If you’re looking for Disney Character Dining at Disney Aulani Resort, look no further. The Disney Aulani Makahiki Character Dining is Aulani’s only character dining experience. And it’s also Aulani’s only buffet! So if you’re used to Disney’s character buffet meals, then you’ll likely want to try Makahiki at Aulani. We’ve talked about the Disney Aulani Ama Ama Menu, with its upscale, elevated, classy menu being too much for kids. But at Makahiki the Aulani Character Breakfast Menu is low-key with items available for every palate.
The Atmosphere at Makahiki Restaurant
Pretty much like the rest of Aulani(and the rest of Oahu), Makahiki has a laid-back atmosphere. Family-friendly and casual, this meal is great whether you’re traveling with little ones or on an adult-only trip. There is both indoor and outdoor seating at Makahiki. Indoors you are surrounded by gorgeous mosaic art and outside you can enjoy views of the Koi Pond. The Koi are so fun to watch and the setting is just beautiful so you really can’t go wrong either way! Both meals also offer character meet and greet, featuring some of our favorite Disney pals in full Hawaiian tourist gear! Expect to see Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and maybe a few others come to your table during your meal. Be sure to have your cameras ready because these are super fun character meets you won’t want to miss!
Aulani Disney Character Breakfast at Makahiki
For breakfast, you can enjoy Aunty’s breakfast celebration, complete with Aunty telling stories and playing Ukelele! It’s super fun and we didn’t find it as chaotic as some of the character meals at Walt Disney World. And while the Aulani Character Breakfast Menu sometimes changes, it adds to the fun of a Disney character dining experience with colorful, local foods.
Aulani Disney Character Dinner at Makahiki
At dinnertime, Uncle shares stories of the Menehune through music and storytelling. We didn’t get to experience dinner here, but we did love Uncle’s fireside stories at Aulani and have a feeling we would have loved this as well. Check out the Aulani Character Dinner Menu for an example of the kinds of food you can grab at this buffet dining at Disney’s Aulani Resort.
The Food at Makahiki Restaurant
We only had breakfast at Makahiki, and we absolutely loved it. Let me start by saying we are not buffet lovers. Buffets are ok, but we are honestly big foodies and buffets never really give us what we are looking for in terms of variety and flavor. That being said, we really enjoyed this buffet. With some standard buffet fare, along with more exotic choices as well as a made-to-order omelet station, this buffet was definitely one we would try again. We absolutely loved the red velvet Mickey Waffles with coconut syrup- I could eat this all day! And we loved the variety of foods available in this buffet.
From loco moco to carved meats to fresh fruit and pastries, we thought the variety at Makahiki was pretty extensive and there was something pretty much anyone could enjoy! You can find the Aulani Character Makahiki Breakfast Menu and the Aulani Character Dining Makahiki Dinner menu to get an idea of the foods that may be included in the buffet when you next visit.
Meeting Disney Characters at Aulani Resort
Many people book the Makahiki Character Dining specifically for the fact that you can meet characters during your meal. So let me explain how it works! First, when you check-in, you’ll get straight into a line to meet the main mouse himself, Mickey. It’s a really beautiful background outside and there are Photopass Photographers there if you are using that service. After getting your photo with Mickey, you’ll go back into the restaurant and wait to be seated.
After you’re seated, and once you get your food, more characters come around to your table. We got to meet Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto but we were told sometimes the character lineup change. They’re all decked out in island attire and we had a blast meeting them all!
Disney Aulani Makahiki Character Dining Cost
When traveling to Disney Aulani on a Budget, the first thing to consider is how much is too much. But then it’s also important to remember, that this may be your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Hawaii and Disney Aulani Resort specifically. So while you want to be budget-conscious, you may never get this opportunity again.
Is Disney Aulani Makahiki Character Dining Worth it?
Makahiki is one of only 2 sit-down restaurants at Aulani. And it will cost you. The Aulani Character Breakfast will run you $41 per adult and $29 per child, while Aulani Character Dinner will cost $54 for adults and $27 for kids. If you’re traveling with a large party, that can really add up. But at the same time, it is the only buffet available on the Disney Aulani property. So if you’re a buffet lover, you can easily justify the cost. It’s also the only character dining experience on property, so if you love Disney Character dining, then again, this is a great choice for you. While this may be pricier than your local restaurant, when comparing this to how much it typically costs to eat at Walt Disney World, these are average prices.
Whether or not it’s worth it to you is really dependent on a lot of things. Do you love buffets? Character meals? Disney-style entertainment? Are you on a budget? All of these things will determine whether or not this meal is a must-do or a pass.
Where can you Meet Characters at Disney Aulani Resort?
A lot of people are under the assumption that this is the only time you can meet these characters in these outfits, however, that’s not true. You can meet the characters intermittently at the Pool Parties at Waikolohe Pool and at Aunty’s Beach House. While there are other opportunities to meet the characters, Makahiki offers convenience by combining it with a meal. In addition to meeting the characters, the entertainment is super fun too, so if you’re into entertainment with your meals, then this will be a win for you.
Do you need Reservations at Makahiki?
While reservations are highly recommended, especially during the high season, it is possible to get a table at this Aulani Character Dining experience without one. While we were waiting to check-in, there were a couple of cancellations, so if you’re lucky, they may have availability if you don’t make a reservation. However, if your heart is set on eating here, we highly recommend making a reservation. You can always cancel it later! You can make reservations online or call (808) 674-6200.
Do you need to be a Guest of Aulani to Dine at Makahiki?
Nope! You don’t have to be staying at Aulani to eat at any of their restaurants or shop at the shops. This is perfect if you’re staying off-site for a Disney Oahu Vacation, but don’t want to break the bank by staying at the resort every night. Plus you can still meet the Disney characters.
Disney Aulani Makahiki Character Dining Review
We loved Makahiki at Aulani and would go back again! Even though we aren’t big buffet fans, we would love to try dinner here next time. Between the fun atmosphere and the great food, Makahiki was such a fun and delicious experience for us and made for a lot of great memories during our trip to Aulani. Check out all our posts about Disney’s Aulani Resort in Oahu, Hawaii.
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 .