Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, has launched its first luau.
The name “kawaa” means “the canoe” and symbolizes the journey across the ocean the Hawaiian people have embarked upon since ancient times.
Kawaa offers an imaginative entertainment experience for the whole family and embraces Disney’s commitment to world-class entertainment while featuring the company’s signature storytelling aspects.
The luau recounts local stories from Oahu and the surrounding area of the resort, touching on the legends of the demigod Maui—recognizable by many kids as one of the central characters in the movie “Moana.” Noa, a local storyteller, recounts a time when travelers from Tahiti arrived in Hawaii and decided to settle in the islands, building farms and plantations for their people.
The event features lively music and traditional hula dances that bring the story to life for visitors. There is pre-show entertainment as well as family activities with a variety of arts and crafts such as kata printing, flower arranging, kakau temporary tattoos and pai ai taro pounding.
During the main show, younger guests are offered the opportunity to learn the Aulani Hula and perform alongside some of their favorite Disney characters.
Food includes an island buffet with locally sourced cuisine such as salads, seafood, traditional folk dishes, teriyaki chicken as well as carving stations. Guests can finish off their meal with a number of desserts, including haupia-coconut and banana bread puddings, macadamia nut brownies, guava cakes, as well as tropical fruits and berries.
An abundance of offerings is available to appeal to younger tastes, including Shaka macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders, Mickey-shaped pasta and more.
The event takes place on the Aulani Resort’s Halawai Lawn with the pre-show beginning at 5 p.m. and followed by the buffet and then the luau on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
General admission starts at $129 for adults and $79 for keiki (children 3-9 years old). Children under age 3 are free of charge. VIP seating is also available. Prices for VIP access begin at $169 for adults and $109 for children ages 3 to 9.
Reservations are accepted in advance between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. There are no reserved seats, so guests are advised to arrive early to secure the best spot. The luau is open to guests who are not staying at the resort, and parking for up to four hours is provided to non-resort guests. The entire event lasts for approximately three hours.