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Thursday, August 10, 2017

getting our aloha on, disney style

as a surprise for the bean (and because we love all things disney), we booked seats at the luau at disney's aulani property in ko'olina.  we'd gotten to see the resort and have dinner there during our last trip to hawaii and had wanted to attend the luau back then, but at that time it was only open to guests of the resort.  she was pretty excited when we got there, as were the old lady and i.  the hub - well, he's not so much of a disney fan but is always a good sport and tolerates our shenanigans.

i think i took the same exact photos the last time we were here.  oh well.

we didn't linger, though.  we knew that anything disney almost always equals some sort of time standing in line, and so we followed the signs to find the check-in area for the luau.

i still think hanging out in their water play area would be tons of fun, although i'm sure it's pretty difficult to find a time when it isn't crazy crowded.

we passed stitch along the way, too.

and as predicted, we found ourselves in a super long line that we ended up waiting in for a good half hour.  it was overcast from rain they'd gotten earlier in the day, and extra extra humid.  but then finally it was our turn to be presented with shell necklaces and a family photo op.

the bean was pretty excited to receive this necklace, with a miniature replica of maui's fishhook from "moana."

and then we were greeted by our table attendant, who handed us a welcome beverage and walked us to our table.

the luau was already bustling with activity, since the VIP ticket holders had been given access well before the general admission peons.

the girls had managed to grab their temporary tattoos while we waited to be seated, which was good since the line had gotten nice and long not too long afterwards.  our next stop was here, for a flower bracelet:

while the hub made a beeline for the bar, where he purchased a few drink tickets and came back with this.

we egged the bean on to join in on the poi pounding activity, sitting next to these dudes who were practically naked as her sister and i giggled like schoolgirls in the background.

the last activity was here:

and then it was time to be seated so the luau could begin.

the kids were invited to go up and learn a hula dance, which the bean was more than happy to join in on.  and this was the only time we got to see mickey and minnie, who danced along but skedaddled as soon as it was over.  if one was hoping for a character photo op...well, you didn't get it.

tables were dismissed one by one to help themselves to the dinner buffet.  there was a pretty nice variety of food, with a salad station, main entrees, sides and a carving station as well as a separate kids' buffet.

the show itself was very entertaining, with lots of stories about the island and its early occupants and not at all disney-fied. we really enjoyed it.

it ain't a luau without fire dancers, amirite?

we hit up the gift shops on the way out, of course.  and i managed to get this shot with the bean to show off our matching tops.  we received a number of compliments on them as people slowly realized that stitch was incorporated in the floral design.

tickets for this luau are rather pricey - $129 for adults and $79 for kids ages 3-9.  add another $40 per person for VIP access.  but when i looked back at prices for the paradise cove luau we'd attended last time, it was pretty comparable.  and the food here was actually quite good, especially for being mass-produced and by disney to boot.  and like i said, we really liked the entertainment too.

i was just bummed that we never did get to see the family photo we'd posed for at the beginning.  i called the resort later on to find out how to get access to it, but no one ever called me back.  not very magical, but i let it go.

see what i did there?

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