A stay at Disney’s Aulani in Oahu, Hawaii is a splurge, but it is a splurge that includes lots of family activities. From drawing classes to sports equipment, staying at Aulani includes lots of free things to do. Find out which included activities not to miss!
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10 Free Things to do at Aulani the Disney Resort in Oahu, Hawaii
You’ve splurged on a hotel stay at Aulani Disney. So, now you need to make the most of the included activities because lets face it, you’ve paid for them. I’ve seen many refer to these as free activities, but considering how much you paid to stay here I’m just going to go with calling them included activities. We were able to do many of the activities, but we didn’t come close to doing them all. For example, they offered a wide range of fitness classes that were included in the price, but we didn’t go to any of them. Here were some of our favorite included activities.
Disney Family Fun Animation
Animation classes are available off and on throughout the week and they are always free. In this animation class your family will learn to draw one of the popular Disney characters step by step like Donald Duck or Goofy. You also have the chance to paint another character. You have to get to the family room early to sign up and do not be discouraged if you get wait listed. We were on the wait list and we got into the class.
The teen program offers late night drawing classes that just teens can go to. My kids went one night and had a great time, even though we had already taken the family animation class. Noah enjoyed the teen class way more than the family class. Go figure!
Two or three times a week they have a full on pool party at the main pool. Much to my surprise the characters came out and participate almost the entire time. This is impressive because it is hot! They lead kids in dances and pool games. Characters would take turns leading and then stand off to the sides for pictures.
Ohana Ho’Okani Pila
That means family ukulele lessons. Sadly, we missed the family lessons, but my teens got to go to the one just for teens and they raved about it. They teach you 4 or 5 main notes and after that you can play all kinds of songs. After one lesson Noah and Eden can both play basic ukulele songs!
Fire Pit Story Telling
Every night of the week a guy everyone calls uncle tells stories while kids and parents sit around a fire pit. They do this four times a day. He doesn’t always tell the same stories so you can go more than once. If you have older kids like I do wait until one of the late night story times, because there’s no crowd.
Uncle’s Kahakai Canoe Racing
During this family activitym you and your family will learn about the different parts of a canoe and put one together and decorate it. Moana even shows up to help you finish it and take pictures with you. Then all the families Head out to the beach to race each other. You get to keep your family canoe as a keepsake. This was one of my favorite activities all week. They only offer it twice a week, so be sure and get to the family room early in the morning to sign up. This is another activity we got wait-listed on, but we got in.
Take Family Photos
This freebie made me so happy. I’m a single mom and I never have anyone around to take a family photo of us and I am not the best selfie taker. Around the resort are PhotoPass cast members. We took total advantage and ask them to take our photo down on the beach in front of the beach. They will take it with your camera or cell phone and with their nice camera. I ended up with quite a few great photos like this one. If you want to buy the photos they take it costs $99 and they put them on a CD for you. They put all the photos they take of you during your stay onto the CD.
The teen program at Aulani is fantastic and I can say this because both of my teenagers loved the program. They went to a handful of the events they offered the week we were there and enjoyed all of them. In fact, one of the days I was hustling to get back to the resort in time for their activity. When we got there they took off. I can assure you this has never happened before and I felt like that said all that was needed to say about the program. Teens rarely get excited to go do anything!
In the teen program, my teens learned how to play 4 or 5 notes on a ukulele, took an animation class, attended parties, participated in a physical challenge down on the beach, make leis, techniques for building sandcastles, and more.
Boogie boards and sand toys are complimentary for guests. All you have to do is check them out for the day and turn them back in at the end of the day. My kids used the boogie boards as skim boards and they worked pretty well. Lucky for us it isn’t one board per family. You can check out as many as you need. They do have waiters that come down to the beach if you want to order food and drink. The chairs and umbrellas are first come.
There is a family room with an assortment of board games available for checkout. We checked out a couple of games and kept them all week. At night we sat around playing games together. You can sit and play the games in the family room as well.
Also in the family room is a movie library with every movie Disney has ever made! You can check these movies out and take them back to your room. The rooms are nice here, so you will definitely spend some time hanging out in them!
There is a kid’s club program for children ages 3 – 12 at Auntie’s Beach House. All kids must be potty trained in order to participate in the program. Many of their extra activities are included and a few cost an additional fee.
My son is 10.5 and didn’t love the kid’s program, granted he only went once to make slime. That’s him as a mad scientist during Stich’s Goo class! During Stitch’s Space goo workshop, kids make slime that they get to keep. Jonah had fun but thought they drug out the class a little too much.
Sadly, they only offer a few activities just for tweens. If your child is younger they will love this place. There is always something going on. They can even eat meals here for a fee while parents have a date!
Depending on how old your child is they can check themselves in at Auntie’s Beach House, but cannot check themselves in. The day Jonah went he checked himself in. I was so surprised when they called to let me know he arrived safely. How nice for my peace of mind. Granted, as I sat poolside, having a frozen cocktail I wasn’t really that worried. I could see him walk over from where I was sitting.
All in all, Aulani is the perfect getaway for families. With its variety of offerings and commitment to providing an amazing vacation experience, it’s no wonder why Aulani has become one of Disney’s most popular destinations. Whether you choose to lounge on the beach, explore local restaurants or explore the rich Hawaiian culture on a guided tour, you’re sure to find something that will make your vacation truly magical. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and book your stay today for the chance to enjoy these 10 free activities at Aulani! Who knows? Maybe a little Disney magic can help make this year’s vacation the best one yet.