Dancers at the Aulani

DAY 3 (of 6) — The hardest part about the Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa will be persuading the kids to leave to explore Oahu—to visit Pearl Harbor or Haleiwa, the famous North Shore surf town, shop for souvenirs in Waikiki or hike up the iconic Diamond Head.

And that’s a shame because Oahu offers so much culture, history and just plain fun. Ever visited a turtle spa—in the ocean?  

But there’s so much to keep kids busy right here at Aulani–the water slides and ides and lazy river, the Rainbow Reef snorkel lagoon, the chance to interact with the stingrays and play in the calmest lagoon I’ve ever seen.

That’s not even counting Aunty’s Beach House the 5,200 Square foot club which offers complimentary activities for kids 3-12 and the Painted Sky teen club. (Parents take note that besides the spa, you can also play golf nearby, head out diving, snorkeling, sailing  or for an adult dinner while the kids are happily engaged and supervised.)

But you haven’t come all the way to Oahu simply to veg at the resort, no matter how nice. Disney has you covered there too.  There are nearly 30 different excursions and an on-site Alamo car rental.

Aulani has partnered with Disney’s successful land-based tour operation Adventures by Disney to develop signature excursions—everything from hiking through a Hawaiian Rainforest to cruising aboard a catamaran with dolphins alongside, cooking with celebrity chef Sam Choy or riding horseback through a valley that has been the backdrop of many movies. Let’s not forget surfing lessons from the Honolulu City Firefighters who comprise the Hawaiian Fire Surf School.  Want to have an immersive tour of the Honolulu Academy of Arts and the Bishop Museum without stressing about traffic or getting lost.   Here’s your chance to hike along a hidden trail in the Manoa Valley and hear the stories of the traditional Menehune “little people” while the guide entertains the kids.

The special Adventures by Disney excursions guarantee extra “magic” –and a break for mom and dad—because of the guides that are along for just that reason. They’ll help entertain the kids, hand out water and snacks and plan special activities along the way.  Adventures by Disney also is offering a three-day excursion package with activities devoted to the sea (think private surfing lessons and ca catamaran voyage) the land (horseback riding and hiking)  and both (sea kayaking and cooking class) At $699 per adult above the cost of the hotel, it’s no bargain but  judging what past  Adventures by Disney guests ay, whether they’ve opted for the exclusive experience aboard a Disney ship or in Europe, you’re guaranteed a memorable and stress-free experience.

So far, there is no multi-island experience though Karl Holz, president of Disney cruise line and new vacation operations suggests, “that is something we definitely plan to explore.”