Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai‛i Fact Sheet

Filed in: Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

The Resort

  • The full resort name is Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai‛i.
  • The resort’s name is pronounced ow-lah-nee.
  • “Aulani” traditionally means “a messenger of a chief – one who delivers messages from a higher authority.” The name is fitting as the resort serves as a messenger of the “higher authority” that is Hawaii, its spirit and its culture.
  • Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa opened to the first guests August 29, 2011.
  • The resort is located on 21 oceanfront acres in the Ko Olina Resort & Marina
  • The two towers of Aulani feature 351 hotel rooms, including 16 suites, and 481 two-bedroom equivalent villas.
  • Rooms are angled and views include ocean and partial-ocean, poolside garden, island garden and standard.
  • Laniwai, a Disney Spa, features 15 treatment rooms, with a family treatment room and a fitness center in18,000 square feet of space. Painted Sky, a space at the spa just for teens, features a yogurt bar, a mixology station and a menu of treatments.
  • The design of Laniwai explores the cultural and spiritual significance of rainbows. Treatment rooms are named after rainbows, including luahoano, a rainbow around the sun or moon.
  • Aulani is the ideal place for events. The conference center includes 14,545 square feet of space with a main ballroom, four breakout rooms and generous pre-function space. Meetings and conventions also enjoy three distinct event lawns, along with private patios and terraces.
  • Aulani offers wedding planning through the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings program.

Recreation and Entertainment

  • Sharp-eyed guests may spot Menehune, the legendary “little people” of Hawaii, hidden in locations throughout the resort. Many of these are concealed at a level where only the smallest guests can easily find them.
  • Guests will discover more fun surprises when they tour the Menehune Adventure Trail.
  • In addition to the adjoining beach, Aulani guests can enjoy the resort’s water playground, featuring pools, water slides, the Waikolohe Stream waterway, and a fun play area known as the Menehune bridge. Ka Maka Landing also offers an infinity pool, spa and splash zone for little guests. Poolside cabanas are available for rental.
  • Rainbow Reef is a 3,800 square-foot snorkel lagoon where guests will get up close and personal with fish that inhabit the waters in and around Hawaii.
  • A full program of fun for younger children (ages 3-12) is available in the Aunty’s Beach House kids’ club. Teen and tween programs also are available at the resort.
  • Aunty’s Beach House offers children activities and games that explore the mysteries of Hawaii, along with special surprises at Uncle’s workshop and Aunty’s magical fireplace.
  • Aulani offers a lineup of excursion adventures with the aid of local experts. Excursions include popular activities like horseback riding in the Kualoa Valley, kayaking, learning to surf and more. All are specially designed for Aulani guests by Adventures by Disney and hosted by friendly Adventure Guides.
  • The resort features convenient access to a 330-slip Marina and a Ted Robinson-designed 18-hole Championship golf course.

Dining and Lounges

  • Onsite restaurants feature foods unique to Hawaii with ingredients from local farmers and fisherman: the chic, full-service ‛AMA ‛AMA and the buffet-style Makahiki and the new Ulu Cafe.
  • The beachside ‛AMA ‛AMA restaurant, named after a traditional Hawaiian fish, features  ocean-colored walls, a reflecting pond centerpiece and both indoor and outdoor seating areas.
  • The buffet-style Makahiki restaurant is named after the Hawaiian harvest festival season. Décor highlights include murals painted by Hawaiian artist Al Lagunero and a stunning lighting sculpture that hangs from the ceiling.
  • Guests can find a convenient poolside quick service restaurant at Ulu Cafe.
  • Disney character dining is available on selected days at Makahiki restaurant, and guests will enjoy a different ambience from day to night as the light transforms from a warm rose-amber glow to nighttime indigo hues.
  • Among the lounges and bars is the ‛Ōlelo Room, celebrating the Hawaiian language. (`Ōlelo means “word.”)  Guests will find the Hawaiian names for objects in several places, including150 shadow boxes with wood carvings.
  • Bartenders at the `Olelo room speak fluent Hawaiian and will help guests with proper pronunciation of words.
  • The `Olelo Room offers tropical cocktails, Hawaiian beers, lemonade, iced tea and more.
  • Mama’s Snack Stop serves up poolside snacks like mouthwatering hot dogs, chicken tenders and more.
  • Guests can satisfy their appetites with grab-and-go selections at Little ‘Opihi’s, located at the beach beside Makiki Joe’s. Menu options include sandwiches, salads, a California roll, ice cream and fresh fruit.
  • At Papalua Shave Ice, guests can cool off poolside with fruity and refreshing shave ice.

Aulani Grounds

  • The heart of the Aulani resort is a lush and vibrant oasis called the Waikolohe Valley, named for its “mischievous waters.”
  • Lava formations play a starring role in the valley, which is home to the Aulani pools, waterways and spas.
  • Waikolohe Stream is a 321,000-gallon mischievous waterway, covering 900 linear feet that guests will explore on two tubing adventures – one serene and one with tube slides.
  • Menehune Bridge is a 2,200 square-foot interactive water play area for children with three slides, interactive water elements and a climbing play structure.
  • Aulani features three pools, Waikolohe, Wailana, and Ka Maka; Rainbow Reef, a snorkel lagoon; and a variety of whirlpool spas – Sunset Upper, Sunset Lower, Waikolohe, Caldera, and the new Ka Maka Grotto.
  • Each night, guests gather around the Mo’olelo Storytelling fire pit to hear Uncle, the Hawaiian Elder, share stories and legends of Hawaii under the tropical stars.

Aulani Art & Architecture

  • Aulani has one of the world’s largest collections of contemporary Hawaiian art.
  • The resort’s interior design features lustrous wood and bright, geometric patterns inspired by Hawaiian kappa cloth (textiles made from tree bark).
  • At the Aulani lobby (Maka’ala), guests will see an ancient lava rock outcropping and they may catch the scent of ginger, pikake and plumeria wafting on the cooling kaiaulu breeze from the water garden.
  • Artist Martin Charlot conceived and painted the Aulani Lobby mural, a 200-foot long tribute to Hawaiian history ad culture with layers, multiple stories and meanings. In the late 1930s, Martin Charlot’s father, muralist Jean Charlot, wrote one of the first serious critical essays about animation as an art form, claiming that animation was a continuation of the great mural traditions of Europe and that Disney animators were the masters of this art form.
  • The center of the lobby features a 12×12-foot compass rose embedded in the floor. The four points of the compass do not point to the traditional North, South, East or West. Instead they correspond to directions the ancient Hawaiians relied upon – up is toward the sea; down points to the mountainside, the left arrow corresponds to the feminine side of the resort (made of lava with a smooth finish) and the right to the masculine side (made of lava with a rough finish).
  • Guest rooms feature many details of Hawaiian legend, from carpet patterns to lighting.
    • The taro plant, a staple food and spiritual symbol of the Hawaiian people, is depicted in the carpet.
    • Tribute is paid to the importance of the outrigger canoe to Hawaiian history and culture in the design of the ceiling fan blades which resemble paddles. Also, light fixtures in the bathroom resemble outrigger canoe sails.
    • Butterfly joints are carved into the headboards and side tables, evoking the ancient Hawaiians’ method for artfully repairing their prized calabash bowls.

Ko Olina Resort & Marina

  • Ko Olina is part of the Leeward Coast region of Oahu (western side of the island,) which is famous for its breathtaking sunsets.
  • Ko Olina is 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and approximately 30-45 minutes from Waikiki Beach.
  • It takes approximately 20 minutes to drive from Ko Olina to smaller surf towns and the North Shore.


About Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Aulani opened in August of 2011 and sits on 21 acres of beautiful oceanfront in Ko Olina, adjacent to a nine-acre, crystal-blue lagoon and white-sand beach. Ko Olina is 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and approximately 30 minutes from Waikiki.

Uniquely designed for families and inspired by the wonders and traditions of Hawaii, Aulani is a family paradise with a touch of magic. Aulani offers kids, adults and families Hawaiian vacation experiences with a special magic that only Disney can create. Delightful rooms and spacious Disney Vacation Club villas, a perfect location on a beautiful beachfront lagoon, and renowned Disney service and enchanting entertainment let dreamers of every age savor their time together on Hawaii as never before.

For Aulani reservations, guests may visit or call (866) 44-DISNEY