Aulani means messenger of the chief. And what is that message? That message is the Hawaiian culture,” said Alyssa Lende-Kane, an ambassador for the resort.
The magic begins in the Maka-ala; the Grand Lobby.
You're greeted with a lei and surrounded by the largest contemporary Hawaiian art collection in the world.
The rooms at Aulani are designed with family - ohana - in mind.
Fun fact, every suite with a kitchen has a rice cooker.
The 3-bedroom Grand Villa sleeps 12 and has a view of the entire Aulani beach.
And all rooms have subtle Hawaiian and Disney touches that are fun to find.
"A couple of surprising things about our villas are all the stories that are inside here,” said Manako Tanaka, another resort ambassador, as he pointed to the leaf-adorned carpet beneath his feet. "You look on the ground and you notice leaves of the taro plant, which is a staple food of the native Hawaiian people, and you see hidden Mickeys in some of our light fixtures as they illuminate when you switch them on.”
There are some not-so-hidden Disney features too, of course, like character meet-n-greets, all with a touch of aloha. Stitch and Moana hang out here, and Mickey and Minnie sport aloha shirts.
And at the end of the day, Aulani reveals her biggest attraction of all; this resort is on the sunset side of Oahu.
And there's nothing more magical than being on an island in the middle of the Pacific and saying aloha to the sun as it sinks into the waves.
Watch Evening's 2019 Aulani Winter Showcase, March 18-22 for a chance to win a four-night vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa for four people, with airfare, transfers and resort credit included!