A few weeks ago, Disney announced that Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa would begin a phased reopening on November 1st.
Later, a special deal was announced that allows guests to save up to 35% on their stay at Aulani! Now, we’ve got even more updates about the Resort’s scheduled reopening.
According to a information released by Disney, Aulani is still moving forward with its phased reopening, scheduled to begin on November 1st. Disney notes that they are continuing to “prioritize the health and safety of our Cast Members, Guests, and Disney Vacation Club Members,” and that they look forward to “reopening Aulani Resort in a responsible way.”
Disney specifically noted that they are learning from the phased reopening of the other Disney hotels and Disney Vacation Club Resorts, and will be incorporating lessons learned from those experiences into the reopening of Aulani. These plans, however, may continue to change, so guests are encouraged to visit the Aulani “Know Before You Go” page for more updates.
According to the updates placed on the Aulani website and more information shared by Disney, the following safety measures will be implemented as part of the Resort’s reopening plan:
Pre-Arrival Steps for Guests
First, all guests planning to visit Aulani should be aware that there are “specific instructions and requirements for all visitors to Hawaii, which may include mandated quarantine or pre-travel testing.” You can see more information about this on the Hawaii Tourism Authority website. As is the case with many of these regulations, the requirements are subject to change, so you’ll definitely want to stay updated about all of the latest travel alerts and restrictions as your vacation approaches.
By entering Aulani, you, as a guest, confirm that you and all persons in your party are not experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19 and that you understand and will follow the established health and safety requirements. Much like the policy being implemented in Disney World, face coverings will be required at Aulani for all guests ages 2 and up and Cast Members. Face coverings must be worn at all times around the Resort except when dining or swimming.
Disney is also strongly recommending that DVC Members and Guests use their Online Check-in service in order to promote social distancing.
Housekeeping, Cleanliness, and Sanitization
Disney has also provided an update regarding housekeeping and the cleanliness of all guest rooms and other resort areas. Specifically, Disney has stated that every room will be given an enhanced cleaning before guests arrive. Additionally, “extra attention will be given to high traffic areas such as public elevator buttons, handrails, benches, tables, handles, restrooms, and more.” Hand sanitizers will also be located throughout the resort.
During a stay at the resort, guest rooms will receive a light cleaning every other day. This “light cleaning” will include:
- Removal of trash and used towels;
- Replenishment of towels and amenities; and
- Wiping and cleaning of the vanity and counter surfaces.
If you’d prefer to decline this every-other-day cleaning service, you may do so. DVC Members who are staying at Aulani on points will receive light cleaning service on the fourth and eighth day of their stay, unless service is declined.
The Cast Members working at Aulani will also undergo new training and reinforcement to emphasize Disney’s enhanced health and safety measures.
Physical Distancing and Capacity Measures
Disney will also be adjusting services within the stores, restaurants, pools, the fitness center, and other public areas at Aulani to allow for physical distancing. These new measures may include reducing capacity and utilizing enhanced cleaning measures.
Limited-contact services will be implemented in shopping and dining locations, and technology will be used to aid in these social distancing efforts. Specifically, Disney has noted that limited contact options including menu QSR codes, cashless payments, and online check-in will help to minimize contact and maintain physical distancing.
Temporary Modifications to Amenities
According to Disney, during the initial reopening period, some food and beverage offerings, menus, and operating hours may also be adjusted. Additionally, some dining, amenities, activities, and services may be modified, limited in capacity, or unavailable based on the appropriate physical distancing and health guidelines. Some areas may remain temporarily closed or be entirely unavailable. The areas that may be affected include:
- Aunty’s Beach House
- Laniwai Spa
- Painted Sky: HI Style Studio
- ‘AMA‘AMA Restaurant
- Makahiki Bounty of the Islands – including character dining
- KA WA‘A Lū‘au
- Little Opihi’s beachside kiosk
- Private Dining
- Valet service
- Alamo car rental desk
- Instructor-led fitness classes
- Some activities, including ‘Ohana Movie Night, Shaka-A-Shaka Pool Party, Disney Animation, Kakamora Chaos, DVC Member Hour, and guided tours
Pools and recreation offerings may operate differently when the Resort reopens.
It’s also important to note that Aulani is a smoke-free resort and smoking is not permitted on the premises.
If you end up needing to cancel your trip to Aulani, you’ll want to know about Disney’s updates to their cancellation policies. In an attempt to provide guests with more flexibility, Disney’s cancellation policies have been temporarily updated.
Guests with Walt Disney Travel Company packages and Room-Only reservations booked directly through Disney:
If you booked a Walt Disney Travel Company package or a Room-Only reservation through Disney for Aulani, you may change or cancel your Aulani Resort reservation up to 24 hours prior to your arrival date for stays through May 20th, 2021 without Disney-imposed cancellation fees.
If you cancel a “room-only” less than 24 hours before your arrival (including no shows), a cancellation fee will be charged equivalent to the first night’s room rate plus tax. For Walt Disney Travel Company vacation packages, if you cancel less than 24 hours before arrival (including no shows), a $400 cancellation fee will be charged. If you fail to check in to the hotel on your arrival date without timely prior notice, you will be subject to these fees.
This temporary change in the cancellation policy applies only applies, however, to stays through May 20th, 2021. Any stays scheduled for after that date will follow the regular cancellation and refund policy, which is the following:
- “Room-only” Reservations — You must cancel at least 5 days prior to your arrival. For cancellations made 4 days or less before your arrival date (including no shows), a cancellation fee will be charged equivalent to the first night’s room rate plus tax. Failure to check in to the hotel on the scheduled arrival date without timely prior notice of cancellation or change will be subject to fees equivalent to the first night’s hotel rate plus tax.
- Walt Disney Travel Company Vacation Packages (or if you have booked other components with your room such as flight or car rental) — The required notification timeframe is 30 days or more, with a $400 cancel fee if notice is 29 days or less.
To change or cancel your reservation, you can call (866) 443-4763.
It’s important to note, however, that cancellation fees imposed by third-party suppliers and nonrefundable products, like travel protection plans, will be deducted from refundable amounts for Walt Disney Travel Company packages. Guests will also still be responsible for any cancellation charges associated with third-party supplier policies.
If you did not book your trip to Aulani through Disney directly, then you should contact your travel professional to discuss any changes or cancellations.
Disney Vacation Club Members, should review Disney’s modifications to their policies regarding expiring Points.
We’ll keep an eye out for more information regarding this reopening and let you know what we find!
Do you have a trip scheduled to Aulani for later this year? Let us know in the comments!