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The Burkey Family Vacation at Aulani, Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai'i

Finding the perfect family vacation destination with young children isn’t always easy. Making sure the kids stay entertained with fun activities while allowing the parents a chance to squirrel away some time to rest and relax may be a challenging feat for anyone to accomplish. But for Julienne Burkey and her family, their dream vacation became a reality with the help of The Experiences Collection by Welk Resorts (“The Collection”)*.

The Burkey family, who reside in San Marcos, California, had a vacation of a lifetime at the coveted Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas, Ko Olina, Hawai’i.

View from room at Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas, Ko Olina, Hawaii

Booking the Vacay

The Burkey’s have been Welk Owners for almost ten years and wanted to plan a tropical trip to Hawaii together, as their daughters had never been. At first, Julienne had a difficult time finding availability in Hawaii through other travel platforms, but was excited when she heard that Welk offered access to Aulani through The Collection.

The Collection allows Welk Owners the opportunity to use their Points to stay at a curated list of high-quality properties outside the Welk family of resorts — at no additional cost. Welk Resorts' Owner Services team will take Owners step by step through the reservation process after they find a property within The Collection they're interested in visiting.

Julienne said she was impressed with the simplicity of the booking process, thanks to the help of Debra Fultz in Owner Services. Debra helped Julienne deposit her Points at Aulani and ensured everything was ready to go for their Hawaiian getaway!

ALOHA, AULANI!

According to Julienne, the experience at Aulani was enjoyable from the very beginning. The staff gave them a warm welcome as soon as they arrived, along with a special gift:

We felt like Disney Vacation [Club] owners. Every one of us was given a lei or necklace.
Little girls with leis on at Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas, Ko Olina, Hawaii
Family with Mickey at Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas, Ko Olina, Hawaii

ACTIVITIES FOR ALL

The Burkey family spent most of their time at the resort as there was so much to do! Their daughters loved playing on the resort’s wide array of waterslides, lazy river and pools. There was also family-friendly pool parties with games, music and dancing. And, of course, no trip to Hawaii is complete without enjoying the crystal clear water of Oahu’s beaches. The young Burkey girls took full advantage of the warm waters as they experienced boogie boarding for their first time ever! When they weren’t in the water, they perfected their sandcastle-making.

Little girls building sand castles on family vacation at Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas
Family on beach in Oahu, Hawaii at Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas

They also had the opportunity to dine with some VIP celebrities:

We really enjoyed having brunch with the Disney characters. They signed the girls’ autograph books, took pictures, danced and sang songs with the girls.
Little girl with Disney's Pluto at restaurant at Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas
Disney's Mickey Mouse signing autographs at Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas
Disney's Minnie Mouse hugging two little girls at Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas

QUALITY TIME

With so many distractions in our busy and hectic lives, taking a family vacation is usually the key to reconnecting and spending true quality time with the ones we love most. Julienne explained that this family vacation was particularly special for them as her husband was battling stage four stomach cancer.

We are trying to vacation as much as possible [...] We are so thankful we were able to go when we did. We were considering not going [on this trip]. Glad we took the chance!
Dad with daughters at Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas
Dad with daughter at Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas
Welk Ownership has allowed us to take vacations we normally would not have done. We are so thankful for the memories and happy to be living in the moment!!
Family posing with Mickey Mouse at Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas

For more family vacation stories, subscribe to our blog and check out our Guest Postcards.

This article is dedicated to Julie’s husband, Tim, who passed away shortly after their vacation. He will forever be remembered by his family as a loving father and husband.

All images provided by Julienne Burkey.

*While the inventory at some of these properties is not currently part of the Welk Resorts Platinum Program, all of The Collection properties are available now using your Platinum Points, subject to availability.

Aulani” is a registered trademark of Disney Enterprises, Inc. Disney Enterprises, Inc. and its affiliates, including Disney Vacation Club, Inc. and The Walt Disney Co., are not affiliated with Welk Resorts.

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