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Disney Aulani Character Breakfast Review
Quote · 1548 days ago · 0 people like this ·

This is super long, so please bear with me! It's all in the details, right?! I hope this helps you decide if you'll take the plunge and visit Aulani for the Character Breakfast...

We recently took our four-year-old daughter to the Character Breakfast at the Makahiki restaurant in the new Disney Aulani Resort in Ko'Olina. The prices, while high, seemed somewhat reasonable for a resort buffet, $32/adult, $18/child, and Baby Bear was free. Sister Bear was so excited for months waiting for Mickey to "move in" to his new "house" that we booked for their very first public Character Breakfast.


We were able to make reservations easily online. I accidentally made our reservations for 3, only to realize I should have counted our infant as well (to make 4). I had an easy time calling a mainland number to make the adjustment.


We have a unique situation, because Sister Bear has multiple food allergies. I certainly didn't want to pay $18 for a meal she couldn't eat. Upon making my reservations online I was able to specify the allergies. In my phone call to the mainland, the friendly operator gave me the direct number for the resort and suggested I call to be sure they’d offer something she could eat. I called the afternoon before and was met with a friendly local voice. She too, assured me they'd offer something my daughter could safely enjoy.


Finally, the big morning came. We used valet (free with a receipt showing a $35 purchase), and walked in to enjoy the wonderful Hawaiian breeze through their gorgeous open-air architecture. After taking some breath-taking photos of the resort grounds from the large balcony, we took the short walk downstairs, and arrived at the Makahiki.


Dressed in matching Alohawear, the staff (aka cast members) was extremely friendly and accommodating. My husband was able to walk around the grounds with my daughter while we waited for our table (we were early). Reservations are only recommended, so you may still be able to get a table should you decide to just stop by, and there were plenty of open tables when we first arrived around 7:00am. By 9am, though, space became more limited.


When they called our name, we were escorted outside where we took a few pictures with Mickey. He was amazing with sometimes-shy Sister Bear, and playful with our infant. He played peek-a-boo with Baby Bear, making both girls giggle. Sister Bear got to hug him and kiss his nose, too.


The pictures they took were mediocre and priced about the same as any other tourist attraction on Oahu. As we ate our breakfast, a cast member approached us with photos already printed and offered us a package of 4 photos for $35. They also had a Photopass card they gave us, but this seemed more for people staying at the resort to collect all their photos from their stay.


The food was no better than any other resort breakfast. I wouldn’t choose to go to breakfast here just to go to breakfast without any characters. The scrambled eggs were a little soggy, the bacon varied in crispness, and the selection was slim. However, they offered a yummy eggs Benedict made with poi English muffins and Portuguese sausage for a local touch. They also had adorable Mickey-mouse shaped waffles at the keiki bar. They also offered an a’la carte menu.


I was surprised to find they offered soy milk and rice milk in addition to regular cow’s milk. Awesome! The chef came out and spoke with us about Sister Bear’s allergies, which was a nice personal touch. They are careful with their food prep and serving so that despite her milk, egg, and peanut allergies, she was able to eat the bacon, fresh fruits and oatmeal. She was one happy girl. (And mom was relieved!)


As we ate, Minnie Mouse and Goofy went table-to-table taking photos, playing with children, and signing autographs. They knew just what to do when children seemed frightened or overwhelmed, such as holding out their ear for the child to touch instead, and giving each keiki time to adjust to their presence. Their costumes were perfect (it IS Disney!), not too large or small, and adorably dressed in surfer clothes.


It’s hard for me to say what I liked best, the Disney characters or the “Aunty”. In the time we were there, they went through their routine twice. The characters circled around to each table, and two women, each PERFECT for the part, played “Aunty” (one in the first routine, and another in the second). These women sang beautifully, had wisdom in their voice, and an energy that made you feel as though they were talking story with you alone. They had the kids up marching around the restaurant, “swimming” with stuffed fish, playing with coconut shells, and spinning napkins in the air. It was fascinating to watch even the adults get excited and want to join in on the fun. The Aunties kept it Hawaiian, singing traditional songs with an upbeat tempo. They were amazing.


Overall, Disney was very accommodating with our special needs, served up an amazing interactive show, with great characters and average resort fair. They offered mediocre photos, but the memories created in the moment are what really matter. For us, our $100 breakfast was worth it. Our allergic child got food she could eat while singing and dancing with her favorite characters. We won’t be making that kind of budget-busting trip again anytime soon, though. Unless, of course, princesses are involved...

Quote · 1548 days ago · 0 people like this ·

Thanks for the review, Momoki!  Very thorough!  I enjoyed reading it!


It sounds like they were amazing in trying to make sure everything was just right for your DD!  How awesome!


Question:  At what age do they start charging for children?  Your DD is 4 right?  My DS is 3 and SUCH a picky eater.  I don't know about paying that much for his food when I know he won't eat much.  But if I have to, at least we get to see the characters, right?  LOL.  :-P


Thanks again for the review, and can't wait to try it for myself!  :)

Quote · 1548 days ago · 0 people like this ·

Awesome review!  My daughter was always afraid of characters and my kids are both older now where they want to see Mickey at his house, lol.  I'm sure many moms with younger kids can definitely use this write up to figure out if this would be right for their family.  Great job and so glad you guys enjoyed yourselves!!

Quote · 1548 days ago · 0 people like this ·

Thanks ladies! I need to figure out how to be less wordy some day, lol!


Babylove, they charge for keiki age 9 and under, so I suppose they COULD have charged us for our 9 month old, especially because we gave her some bread. They did have an array of pastries, breads, fruits and rice available for those picky eaters. But who wants to pay 18 bucks for rice? With the option of a'la carte items, I'm sure you could find something your little one would enjoy. You can check out their menu in advance online, too. I'd also consider calling ahead to ask if you could bring your own food and what they'd charge...


I forgot to mention the cool bathrooms too! They're spacious low-light restrooms with beautiful bamboo vessel sinks and keiki sized toilets (all the toilets looked a touch lower than regular ones). They also had a vessel sink for the kiddos, which my short child LOVED. She never gets to wash all by herself when we're out and about!


MamaMia, I definitely would wait on bringing little ones who are scared of large costumes. But for those borderline kids, or the ones who are slow to warm up, Aulani does a great job of helping them get comfortable and enjoy the experience.

Quote · 1548 days ago · 0 people like this ·

Great review!  Thank you so much for posting this! I think you covered everything that I was wondering about, especially the parking.

Online aloha from your Moms In Hawaii Community Building Mom
Quote · 1548 days ago · 0 people like this ·

LOVE this review! thank you so much for taking the time to write it up!!

We are scheduled to go in NOV for DS's 4th Birthday! I CAN'T WAIT!

Quote · 1499 days ago · 0 people like this ·

This is so great.  My son has a life-threatening peanut allergy and it is so wonderful to hear good allergy stories.  Disney always does such a great job with dietary restrictions.  Glad you had a great time.

Quote · 1499 days ago · 0 people like this ·

Thanks for sharing your review!!!


I cant wait to take my little one there also.....


Quote · 1378 days ago · 0 people like this ·

I'm so glad I found this review! It helped me talk my husband into letting me book a character breakfast for my son's third birthday! Thanks for the wonderful review :)


Quick question about the parking .. Is the $35 purchase for the free parking on top of paying for the breakfast or if you have a receipt showing what you paid for breakfast your parking is free?



Quote · 1378 days ago · 0 people like this ·

MacsWifey: I just took my DD there for a character breakfast for her 3rd birthday last week. She had a great time and even her older brothers (6 & 8) had a good time too! Your DS is in for a real treat!


Parking is validated right when you pay for your breakfast.


Make sure you get a good picture with Mickey with your own camera. You won't get a chance to take another one with him later. Also, we ran into Stitch (of Lilo and Stitch) on the property later after breakfast, and were able to get a picture taken with him too!

Online aloha from your Moms In Hawaii Community Building Mom
Quote · 1377 days ago · 0 people like this ·

We took my kids to the Character Breakfast in October 2011.  I agree with everything momoki said.  Our "aunty" for the day was Angela from Na Leo and it was cool to see all the kids get into it.  My son, who's 3, and my nephew, also 3, loved every moment of it.  We even spent a good deal of time at the beach afterwards (because hey, parking is free for 3 hours with validation from the restaurant).  Would love to stay out there for the weekend, but even the Kamaaina rate is pricey.  I need a hook up!

Quote · 1377 days ago · 0 people like this ·

momoki, that was a super-thorough and well-written review. Thanks for writing it! I'm sorry that I somehow missed it the first time around when it was posted, but I'm glad I finally caught it. Gave us all a really good sense of what to expect. Mahalo!

Your Moms In Hawaii Editor, Founder & Chief Executive Mom ... at your service!
Quote · 1376 days ago · 0 people like this ·

We LOVED the character breakfast!  We took our kids there for DS's 4th birthday, and it was a total surprise!  He was THRILLED!!  I was worried they'd be scared of the characters (they usually are!) but they did GREAT.  Definitely bring your own camera...  When they call you to your table, they'll take you to take pics with Mickey first.  That's your only time you can take a pic with Mickey.  They'll use your camera, but they'll take a "professional" one, too, which they will try to sell to you at the end.  DH was a sucker, so he bought it.  Oh well, it's a special treat, right?  ;)  And like Selene said, the parking is free.  Which is great, since breakfast is pricey!


As for the food, it was good, but I wouldn't say it was worth the price.  You're mostly paying for the characters, you know?  Which is worth it to me, since it's a nice little treat in between Disney vacations.  LOL.  My favorite thing to eat was the local version of a eggs benedict.  Yummy!  We'll be going again for DD's 2nd birthday in May!  :)


I would LOVE to stay there, but man it's expensive!  Might as well pay to go to Cali and go Disneyland!  Shoots!


BTW, when we were there, Tom Bergeron (host for Dancing with the Stars, and America's Funniest Videos) was there filming.  :)


We walked around a bit, and it's pretty neat there!  There's a gift shop where you can buy Disney souvenirs (collectible pins, frames, books, clothing, etc.)  We bought the kids a Mickey and a Minnie Mouse postcard (a wooden one), which was like old style Hawaii.  It's cute!  It's in their rooms!  ^_^


My friend who came down to visit from Washington wasn't too impressed with it.  :(  But I love having something like this in Hawaii.  Lol

Quote · 1376 days ago · 0 people like this ·



Thank you for such a great review! We often have parents who want our sitters to go do fun activities with their kids, and this would be a great option for any of our Ko`olina or Aulani clients. Personally, I'm glad you recommended it because one of my favorite keiki's third birthday is coming up (she's the daughter of my best friend) and this might be just the perfect birthday surprise. I love gifting experiences. Thanks again!


Tara @ Keiki Sitters



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