Amazing Splurges at Disney’s Aulani Resort 2023

Disney Aulani is a magical vacation and there are many things to do at the resort. Recently I started thinking about the splurges that are worth the money and those that aren’t. Here is my list of 5 amazing splurges at Disney’s Aulani Resort.

splurges at Disney's Aulani

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Amazing Splurges at Disney’s Aulani Resort

1.  Splurge on the Ka’wa’a Luau

Aulani’s Ka’wa’a Luau is so very worth the extra cost.  The luau at Aulani is intimate, kid-oriented, and the food is pretty good for a large event.  There were many activities for kids of all ages to participate in before the start of the show. Those activities include stamping, tattoos, flower lei bracelets, pictures, and ukulele lessons.

Disney cast members take a family photo which you can purchase at the end of the show. The resort provides two performers in your photo, and like most Disney places they are incredibly friendly!

Unlimited alcoholic drinks are included with VIP tickets. VIP tickets start at $150 for adults.

Here are some tips for the Ka’wa’a Luau:

  • Make reservations early – This luau often books up months in advance. Reserve a table online or by phone.
  • Arrive on time – Allow time to find parking and walk to the luau grounds. It starts promptly at 5:30pm.
  • Dress comfortably – The luau is outdoors so wear casual, breathable clothing. Temperatures cool in the evening.
  • Expect a lei greeting – Part of the tradition is receiving a fresh flower lei upon arrival.
  • Try the complementary drinks – Your admission includes two complimentary beverages including mai tais, beer, wine and more.
  • Pace yourself with food – The buffet has many delicious Hawaiian dishes to sample. Save room for dessert!

2.  Splurge on a Meal at Disney Aulani


We splurged on the character breakfast at Makahiki and had a great time!  The kids met Mickey before the meal and had plenty of time with the characters while we ate. 

splurges at aulani

The diverse buffet features Hawaiian dishes like kalua pork, poke, and haupia alongside classic American fare at breakfast and dinner. Kids will love the character breakfast with Mickey, Minnie and friends.

Prices for the Disney Character Breakfast

  • Adults (ages 10 and up) – $49.00 plus tax and gratuity
  • Keiki (ages 9 and under) – $29.00 plus tax and gratuity

Regular dinner buffets average around $50 per adult and $30 per child. With its expansive offerings and theme nights, Makahiki satisfies all tastes and ages.

The food was fresh and they are also some activities for the kids like dancing with Aunty while they wait for the characters to make their way over to the table.

Makahiki’s interactive dining experience engages keiki and adults alike.

‘Ama ‘Ama

‘Ama ‘Ama serves as the upscale signature restaurant at Aulani, blending contemporary Hawaii regional cuisine with elegant decor and ocean views. The menu spotlights locally-sourced ingredients prepared by Aulani chefs in dishes that combine European techniques with Hawaiian flavors.

Signature plates include seared Hawaiian catch averaging $45, pork belly and a children’s menu that offers keiki options like grilled chicken, musubi and grilled fish starting at $15.

‘Ama ‘Ama accommodates families in its refined yet relaxed open-air dining room. Its fine dining approach however may not suit very young children.

3.  Get a Spa Treatment

The Laniwai Spa is so peaceful and lovely. In addition to providing spa treatments, they have a quiet room and cold water plunge. The staff will offer endless tea, water, little muffins, and cookies, and it’s even possible to order room service there for lunch.

Laniwai Spa treatments aren’t cheap, but well worth the cost!

Makeover for kids

Aulani offers makeovers at the Laniwai Spa for kids. Girls and boys ages 3 to 12 will love getting a fun fashion transformation with a Painted Sky, HI Style Studio stylist. There are Moana and Minnie packages and surfer packages that start at $150.

Reservations are recommended since the packages book up far in advance.

If you're planning a Disney vacation, make sure to use Get Away Today- they offer the best prices and services. Make sure to let them know This Bliss Life sent you! You can also use the code BLISS for $10 off packages!

4.  Splurge on an Aulani Cabana

One perk of renting a cabana is that you have a dedicated attendant throughout the day.  It was about $500 total for the day, tax included.  DVC members can get a discount on renting the cabana. Reservations in advance are recommended and can be done by calling the Aulani phone number on the website. Aulani offers family cabanas and adult-only cabanas (these are located next to the adult-only pool.) 

Any food you order can be charged to your room or to a credit card of your choice.  Drink service continues until the last call which is at 5 pm. They ask that you vacate by 6 pm so they can prepare the cabana for the next day’s use.

5.  Private Photo Shoot

A private photoshoot at Aulani provides an entirely tailored, exclusive experience to capture priceless family vacation memories. Offered at a premium price, this session allows you to work one-on-one with a professional Disney photographer for a set length of time at select locations around the resort.

You choose the locations prior, from scenic spots like the beach at sunset to iconic areas like the Aulani lobby. The photographer will guide you through poses and take photos using their professional equipment and lighting. You receive a minimum number of edited, high-resolution images to download and keep after the session.

In contrast, Disney’s PhotoPass service allows you to get photos taken around Aulani by resort photographers at no extra cost beyond your regular park admission. You can get family photos at select PhotoPass spots like character meet-and-greets or around the grounds. Currently, they offer photos in the garden or on the beach.

Private photo shoots start at $275.

Afterward, you can view and purchase the PhotoPass prints individually, with package pricing also available. However, you have little control over locations, the number of images, or editing. For maximum convenience, flexibility and resort access, the private photoshoot delivers a custom-tailored experience.

While PhotoPass provides an affordable way to get some family photos at Aulani, the private photoshoot truly creates a personalized lasting memory. You work one-on-one with a Disney pro to get those perfect photos for your wall or holiday cards.


My favorite Disney-approved re-seller, Get Away Today, offers the best Disney discount tickets around. In addition to great discount prices, their customer service is top-notch. They have an entire department dedicated to making sure every order has a wonderful experience and they are on-call to help you during your vacation if you need them.

Buying tickets from Get Away Today is easy and convenient since all their tickets are sent electronically. You can take their vouchers and head straight to the gate without waiting in ticket booth lines. They also offer layaway plans so you can pay off your vacation over time. Don’t forget to mention THIS BLISS LIFE for your discount!

Do you have more splurges at Disney’s Aulani resort that wasn’t on this list? Leave a comment and let me know!

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