While Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii does a good job of hiding several Hidden Mickeys around this massive resort property, those aren’t the only little secrets waiting to be discovered. One of the things that Disney Imagineers did extremely well here is to celebrate the traditions, history, art and culture of Aulani’s host state of Hawaii. You will see this everywhere you look, not the least of which is the stellar design of the resort itself, which stands out clearly among its neighbors in this upscale neighborhood on the waterfront (Aulani honors Hawaiian design while other resorts appear pale and bland by comparison–uninspired in their design).
In true Disney style, however, the Imagineering has gone much deeper at Disney Aulani than simply physical design and artwork. One of the most fun and lighthearted features of the resort is how Disney has embraced the Hawaiian legend of the Menehune and made them an integral part of the overall design and experience here. The Menehune are legendary Hawaiians, small in stature but big in spirit and playfulness. They only come out at night, but with a sharp eye you may be able to spot them hiding around Aulani.
The Menehune are part of the resort in many ways: from the obvious things like the Menehune Bridge splash pad area (for kids 48″ and under) to the interactive games of the Menehune Adventure Trail, which will take you all around the resort, both inside and out.
If you are a fan of Hidden Mickeys though (and even if you aren’t) one of the most fun things to do at Aulani is always keep an eye out for these mischievous little Menehune as you go about your daily activities. For those with a sharp eye, you will find these playful little Hawaiians in the most interesting of places. This goes far beyond the Menehune statues in the gardens, although that is a great place to start! The lobby area is another good spot where you can sharpen your Menehune spotting skills.
Here are just a few of the many Menehune that we uncovered while spending time at Disney Aulani.
After you’ve sharpened your skills in these locations (and many more that you will uncover), the real fun will begin. If you look very carefully you will start to discover some of the more sneaky Menehune of Disney Aulani. Keep your wits about you no matter where you are – even if you are swimming in one of the glorious pools, casually walking in a hallway or even riding the elevator. You never know where the Menehune may be hiding and it sure is fun to spot them around the grounds of Disney Aulani Resort & Spa. Sometimes, the Menehune may be hiding in the most unexpected and almost impossible places. Do you make it a habit of peeking into keyholes in pieces of furniture? If you answered “no,” perhaps you may want to rethink your position when you visit Disney Aulani Resort as you never know what lurks within. Consider this very secret and special scene…
If you want to experience the magical keyhole Menehune by video, visit our YouTube channel to get a taste for the hidden Magic of Disney Aulani.
Have you visited Disney Aulani and hunted for Hidden Menehune? What were your favourite places to find these magical and mischievous little Hawaiians?
~ Mike Belobradic