Although it’s tempting never to leave the Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, grounds and adjoining beach, the resort offers an appealing lineup of off-property excursions to illuminate the wonders of Hawai‘i for all ages and tastes. Many of the excursions have been specially designed by Adventures by Disney and feature knowledgeable Adventure Guides weaving stories and magic into the experience.
I haven’t had a chance to experience all the excursions on offer – it’s a lineup that includes Hawaiian cooking lessons, hiking to Waimea Falls, horseback riding at Kualoa Ranch … and I’ve heard especially good things about the Hawaiian Fire Surf School conducted by Honolulu City Firefighters.
I did get a chance to go on a catamaran excursion with some visiting travel writers the last time I was at Aulani, and it was great! We spotted a couple of pods of dolphins (or maybe it was just one playful bunch, trying to fake us out) and, after getting a terrific distant view of Aulani from its ocean side, we went snorkeling a bit further up the coast. The waters off the coast of Oahu offer a sensationally colorful array of fish and other sea life and, while we were snorkeling close to the surface, members of the crew dove deeper and brought up sea urchins, sea cucumbers and an unusually chunky starfish for us to look at.
Catamaran Captain Doug also told us that his craft is rated as dolphin-and-whale friendly, consciously keeping a safe distance from these fun and fascinating creatures while still giving us the opportunity to view them. It’s the kind of thing that helps make a Disney Aulani excursion special.