There’s an app for that! How many times have we heard that phrase in our lives? If we got a dollar for every, well wouldn’t have to blog anymore. Who are we kidding, we would still blog! Back on topic, we’re here today to talk about the new Disney’s Aulani Resort app that released earlier this month. With the Hawaiian resort set to reopen in the coming days, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the Aulani Resort app. Grab your smartphone it’s time to open the app!
Why An App?
Doesn’t everything need an app nowadays? We joke we joke! With minimal fan fair Disney released its newest app on October 8, 2020, in preparation for Aulani to reopen on November 1, 2020. It’s unknown if Disney had always planned for an Aulani Resort app or not, but what is known is the app’s release can be attributed to COVID. In an effort to minimize the amount of guest and cast member interaction, to respect physical distancing, Disney created this new app.
As far as we can tell this is the first app Disney has design specifically for a resort. While My Disney Experience does have resort related information integrated into it, no other resort outside of a theme park area has an app. Neither, Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort or Disney’s Vero Beach Resort has an app. Could we see apps for the other Disney Vacation Club Resorts outside of the parks? Only time will tell.
Logging In For The First Time – Profile
Every Disney app has login requirements, and the Aulani Resort app is no different. If you have a profile created for any of the following Disney services you should be able to use the same log-in credentials. The services include Disney+, Disney Vacation Club (DVC), My Disney Experience, Disney Cruise app, and the Disneyland app. All of these services are connected together as far as log-in credentials are concerned. It was a major update released by Disney, as part of the launch of Disney+.
There could other smaller services that link as well. We would recommend if you have any user credentials for a Disney guest service to try them out. If they do not work, you may need to create a new account.
Within your profile, all related information will be carried over into the app. For example, if you’re a Disney Vacation Club member your reservation information should carry over. If for any reason it does not, you can easily link your reservation under the Reservation Info section in your profile. This will also be where you can check-in to the resort prior to your arrival. Lastly, you can also make a new reservation for the resort in this area. It should be noted for DVC members, this area brings you to the cash (non-DVC) reservation screen. If you’re looking to book with points you should use the regular DVC website or Member Services.
By far the most important aspect of the Aulani Resort app will be the Daily Activities guide. Or, also known as the times guide. Here you’ll find everything that is happening at the resort, broken down by the hour. Well, almost everything. The one thing not included within the daily activities is the Character Meet ‘n Greets, as it has a separate section. At the time of writing it’s unknown whether or not Character Meet ‘n Greets will be part of the initial phase of the resort reopening. If they are available we could see them in a similar capacity as the Disney parks.
The app shows a daily schedule for up to five days in advance. From most screens, you can easily access the Daily Activities section of the app by clicking the Aulani Resort icon on the bottom center of the screen. This will automatically bring up the schedule for the current day.
With everything changing like the wind it will be great to have easy access to daily activities. Previously, Disney would print the schedule and deliver it to your room. Going forward they will update the Aulani Resort app.
Food, the next most important thing. Well, unless you’re us, then it’s the most important. The app outlines all the dining options around the resort, its location, and the type of dining. What is unknown is if Aulani will offer mobile ordering through the app, similar to My Disney Experience. Our best guess would be not yet. This could be added at a later time, as Disney has announced they’ve moved to a cashless or contactless payment method throughout the resort. Cash will still be accepted, but Disney is recommending against it whenever possible. In the DVC Duo house, we are hoping they could link the app to your room charge, as it would limit the number of interactions needed to make purchases around the pool deck and in the shops.
The big unknown for dining is whether or not you make dining reservations for the sit down restaurants. At the time of writing, the app does not offer this functionality. We will keep an eye as we get closer to November 1, 2020, to see if any changes are made.
Beyond the two main aspects, the Aulani app does include a wide variety of information sections. From beach activities to the spa/fitness center, and even where to find a restroom. From what we can tell all of these sections are what you would find on the Aulani website. Over time we could see updates to the app to expand upon each area. For example, the ability to reserve paddleboards from Makiki Joe’s Beach rentals or book a cabana by the pool.
Good first step! The launch of Disney’s Aulani Resort app makes a lot of sense. With how social norms are changing due to our current environment, the addition of the app is a must. We would expect over time Disney will continue to expand upon the app to make the overall guest experience better. It is clear this is an app that Disney had to release quickly for the reopening of the resort. We will keep an eye out for more updates and adjust the article as need. For now, we’re going to go back to daydreaming about Aulani!
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