Paradise in Hawaii has a completely new meaning at Disney’s Aulani Resort. This Disney Vacation Club and award-winning resort is on the shores of O’ahu and features 21 acres of oceanfront beauty. Removed from the noise of Waikiki, visitors find themselves completely immersed in the wonder of the island.
There are many great things we could talk about at this resort, but the crystal-clear pools deserve their own spotlight. The pool areas are perfectly matched to Aulani’s island theme, from hidden Menehune* to volcano-themed water slides. Whether you are looking to relax, snorkel, or splash, the Aulani pools have it all. The pools are central located to all important things like food, drinks, chairs, cabanas, restrooms, towels, and of course… the beach! Let’s take a dive into what Aulani pools have to offer.
*Menehune are mythical people in Hawaiian culture known for magical powers and a mischievous spirit. They are represented all around the resort.
All pools are open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and always have a lifeguard on duty. Children under the age of 12 must have adult supervision. Temperatures are regulated, so you can expect the water to be approximately 82 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pronounced WAI-LA-NA, this Hawaiian term means calm, quiet, and still. This pool has a capacity of 100 people and is known as the tranquil pool, just as the name suggests! Wailana is a tension-edge pool with poolside lounge chairs and areas shaded by tropical trees. The location of this pool is convenient, as it is close to Ulu Café, coffee, and towel and wristband locations.
This pool definitely brings the party, often with Disney characters making an appearance for games, dancing, and music.
Waikolohe means “mischievous water,” so expect to spend hours of fun here with all that it has to offer. You can ride on two different waterslides at this pool. Volcanic Vertical is an enclosed tunnel body slide that rushes you through the volcano. Tubestone Curl is an open-air tube slide that offers single or double-rider tubes and ends in the Waikolohe Stream.
This pool is the center of all other pools. It even features a zero-entry section which adds to the beach and paradise ambiance. You are steps away from food, drinks, restrooms, and Papalua’s Hawaiian shaved ice shack.
What would paradise be without a lazy river? In the Waikolohe Stream, grab a tube or free float and let the river take youthrough the Waikolohe Valley. Keep an eye out for hidden animals and Menehune as you float! You will float through caverns and fountain springs, including a waterfall and jumping spouts of water that even light up at night.
TIP: The Stream offers the BEST view of the hotel. Don’t forget to look around when you float!
Ka Maka Grotto Infinity Pool
This pool has a breathtaking view of Ko Olina Beach, and with the infinity design, it appears to seamlessly merge with the shore. Ka Maka Grotto is a quieter family pool with a whirlpool spa attached that spills over into the pool.
TIP: For a special experience, watch the sunset from this pool and stick around as it gets dark to witness thousands of sparkling lights above the nearby whirlpool.
Aulani has many whirlpool spas located in four resort areas. One spa is near the Waikolohe Pool and another near the Waikolohe Stream. Mentioned earlier, another spa is located at the Ka Maka Grotto Infinity Pool, which has a nighttime light experience that is a must-see.
The other two spas are 18+ and feature an infinity edge, giving the illusion that you are drifting into the Pacific Ocean. These spas are located at ‘Alohi Point, a secluded terrace meant for escape from the bustle and adventure of some of the other pools.
Rainbow Reef allows guests to go snorkeling without ever having to leave the resort. This saltwater lagoon is located near the center of the Waikolohe pool area, making it very accessible. This experience gives an up-close view of tropical species, including butterflyfish, surgeonfish, tangs, and more. The Reef is perfect for beginners or those looking for a relaxing adventure; there are no currents or waves to worry about! You may even catch a glimpse of hidden Menehune.
The temperature of the lagoon is approximately 77 degrees Fahrenheit to mimic the natural habitat of marine life. All swimmers will be supplied with a life vest, a mask, and a snorkel set. Children who are 11 years and under must be accompanied by an adult.
One-day access to The Reef is $25 per adult (ages 10 and up), and $20 per child (ages 9 and under).
Length-of-stay access to The Reef is $45 per adult (ages 10 and up), and $35 per child (ages 9 and under).
Aside from snorkeling, there are two other options: Supplied-Air snorkeling ($45 per person) and the Underwater Explorers Scuba Diving which is temporarily closed ($189 per person). These are underwater experiences given by expert instructors.
Menehune Bridge is an interactive splash zone featuring two water slides, interactive elements, spinning gourds, and a climbing playground. This area is for little ones up to 48” tall and has a capacity of 147 people. At 2,100 square feet, this structure that was “built by the Menehunes” offers plenty of space to splash!
Keiki Cove Splash Zone
Located near the Ka Maka Grotto Pool, this splash zone is for all ages. There are features like rainbow water jets, hidden Menehune, and a pool floor that is detailed with a giant octopus. This is the perfect place for little ones to run and splash through water.
Know Before You Go
Aulani has implemented the following pool chair policy:
- Before 8:00 a.m. (when the pools open), guests must be actively using their chairs. Unattended items will be taken to the nearest Kawele Korner
- From open to close (8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.) belongings that are left for over an hour will be taken to the nearest Kawele Korner
- Guest are to pull down a folded towel to let Cast Members know that they are actively using their chair and will be back (for example, if you are in the pool, getting food, etc.)
At Aulani, the pool chair demand is so high that we have revealed where to find the best pool chairs.
If you have any questions or would like more information on Disney’s Aulani Resort, get in touch with one of our Destination Specialists.