Photos by Mark Leppert
Holiday time is always party time at any Disney location, and the Aulani hotel in Hawaii at Halloween is no exception. This was our third visit to the resort but the first time we had been there during the season. There were not as many decorations as there are at, say, Christmas time, but the ones we found were quite fun such as Minnie Mouse dressed up as a witch on the desk of the Hospitality Manager (pictured above).
I truly wanted to take her home with me! Apparently, this particular Minnie Mouse is dressed by one special employee for each of the holidays. We were hoping to see what she donned for Christmas, but sadly, she was in hiding for a few days as she was being prepared. And alas, we left before she revealed her latest outfit.
The hotel employees got into the celebration with each of almost 20 departments carving a pumpkin with themes in mind that were to be judged in three categories by the hotel guests. The categories were Best Carving, Best Hotel Theme and Best Disney Theme. Many of the pumpkins were part of very elaborate vignettes such as one of our favorites: The Haunted Mansion! The pumpkin was placed within the cemetery just like outside the ride at the Disney parks.
Another of our favorites was the dentist’s office from the movie Finding Nemo. This was so cleverly done and quite funny too.
After the hotel guests got their votes in, the awards were presented. First, second and third places for each category were given out, as well as the grand prize which was awarded to the engineering department for the third time out of four for their display of “Kitty” from Monsters, Inc. With their engineering background, these team members really know how to light up a pumpkin!
Congratulations to all of the designers! It was really fun being a part of the viewing of such impressive works of art.
Trick-or-treating is a fun time for children everywhere, but at the Aulani it is done with enthusiasm and adventure! Being the kids that we are, my husband and I decided to join in the fun – even though we had no children with us. Other adults noted this and were glad to see they were not alone in joining.
We met at the large Halawai Lawn to receive our trick or treat bags. There had to have been at least 2,500 kids there plus adults. The kids and several adults were dressed up in many cute and clever costumes. Some of the costumes were on the heavy side and must have been very warm as we waited to begin our Hawaiian-style Halloween fun.
We were divided into groups of about 35 and were sent off about five minutes apart to venture to nine different stations, where we received candy and small toys such as pumpkins and costumed rubber ducks. These stops were spread throughout the Aulani property with employees handing out the treats. It was a lot of fun! But as we got closer to the end, there were a lot of hot and tired trick-or-treaters who decided to call it a day and head indoors for a cool and restful nap time.
After everyone was able to rest up from the trick-or-treating, there was an evening party on the same lawn area. This time dressing up in costume was a bit cooler but just as much fun. There were craft stations, temporary tattoos, family games and, of course, a dance party.
And the evening would not have been complete without seeing the Disney characters dressed up in their costumes too. Mickey was a vampire and Minnie was a witch, but neither one of them could ever be scary with those cute faces! Photo stations were available during the day so guests could have their picture taken with these adorable characters.
At first, we were thinking we would really be missing the fun of handing out candy at our home for Halloween, but without a doubt, this was a truly enjoyable place to be for Halloween. The Aulani did a great job of entertaining all of its guests, and we came home with fun memories and some candy and toys to help us remember our time.
As this is a slower time of the year at the hotel, we were able to get a lower rate as well as participate in this holiday fun! We look forward to being back at the Aulani for any holiday of the year!
Won’t you join us?