Now that Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is open and vacationing families are discovering and enjoying it, I have to say that one of the great surprises for me, even after supposedly being told everything about it, is Aunty’s Beach House. This is the “kid’s club” at Aulani, where children hang out while their parents are doing other things, but it’s a unique experience: a little piece of island lifestyle tucked into the resort.
For one thing, it really does look like someone’s beachside home. It’s easy to believe that Aunty and Uncle have lived here for years, collecting and displaying the souvenirs of their life and travels together while creating a cozy place for younger family members to play and learn.
Once you enter, you’re immersed in the rooms of the house – each one serving as a different kind of play space. There’s a dress-up area in the living room (which also includes a magical fireplace and skylight, both featuring surprising images that appear unexpectedly). There are video games in separate rooms targeted to older and younger children.
A tropical storm can be created right outside the windows of Uncle’s Study when children need an excuse to stay indoors and watch movies. There’s also Uncle’s Garage, where kids can build fun stuff; there’s a place for them to gather ‘round while Aunty tells stories; and there’s a place for a visiting “professor” to help them conduct really messy experiments.
Of course, I never doubted that Aunty’s Beach House would be a fun place for kids and a place where parents could confidently leave children in the care of Aunty, Uncle and the members of their extended ‘ohana. I just wasn’t fully prepared for this fully imagined Beach House experience. Kids at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, really do have a house of their own to play in and make new friends.
Disney resorts offer something for every member of the family, and yet … Aunty’s Beach House is one of those features that make me wish I was six years old again. How about you?