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Review: Cabana Eats at Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa in Hawai’i

I’m back from a recent trip to Aulani, Disney’s vacation outpost in Hawaii. I am already itching to return – that place was magnifico!

Part of what made it even more over-the-top great was that we had access to a private poolside cabana. Score!

Our cabana!

Our cabana!

We had comfy reserved chairs, a fan, a stereo, a TV (’cause hubby wanted to check in on the football games between swims), water bottles, a constant supply of fresh towels, a mini fridge, and of course, an ever-attentive attendant to keep us supplied with drinks and snacks. Naturally, it’s that drinks and snacks part I want to talk about.

We arrived at the cabana at about 9:30, after a big character buffet breakfast, so we weren’t immediately ready to eat. And then magically, as if Mickey himself knew the peckishness was imminent, a complimentary fruit plate arrived.

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Check out all the tropically goodness: orange, mango, grapes, papaya, dragon fruit, starfruit, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, passion fruit, pineapple, edible orchids, and some other green fruit that we never figured out what it was.

Here’s the platter from another angle. You can see that my kids couldn’t even wait three seconds while I took a photo. There were mango pieces missing during the time it took me to turn the plate around. You know it’s a fabulous presentation when you can’t hold kids back from devouring the healthy eats.

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After breakfast and all that fruit, we really weren’t hungry for while. There’s a lunch menu and full bar, but we ended up just noshing a bit.

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I ended up trying the Cucumber Lychee Fizz because it sounded so refreshing. And indeed it was a perfectly light way to take the edge off (not that I had much of an edge when I was lying around poolside.)

Cucumber lychee fizz.

Cucumber lychee fizz.

The kiddos wanted some real food for lunch (how dare they :-)), so we ended up with the kid classic chicken nuggets and a PB&J, plus a shrimp Caesar salad.

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The nuggets and sandwich were exactly as they should be, and the fries were terrific, but we were a bit underwhelmed by the salad. Despite those nice grill marks, the shrimp themselves were undercooked and cold. Not that this stopped me from eating them.

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In a similar fashion to the fruit plate, a complimentary tray of desserts spontaneously appeared at around 3:00.

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That’s a dense chocolate cake, chocolate truffles, and a pineapple upside down cake. Cute and yum! I’d say that’s the perfect way to end a Hawaiian afternoon. Oh wait, then we headed off to dinner …

So folks, what do you think of that fruit? What would you have ordered? Let us know in the comments below.

Erin Foster is the Disney Food for Families columnist and a behind-the-scenes guru here at Disney Food Blog! Check out more of her posts here.

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10 Comments

  1. Essie says:

    I think that I would have ordered the Panini sandwich. What were the Maui chips like? The fruit looks wonderful! Thanks for a mouth watering report and photos.

  2. Erin says:

    The Maui chips were just potato chips. Pretty good chips, but not extraordinary.

  3. Jennifer says:

    We were there last June & while we didn’t have the chance to stay in a cabana, we did order food & drinks poolside. My daughter loved the chicken strips & fries. The cucumber lychee fizz & fruit plate look yummy! Next time we go to Aulani, I’ll give it a try!

  4. Jenna Jameson says:

    Maui Chips are just a brand of chips they sell/serve in Hawaii. Similar to kettle cooked chips. Delish!

  5. Marcus says:

    From the picture of the fruit plate the green fruit looks to be guava

  6. Ellen says:

    Looks wonderful!! How much does it cost to have a private cabana?

  7. Paul says:

    $275/day for the cabanas plus tip.

  8. Niki M says:

    I think the greenish fruit is breadfruit.

  9. Victor W says:

    Green fruit is the star fruit. Stayed at Aulani this past weekend, love it every time we go and will be there for the 4th of July.

  10. Mark D. says:

    Do you know if you can order that cheese plate if you don’t have a cabana? $275 is a little high for me, but the fruit would be nice.

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