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How to Navigate the Ins and Outs of the Aulani App

by Leap on April 21, 2024

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Aloha! If you are heading to Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, there is one tool you'll want to have in your pocket that can help you manage your trip and keep you from missing out on any amazing experiences. The Aulani Resort app is the official mobile app for this destination and your vacation sidekick. If you've used the Disneyland app, My Disney Experience app or Disney Cruise Line app, you know how important they are for streamlining your day and staying informed of what's hoppening. The Aulani app is also hopful, but it is a lot simpler at the same time. It works a little differently from the theme park apps. Plus it's a little more relaxed, setting the right vibes for the trip.

Aulani App - Mickey and Minnie at Aulani

Overview of the Aulani App

How to Navigate the Ins and Outs of the Aulani App - Home Screen of Aulani App

There is a lot that goes into planning your Aulani vacation, but don’t stress. The Aulani app is meant to save you time and help guide you through your day. It even helps you find your way around this large resort, with maps and schedules. You may be wondering, What's the Schedule at Aunty's Beach House? How can I meet Moana or ShellieMay? What meals does Mahahiki serve, and how do I reserve? When does each pool open and close? What can I bring to the pool, and what's not allowed? It's all in the app.

As you begin planning your Aulani trip by reading all our hopful Aulani Resort blog posts, you’ll hear us mention the Aulani app. The app makes it easier to manage your day, check-in, view the daily schedule and make reservations for dining, some premium experiences and free activities right in the app. Some book up early or require you to call in advance. Others you sign up for in person, but space may be limited.

How to Navigate the Ins and Outs of the Aulani App - Sample of ScheduleWe frogs can't come with you to Aulani (oh, how we wish we could), but we can teach you how to use the Aulani app so you can locate what you need and gain your own frogspertise.

This tool will help you book dining reservations, locate characters, book experiences, find included entertainment and even find the nearest restroom! We'll walk you through the app and help you find those pull-down menus that open up more uses for you! You'll be an expert on Aulani by the time you arrive. Let's jump in!

What Is the Aulani App?

The Aulani app is a tool on your smartphone that you can use before and during your hotel stay. You can download the free app on your smartphone. We recommend downloading the app well before your trip so you can link your reservation, check-in, get familiar with the property map and get all your reservations in place.

How to Set Up Your Disney Account and Link Hotel Reservations

How to Navigate the Ins and Outs of the Aulani App - Where to link hotel reservation on home screen

First thing first: If you haven't already, you'll want to start by creating your Disney account.

You may already have one if you've visited the theme parks. You can use it at Aulani too! If you need to create an account, you can do this either online at the top of the home page at disneyaulani.com or in the Aulani app itself. While you're thinking of it, it may be a good time to download the app right now from your app store. From there, you'll then:

  • Create your profile. This will include details such as your name, mailing address, the credit card you’d like to use to pay for dining, excursions and maybe premium experiences. You'll also set up your username and password. Make this something you can remember as you’ll be asked for it whenever you log in online or in the app.
  • Link hotel reservations. If you already booked a room, you can link your reservation in the app or online. You'll see "Retrieve Reservation" on the home page. You'll add your resort reservation confirmation number, the last name on the reservation and your check-in date.

Don't be alarmed, but every time you log into your Disney account, you'll likely get an email that says there's a new sign-in into your Disney account. It's a security measure to keep your account safe.

Using the Aulani App

There are many hopful features in the Aulani app! You'll find that the tools included in the app are informative and can also help you sign up and save some time. It's a great resource to have on hand, and you likely always have your phone with you anyway, right? Here's what you can do in the Aulani app in each stage of planning your vacation.

You should start getting familiar with the app at least four months before your visit. Make a list of your must-do activities and take note how early you should sign up for those activities. (Psst ... You can tap on an activity on the app to see when you can reserve!)

Link Reservations and Check-in

Before arriving, you can link your reservation to the app from the home screen. You'll want to link your hotel reservation before you try to book dining or activities.

Then right before you arrive you can start the hotel check-in process online. At this point, if you haven't already, it's a good idea to set up your preferred payment method.

On check-in day, you'll receive a text or notification notifying you when your room is ready — online check-in for the win! This allows guests to bypass the Front Desk unless they have specific questions or concerns or if they want a key card. You can also view hotel charges during your stay.

How to Navigate the Ins and Outs of the Aulani App - Finding diningUse the Aulani App as a Room Key

Once you've found your room, get ready for the magic! You can use the Aulani app as a digital key to unlock your door. (The tadpoles are definitely going to want to give it a try!) If you've visited a Disneyland Resort Hotel or a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, the process is the same.

Book Dining

Guests can make dining reservations up to 30 days before their trip at 12 a.m. HST (that's Hawaii Standard Time). That may mean doing some math to determine what time it is where you live and setting an alarm for the middle of the night to reserve. (You already linked your hotel reservation before booking dining, right?) Character breakfast dining at Mahahiki or dining at ‘Ama‘Ama fill up quickly during peak times. But even if dining is full ask at check-in and see if you can get walk-up availability. It never hurts to ask or to keep checking the app. If you do not see availability, tap "Show next availability." It will open up to show you all the upcoming available dates and times.

Reserve Classes and Activities

How to Navigate the Ins and Outs of the Aulani App - Where to reserve activitiesYou can make reservations for some activities and classes in the app 30 days in advance at 7 a.m. HST. Others you sign up in person or online. Look up the activities in the app to see how and when to sign up. You can sign up for activities such as the following in the app (be sure you are logged in with your reservation linked!):

  • Fitness classes
  • Some Pau Hana Room Experiences
  • Wikiwiki Hair Braiding
  • KA WA'A Luau (note: to do so, click "Add Plan" on the homepage. Upon booking, a new window will pop up. The luau availability will open up between four and six months in advance. For example, right now — in April — you can make a reservation through the end of September)
  • Aunty's Beach House (though you have to fill out an online pre-registration form)
  • Kakamora Chaos with Moana
  • Select excursions
  • Laniwai spa services

There are other activities you can sign up for in the app. If you do not see the link to reserve, try going on early in the day. Each activity page in the app states whether you can sign up 30 or 90 days in advance.

You cannot sign up for the following in the app:

  • Rainbow Reef Fish Feeding: Day-of reservations are available in person at Rainbow Reef at 8 a.m.
  • Fire Pit Storytelling: Arrive early as space is limited
  • Makiki Joe's Beach Rentals
  • Private Portrait Sessions: Call (808) 674-6988

Aulani Resort Map

How to Navigate the Ins and Outs of the Aulani App - Map view

View the map to prepare yourself on navigating this large resort. Tap the Aulani logo on the bottom, and sometimes a "View Map" pop-up option will appear in the lower righthand corner of the screen. It toggles between "View Map" and "View List." You can get a map view of activities, locations, dining, beaches & water fun, spa & fitness, character experiences, restrooms and more. You can click on each location to learn more.

Navigating the Aulani App

How to Navigate the Ins and Outs of the Aulani App - View Map button and navigation bar

First of all, you have your home page. The most important part is the navigation bar at the bottom:

  • The home button brings you back to the home page. The home page has a place to link your hotel reservation, see the full schedule and get notified of any alerts or notices.
  • The Aulani icon brings you to the pull-down menu at the top. This is where you will find most of what you are seeking, including daily activities, resort locations, dining, character experiences, guest services and more. Each of those menu items open up more options and details. The Guest Services tab on the Aulani page is where you can scroll through to find elevators, laundry facilities and emergency defibrillators. You may notice that a "View Map" button appears in the lower right-hand corner. When you click on it, you'll see the map, and then a "View List" button to take you back to the list.
  • The cell phone icon is where to view your booked plans and favorite activities all in one place.
  • The three horizontal lines bring up your profile. It is also where you can set your notifications, so you only get alerted to the things you want to be alerted about. You can access Lost & Found, log out or contact the resort from this page. Note the list of helpful Frequently Asked Questions under "Contact Us." It's a great place to find the answers to your own burning questions.

Aulani App Tips

How to Navigate the Ins and Outs of the Aulani App - dining reservations

Here are some hopful tips for navigating the Aulani app:

  • Use the app to look up the daily schedule and operating hours for pools and restaurants.
  • Locate character locations and times in the app.
  • Don't give up on dining reservations if you cannot get the one you want. Keep checking.
  • Most locations have an accessibility tab to learn more.
  • We don't like surprises about closures. View refurbishments and closures in the app as well as construction notices.
  • As much as the app is helpful, be sure to use it only when necessary and keep your head out of your phone as much as possible on the trip so you can relax!

What questions do you have about the Aulani app? What tips or tricks do you have to share? Be sure to share with us in the comments below! If you are looking to save money on Aulani Resort & Spa vacations, your favorite froggy friends can help you save some green

Related: What's Included at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa?

Related: Our Frogtastic Guide to Aulani — A Disney Resort & Spa

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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