Aulani is a magical place. But then again, so is Hawaii! And there is so much to see in Hawaii, maybe you prefer not to stay at Disney’s Aulani, but still want to visit this beautiful resort. And that’s ok! Here’s how to have a day trip to Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa.
Can you visit Aulani for a day?
Yes, you can! Aulani is open to the public. Although you won’t be able to experience all of the amenities at Aulani, we are going to share with you everything you can see and do at Aulani without being a resort guest.
A day trip to Disney’s Aulani
Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa, is located in Oahu, in the city of Kapolei. It’s on the west side of the island, by the Ko Olina lagoons. And it can be quite pricey. But even if you’re on a budget, you can still stop in and experience some of what it has to offer. You won’t be able to access things like the pools or water slides, which require wristbands. But you can access other parts of this resort and see what it’s all about. Guests visiting for the day can enjoy shopping, dining, spa services, and more.
On our last trip to the resort, we actually took a small day trip to Aulani. We had checked out of our Airbnb on the North Shore. and had some time to spare. So we figured we could go to Aulani and grab a few snacks and relax by the lagoon. Which is exactly what we did, and it was glorious. Here are a few things you can do during a day trip to Aulani.
Shopping at Aulani
Love Disney merch? Aulani has two shops that are easy to access. Kalepa’s and Hale Manu both carry fun, Hawaiian-style merch, with a twist of Disney. This is a great opportunity to find Duffy and Friends merch if you’re a fan. The Lava Shack is located closer to the back of the resort and offers snacks and beach gear like swimsuits and sand toys. And if you spend $50 while shopping at the resort, you can have your parking validated for 2.5 hours.
Dining at Aulani
Guests who visit Aulani for a day can also enjoy the restaurants at Aulani. Aulani has a great selection of dining options. One of our favorites, Makahiki is currently the only table service restaurant available and requires reservations. But you can also choose from other quick-service restaurants or lounges. We love the dole whip and shave ice at Aulani, and you don’t need a reservation to enjoy either!
Stop by Aulani for drinks, a quick lunch or make plans for a sunset dinner at this dreamy resort.
Spa Services at Aulani
Laniwai is Aulani’s Spa and Salon. You can book a treatment for a massage, facials, couples’ treatments, salon services, and more. And you don’t need to be an overnight guest to book an appointment. Their facilities are clean and beautiful, and who doesn’t love a little relaxation time?
You can see all of Laniwai’s Spa Services here.
Enjoy the Lagoon at Aulani
Aulani resort resides in the Ko Olina Lagoon area. There is a whole line up of lagoons in this area, all connected by a walking path. The lagoon at Aulani is open to the public. The beach chairs, however, are not. So while anyone can take a stroll down the walkway, and even have a seat on the beach, the chairs are reserved for guests only and you may be asked to show your wristband or room key if you choose to sit in them.
Regardless, it’s a beautiful area, so bring your own towel and enjoy a beautiful sunset or serene afternoon relaxing by the water.
Experience KA WA`A Luau at Aulani
Is the Luau at Aulani worth it? There are many places around Oahu that offer the experience of a Luau. And Aulani is one of them! Which gives you a great excuse to visit the resort. You can attend the Luau at Aulani without being a Disney Resort Guest. At $160 per adult and $90 per child, the Aulani Luau is pricey. But, if you’re looking for an authentic Hawaiian experience, then this is a great way to see that at Disney Aulani Resort.Plus non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages are included in both the Preferred and General Seating Reservations. Here’s what’s included in the Disney Aulani Luau.
- Pre-show demonstrations, including traditional arts such as flower arranging and paʻi ai taro pounding
- Lū‘au introduction and oli (chant) welcome
- Buffet-style dining featuring authentic island fare, including sea salt-crusted prime rib, fresh local seafood and produce, decadent desserts and many other Hawaiian favorites—as well as a kid-friendly bento dinner for the keiki
- Lū‘au performance—an enchanting, often breathtaking production that brings the legends and lore of ancient Hawaiʻi to life
You need to make reservations and can do so online or by calling. See this page for everything you need to know about the Luau at Aulani.
Does Aulani sell Day Passes?
Unfortunately, no they do not. They keep certain amenities, like the pool, water slide, and resort activities limited to resort guests.
How to get to Aulani for a day
There are several ways to get to Aulani for a day. You can park at Aulani, or at the lagoons. The lagoon’s parking lots tend to fill up quickly. So, we recommend getting there early if you plan to do this. Park at the lagoons and then just walk over to Aulani from there. You can find out about parking at the Ko Olina lagoons here.
You can also take a ride-share service, taxi, or shuttle to get to Aulani.
Parking at Aulani
You can park at Aulani for the day if you have a car with you as long as they have space available. Currently, the costs to park at Aulani during the day include:
- Valet parking for day guests is $37 per day
- Self-parking for day guests is $12 for the first hour and $5 for every half hour after, up to $37
- Parking validation may be available for a minimum purchase in some areas, based on availability. Generally, if you spend $50 on merchandise or $35 on dining, your parking will be validated for 2.5 hours. This can change when it’s busier, so it’s always best to check first
Hopefully, this post has shown you how you can enjoy Aulani for a day. And that you don’t have to be a resort guest to take advantage of some of the things the resort has to offer. Have you ever been to Aulani for a day trip?
Melanie Renee is a photographer, writer, designer and mom. Visiting Disney destinations since 2010, she is also an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. When she's not creating her next coffee recipe, or designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's seeking beautiful sunsets and planning her next trip .