How to Celebrate Your Birthday at Disney’s Aulani Resort

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Any day spent at Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawaii is a pretty dang good one. But a birthday at Aulani is paradise indeed. Here's how to make the most of your special day at Disney's Aulani Resort.

How to celebrate your birthday at Disney's Aulani Resort

How to celebrate your birthday at Disney's Aulani Resort

Making the Most of Disney's Aulani Resort

If your internal clock hasn't adjusted to island time and you wake at the crack of dawn, take advantage with a sunrise stroll along the sandy shores of the resort-front Ko'Olina Beach. Or kick start your day with a workout at the Mikimiki Fitness Center to prepare for some birthday over-indulgences.

Morning at Disney's Aulani Resort

If you're traveling with children (or even if you're not), celebrate with a character breakfast at Makahiki restaurant. Mickey, Minnie and others are “on vacation” at Aulani and will be happy to pose with the birthday gal or guy. You'll see other familiar Disney characters too, like Lilo's friend, Stitch. Unique to Aulani is a visit from Aunty, a Hawaiian woman who roams the restaurant singing and playing the ukulele, naming all of the Hawaiian islands, and leading children diners in a happy parade.

Disney's Aulani Resort Character Breakfast

Posing with Mickey at the Makahiki Restaurant Character Breakfast

If you're looking for something more mellow, choose room service instead and eat your breakfast on your balcony while taking in a gorgeous view of the resort's Waikohole Stream lazy river and the ocean in the distance. Eat like the locals by ordering the Traditional Loco Moco Breakfast with its sunny side up fried egg, white rice, and hamburger patty topped with gravy, or indulge in a Chocolate Milk-dipped Haupia Bread French Toast stuffed with banana and peanut butter.

Enjoy Water Sports

For some watery fun, head down to the zero-entry Waikohole family pool and take a few trips down the resort's two waterslides.  It's impossible not to either scream or smile (or both) when zipping down the Pu'u Kilo Slides. One is an entirely enclosed tube slide and the other spins inner-tube riders about until they splash into a pool below. Relax for a bit in a lounge chair while the kids go wild for the Menehune Bridge children's play area. They'll enjoy its rope bridges, spraying water, and kiddie-sized slides. If you need a little grown-up time, head over to the Wailana Pool–a quiet spot to read a magazine.

Ko'Olina Beach at Disney's Aulani Resort

Ko'Olina Beach at Aulani Resort

You could also rent snorkel gear or stand-up paddle boards for some ocean-time fun. Children will especially enjoy the Rainbow Reef enclosed snorkel area stocked with plenty of tropical fish. However, grown-ups will probably prefer seeing the real thing in the ocean. Swim near the large rocks that surround the circular bay to see the most sea-life.

Grab a Birthday Lunch

For lunch, grab some casual fare like fish tacos served with taro chips or french fries at Off the Hook or One Paddle, Two Paddle poolside restaurants. Enjoy your meal while listening to the sounds of the wind whispering through Aulani's abundant palm trees and Hawaiian leafy landscape.

Kula Wai Hydrotherapy Garden at Laniwai Spa - Disney's Aulani Resort

Kula Wai Hydrotherapy Garden at Laniwai Spa

Book a Service at Laniwai Spa

A birthday is a perfect excuse to indulge in a spa treatment at Laniwai Spa. Lucia Rodriguez, the Aulani Spa Director, recommends the Kilikili treatment. It includes an exfoliation followed by a lomilomi (traditional Hawaiian massage) under gentle streaming jets of water. I chose the Skin Yoga facial, an anti-aging facial, to help ease my worries about turning another year older. Plan to spend an hour before or after your treatment enjoying the Kula Wai. It's a unique 5,000-square-foot outdoor hydrotherapy garden filled with Hawaiian flowers and plants plus a whirlpool spa, a cold plunge pool, and two herbal soaking tubs. A circular feature with six different types of rain showers is heavenly. Complimentary nutritious snacks like fruit, tea flights, and healthy cupcakes  made with carrots, zucchini, and nuts are available to clients.

Take in a Show at Disney's Aulani Resort

If your birthday happens to fall on a Monday or Thursday, be sure to attend the Starlit Hui. This luau-esque show for the whole family features live music and hula dancing, and a Disney characters finale. This show is free to all hotel guests!

Disney's Aulani Resort Starlit Hui

Aulani's Complimentary Starlit Hui show

Savor an Upscale Dinner

Make dinner reservations at the fanciest Aulani restaurant, ‘Ama'Ama. Then drop of the kids at the on-site childcare facility, Aunty's Beach House. It caters to children aged 3-12 and is typically open until 9 or 11 pm.

The menu at ‘Ama'Ama focuses on contemporary island cooking. Executive Chef Patrick Callarec says the most popular menu item is the sustainable fish of the day, prepared with fresh local market vegetables. Guests celebrating a birthday at Aulani will be presented with a mini chocolate cake with a candle. But, hey, it's your birthday so order a pineapple tarte tatin with caramel cream too.

After dinner, get a mai tai or glass of wine at the Olelo Room, a bar where everything in site is labeled with its Hawaiian name. Top off your evening with a soak in the oceanview bi-level infinity hot tub.

Disney's Aulani Resort Birthday Treats

Birthday Surprises Like Sweet Treats are Available for Purchase Through Guest Services

If you've got a thoughtful family like mine, you may be surprised by a Disney birthday treat delivered to your room. Birthday amenities available for purchase include sweet snacks, full-sized birthday cakes, floral gifts (like a birthday lei), or a souvenir purchased from the gift shop and wrapped in cellophane with a gold ribbon.

Truly, a birthday at Aulani Resort is one you will never forget. At least it was for me!

Read more about Disney's Aulani Resort on TripAdvisor.

How would you celebrate a birthday at Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawaii? Tell us in the comments!

A note from The Travel Mama: A big mahalo to Disney for inviting me to the grand opening of the Aulani Resort!

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments

  1. Debbie Dubrow says:

    Glad you had such a wonderful birthday!

  2. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

    Thank you, Debbie! Was so great to spend part of my birthday with you & your little Mickey Mouse!

  3. Patricia Walsh says:

    What a great story on how this new Disney resort not only caters to kids, but parents, too – spa, cocktails, fine dining, which can all be enjoyed sans the little ones thanks to the babysitting service. This is a perfect vacation for my brother and his three boys. I’m sending him a link to the story.

  4. I like your blogging 101 class, its been very helpful!

  5. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

    Patricia Walsh – Thanks so much for forwarding the story to your brother. It really is a fabulous resort that caters to every member of the family, no matter the age!

  6. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

    Daniel Day – So glad you’re liking the blogging 101 class! I’m going to go check out your Chargers Blues blog now!!

  7. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

    Lisa Goodmurphy – Thank you for the birthday wishes! I really hope you can visit Aulani for your birthday – maybe you should forget the hints & just book it?! 😉

  8. Lisa Goodmurphy says:

    Happy Birthday!! The Aulani sounds like a great place to spend a birthday – maybe I should start dropping hints for my family! 🙂

  9. One question – does Disney have a shuttle from the airport to Aulani Resort or do you need a taxi or rental car? I can’t think of having a reason to leave the property since it sounds like it has everything I would want!

  10. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

    Ellen – Disney does not currently offer a shuttle to the resort so you either need to take a taxi or rent a car from the airport for now. They are hoping to add a shuttle in the future, however. I believe a taxi one-way from the airport is around $80-90 + tip.

  11. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

    Ellen – There is an Alamo car rental agency at Aulani so you could rent the car for a day or two at the beginning of your trip and return right at Aulani. Then do the same thing at the end of your trip to get to the airport. This would help to save money and allow a little exploration of Oahu since there would probably be days that you would not leave the resort at all.

  12. Sounds like renting a car might be advantageous.

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