teen activities aulani

10 Disney Aulani Mistakes to Avoid

When we first visited Disney’s Aulani resort, we literally didn’t have much info to go on.  Now that the resort has just celebrated 7 years of being open, we’ve been able to visit several times.  Here are 10 Disney Aulani mistakes to avoid for first-time visitors!

aulani mistakes to avoid
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Don’t Make These Mistakes at Aulani!

1.  Not taking advantage of the Disney photo pass

The Aulani photo pass is $99 and so worth it!  Aulani photographers are so talented and they even wait at the beach at sunset to take photos. Later, you can view your photos at the Disney PhotoPass Imaging station which is temporarily located in the Pau Hana Room.

 Disney Aulani also offers private professional photo portrait sessions. Guests can choose a Resort location for their background. Aulani’s specially trained portrait photographer will help you create the perfect photo keepsakes—from formal to fun and anything in between. Sessions last from 20 to 40 minutes and include as many poses as time permits. Plus, all the images are yours to keep on a digital download.

Call ahead to schedule your session at (808) 674-6988.

2.  Packing too much 

This is the newbie mistake I made the first time we went to Aulani.  I packed way too much stuff and found that we lived in swimsuits and coverups. Almost everything else never made it out of my suitcase.  Here are some ideas on what to pack.

aulani church

3.  Not getting a reusable mug or popcorn bucket. 

I thought it would be a waste of money but we use the mugs so much during our trips.  We ended up using it for coffee in the morning or lemonade in the afternoon for the kids.  I also try to get reusable popcorn buckets for our visits, refills are just $1!

They also double as a great sandcastle tool too!

4.  Not checking the Iwa daily. 

The ‘Iwa is a daily activity schedule that’s provided to all guests at the magnificent Disney Aulani resort in beautiful Hawaii. Checking the ‘iwa each morning over your complimentary breakfast is a great way to plan out your day and make the most of your stay!

The ‘Iwa outlines all of the fun complementary activities, cultural experiences, character meet-and-greets, pool parties and more that are happening around the resort that day. From ukulele lessons to tattoo tours to seashell crafts, there’s always something exciting for guests of all ages to enjoy. Consulting the ‘iwa helps you choose which experiences to take part in during your precious vacation time.

Setting aside a few minutes each morning to review the day’s ‘Iwa is highly recommended. Knowing what festive events are on the schedule will ensure your ohana doesn’t miss out on any of the magic!

5.  Buying snacks on site

Kalepa’s only has a limited amount of snacks and they can be pricey!  We usually pack applesauce pouches, popcorn bags, and pretzels! Stock up on snacks at Target or even at the ABC store across the street from Aulani.  Here are some options for grocery shopping near Aulani.

6.   Paying for water

There are several ice water stations all over the resort.  Fill up your bottle and stay hydrated in the Hawaii heat! 

This is my favorite water bottle to pack for the resort!

7.  Skipping reservations

Don’t make the mistake of foregoing reservations for any Disney Aulani Resort that takes them.

The restaurants get busy since they also take visitors that are not staying at Aulani.  Reservations are a must for the character breakfasts and for more formal meals at places like Ama Ama.

If you’re planning a 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!

8.  Visiting during popular times like Spring Break. 

One of the major mistakes to avoid is not researching hotel capacities before you book!  Research Aulani’s busiest times before you book your trip!  

During Spring Break and holidays, it can be tough to get pool chairs.  Don’t go unprepared for a crowd.

9. Not bringing pins to trade. 

Don’t make the mistake of not bringing Disney pins, especially if you love to trade! Aulani has pin traders for cast members.  Have the front desk or the staff at Kalepa’s help you trade. 

Head here to buy a Disney pin starter set if you have never traded before!

10.  Not requesting a high room. 

Nothing is guaranteed but if you call early enough, sometimes you can request a higher floor and a view!

Rooms on the higher floors of Aulani’s main tower provide the best views. The resort towers 16 stories high against the Ko’olau Mountains, overlooking the lagoon and the Pacific Ocean.

Floors 10 and above offer the most stunning vistas of the lush gardens, lagoon, and ocean. These elevated views make you feel immersed in Hawaii’s natural beauty while enjoying Aulani’s amenities. Waking up above the palm trees and watching the sunset from your balcony is ideal.

Make your high floor request early, as they are popular. Let the Cast Member know when booking to note your view preference. The higher rooms often book quickly thanks to the excellent views. Choosing a top-floor room will enhance your Aulani getaway with beautiful panoramic views.

BONUS: Not splurging on a special treat.  There are lots of activities at Aulani to splurge on but some of the ones that are worth it are the character meals at Makahiki and spa treatments!

Disney’s Aulani is such a fun experience that can be made seamless with the right amount of planning.  If you can successfully avoid these 10 mistakes, I guarantee your trip will be worth the price!

Other Aulani reads:

Best Instagrammable Spots At Aulani

Characters to See at Disney’s Aulani!

7 Tips for Enjoying Disney’s Aulani Resort

8 Things to Pack for Disney’s Aulani

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