Heading to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa on Oahu and are wondering about your food options? Scroll to find out what to eat and drink at Disney’s Aulani Resort.
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By Hilary Feldstein Ratner
One of the best ways to experience a place you’re visiting is by trying the local food and drink. I love to eat my way through a vacation, sampling items I can’t get back home, and discovering new ingredients I’ve never heard of before.
And Hawaii – a fascinating mix of Polynesian, European, and Asian cultures with a rich culinary history – has so many delicious things to sample!
Combine that with the creative flair of a Disney resort, and you’ve got a lot of tasty options to try here! If you’re wondering what to eat and drink while visiting Disney’s Aulani Resort, we’ve compiled this list of all the highlights:
Disney Aulani Resort Dining Guide: the Best Food & Drinks to Try
Best Snacks at Disney’s Aulani Resort:
Like doughnuts? Then you are going to love Malasadas! This fried dough treat, which was brought over to Hawaii by Portuguese plantation workers back in the 1800s.
Malasadas are an absolute must-eat item for every visitor to the islands! Luckily for anyone staying at Disney’s Aulani Resort, you don’t have to go far to try them.
Made fresh each morning at Ulu Café, Malasadas are like sugar-dusted donut holes with a Hawaiian twist and best eaten while still warm right out of the fryer.
Every morning after we staked out our lounge chairs at the Waikolohe Valley pool area, I sent my husband over to Ulu to pick up an assortment of them for us to nibble on throughout the day. Who am I kidding, they were gobbled up almost immediately!
I consider myself a bit of a doughnut connoisseur (in that I really just love eating them), and these are seriously some of the best Malasadas I’ve ever had.
Perhaps it’s that you get to eat them poolside with a view of the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Or perhaps it’s that the Malasadas offered at Ulu Café come in a few different sugar dusting flavors: coffee, chocolate, and original.
In any case, you’ve got to try these indulgent treats. But just note that they only make a certain amount each day and do tend to sell out fast so definitely don’t snooze on buying your Malasadas!
No visit to Hawaii is complete without having at least one shave ice! This frozen treat is SO refreshing after a long day in the sun. Lucky for Aulani guests, the Papalua Shave Ice stand is right in the middle of the resort!
There’s a variety of ways you can have yours prepared. Some like it drizzled with condensed milk. Some want an extra scoop of ice cream.
But the classic shave ice is simple: shaved ice in a cup, topped with your choice of flavored syrups ranging from familiar (cherry, lemon) to tropical (lychee, guava, mango, and more!)
And of course, this being a Disney resort, the shave ice comes shaped like – you guessed it – Mickey Mouse!
Just note that the line can get long at peak times and there’s little shade, so bring a laid-back island attitude and your sunhat if you packed one. The wait is totally worth it!
ECO-FRIENDLY TIP: After you’ve eaten your Shave Ice, don’t throw the cup away! My toddler used it as a pool toy, filling it with water at the Keiki Cove sprinklers, dumping it out, and then filling it back up again…about a hundred times!
If you’re craving a more filling sweet snack, look no further than the Acai Bowl at Ulu Café.
It’s a generous portion of Acai berry-flavored frozen yogurt on the bottom, layered with toasted shaved coconut and tropical fruits like pineapple, passion fruit, and banana.
The whole thing is then topped off with a slice of dragon fruit shaped like the head of – who else? – Mickey Mouse!
My son and I split this Acai Bowl one afternoon between lunch and dinner and it really hit the spot. You could also definitely eat one solo for a refreshing breakfast.
If you’re in the mood for something savory instead of sweet and you like sushi, then you’ll want to try the Poke Bowl at Ulu Café.
You can pick from three pre-set flavor combos (Classic, Spicy Tuna, or California) or build your own.
This option lets you pick your base (salad, white sushi rice, or brown rice), protein (raw Ahi tuna, raw Salmon, cooked Shrimp, or tofu), toppings (like veggies and island-flavored condiments), and sauces (my favorite was the creamy sesame and my husband liked the spicy mayonnaise!).
Poke is becoming more popular on the mainland nowadays, but if you’ve never tried it before, having one for lunch while overlooking Ko Olina Lagoon is a great way to try it!
Full disclosure: I am not a spam person. But my husband very much is, and has had many variations of this distinctly Hawaiian snack food.
While they are sold all over the islands, I’m pretty sure Disney’s Aulani Resort is the only place in the Pacific that sells them in the shape of Mickey Mouse!
Like the Malasadas, these also tend to sell out quickly, but are replenished into the afternoon. I saw a guest filling up a box with about a dozen of these musubi, barely even waiting for the cast member to put them out on the shelf before claiming them for herself.
And I don’t blame her – my husband said they hit the spot, especially after a long morning of hitting the waterslides and chasing our kids around the Menehune Bridge splash zone.
Refillable Drink Mug
If you plan to stay at Disney’s Aulani Resort for more than a few days, you’ll want to invest in a refillable drink mug.
Similar to the ones they offer at Walt Disney World, these mugs can be used at either of the two self-serve drink stations on property for unlimited refills.
My husband likes to fill his up with iced coffee every morning, and then alternate between soda and water the rest of the day.
If you do the math (depending on your length of stay) it definitely saves you money in the long run, and also saves the earth from single-use plastic cup waste!
Aulani Resort Dining On Property
I’ve already mentioned several snacks standouts at this quick service spot by the pool, but also want to point out that it has a variety of grab n go lunch items, plate lunch/dinner, and other casual eats.
Perfect for a special meal, date night, or if you just want to treat yo ‘self to some fine dining.
‘AMA ‘AMA is open for breakfast and dinner, with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients. As such, the menu changes regularly, but the breakfast menu tends to change less than the dinner one.
If you feel like a morning splurge, go for the traditional Japanese breakfast! The last time we ate there for dinner, we loved the Ahi Poke with sea bean salad.
Reservations are highly recommended as this is the best spot on property to dine while watching the sunset and the food is really top notch.
If you’re looking for Disney characters, you’ll find them here! They pop up every morning for breakfast, and on alternating evenings for dinner.
If you’re curious to try some authentic Hawaiian and Asian-inspired dishes, or if you just want to pile your plate high with pre-cracked crab legs, this buffet has something for everyone.
There’s even a special kids corner that serves things like mac n cheese, hot dogs, and super kid-friendly desserts!
Reservations are also highly recommended for both breakfast and dinner.
If you’re looking for a more low-key dining experience than the buffet, this adjacent bar lounge serves a limited but diverse food menu along with yummy drinks.
You may even be able to time it right and dine to the tune of a live Hawaiian-style band.
One of the few places on property where you can get lunch, this has your typical poolside food offerings like burgers, fries, and Caesar salads.
Most of the seating is thankfully shaded, so you can take a break from the sun and recharge on dependable and kid-pleasing eats here.
They also serve a full bar of mixed and blended drinks plus wine and beer. My absolute favorite alcoholic drink on property and a must-have every time we visit Disney’s Aulani Resort – the Liliko‘i-lada, which is like a lava flow but with passion fruit instead of strawberry syrup. SO good. Seriously.
This poolside bar is in the adult-only section of the resort, and serves a menu comparable to Off The Hook. If you’re kid-free, this is a relatively serene spot to enjoy a drink or a casual meal.
This is a great quick serve location for fast kid-friendly eats that is centrally located within the pool area.
Something cool about ordering here is that the food comes in compostable palm leaf dishes. You can also opt for organic apple slices instead of fries!
This little spot has a fairly limited snack menu, but is THE place to get a giant Mickey-shaped soft pretzel! (LINK: )
Tucked within the main souvenir shop, there’s a decent selection of snack items and basic necessities in the cold case like milk, eggs, cheese etc. If you’re craving just a bag of chips or a pint of ice cream, this place hits the spot.
KA WA’A (Luau)
This is, in my humble opinion, the best luau dinner show I’ve ever had the pleasure to attend.
With traditional Hawaiian dishes you won’t find anywhere else at the resort, like suckling pig, lomi lomi salmon, and Haupia coconut pudding, this is a must-do especially if you’re visiting Hawaii for the first time.
This top-tier luau experience includes a decadent Hawaiian-style buffet and live entertainment featuring Hawaii’s traditional arts and crafts.
It’s fun for kids and adults alike, and a great way to experience the culture and history of the islands!
You can read my full Ka Wa’a Luau review.
Off Property Disney Aulani Dining Options:
If you’re looking for more variety beyond the Aulani’s dining options, or need more cost-effective eats, there are several great options within walking distance of the resort!
Aulani Resort Dining At The Four Seasons
Because this hotel is right next door to Disney’s Aulani Resort, it’s an easy stroll along the beach to get to.
And while you could certainly get a very fine and fancy meal at this resort, the hidden secret here is Happy Hour at Mina’s Fish House, which overlooks Ko Olina Lagoon.
We were feeling VERY relaxed after having our drinks – a sangria and mai tai – while watching the sun set over the ocean. Add on a couple burgers from the Happy Hour menu and it’s a complete – yet relatively affordable – meal.
Located across the main street at the Ko Olina Center, Monkeypod Kitchen is a local gem and my family’s favorite non-Disney restaurant in Ko Olina!
You can either walk there (takes about ten minutes) or hop on the free shuttle bus that runs every 30 mins or so.
Like The Four Seasons, they also have a fantastic (and even more wallet-friendly) Happy Hour menu and THE BEST Mai Tai I’ve ever had!
It’s made with organic light and dark rums, is topped with a generous dollup of honey-liliko’i foam, and – hurray! – comes with a compostable paper straw.
We’ve been here several times over the years and there always seems to be live music during Happy Hour which is a nice touch.
One of our favorite items from the Happy Hour menu are the deviled eggs topped with huge chunks of fresh lobster. The menu is incredibly diverse though, so there’s sure to be something on it to please everyone in your party!
Living in Southern California, which has some of the best Mexican food in the country, my family admittedly has very high standards when it comes to tacos. That said, we were definitely impressed by the food here at Just Tacos!
They were also very friendly and welcoming to our party which included three young children.
Island Country Market By ABC Stores
Who doesn’t love a good ABC Store! These “Hawaiian 7-11s” offer way more than a typical convenience store though.
The one at the Ko Olina Center has an impressive selection of prepared salads, sandwiches, and other lunch and dinner items. You can also get a made-to-order breakfast to go there in the AM.
Or, if you’re staying in a Disney Vacation Club villa which includes a kitchen, it’s got a great selection of groceries to cook with, including organic items! Also a great place to pick up reasonably-priced souvenirs.
If you don’t feel like cooking or leaving your hotel room, you can order a New York style pie from Pizza Corner and have it delivered right to you at the Aulani!
Whew, with all these amazing food and beverage options, how will you ever find time to do anything other than eat and drink at and around Disney’s Aulani Resort??
More Disney Aulani Resources
We are huge fans of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa! Find out how to maximize 2 nights at Aulani, what to expect at the Disney Aulani Character Breakfast, what teen activities are offered, and everything you need to know about the Aulani PhotoPass.
Outside of being a blogger, Hilary is also a nature lover, foodie, avid traveler, preschool board member, and unabashed Disney nut.