Join us in welcoming guest author Beth Osborn with a tour of Eats at Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa in Oahu. We’ve also got some great tips about eating at non-Disney spots around the resort! Brace yourselves — there’s Dole Whip, Shave Ice, Plate Lunch, and more — ahead! Don’t forget to check out Aulani restaurant info and menus here.
Arriving to Aulani on October 15, my husband Kev and I selected familiar WDW items — refillable mugs! We purchased purple and blue refillable mugs, which have an Aulani design that matches the beige wallpaper in the halls of the hotel. Red and green options were also available.
Even though the mugs are more expensive at Aulani, we felt we got our money’s worth at $18.99 each over the week we were there.
‘Ama ‘Ama Restaurant at Aulani
We had dinner at Ama Ama — Kev’s salt crusted fish was like nothing we’d ever seen before, with a completely removable crust. He said it was very moist.
I had the French Maui onion soup and a tomato and cheese salad (two appetizers instead of an entree). Both were excellent.
Makahiki Restaurant and Rip Swirl at Aulani
We had a character breakfast at Makahiki with Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. I wasn’t as excited about the buffet as some at Disney World, but I did enjoy the dim sum and the fresh fruit in particular.
Later in the day, we had frozen yogurt at Rip Swirl at Aulani. Mine was pineapple, which was good but not quite as good as Dole Whip. You get up to three toppings at no extra cost so I had coconut, macadamia nuts, and fresh pineapple.
Kev had chocolate with chocolate chips, coconut, and Mickey sprinkles.
Aulani Room Service Breakfast
Tuesday we splurged on room service. Other than when it was free aboard the Disney Dream, I’d never ordered room service in my life. But there weren’t a lot of breakfast options at Aulani (at least until Phase 2 opens).
When I spotted the peanut butter-banana stuffed, chocolate-milk dipped french toast with chicken sausage, there really wasn’t any question that this would be the first paid room service for me. Kev had a pre-set breakfast called the Healthy Start with yogurt and fresh fruit, banana smoothie, pumpkin pancakes, and a pot of tea. All of it was quite good. I ignored the bill so it wouldn’t ruin my appetite.
Shave Ice and Disney Ice Cream Treats at Aulani
We tried Disney’s Shave Ice location — nowhere near as good as Wailoa Shave Ice (reviewed below), which we were told was the best on the island — but decent. I think they were skimping on the syrup.
Friday was busy so we had Mickey ice cream treats from the Aulani store, which we needed because we didn’t have time for lunch.
Olelo Room at Aulani
On more than one morning, we had continental breakfast at the Olelo Room. One meal consisted of a muffin and frozen mocha for Kev plus a parfait of yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit for me.
One Paddle Two Paddle at Aulani
One dinner was from One Paddle Two Paddle, and we ate by the pool. My chicken came with taro chips. Kev’s fish tacos were good, and he had fries with them.
Service was slow that day (and when he got an Angus burger later in the trip) but the food was really fresh.
Dole Plantation Off-Site
At the Dole Plantation, we saw pineapple growing and at last, I got my pineapple Dole Whip! We learned that Hala Kahiki means “foreign fruit”, which is what pineapple is called by Hawaiians.
Rainbow Drive-In, Waiola Shave Ice, and Leonard’s Bakery — Off-Site
The following day, we dined retro-style at the Rainbow Drive-In, which has been there about 50 years.
We had plate lunches. Kev had the most traditional Loco Moco, which is hamburger patty, gravy, potato/macaroni salad, and rice. I had boneless chicken. They were very good.
But not as good as Wailoa Shave Ice! Recommended to us by the Aulani Concierge, it was fantastic. We each had the rainbow, which was vanilla, strawberry, and banana; but they had tons of flavors.
We picked up some malasadas (a kind of doughnut) at Leonard’s — also recommended by the concierge. It was just a few blocks away from Aulani. We ordered two original and two cinnamon.
Two Scoops Ice Cream Off-Site
Two Scoops Ice Cream is across the street from Aulani in Ko Olina Station. I had coconut macadamia nut ice cream with Hawaiian hot fudge, and Kev had banana fudge ice cream. Both were delicious!
Overall, it was a great trip, but people should definitely be willing to explore dining options outside of the resort when in Ko Olina!
What yummy treat looks scrumptious to you? Let us know in the comments below!