Celebrating my birthday at Aulani: A Disney Resort
Almost every year, I have spent all or just a few hours of my birthday at Disneyland. I have been intentional about setting aside time on this day to keep the tradition going and I was planning on doing the same this year. Just a few short weeks before, my friend Eve had a spontaneous idea of heading out to Hawaii to visit our friend Jess for a few days and someone even graciously offered us a discount to stay at Aulani. All the stars aligned and coincidentally I was going to be spending my birthday at one of my dream destinations *I love you Disneyland, but spending my birthday at Aulani kind of beats you*
When we first arrived at the resort, we met up with our new friends Maiohok and Kylie for lunch at 'AMA'AMA and boy was it yum! Not that I am biased or anything since I don't eat meat, but my potato soup looked so much better than everyone's burgers — plus it was half the price 😉. If you are looking for something a bit lighter, a tad cheaper, but still filling, then definitely try this soup. Someone at our table let our server know it was my birthday and they brought out the cutest Mickey shaped dessert I have ever seen — plus it said happy birthday in Hawaiian on it, so I was practically crying when they set it in front of me.
After lunch, we checked into our room and we were greeted with the cutest towels and a plumeria clip on the bed. (Do you guys see the adorable hidden mickeys on the covers?!) Once we had all our bags put away, we went on a mini tour of the resort to learn a bit about the history and work that went into building this gorgeous resort.
Eventually we had to say goodbye to our Maiohok and Kylie, but the afternoon didn't end there. We quickly hopped into our bathing suits and made our way to the adult only infinity spa overlooking Ko Olina. Let me tell you, at a Disney resort overflowing with children, it is a blessing to have adult only options and Aulani has no shortage of these sorts of pools.
After watching the sun set over Ko Olina in hues of orange and pink, we made our way over to the movie rental location to stock up on Disney movies for the night. Pro tip, the pools close quite early, so rent a few movies at the resort to keep everyone entertained the rest of the night. They have nearly every Disney movie on display, so good luck not walking out of there with too many movies to watch in one night. We finished off our night with Coco, Eve still hadn't seen this movie!!, and Wall-E, which I believe collectively is our group's favorite Pixar movie.
The next morning I woke up bright and early to grab some photos of Aulani before everyone else was up, but to my surprise, this place was already popping at 8 am. I guess I should have expected this since it's mostly families with children here and kids like to wake up at the crack of dawn. As soon as I was done, I grabbed Eve and Jess for a bit of breakfast. I tried the white raspberry Mickey shaped scone and a Mickey shaped egg white breakfast sandwich. Both were quiet yummy, but next time I would grab just the sandwich since it was too early too eat that much food.
It was finally time to hop back to the pool and the first one we just had to try was reminiscent of a mermaid lagoon. It features a spa tucked into a cave with starfish and seashells scattered among the rocks and this infinity pool even overlooks an absolutely stunning view of Ko Olina.
What we just had to try next was the lazy river, which appeared to be pretty short — we were wrong. After just one time around the river, Eve and I determined it was just too dang slow with not enough exit points, so we decided to hop out and try something more our speed: Tubestone Curl water slide! It was kind of short, but pretty fun; just the right balance for the many little and big kids running around the resort.
The waterslides are located inside Pu‘u Kilo, a large volcanic remnant and the center piece of the resort. Similar to the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom, make sure to find all the hidden images formed within the rocks.
We eventually had to stop for a midday snack consisting of a few musubi and a Mickey shaped shave ice, which I of course I forgot to take a picture of before we demolished it! The rest of the rest afternoon was spent lounging in the pool and in the Disney lagoon.
I would have to say one of my favorite parts of Aulani was definitely the fact GOOFY CAN GO IN THE WATER. Although it doesn't feel like Disney threw up all over this resort, the many characters walking around and the Disney music, sung in Hawaiian I might add, remind you of the bit of Disney magic this place contains.
What a wonderful little trip and blessing, celebrating my birthday at Aulani with two of my most favorite people and even spending a few more days outside the resort hanging out on the north shore with new and old friends. The night before my birthday, I ended up even having the chance to catch up with my oldest Instagram friend, Andrew, who moved to Oahu for a few months. Since this trip ended up becoming a little break from life, I didn't take many more pictures outside of Aulani, so this will be the only Oahu post for now, but who knows, maybe I will be back to Hawaii before the end of the year 😉.