I’m a Disney nut. That’s why I’m here. You’re a Disney nut. That’s why you’re here. My fiancé, Ben, is also a Disney nut. That’s why he puts up with me (only one of many reasons, right hun?…right??).
Ben and I met through a summer internship and were fast friends. He’s one of the most intelligent, driven, and loyal people I’ve ever met. In those early weeks of knowing him, if I had to pick one word to describe him, I’d probably have picked “dependable.” At the end of our internship, work sent all the interns to Disney World for 3 days where we bonded in teams and got to run around the parks after close. It was during that trip that I got to see carefree Ben — a whole new side — and it was wonderful. It was easy to see that Disney was incredibly special to us both, and I think it brought us closer.
Fast-forward a bit: in May of 2016, Ben and I took our first Disney vacation together — a 4-night, 5 day park-hopping palooza. I thought I knew how to “do Disney,” but I quickly learned I was sorely mistaken. I met my match with Mr. rope-drop-to-park-close-including-extra-magic-hours-every-single-day. He’s like the energizer bunny. I swear. I caught on quickly (and was a sore, old, but very happy, lady at the end, while he seemed as though he could go strong for another week — youths!). Needless to say, he was exactly what I needed to bring my Disney adventures to the next level. My poor, poor feet…
Since I’ve already mentioned that Ben proposed to me at Disney (I swear, that story is coming. Really), it probably comes
as no surprise that Ben and I are planning a Disney honeymoon for next year after we get married (I mean…the title of this post also kind of gives it away), but we actually put a lot of thought into it before making that decision. A honeymoon is a one-time thing, so we wanted to make the right choice.
It may seem like a trip to Disney World is the perfect choice for a honeymoon, and the thought definitely crossed our minds, but it didn’t feel quite right this time.
Walking through the entrance to Magic Kingdom brings me an emotionally confusing feeling of excitement, joy, ahhhh!!!, and absolute peace, all at once, so I’ll basically never say “no” to going, but as you read earlier, trips to Disney parks…..are no walk in the park. (Ha! I’m so funny.) While I’m looking forward to our wedding more than anything, I have no doubt that it will be exhausting to plan and execute the biggest party of my life. After successfully completing that, Ben and I are definitely going to want something a little more low-key than sleep deprivation and walking over 50 miles.
Because a honeymoon marks such a special event, Ben and I wanted to have an equally special celebration — something new, unique, and memorable that we’d be able to look back on and vividly remember forever. I was worried that a Disney parks honeymoon would blend in with other Disney parks trips. Both Ben and I love experiencing new places, so we quickly decided we wanted to go somewhere new.
Because Disney is so special for the both of us, and I love the memories we’ve made because of Disney, I was pretty eager to have Disney play into this equation. Maybe we could try Disneyland or Disneyland Paris and just “take it easy” (YEAH RIGHT)? Maybe we could look at Adventures by Disney and pick something exotic! Would we need to update passports? Did we need visas? What activities did we want to do? Would we have enough free time to otherwise explore? There were so many choices that it became overwhelming. Who knew planning a relaxing vacation was so un-relaxing??
I don’t know who thought of it first (Ben will say it was him), but one of us suggested a relaxing vacation by the beach — Hawaii, to be precise. Oh, yup, it was Ben who suggested it, because I remember being disappointed about removing Disney from the equation until he said the magic word: “Aulani.”
In my mind, Aulani is some mythical place, like Atlantis, where dreams come true. Neither Ben nor I has been to Hawaii before, so we’re both thrilled and a bit nervous about taking our honeymoon there. It might sound crazy, but I did very little research about Aulani before jumping on board with both feet. Honestly, deciding to stay at a Disney property has helped wipe away a lot of the stress. We trust Disney, so we know we’ll have a safe, clean, and comfortable place to stay. We know the food will be fantastic, and there will be plenty of options for shows and activities, should we want them. There’s still plenty of time before the honeymoon, so I know there’s time to research if we want to. But if we don’t, it’s great to know that we’ve got ‘Ohana and a feeling of home, even so far from home.
If you’ve been to Aulani and have any suggestions on things Ben and I should check out, please let me know! I’d love to hear your dos and don’ts or just stories about your experience!
Special Thank You shout-out to @apopkapete and @mickeys_photographer for the use of their photos in this post!