Aulani’s lū‘au, the “KA WA‘A” or “The Canoe” was fabulous!
We were treated to VIP seating by our aunt, which we highly recommend. You get early admission, preferred seating right in front of the stage, and unlimited drinks. The luau’s cast members are wonderfully friendly and provide the level of guest service you expect from Disney.
The pre-dinner activities start at 5pm and include pounding poi, playing a ukulele, making flower and bead bracelets, and getting temporary Hawaiian tattoos.
When we arrived at Aulani’s Halawai Lawn, smiling performers draped keeper-quality leis (tiny seashell leis for us girls, kukui nut leis for the guys) around our necks.
We were handed delicious POG (passion fruit-orange juice-guava juice) and coconut rum cocktails, topped with maraschino cherries.
At 6pm, the Aulani waitstaff ushered us to our VIP tables and invited us to enjoy the buffet.
Some of our favorites included the roasted kālua pig, local catch fish with macadamia nut sauce, Alae sea-salt-crusted prime rib and chicken tenders (Mitch). Yes, some of us did visit the kid’s luau food tables!
The desserts were fabulous!
Then, after watching a beautiful ocean sunset while eating, it was time for the night show.
The show is where the luau really shines. It tells a story that makes you feel like a part of Polynesian history. Moana, Mickey and Minnie make brief appearances to remind you that it’s a Disney luau. The dancing was well done and well-choreographed.
Mickey and Minnie Mouse opened it up with an invitation for the kids to dance on stage. Next up, Noa, a local storyteller, narrated the history of the Tahitians who traveled by canoe, following the stars, to the ‘Ewa Plain. Performers use traditional Hawaiian dance, including hula kahiko and modern hula auana to bring taro farming, fishing, sugar cane production and the culture of the area to life.
Next up were the traditional shirtless Fire Dancers.
Lions and Tigers and Strollers, Oh My!
This is not Caroline’s first time in the Disney College Program. Along with her sister, she was previously accepted into the program a few years earlier. Back in Colorado, Caroline was wishing for a little more pixie dust to brighten up her life. On a whim, she decides to apply to the exclusive Disney Alumni Summer Program.
Now that she’s back, things get wild.
Wild, as in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where Caroline is assigned to work in Stroller Rental. While not the most glamorous position in the park, it’s often ground zero for humanity at its best and at its worst.
While Caroline makes many “Magical Moments” for deserving guests whose pixie dust has gone temporarily sideways, she also receives magical moments of her own through the friendships she makes, going to Disney cast member exclusive events, and all the spectacular dining opportunities at Disney World.
Caroline tells all – from the ins and outs of Disney’s secret training class called Traditions; to learning how to be a happy cast member during on-the-job training; to what it’s like to interact with fellow cast members and the guests who are ready to explore the most magical place on earth.
Join Caroline as she takes you on a wild ride through her adventures in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But be careful, it’s a jungle out there!
Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.
Book link on Amazon.com: Adventures in the Animal Kingdom
About the Author:
Caroline’s love for all things Disney, and desire to grow up to be a Disney princess, is the reason she always wanted to work for Disney. Her dream came true working as a cast member at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Caroline is the co-author of the book, Two Girls and a Mouse Tale, about her adventures working at Disney World with her sister.
She is currently a 7th grade middle school Social Studies teacher in Colorado.
Daily blog link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/