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This is the ultimate first timer’s guide for attending the character dining experience at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa.
One of the reasons to spend Hawaiian vacation time with Aulani is to come face to face with Disney characters.
While I frequently explain that Aulani, is a “Hawaiian resort with touches of Disney,” the Makahiki restaurant at Aulani is the BEST place at Aulani to get a full dose of Disney culture.
Makahiki is a signature table service that serves a fixed-price three-course meal for breakfast and evening.
Breakfast is the real star of the show, as Makahiki is the only on-site option where guests can eat and hang out with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Pluto and Goofy.
Table of Contents
- What does the Name Makahiki Mean?
- How much does Aulani character breakfast cost?
- What happens at the Aulani character breakfast?
- What is the Makahiki breakfast menu?
- What is the Makahiki dinner menu?
- What to Wear to Aulani character breakfast?
- What is the Aulani character breakfast offered?
- Are reservations required for Makahiki?
What Does the Name Makahiki Mean?
The term makahiki is Hawaiian and is generally translated to mean:
a period of several months which was celebrated each fall in ancient Hawaii with athletic contests, religious rites, and payment of tribute to chiefs and during which all warfare was tabooed.Merriam-Webster
The name is inspired by “the season called makahiki, which was celebrated in old Hawaiʻi and typically begins in October and lasts around four months. It is a fun coincidence that makahiki coincides with our holiday season today. Makahiki was a time of peace and fun. Everyone enjoyed the plenty of the harvest and people of all ages played games such as tug-of-war, surfing and hill-sledding.” (Source: Disney blog)
At Aulani, the narrative of makahiki is celebrated at Makahiki restaurant, where you may feast on the abundance of the islands with a breakfast or dinner buffet. Even Mickey Mouse and his friends are invited to Aunty and Uncle’s amazing feasts.
How Much Does Aulani Character Breakfast Cost?
Breakfast is $45 per adult and $28 per child (nine and under).
Dinner is $65 per adult and $28 per child. Note, characters do not attend the dinner experience.
What Happens at Aulani Character Breakfast?
Once you check in, you’ll have the chance to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse in a line just outside the restaurant.
Upon entry to the breakfast, you’ll be greeted by a host and taken to a table. You will likely sit alone as a family.
On the way, don’t be surprised if you run into Goofy or Max frying up an omelet or two…in perfect position for a photo with you.
Local musicians often regale the throng with some ambiance music from the islands.
You’ll be presented with the Makihiki breakfast menu, and you’ll be asked to select your options from the presented choices.
What is the Aulani Character Breakfast Menu?
Breakfast starts with a basket of miniature bakery delights, along with fresh fruit of the islands. From there, you choose your main entrée and then a breakfast dessert (aka a Mickey waffle or other sweet item).
Breakfast is $45 per adult and $28 per child (nine and under).
For the savory, you can get eggs cooked to order your choice of bacon, pork sausage, Portuguese sausage, chicken apple sausage, or ham. There are also three different omelet options – Kālua Pig Omelet, O’hau Farmer’s Omelet, and the Traditional Omelet. Of these, our pick is the Kālua Pig Omelet, filled with succulent kãlua pig, baby spinach, local tomatoes, gruyere cheese for a touch of creaminess.
Had an amazing character breakfast at Makahiki today and met some great Pals (and went surfing with them for a minute). But more important… i’ve had Mickey Waffles for breakfast 🤤 pic.twitter.com/VWxbwMkkny— Sevi Mel 🐢🏝🌺 (@DsnYmaniac) March 17, 2022
There are also some traditional Hawaiian favorites, like the Hawaiian-style Loco Moco. This state treat includes fresh ground hamburger steak, poached eggs, spam fried rice, Maui onion gravy. Local vendors also provide the inspiration for the vegan Rancheros, toasted corn tortillas filled with cumin scrambled tofu, lanai beefsteak tomato, and avocado, all topped with heirloom cherry tomato salsa.
On the sweet side, you have classic Mickey waffles, buttermilk pancakes, and Belgian waffles. Our pick is definitely the Cinnamon Bun French Toast – pastry cream, honey pecans, blueberry compote, topped with warm Vermont maple syrup. Fresh cinnamon buns are sliced up and given the French toast treatment, along with the delicious toppings. This item is rich, so the sides of breakfast meat help to bring a bit of salty to the sweet.
For the kids, the premier item is the Mickey and Minnie waffle combo. This features one regular Mickey waffle and a red velvet Minnie waffle, giving a nod to Minnie’s dress and bow color. Kids can also get a regular stack of pancakes, eggs their way with breakfast meat, and scrambled egg whites in a wrap.
What to Wear to the Aulani Character Breakfast?
Many high-end Disney experiences have mandatory dress codes that guests must adhere to in order to eat.
This is not the case with the Aulani character breakfast.
Wear whatever is comfortable. The breakfast provides one of the best photo opportunities with Mickey, Minnie and other characters, so plan your outfits to look your best in pictures.
Fun with Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale this morning at the Makahiki Character Breakfast, at Disney Aulani! #disney #disneyaulani #aulani #hawaii #disneycharacter #MickeyMouse pic.twitter.com/QgeDlLnI8a— Character Central (@DisCharCentral) January 19, 2022
What is the Makahiki Dinner Menu?
Similar to breakfast, dinner at Makahiki consists of three courses – a starter, entrée, and dessert. Dinner is $65 per adult and $28 per child.
The starters include a sweet corn soup, made with local kahuku corn, fresh herbs, and cream for a luxurious texture. You can also get a Caesar salad or caprese salad, both of which are fresh ways to begin the meal.
Entrees include seafood, steak, and a plant-based option, covering the gambit in terms of Hawaiian flavors. The local catch of the day is always worth exploring, as the fish comes straight from the pier daily. We also recommend the shrimp and fettucine, succulent garlic shrimp, cremini mushrooms, asparagus, and garlic tomato cream sauce, topped with reggiano parmesan. The roasted chicken is also delicious, marinated in a preserved lemon and Hawaiian salt rub, served with a flavorful potato purée, haricot vert, cipollini onions, and a brown chicken jus.
For dessert, there are three options – Roasted Pineapple Cobbler, Waialua Chocolate Toffee Brownie Crunch, and Kona Coffee Cheesecake. If you want a real taste of Hawaii, the pineapple cobbler is the way to go. Otherwise, our pick is the Kona cheesecake – smooth coffee flavored cheesecake on an Oreo cookie crust, with macadamia nut whipped cream and toffee sauce on top.
Watch this video for an in-depth review of some of the dishes served at Makahiki for dinner:
Kid’s Dinner Menu
Kids also have a choice of drink in addition to their three courses, including milk, water, and soft drinks. For their appetizers, kids pick from the corn soup, a simple romaine salad, or crisp veggie sticks. Dinner includes cheese or pepperoni pizza, chicken strips with a side of French fries, or a six-ounce steak served with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
For dessert, there’s a fruit cup, gluten free chocolate cake, or the special Keiki sundae.
When is the Aulani Character Breakfast offered?
Makahiki is open daily for its breakfast from 7am to 11am.
Are Reservations Required at Makahiki?
Reservations are strongly encouraged by Aulani, and I echo their sentiment.
Plan ahead so you don’t miss out on this special part of your Aulani vacation!
Lock in your table reservations for breakfast and dinner.