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Review: KA WA‘A - A Luau at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Oahu

KA WA'A, a luau at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, is the one of the best overall luau experiences in all of Hawaii.


We have been to a few different luau's over the years and the whole experience at Disney Aulani is amazing from the pre-show activities, buffet dining, amazing luau show, with just the right amount of sprinkling of Disney magic!


And if you're wondering if KA WA'A is a good fit for kids, you'll be glad to know that it's not good, but great!  From the special keiki dining, show activities and Disney characters dropping by during the show, your family will enjoy a night of great food, entertainment and Disney magic!

 

See more great photos here: KA WA'A Luau at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa



Overview
Experience an exhilarating and enchanting journey through Hawaiian history with amazing Disney storytelling, as you discover its deep cultural roots in canoe (waʻa) exploration, which brought the first ancient explorers to the shores of Ko Olina.

The KA WA'A luau is an unforgettable evening of family entertainment as only Disney can offer in Hawaii!

Location:
  • Halawai Lawn at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa


Dates and Times:
  • Select days - check the current Luau schedule here
  • VIP seating and pre-show activities begin at 5:30 PM, with general seating beginning at 5:45 PM.  
    • Note that these times will be adjusted depending on time of year.
  • The luau experience, from seating to conclusion, lasts approximately 3 hours.
Price:
There are two different seating packages to choose from:
  • VIP Seating is $179 for Adults and $109 for kids (ages 3 through 9).  There is no charge for kids under 3.
  • General Admission is $139 for Adults and $89 for kids (ages 3 through 9). There is no charge for kids under 3.
Note: These prices are good through April 30, 2020.  Luau's afer that date will reflect the following price increase, regardless of the date booked:
  • VIP Seating is $184 for Adults and $114 for kids (ages 3 through 9). There is no charge for kids under 3.
  • General Admission is $144 for Adults and $94 for kids (ages 3 through 9). There is no charge for kids keiki under 3.
Note that prices include gratuities, with taxes additional.  Note that if you're staying off-site and driving to the luau you get up to 5 hours of self-parking.

Luau Inclusions:
Now the first thing you're likely wondering is WOW - Those prices are pretty steep and what do I get for that?  You're also wondering if VIP seating is worth the additional charge?!

If you select the VIP Seating here is what you get:
  • Early check-in
  • Priority up-front seating 
  • Enhanced welcome lei
  • First to Buffet
  • Pre-Assigned seating for VIP guests in first two rows of tables.
  • Complimentary beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) 

If decide to go for the the general seating package you will be assigned a seat upon arrival and don't get unlimited complimentary drinks.  For the best seats in the general section, I would recommend to arrive early for best location, at least 30-45 minutes before the show time.



Personally, I would recommend the VIP Seating for the additional perks you get mentioned above.  The early check-in (no long lines) and complimentary drinks makes the price difference a little easier to handle.

And as you can see from the picture above, the general seating line can be very long - and while VIP guests have already been checked-in and enjoying their welcome drink and the pre-show activities, you would still be in line waiting to be checked-in.

The pre-assigned seating is fairly new I believe - in 2018 we were one of the first people to arrive and got some of the best seats at the luau up front.  The scond time we attended the luau we bought tickets that same day and when we arrived in 2019, we were assigned seats in the second row of tables.

Refer to the two pictures below for a comparison of 2018 vs 2019 VIP seating, first row of tables versus the second row of VIP tables.  The seats were still good, but not what I would expect for VIP seating.  With the pre-assigned seating, I would recommend booking as early as you can, since it seems like that may be one of the criteria used to assign VIP seating.



A Visual Journey Through KA WA'A Luau
As soon as you've checked in and have your seat, the luau festivities begin with delightful pre-show activities, before grabbing dinner and then enjoying an evening of exhilarating song, dance and storytelling!

Highlights of the evening and what you can expect include:
  • Pre-show activities, including traditional arts such as kapa printing, flower arranging, temporary kakau tattoos and taro pounding.






  • As the pre-show activities wind down and everyone has been checked-in and seated, a luau introduction and oli (chant) welcome comes next.
  • Before the main show begins, you'll make your way over the buffet, that includes a carving station with pork and prime rib, fresh local seafood, and authentic island fare, plus family-friendly offerings, kids food item selections and a decadent dessert bar.




  • As you wrap up dinner, the luau performance will begin - be ready for fun surprises for the kids that include short visits by Moana, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.  Kids can join in on the fun as well and dance with Mickey and Minnie. 



  • As soon as Mickey and Minnie make their exit, be ready for an enchanting evening of entertainment that brings the legends and lore of ancient Hawaii to life, with a touch of Disney magic!
  • Here are some of the highlights of the luau I captured during our last visit in December 2019:













Overall, I highly recommend the KA WA'A Luau - it is the best family luau in all of Hawaii that will keep your kids captivated from start to finish.  The luau is just the right size and great for kids with the keiki dining, show activities and Disney characters that drop by including Moana, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse!  I also recommend splurging for the VIP seating, as it is a great upgrade and well worth the money for the seats and all of the extras you receive.  And if you're still on the fence and can't decide between VIP and General seating - just make sure you get at least 3-4 drinks and you'll know you came out ahead!

Be sure to stick around after the show ends to meet the performers and grab some pictures!  



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