From Screen to Park: Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
by Bryn Wittmayer
You’re looking for a relaxing vacation: one with no daily list of activities, but enough to do to keep everyone entertained. Sun, sand, and beach sound perfect, so you're heading to Hawaii. You don't want to go to just any Hawaiian resort. You’re a Disney fan, so of course, you're going to Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa.
Aulani is the perfect vacation for any age or size group. If you like to hang out by the pool with a fruity drink, Aulani has plenty of pools and great bars. Those same pools will keep your children entertained all day unless you decide to relocate to the beach and play in the ocean. If you're an adventurer, a history buff, or fascinated by Hawaiian culture, choices abound both on and off the Aulani resort property.
To get you and your family excited about all you’ll see and experience at Aulani, and just to have fun with Disney’s take on Hawaiian culture, we have a short list for you of what to watch and read before your trip.
The first of two must-see movies before visiting Aulani is Lilo and Stitch. Lilo and Stich is Disney’s only full-length animated feature film set in Hawaii. It's a heartbreaking and hopeful tale of sisters trying to cope with life after their parents’ death. Plus there are aliens. Whoever thought this story needed aliens was a mad genius. Lilo and her sister Nani are two of the most realistically animated female characters Disney has ever given us. Their frustration, fear, and constant love for each other would make this movie a classic even if it didn't have the most adorable destructive alien creating further chaos in their lives. Stitch has become one of Disney's most popular sidekicks. He’s depicted in art and often males appearances at Aulani. Sometimes Stich’s girlfriend Angel is also around; get to know her by watching Lilo and Stitch the Series.
The second must-see movie is of course Moana. Moana is not set in Hawaii but contains elements of several Polynesian cultures. Disney worked diligently to portray these cultures accurately and with respect, This is one of the missions of Aulani as well. The movie is visually stunning; the scenery, empowering story, and hysterical work from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the demi-god Maui will keep you glued to the screen. Moana can often be found at Aulani so you’ll want to know all about the empowering hero who loves her island and wants to explore too!
There are 3 shorts on Disney+ worth watching to get you excited for Hawaii. In Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Holiday the toys create a Hawaiian vacation in Bonnie’s room to create a romantic trip for Barbie and Ken. It's very funny and a good reminder that there is no substitute for the real thing! The Pixar short Lava is a song-based love story that sneakily includes a lesson about the effect of volcanoes on the islands in the Pacific, It’s light on plot, yet a sweet love story. Finally, 1937’s Hawaiian Holiday features Mickey and friends enjoying a beach day in Hawaii. Minnie does the hula and the ocean has it out for Goofy, which seems about right. It's classic Disney short fun. Mickey and the gang can often be seen around Aulani so this a good introduction to their Hawaiian vibe.
Hawaii is a beautiful place with an unusual geological history and special ecosystem. You could go and enjoy the sun and sand without learning how all that beauty was created, but what would be the fun in that? Watch the two episodes of National Geographic: Wild Hawaii for an introduction to this special place.
Disney’s Aulani needs to be on your list of places to visit. It's a special property and Disney has rightly received high reviews for the way they’ve respectfully included local history, architecture, and tradition. With fantastic food, activities for everyone, and just enough Disney to thrill every fan, we know that any Disney Park devotee will love it. Call or email us today and one of our Disney travel planners will get you started on your Disney paradise vacation! 1 (856) 687-3277 - email@example.com.