Monday, September 5, 2011
Disney's Aulani Resort: Waikolohe Valley
This is one in a series of posts about Disney's Aulani Resort & Spa.
The central playground at Disney's Aulani Resort is a striking feature called Waikolohe Valley which is roughly translated as "mischievous water." From first appearances it looks like the attraction is just as popular with the adults as it is with the younger guests. Of course it could have been that more adults than children were staying at the resort during this time. It's looks inviting that I wouldn't mind experiencing the feature at least once.
Though none of the features appear to be a thrill-ride type, hotel water safety employees are stationed at various points. Waikolohe Stream includes two tubing attractions that begin at the top of Pu'u Kilo, the volcano-like structure that dominate the playground. The 8,200-square-foot zero-entry pool is meant to mimic a beach. Other features include:
Rainbow Reef - A private snorkeling lagoon where the aquatic life can also be viewed behind a glass.
Menehune Bridge - An interactive play area that includes three slides resembles a maze-like jungle gym. In Hawaiian folklore Menehunes are "little people" responsible for mysterious occurrences.
Wailana Pool - Separated from the main pool, this serves as the relaxing alternative.
Makai Preserve - A conservation pool requiring reservations and admission where marine biologists guides guests in encounters with stingrays. Proceeds support research and conservation. Makai means "towards the ocean."
Whirlpool Spas - Four of them with two offering sunset views and advertised for parents to enjoy while their children is at play at the resort's playhouse.
Poolside Cabanas - Each of the eight private cabanas accommodates up to six guests and includes a flat-screen television, ceiling fan, refrigerator, WiFi, fruit bowl and complementary bottled water. Reservations are required at the concierge desk and private dining is available.
Although it has been reported that Waikolohe Valley is open for non-guests, resort guests wearing official wristbands will have priority access. The lagoon fronting Aulani is considered a public beach and not exclusive to hotel guests. However the controversy is parking options are limited for persons not staying at any of resorts in Ko Olina where Aulani is located.