3 Ways that Aulani is Similar to Disney Cruise Line

UPDATE 3/4/21: Disney has announced that the KA WA’A Luau will be making its return beginning March 27, 2021! Read more details about the luau HERE.


While we’re all waiting and dreaming of being able to board a Disney ship and sail again, let’s take a quick look at some elements of visiting Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, and compare its similarities to a Disney Cruise Line vacation. If you’ve watched any of our shows where we’ve discussed a Hawaiian vacation at Aulani, you’ve likely heard Pete Werner say that it is essentially DCL on land.

While we’re at it, a quick reminder that some of you may remember hearing about; Hawaiian Air’s nonstop service from MCO (Orlando International Airport) to HNL (Honolulu) begins in mid-March, making now a great time to add Aulani to your Walt Disney World trip. We should point out that this flight is 10 hours and 50 minutes long, but it sure beats stopping in Los Angeles for a multiple-hour layover. The pricing on this direct flight varies quite a bit depending on the dates and days of your flight(s) but ranges from around $624 to $878 for the main cabin seats (these rates vary and could change at any given moment).

If you’re the type of person who likes to see a daily list of what’s going on, you’ll be glad to know that similar to the Personal Navigator that is delivered to your stateroom each day, Aulani has the Daily ‘Iwa available for pickup at the front desk anytime after 7:30 p.m.

You can also download the new Aulani app on your mobile device with everything from daily activities to character experiences and everything in between. You can also find the operating hours, menus, and pricing for the Resort restaurants, too.

Like being aboard one of the Disney Cruise ships, many activities are going on right at Aulani, even now during the pandemic. You can not only meet Disney Characters – in a socially distanced environment – but you can participate in other activities as well, such as making your own Mickey Ears. You can also swim in one of the many pools on the property or enjoy a ride (or many rides, ahem) in the lazy river. Spending time on the beach is an incredible and relaxing way to spend your day, too, and it’s just a few steps away from your room. You can enjoy boogie-boarding or even rent snorkels, paddleboards, and other equipment there.

If excursions are more your style, there are plenty of those available too. Tours to Diamond Head, Kualoa Ranch, or the Dole Plantation are just a few of the options. You can also rent a car and head out to Waikiki Beach or the Aquarium. Having a rental car gives you the freedom to enjoy some of the local restaurants and explore the rest of the island or to stop by a grocery store if you’d like to do your own cooking. Be aware that there is a nightly parking fee at Aulani if you are not a Disney Vacation Club member.

Disney Magic

Lastly, the fact that you can enjoy a most beautiful sunset from just about anywhere at Aulani is at the top of the list for me. One of my very favorite parts of cruising is the ability to see the sunset from just about anywhere on the ship. You know, the line where the sky meets the sea and all that – add the setting sun to it, and it is sheer perfection in my book.

One of the questions that we get asked a lot is if you have to be a Disney Vacation Member to stay at Aulani, and the answer is no. You can look at the current discounts offered to all guests or take a look at the confirmed DVC reservations that are available through Dreams Unlimited Travel in partnership with DVC Rental Store.

If you’d like help planning the Aulani vacation of your dreams, let the experts at Dreams Unlimited Travel help you at no extra charge.

Click here to request a no-obligation Aulani quote!

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