Aulani’s Starlit Hui

Aulani doesn’t have a luau like some of the other resorts. Instead there’s the Starlit Hui, which is like a luau with just a stage show and activities beforehand, no meal. It’s held at 7:30pm on Mondays and Thursdays only, which worked out perfectly with our vow renewal. I’d read a few things about guests lining up early to get good spots on the lawn in front of the stage, so I asked my planner if our vow renewal entitled us to any kind of reserved seating or early entry or something (gotta milk that package for all it’s worth!). There’s nothing officially part of the package, but she put me in touch with someone in the entertainment department who promised to set aside a spot for us in the front and asked if we wanted chairs or just a mat. Not wanting to tick off all the families sitting on the lawn behind us, we went with the mat.

After dinner we walked from ‘AMA ‘AMA around the end of the Ewa tower to the Halawai Lawn (which you may recall is one of the wedding venues) and found them still setting up for the hui.

The pool area is really lovely after dark, so we went to try to get some photos. I hope the Roots got some, cuz ours don’t really show the neat lighting effects in the fountains over the lazy river.

When we got back to the Halawai Lawn, we found the cheerful cast member who’d set aside our spot, and she brought us up to the very front row. Awesome!

Our buddy the Storyteller made a pre-show announcement about the craft stations that families could visit before the hui started. Some of the dancers also came out and taught hula lessons in front of the stage, which made for *adorable* preshow entertainment by the kids in the audience. It was also a chance to begin to identify some of our fellow guests. I imagine that Aulani feels a bit like a cruise ship because you start to see the same guests over and over. The pouty little boy from the photo op that morning turned up in the hula line, and we later ran into some of the other hula dancers in the elevators or at restaurants and felt like we sorta knew them!

That one in the white headband is totally phoning it in…

 

The entrance to the Starlit Hui

 

Cast members were leading various craft projects on the perimeter of the seating area.

“Alright, the gift shop needs 16 dozen of these leis by tomorrow morning—get cracking, anklebiters!”

 

“Nature offers us a variety of items that can be turned into noisemakers. Now… who wants to drive their parents bonkers?”

 

“Why doesn’t anyone want to do MY crafts…?”

 

The first act in the show was a trio performing traditional songs. They were quite good!

Now polished performers, the children from the preshow dance class returned to bring down the house.

The next act was a group of female dancers wearing dresses designed by Hefty and male dancers wearing almost nothing at all…

Some of the Yelp reviews I’ve read of the various luaus on the island contain a lot of virtual drool over scantily clad male performers, but I didn’t expect that kind of pec-flexing and hip-thrusting at Disney’s show. Glancing over at Jensey, I saw a mirror image of my own horrified expression, and we both cracked up!

You’ll have to shake your monitor suggestively to get this picture to look like what we saw

 

Up next was a dueling ukulele act. It seemed a bit cheesy at first, but the performers were so charming—and accomplished!—that they whipped the audience into a frenzy as they played faster and faster, practically burning up their fretboards.

Another dance number…

And just when you thought it was over….

… it turned into a character dance party.

 

Even Chip and Dale were practically nude…

 

And don’t get me started on this guy—not a *stitch* of clothing on him!

 

OK, Mickey—keep your shirt on. No, really, I mean it!

 

…And that’s all she wrote! The hordes of now thoroughly amped-up children were returned to parents who had absolutely NO idea how they’d get their offspring to go to bed now.

The Starlit Hui was fun—certainly way more polished and professional than it had to be for a free show—but not something to plan your whole trip around. For us it was close enough to a luau that we didn’t feel like we needed to go pay for one, but I don’t think it’s a substitute if you are looking for the full luau experience.

Up Next: An exhaustive tour of Aulani’s Waikolohe Valley pool!

12 Responses
  • jenn paul
    May 6, 2013

    I just peed like 5 times.. not a *stitch* of clothing. OMG lolololol Baby brain may have me a bit sillier than usual! Anywho, Loved this update and the 2 before that! Read them all today 😀

    You guys really go above and beyond for us readers, even on YOUR big day, thank you!

    Only pic I hated was th food one with foam on it.. God does that make me want to vom. What chef started that movement?? It looks like spit.. barffff. Sorry lol! Hope it tasted better than the foam looked!

    Did you love the overpriced spa treatment? My friend treated me to something similar the week of the wedding and while I wouldn’t spend that type of money on myself, boy did I LOVE it! My skin was softer than a new born babies tush (which really, newborns tushies ARE soft!)

    Loved this update, I would love to swim there at night! Hope you got to do that at some point!

    Love you guys!

    • Carrie
      May 6, 2013

      😀 Glad you’re enjoying the report! I did like the spa treatment but, like you, would prolly only do it again if someone else were paying. And yeah on the foam. It was really big here in LA last year or the year before, but I’d never actually seen it til that meal at Aulani and GAH! Who isn’t grossed out by that??? Oh, and we did get a late night swim in on our last night. Just us and some drunk college kids… LOL!

  • Eileen
    May 6, 2013

    Did Patrick get up and dance too? I can see him now… 😀

    • Carrie
      May 7, 2013

      A little bit—hopefully the Roots got a shot of it!

  • Hope
    May 7, 2013

    I had heard more about the Starlit Hui and while it was cute, I guess I expected it to be more? At least it was free and a wonderful way to book end the day. 🙂

    Guess Disney used all their material making the female dancer costumes that they ran out by the time it came to the male costumes? 😉

    • Carrie
      May 7, 2013

      LOL! You’ve solved the mystery!

  • Claire/Chilly
    May 10, 2013

    And what’s wrong with a bit of hip thrusting 🙂

    I think its good they put on a free show though, it looked like a fun evening esp if you have kids.

    • Carrie
      May 10, 2013

      Good point. What with the crafts and the dance lessons and the characters, it is a great activity for kids and one families probably shouldn’t miss!

  • Elizabeth
    June 25, 2013

    CHARACTER DANCE PARTY! I’m in!

    Minnie’s dress is adorable.

    • Ray
      October 28, 2016

      Looks like more budget cuts. No more Starlit Hui 🙁

      • Carrie
        October 31, 2016

        The Starlit Hui has been replaced by the Ka Wa‘a Lu’au. Unlike the Starlit Hui, though, it is not free. The prices are $119 General Admission (ages 3 and up) or $159 (ages 10 and up) and $109 (ages 3–9) for VIP. A meal is now included. More information can be found HERE.

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