A 2021 Return To KA WA’A – Disney Luau Review
When we first heard of the KA WA’A Luau reopening as scheduled for March 27th at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, we couldn’t wait to re-experience the magic, and write a special review of its return in 2021. Having attended the Luau before the Aulani resort closed in 2020, we wanted to compare our pre and post pandemic experiences of the dining experience and share all the recent health and safety modifications they had incorporated.
Preferred Seating: Pros
The first thing that caught our eye at the Hālāwai Lawn was that seating is no longer arranged in large groups with connecting tables. You will be glad to know that the tables are now completely spread out in smaller batches for each family.
We found that the “preferred seating” section to be worth the additional price because not only did we bypass the larger general seating crowd, but also got a better view of the stage. But if you’re game for waiting a bit and sitting towards the back, then a general priced ticket will do.
Get Clicked: A Fun Photo Opp
Every preferred ticket holder receives complimentary PhotoPass photos!
As you enter the Luau, a cast member will walk you to a socially distanced designated photo opp for some snaps with a couple of dancers. Ensuring you maintain safe distance, and are facing away from the dancers, another cast member clicks a photo of your family.
If you have preferred seating, the photos can then be downloaded at no additional cost from PhotoPass on the Disneyland app. Once the photos are taken, you will be directed to your assigned table.
Lei Making: The Only Pre-Show Activity
We hoped to experience KA WA’A Luau‘s pre-show activities — kapa printing, flower arranging, temporary kakau tattoos and paʻi ai taro pounding — but unfortunately, those weren’t happening this year. However, to make up for it, they left individual baskets on each table with items to make leis. It was an incredibly fun activity that brought back old memories!
Bento Boxes and Beverages: Replacement for Buffets
Dining at Aulani guarantees enhanced health and safety measures. Individual seats at each table had pre-fixed menu cards and beaded necklaces in sanitized storage bags. The buffet-style food and dessert stations were replaced with a scrumptious three-course bento box meal for adults. These bento boxes contain lomi lomi salmon salad, imu-style braised pork, fresh island fish, oven-roasted teriyaki chicken, and local seasonal vegetables. For dessert, a plated trio included macadamia nut brownies, coconut pudding, and guava cake.
Bento boxes are also available with kid-friendly favorites like macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders, and a Moana surprise dessert. We also loved that all ticket prices include unlimited non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages.
What made the meals even more special were knowing that they had allergy-friendly options. Despite having food allergies, our girls were able to enjoy their bento boxes with teriyaki chicken, rice, vegetables and a tasty mickey-shaped chocolate cake. Everything was beyond delicious!
KA WA’A: A Stellar Show
The Aulani luau is hands down a top-notch Disney signature show! During the luau you will hear an Oli Chant, dance to live Hawaiian music, listen to storytellers’ ancient tales, and watch spectacular traditional dance performances. The show lasts about three hours, featuring a special guest appearance by Mickey and Minnie (no more Moana, sorry.)
Please Note: Remember to factor for the time difference. Lexi, our toddler, fell asleep towards the end. Also, pack light sweaters during the winter-spring seasons as it can get chilly at the tail-end of the show.
Prices and Packages
The KA WA’A Luau takes place during select weeknights, starting at 5 pm. It will be moving to 5:30 pm from June 1, 2021 onward. Please click here for reservations, Luau availability, and more information.
Choose Your Seating Preference:
- Preferred Seating – $189 Adults/$114 Keiki (ages 3 through 9). There is no charge for keiki under 3.
- General Seating – $160 Adults/$94 Keiki (ages 3 through 9). There is no charge for keiki under 3.
Prices include gratuities. General Seating includes a Hawaiian lei and unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Preferred Seating guest receive everything from General Seating plus early check-in, complimentary PhotoPass photos, and priority up-front seating.
Know Before You Go
- Masks must be worn at all times except while actively eating or drinking and age 2 and under).
- Performances are held on select nights at Hālāwai Lawn if weather permits. Pricing and show dates are subject to change without notice.
- Check the Aulani app for Aulani Resort news, schedule details, changes, Aulani military discounts, and Aulani DVC discounts.
Even with the modifications and restrictions at KA WA’A Luau, we would absolutely go again! All in all, we definitely recommend this signature Disney experience to all of our friends, family, and future Aulani guests. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube family channel to watch our entire experience! To learn more, check out our posts, Disney’s Aulani: More Affordable Than You Think and Aulani’s Most Instagram-Worthy Spots.