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Hawaii Day 1: Aulani - A Disney Resort & Spa

It's that time of year when you might start planning your spring and summer getaways. And one of the hottest destinations right now is Hawaii. Hawaiian tourism set new records last year, as nine million people hit the islands for a little fun in the sun. One of the most amazing resorts for families is Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, on the island of Oahu. Everywhere you go, you can feel the Disney difference.

From the moment you walk through the doors, you can feel the majesty of Hawaii all around. And, it all starts with a lei.

"One cool thing about the lei is the lei can mean so many things because it surrounds you," explained Manako Tanaka, Aulani Ambassador. "So anything that goes around you whether it's a garland of flowers, a child around your neck, those are all considered leis we cherish. Here at Aulani, we like to say that all of our cast members are weavers. Instead of weaving leaves or fibers, we're weaving the Aloha spirit with Disney magic. One cool thing about Aulani is we built it with a sense of balance. It's very authentic and that is the context of Hu and Hena. Native Hawaiians believe your body is split into two parts, the Hu side, your right side and the Huna side, your left side. That's a masculine and feminine side."

Those sides are also reflected in the decor you see throughout the resort's two towers, where there is a room for every type of traveler.

"We have deluxe studios that feature a kitchenette option for our guests," said Nanilei Delprado, Sales Manager. "We have one bedrooms, two bedrooms, all the way up to this grand villa."

You know we had to get a peek at the Grand Villa, and it did not disappoint. It's 2,100 square feet and the view is breathtaking. And of course, there are the pools, thrilling slides and a lazy river to float away on, and even a rainbow reef where you can swim with the fish.

"There are over 1,400 fish that come from Hawaii and we care for them," explained Tanaka. "We have a 24-hour team that makes sure they're just as pampered as our guests, because they are also guests here at Aulani."

Aulani's experts will also help you plan a fantastic adventure outside of the resort.

"Climb Works offer ziplines that get you swinging through the trees and really giving you new views of scenic Hawaii," said Janelle Sanqui, First Ambassador. "We have horseback riding at Ku A Lua Ranch, we do have catamaran excursions and excursions that will take you out on the water in different ways. The whole family can learn how to surf or go jet skiing or bumper tubing, just get out into the water."

One of our favorite activities is the traditional Hawaiian luau.

"When you come to the KA WA'A Luau, we have artistry and we have craft," said Nathaniel Rhodes, Director of Banquet and Event Services. "We're going to show you how the ancient Hawaiians used to pound taro to make poi, we have tattoo printing and we also have Hawaii floral crafts. But those are the activities that lead up to this big performance up here on the stage. This incredible stage has the best performers in Hawaii."

And the food?! Amazing.

"You're going to get a whole roasted pig, and salt crusted prime rib," explained Rhodes. "You're going to get local fish, local vegetables and fruits."

From the savory to the sweet, Aulani has something for every craving.


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