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View Full Version : Trying to Plan Hawaii, Aulani


cvrapclark
07-21-2011, 09:28 PM
For our 25th anniverary next summer, we want to go to Hawaii, never been. We are DVC members and hope to use points and stay at the new DVC resort. My question is how to plan for food cost and other expenses.

It looks like plan tickets from Atlanta is going to be $1500 to $2000. You can't purchase tickets right now for late June.

I just have no idea. Any advice would be great!!

croppincolburn
07-21-2011, 09:40 PM
Some of their table service restaurants have menu links with prices on them. I'm sure we will get more info as people start returning from trips.

chris31997
07-22-2011, 12:07 AM
Are you going to have a car? Are you going to do anything else like luau outside of Aulani?

As a rule of thumb add about 10-25% more to the cost of things. If it cost $1.00 in GA than it is going to cost you $1.50 for example. However, there are plenty of things to do that are free and breathe taking. Many hikes and beaches here that are beautiful.

I would encourage you to get a car for at least part of your trip here and explore the island. Kailua Beach or Lanikai(sp) is one of the top beaches. The Pali lookout is very windy but a neat place to go. Paradise Cove has an excellant luau, and real close to Aulani. Polynesian Cultural Center is a good place to see all the islands that contributed to Hawaii. Sea Life Park, is a small Sea World and is kinda neat. Don't forget the North Shore, to say you have been there and done that. Halewia(sp) has a neat shopping area with a Wylan store, the artist that does ocean life artwork. The best place to get cheap souviners is the Aloha stadium on Wends and the Weekends, just make sure it says made in Hawaii not in China;)

crisi
07-22-2011, 07:25 AM
You'll want a car.

Are you planning a DVC studio or will you have a kitchen?

We went to the Big Island and Maui this Spring - both units had kitchens. We were able to do some in room cooking - we bought our stuff at a local grocery store and the concierge at the hotel directed us AWAY from the tourist area to the grocery store where the locals tend to shop. Groceries were more expensive than we were used to (I'd say about a 50% markup on most things).

There are plenty of Hawaii guidebooks which will give you ideas on what to do - from there you can cost them using the internet.

It wasn't a cheap vacation. Hawaii was hands down wonderful, but next time we will be back in Mexico for half the money.

PatMcDuck
07-22-2011, 08:07 AM
We also want to go "someday" to Aulani.

Is airfare always just crazy to Hawaii? I am so clueless!

klmall
07-22-2011, 08:41 AM
Go to the Dole Plantation and get a Dole Whip and other delights! Also hike up Diamond Head; it's easy! We stayed at Lanikai Beach in 2004 and loved the whole island.

See our trip pictures here (http://klmall.smugmug.com/Travel/Hawaii-2004/13752077_xtR9M).

andrews_dad
07-22-2011, 08:52 AM
I've spent 7 weeks of my life on the islands over two vacations, each one 3 plus weeks. LOVE LOVE LOVE Hawaii. Been all over lower 48 US, Canada, Caribbean, and Europe but Hawaii is our fav by far.

daughtersrus
07-22-2011, 08:58 AM
If you rent a car, be sure to bring a GPS. Being from the Chicago area, we're used to traffic but all of the street names on Oahu sound alike. ;)

Carlyzmom
07-22-2011, 09:12 AM
Go to the Dole Plantation and get a Dole Whip and other delights! Also hike up Diamond Head; it's easy! We stayed at Lanikai Beach in 2004 and loved the whole island.

See our trip pictures here (http://klmall.smugmug.com/Travel/Hawaii-2004/13752077_xtR9M).

REALLY nice pictures!!! Now I REALLY want to go!!!!

polly p
07-22-2011, 09:22 AM
We will be there in Dec. I got airfare for$1050 each ticket from travelocity. Also got books from bookstore on hawaii. It has restaurants listed, price range, review etc.

Books also give you inexpensive things to do and see. Planning has been lots of fun, but everyone I talk to said Hawaii is expensive so just be prepared.

Also on Aulani webpage they list a parking surcharge, so if you rent a car you may have to pay to park it.

mermaidwannabe
07-22-2011, 09:32 AM
Go to the Dole Plantation and get a Dole Whip and other delights! Also hike up Diamond Head; it's easy! We stayed at Lanikai Beach in 2004 and loved the whole island.

See our trip pictures here (http://klmall.smugmug.com/Travel/Hawaii-2004/13752077_xtR9M).

So sweet of you to post those! I loved looking through them. We promised my DD14 a graduation gift of Hawaii when she was 12. It's a huge splurge! Hope airfare isn't too insane but we will just plan for it. Anyways, just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your pics!

PatriciaH
07-22-2011, 09:40 AM
Air to Hawaii was under $400pp RT from Boston a few weeks ago so watch for specials. I think Southwest will be flying there soon. We want to fly to CA for a few days next fall to visit with our friends, then fly to Aulani for 3 nights, then do the NCL cruise and back to CA for a night or 2.

Texan
07-22-2011, 11:37 AM
PatriciaH: I just had to chime in; I am still picking up my jaw off the floor; from 1978 to 2012 you have done so much at WDW, DL and other places; I am completely, utterly jealous; does anything stand out more than others? How did you find time to do all this? I am not being nosey; I am just in awe!

MEM
07-22-2011, 02:02 PM
Air to Hawaii was under $400pp RT from Boston a few weeks ago so watch for specials. I think Southwest will be flying there soon. We want to fly to CA for a few days next fall to visit with our friends, then fly to Aulani for 3 nights, then do the NCL cruise and back to CA for a night or 2.

Really!?! I'm in Boston and haven't seen anything that low - do you recall which airline? We are planning a trip in 2012 to Aulani and I hope you are correct about SWA.

daughtersrus
07-22-2011, 03:05 PM
Really!?! I'm in Boston and haven't seen anything that low - do you recall which airline? We are planning a trip in 2012 to Aulani and I hope you are correct about SWA.

I don't think that they are yet. The last that I read was that they were adding larger planes that would allow them to fly there.

We're hoping to get back there and Southwest flies out of Midway instead of Ohare so that would be an added bonus.


http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/news/2010/10/29/southwest-airlines-ceo-mentions.html

PatriciaH
07-22-2011, 03:10 PM
Really!?! I'm in Boston and haven't seen anything that low - do you recall which airline? We are planning a trip in 2012 to Aulani and I hope you are correct about SWA.


It was most of the major airlines. It was a great deal! Some folks on the DIS from Canada even got great $450pp or so fares! Our friends that work for Southwest said "soon.":)

PatriciaH
07-22-2011, 03:13 PM
PatriciaH: I just had to chime in; I am still picking up my jaw off the floor; from 1978 to 2012 you have done so much at WDW, DL and other places; I am completely, utterly jealous; does anything stand out more than others? How did you find time to do all this? I am not being nosey; I am just in awe!


Thanks:) Travel is a priority for us. I was and am a travel agent again so I used to get really great deals-now not so much. DH and I were CM's for about 5 years too so we got discounts on rooms/cruises. Our friends work for SWA so they give us buddy passes, my parents live in Celebration so we have a place to stay, our good friends live in San Diego so we have a place to stay there. We have lots of CM friends still at WDW too.

I would say our Adventures By Disney trips were our best trips ever! And this list is just our Disney trips! We still have so many places to visit too!

AK_Christina
07-24-2011, 12:06 AM
My only advice while you are there is to find a local bbq place and order Meat Juhn. Its like thinly sliced seasoned beef fried in a sort of egg batter that comes with this delicious dipping sauce. I used to live in Hawaii and that is by far the one thing I miss the most! I dream about the stuff. =) We are actually planning a trip back in Feb for a long weekend and I will be buying a tray full right before our flight back to take back with me... and snack on on the flight.. lol

MinnieForMe
07-24-2011, 03:01 PM
Air to Hawaii was under $400pp RT from Boston a few weeks ago so watch for specials. I think Southwest will be flying there soon. We want to fly to CA for a few days next fall to visit with our friends, then fly to Aulani for 3 nights, then do the NCL cruise and back to CA for a night or 2.


Can you share where you were watching to find this price? I would have snatched it up at this price. We tried to go last year but the airfare I found from Boston to Hawaii was 2k a person x 5 made a very, very expensive vacation. LOL!

kaywoody
07-24-2011, 09:00 PM
My husband and I got married in Hawaii, and we bought airfare only from a charter package. It was half the price of other flights. We didn't have the flexibility of when we departed and arrived, but luckily it fit our schedule perfectly!

PatriciaH
07-25-2011, 11:34 AM
Can you share where you were watching to find this price? I would have snatched it up at this price. We tried to go last year but the airfare I found from Boston to Hawaii was 2k a person x 5 made a very, very expensive vacation. LOL!

I was checking prices because we were thinking about going to Aulani this fall. Then we decided to wait until next year so everything would be up and running for a while. Most of the major airlines had this price a few weeks ago. Package air can be great too from CA. Pleasant Holidays and Funjet are good.

joxer1014
07-25-2011, 11:52 AM
Going back to the car part of the thread. If I was going to be there I would also get a car, but I saw on the boards a couple months ago that there is a per day charge for parking at Aulani. I can't remember how much. I just remember that when I saw the charge my jaw dropped. I guess being used to parking for free at the WDW resorts and knowing that HHI and Vero are also free, seems a little much for members at at DVC resort. I know from past experience in Hawaii that you have to pay at most hotels to park, but I just assumed that since it was a DVC resort we could be exempt from this fee.

If the fee is real then add that in to your budget for staying at Aulani.

Aloha!

ekatiel
07-25-2011, 01:05 PM
We're headed to Honolulu in October (DH has a conference, so we'll be at the Hilton Hawaiian Village), and I found us airfare from Houston for $500 pp. It was an unadvertised 24hr. fare sale on Continental/United. My best suggestion is to check prices often. Once you know what a "normal" fare from your city to HNL is, then you can jump on any deals that come up. --Katie

limace
07-25-2011, 04:35 PM
While living on the West Coast makes WDW a pain, it pays when it comes to Hawaii trips-we've gone 6 or 7 times. Once we had to pay $800 pp, over Christmas, but it's not uncommon for us to go for half that or less. Might be worth getting cheap airfare from the West Coast (there are often sales in the summer) then just getting yourself to the West Coast separately. You could always spend a day or two at DL :) . Recently, AK Airlines had $169 each way to Hawaii.

Definitely, get a car. I would skip the very expensive looking Aulani excursions and just do your research and go out on your own. It's a very small island and it's very easy to find your way around. My understanding is that the area Aulani is is windy, and won't be great for things like snorkeling. Drive around down south to snorkel, go learn to surf on Waikiki.

Stop at the Costco first thing and stock up on groceries. Cheapest place on the islands to buy groceries; prices are pretty similar to mainland prices.

When we go to Hawaii (and we usually go to Maui; I much prefer it to Oahu, though Aulani looks gorgeous) we take it very easy; I'm a commando visitor at Disney, but in Hawaii we often have nothing scheduled for days at a time. Get up early, sit on the balcony and drink coffee, swim in the pool, hit the beach in the morning before it gets windy...drive around a little.

We liked the Polynesian Cultural Center, watching the surfing competition at the North Shore, and snorkeling. Honolulu was interesting for a day or two, but a little overstimulating for how I want to spend my time in Hawaii. A visit to the Arizona is a must, I think.

seashell724
07-25-2011, 08:23 PM
I don't mean to hijack this thread but can anyone just quickly mention if there is a way to stay at Aulani without being a DVC member?
Thanks!

FoodLover
07-25-2011, 08:35 PM
I don't mean to hijack this thread but can anyone just quickly mention if there is a way to stay at Aulani without being a DVC member?
Thanks!

Yes, it has regular hotel rooms as well as DVC units. Or you could rent DVC points from a member.

Mary
MouseSavers.com

FoodLover
07-25-2011, 08:37 PM
I just assumed that since it was a DVC resort we could be exempt from this fee.

DVC members staying on points will get free parking at Aulani. Non-members/general guests/members on cash stays will pay $35/night for parking, according to my sources (though I saw another source that said $25).

Mary
MouseSavers.com

JB2K
07-26-2011, 07:23 AM
We also want to go "someday" to Aulani.

Is airfare always just crazy to Hawaii? I am so clueless!

More or less, the answer is "yes" -- the main reason as to why so expensive is that all the Hawaii air routes are held by "legacy" carriers (AA, United, Delta, etc.). There is no representation by any of the discount carriers (Southwest, JetBlue).

However, Hawaiian Airlines (HAL) has been known to have low fares from the West Coast. With that in mind, I might fly to LAX on Southwest, do a couple of days at Disneyland and fly HAL to HNL.