Last weekend, Disney unveiled its new KA WA‘A Luau at Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas.
The show is hosted by Noa, a storyteller who leads guests on a journey through the history of Oahu. Music and traditional Hawaiian dance highlight the stories, which include tales of the demigod Maui.
Disney has released a brief video showcasing the new production.
In addition to the performance, the luau experience features a number of pre-show activities including kapa printing, pa‘i ai taro pounding and flower arranging. The buffet meal includes a carving station with suckling pig and prime rib, fresh local seafood, authentic island specialties and asian dishes.
Shows are scheduled every Saturday and Wednesday, with performances beginning at 5pm and lasting approximately 3 hours.
Current pricing is $119 per adult and $79 per child (age 3-9) for general admission. VIP seating is available for $159 adult/$109 child and includes early check-in, up-front seating and complimentary alcoholic beverages.
For additional information or to make reservations, visit DisneyAulani.com or call (808) 674-6850.
It will be interesting to see how KA WA'A compares to both the Paradise Cove's luau and the Starlit Hui that Disney had for free. I know a lot of the arts and crafts were part of the Hui. And the children doing the hulu portion was part of the Starlit Hui although we never saw that performance because of parents standing up front to get a photo or video of their child. It was sort claustrophobic because of the crowding up front, I would not want to be the ones sitting right up front while others stand in front of you.
Also it will be interesting to see how the food compares to Paradise Cove. I have often heard the food was just okay at Paradise Cove.
I feel like we should have gone to the more established luau next door at Paradise Cove. Unfortunately, for the amount of money we spent, I do not recommend this event as a must do at Aulani!
The most informative CM I spoke with had gone the previous week to a cast preview event. He really liked the show, and compared it favorably to the old Starlit Hui. He also liked the food, saying it was great for a buffet and really authentic. By this point we had built some rapport and I asked him if he would pay the guest pricing to bring his family. With a smile he said, "Yeah, uh... no."
We also discussed the high price of general admission entry and the shockingly low upgrade price to the "VIP" package. We agreed that over time Disney will probably adjust the general admission pricing down (perhaps significantly) while leaving the VIP price the same or even raising it slightly. Considering that the VIP package includes early entry, first access to the buffet, the best seats for the show, and unlimited (yes, unlimited) alcoholic beverages, it really is a bargain at only $20 more.
All that being said, count me among those who are disappointed Disney has taken a wonderful complimentary amenity (the Starlit Hui) away and replaced it with a pretty brazen money grab. It's a stretch, but I could see them charging for lounge chairs, Aunty's Beach House, and even rides on the water slides in the future. One of the most wonderful things about Aulani, which helped justify the high pricing, was the number of amenities included in the basic room rate. We've just seen one of those special differentiators whittled away...