This Aulani Luau review was really easy to write because there are so many wonderful things to discuss about the Disney property in Hawaii. From delicious dinner options to outstanding dance performances to heartwarming tales from the Island, it is an Aulani reservation you should not miss.
While in Hawaii with Disney, I had the opportunity to attend the Aulani luau and it was such a treat.Here’s everything you need to know.
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, offers a KA WA’A luau for guests and non-guests to enjoy. There is a huge area reserved for this show on the beautiful Halawai Lawn, and I implore you not to miss out on the experience.
Aulani Luau Review
Although I did not attend with my children, I saw plenty of little ones enjoying the activities. Naturally, Bill and I got in on the fun as well. Women were on hand making floral jewelry for all guests to wear. Some stations even allowed you to take part in the crafting.
So, while my children aren’t in any of this Aulani Luau review photos, you will see plenty of families all around me! In fact, I would say 90% of the crowd was family-focused!
You know that I was front and center for my handmade floral bracelet. How could I resist?! I wanted the bracelet, the hair clip, the necklace – just wrap it all up for me, please. In fact, I made two. LOL!
Related: Adventures by Disney Review – Southern California
VIP VS General Seating
VIP seating for the Aulani Luau in Hawaii begins at 5:00 PM and General Seating starts at 5:15 PM. Starting in July, 2019, the hours will change: VIP seating will begin at 5:30 PM and General Seating at 5:45 PM.
There is a price difference between the two luau seatings, of course. It also depends on what type of Aulani luau ticket you are purchasing. Infants up to two years old are free.
Children from 3 to 9 have a discounted rate and then 10 and up are considered an adult admission. Be sure to head to the website for more information about pricing.
Menu Options At The Aulani Luau
There was quite a spread to choose from while walking through the buffet. And even though you will be eating with hundreds of people, I have good news! There is an order within the chaos.
Since Disney is in charge, everything was structured in a way that made the lines incredibly manageable. The tables are called up in order. VIP seating goes first, naturally. This also prevents you from standing in line for a ridiculous amount of time. It works! Trust the Aulani Luau process.
Related: Read my full review of Disney Aulani here.
Once you head up to the luau buffet station, you will be greeted with a plethora of food. Before you even ask, your children will have their favorite staples.
Don’t worry! You will get to enjoy Hawaiian cuisine if you choose as well. A great mix of flavors! I had a little bit of everything.
The entire dinner includes a carving station with suckling pig and prime rib, fresh local seafood, and authentic island fare, plus family-friendly offerings, kids’ selections, and a decadent dessert bar. Like I said, something for everyone.
The Aulani Luau Show
It isn’t all about hula dancing at Aulani. Although, we really do get to see a lot of that which was such an absolute treat. The luau show tells a story – one that you truly get invested in.
One that you want to learn more about. I would fail you if I left out that I cried about 4 times from this Aulani luau review. The words and the music simply moved me.
The dancing that the women did was beautiful, but when the men came on stage… it was just so incredible. I felt like I was watching something special. Almost like it was something I shouldn’t be seeing. More on that in a bit.
Is Moana Part Of The Aulani Luau?
I know you want to know about Moana first. You want to know if Moana is part of the Aulani luau and yes, she is. But only for a moment or two. Just like everything else within this Disney property, the real story is the Hawaiin culture.
It’s not about characters and cartoons. It’s about the root of what makes these people so special. The luau was more about the history of Hawaii, the soul of its people, and what binds them all together.
But for fun, Moana does come out in the beginning and she does sing a bit. So, your children will get a nice little kick out of it. I promise.
Is The Aulani Luau Worth it?
I don’t think you can go to Hawaii and stay at/near Aulani and NOT see the luau. Pretty bold statement, right? But seriously, it was the highlight of my trip to Hawaii.
I’ve only gone to one other luau in my life – and it happened to be at the Polynesian resort at Disney. I also thought that one was pretty spectacular. But there was something so incredibly honorably about this one. Is that a crazy word to use? I need to include it in this Aulani Luau review because it was an underlining factor throughout.
Related: Where is Disney?
I knew I was on a Disney property and we all were sitting behind a Disney hotel. I knew the men and women that were on stage were paid to be there. Also, I knew the pig my husband was eating wasn’t caught in the wild. I wasn’t stupid.
But as I was sitting there, I felt like I was watching something sacred. It wasn’t a show. It was passion and It was their hearts. They were giving their hearts to us and they did it every night.
The screaming and the dancing and the fire and the slamming and the chanting. I was just so moved. As I watched, I kept thinking to myself, how special! How very special that Aulani provides this for their guests.
How have they captured this essence? Also, how can they still show such heart so many days a week? Because these men and women love Hawaii. Because these men and women ARE Hawaii. And they wanted to show off the very best of what they have to us – the passing visitors.
One dance after the next.
Mesmerized. Enchanted. I don’t have a connection to culture like this. I have a feeling if you are reading this, you probably don’t either. As I ate my food and watched everything that happened around me – and it happens all around you at the Aulani luau – I felt happy for these men and women.
I was happy for them that they have held onto their culture. I was also thankful that they were kind enough to share it with us. This is a very important part of my Aulani Luau review because it felt so very special.
The women danced. The men danced. Everyone sang. We swayed and clapped or maybe we did nothing and stay in absolute silence as we absorbed it all in.
It was a moment that I knew that I didn’t want to forget. My only regret was that I didn’t have my children with me. I knew my daughter would love those girls on stage. I knew my sons would want to be those men.
So, while Aulani has so much to offer as a resort, I want to give you one more thing to think about. The luau! It was a show that I will never forget.
Aulani Luau Reservations
To make reservations for the Disney Luau in advance, check availability and for more information, call (844) 284-7644* between 7:00 AM and 4:30 PM HST. Or you can always click here.
How long is the Aulani luau?
The luau is about 3 hours long and currently only for guests staying at Aulani. Performances are held on select nights, weather permitting.
Is the Disney Luau worth it?
In the end, this is the question we’ve all been waiting for, right? Is the Disney Luau worth it? I have to tell you that I think the answer is YES. I had such an incredible time with my husband and I plan on heading back to take the kids to see this spectacular show.
It definitely was worth the ticket price and the time spent. The Disney luau made me cry, laugh, and scream for more! The food was delicious and it had all the magic that you would expect from the mouse – but in a tropical setting.
Aulani Luau Information
- Performances are held on select nights on Hālāwai Lawn, weather permitting. Check the Daily ʻIwa for schedule details.
- For sprinkling and passing showers, the show goes on. The show cancels only during heavy downpours or steady rain.
- Seating is assigned upon arrival. Plan to arrive early for best location.
- The experience—from seating to conclusion—lasts approximately 3 hours.
- Up to 4 hours of self-parking will be validated for non-Resort Guests.
- Disney Luau pricing is subject to change without notice.
What happens during a traditional luau?
A luau (Hawaiian: lūʻau) is a traditional Hawaiian party or feast that is usually accompanied by entertainment. According to Wikipedia, it may feature food such as poi, Kalua pig, poke, lomi salmon, opihi, haupia, and beer.
Following this definition, I’d say that the Disney luau meets this criteria.
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Disney invited me to Aulani. Travel and accommodations were covered. All opinions within this Aulani Luau review are my own.