Families just like yours choose to retreat to Hawaii for a relaxing getaway. These getaways usually involve lazy beach days filled with sunshine and swimming. Understanding that Hawaii was the top destination of choice when not visiting an actual Disney theme park, Disney chose to create a paradise-like resort for families in Hawaii. They took a man-made lagoon in the Ko’Olina Resort and turned it into a massive tourist destination on the island of Oahu. Despite being a tourist destination, the area still pays respect to the people and cultures of Hawaii. That is noticeable in every feature you will see at this resort.
Visit The Aulani A Disney Resort & Spa
You will find The Aulani approximately 35 minutes to the west of Honolulu. This makes it the perfect place to stay if you know you want to visit Honolulu during your vacation.
Accommodations at The Aulani
There are 359 rooms and suites at The Aulani Disney Resort & Spa. All the accommodations have Hawaiian elements, as well as wooden features. You can choose a room with a view of the ocean, pool, or the gardens. I personally love the rooms with ocean views. There is nothing better than waking up to see the ocean every morning!
Your autistic family will want to reserve one of the suites. This will give your family the space you all need for downtime. Plus, they have all the amenities you want while away from home. A few of those amenities include high-speed Wi-Fi, a small refrigerator, a flat-screen TV, and coffee maker.
Swimming Pools at The Aulani
The main pool area is called the Waikolohe Valley. It consists of two swimming pools that offer steps and zero-entry options. Your whole family will also want to enjoy the two water slides, lazy river, body slide, and tube ride.
There is also a family pool, called the Ka Maka Grotto. This misty grotto has an infinity edge that offers gorgeous sunset views.
The Wailana Pool is the adults-only pool.
Kid-Friendly Activities at The Aulani A Disney Resort & Spa
Younger children will love playing at the Menehune Bridge and Aquatic Play Area. The Keiki Cove is another area for the little ones. It is a splash zone where the kids can search for the hidden Menehune, which are the legendary little people of the island.
You won’t need to go far to visit the beach when you stay at The Aulani. The Aulani Beach and Lagoon are only steps from your room. Your family can learn how to paddleboard, go snorkeling, or do a little boogie boarding.
Head out on Maka’ika’i, the nature and wildlife tour. This tour is only held on certain days of the week. You will need to check the daily schedule to learn more.
Other incredible kid-friendly activities include “Ohana movie nights and Mo’olelo fire pit storytelling.
Aunty’s Beach House is the kids club at The Aulani. Childcare professionals, and certified teachers, are on staff to make sure your kids stay engaged and have fun. There is a secure check-in and check-out process for all kids between the ages of 4 and 12.
You will need to pre-register your children for this kids club. I recommend doing that, even if you are unsure if your autistic child will attend. I can help make sure the staff is aware of your autistic child’s needs if I am the one planning your vacation at The Aulani.
Dining at The Aulani
One of the best dining experiences at The Aulani is the character buffet at the Makahiki. The food is perfect for autistic families. But the best part is Mickey and his friends will be there to greet you when you arrive. There is no need to stand in long lines, as you all wait your turn.
Other mealtime dining options include Ama’Ama, Ulu Cafe, Off the Hook, and the Olelo Room.
You don’t need to do a sit-down meal every time you are hungry though. Your family can easily grab something from the Wailana Pool Bar, Mama’s Snack Stop, or Little “Ophihi’s, which is a beachside kiosk. Don’t forget about Papalua Shave Ice when you all need to cool down a little in the middle of the day.
If you want a unique dining experience while staying at The Aulani A Disney Resort & Spa, I recommend attending the KA WA’A. This is a luau that features a buffet of local cuisine, traditional Hawaiian dance, and live music.
Everyone can learn how to make a lei before the luau begins. And when it is your turn for the buffet, understand that there will be options if you have picky eaters. The main buffet is full of braised imu-style pork, haupia-coconut puddings, guava cakes, and tropical fruits. There is also macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders, and Mickey-shaped pasta.
Oh, and if there is a time when dining in a restaurant isn’t going to work for your family, you can order room service. It is available every day from 6 in the morning until 11 at night.
There are so many other magical things you will experience when you choose to stay at The Aulani A Disney Resort & Spa while on the island of Oahu. I would love to make your Hawaiian vacation as memorable as possible for your autistic family. Contact me and let me take over the planning for you. I will use all my resources to make sure your family’s needs are being met every day. I can even share little tips with you about what you can do if something unexpected comes up during your trip. Let’s chat today, so you can relax at The Aulani sooner than expected!