Aloha, with so much to see and explore within the beautiful islands of Hawaii, I couldn’t possibly fit it into one article, so if I could pick a highlight of my recent trip it was seeing the happy and excited little faces of my children when we stayed at the Magical Hawaiian themed Aulani Disney Resort.  I must confess I am not usually the over the top big resort kind of girl and in my previous life prior to Children I was very much the Boutique Hotel traveller, but with kids in tow, if they are happy than Mummy is happy and at the Aulani Disney Resort they have carefully taken that into consideration to make it a true family holiday for all.

The Aulani is large-scale resort set on the west coast of the island of Oahu in Ko Olina, approx. 45 minutes’ drive from popular tourist hub of Waikiki.   It’s a well thought out resort beautifully done in the Hawaiian theme with your favourite Disney characters dressed to reflect the aloha vibe, it truly was a relaxed introduction to the world of Disney.  The various room types fit almost any family dynamic, from Hotel Rooms, Suites to self-catering Villas.  We stayed in 1-bedroom Ocean View Villa on the 14th Floor and it was spectacular, well laid out, plenty of space for the 5 of us and full kitchen. There are plenty of places to eat throughout the resort to suit all budgets as well as self-catering options with little alcove for outdoor grilling & there is a small cluster of shops across the street to stock up on the essentials, with additional restaurants.

There are multiple pools to suit every age with a lazy river that snakes around the lush gardens of the resort with magic Disney touches throughout.  There is an amazing children’s water play area that rivals any waterpark, two additional waterslides, an amazing manmade reef teaming with loads of tropical fish, adult pool areas and the large open pool areas that lead out to the beautiful beach a perfect place to end the day to take in the stunning Hawaiian Sunset, cocktail in hand.

With so much on offer to do at the resort and most included in the nightly rate and easy to navigate and plan your day with a daily bulletin delivered to your door, there’s even a Disney hotline to call so you know when & where your favourite Disney character will be at any given time.  A highlight amongst my tribe was the traditional Hawaiian inspired Aunties Beach house with so many activities on offer and with its hi-tech secure check in and check out you know the kids are safe, sound and having a ball & you can take off and find an adult sanctuary to indulge in some downtime.  Another must do is the Character Breakfast where you get to meet and greet all your favourite Disney Characters while partaking in Hawaiian inspired songs and stories, whilst indulging in a buffet breakfast to suit any fussy eater.

The weather is great all year round with great stay pay value deals in selected low seasons.

‘Til next time fellow travellers!

Colleen Tukino

Colleen Tukino  

I had a very active childhood on the Gold Coast, chasing after my two older siblings, entrenched in the surfing and Surf Life Saving community - I even represented the Gold Coast, Queensland and Australia on a number of occasions! While I spent my younger years sharing the local and world stage with other well-known Gold Coast athletes, travelling and competing locally and abroad, I turned to my love of travel after retirement and became a travel agent with Flight Centre. I had to learn from the ground up. Obviously, I caught the travel bug, and while travelling through Europe I came across the picturesque town of Lugano, Switzerland, where I ended up living, working and travelling for 18 months as a nanny for three beautiful children. I eventually returned and met my husband Hoani (John), and we’ve done a LOT of travelling during our 14 years of marriage. We settled (briefly) in Melbourne where our first child Minka (now 10) was born, finally returning home to our beloved Gold Coast to have Koa & Jack (now aged 5 & 2). When I am not conjuring up new travel adventures, you'll find me hanging out with the family at our favourite (and our local) beach, Currumbin.