Want a Disney Trip With No Lines, Schedules, or Sore Feet? It Exists, and It's a Tired Parent's Dream
When I told friends I was taking my family to Disney, I got a mix of reactions — most of which were registering dangerously close to the "horrified" end of the emotional spectrum. And that's not to say that a Disney vacation is anything remotely horrible, but it is to say that I've long been complaining about needing a relaxing getaway, and a five-day excursion of packed schedules, long lines, and whining toddlers just wasn't it.
Thankfully, my plan wasn't to take my husband and our 2- and 4-year-old kids to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or even one of those Disney cruises. Nope, we were heading to Disney's Aulani Resort & Spa in Hawaii — a destination that is so under the radar, whenever I'd tell people about it, I felt as though I was spilling some deep secret.
For many families, not having a theme park is a non-starter. No rides? No, thank you! But that assumption is what's made this Disney's best-kept secret.
Aulani has been in operation on the island of Oahu for only eight years, and it's the first Disney property that doesn't include a designated theme park — it's, as insiders dub it, "castleless." For many families, that's a non-starter. No rides? No, thank you! But that assumption is what's made this Disney's best-kept secret. Although there's no Magic Kingdom, there's still plenty of Mickey-branded magic. After spending a week being immersed in the resort's authentic Hawaiian culture, I discovered that it was the ideal vacation destination for families like mine — who want a kid-friendly experience with a company they trust but who have absolutely no interest in coming home more exhausted than when they left.
Aulani Resort is the Disney trip for people who actually want to relax on their family vacation, and it was this tired parent's dream. Here's why.