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addiedisney
08-29-2011, 10:52 PM
I'm just dying to read some....

The resort is open now right? If not when??

Please, please, trip reports with lots of photos!
:banana::banana::banana:

tidefan
08-29-2011, 10:59 PM
Aulani opened today. I have been a bit surprised at the lack of "Dis" activity relating to it. I'd like to see some live pictures myself.

DVC Dude
08-29-2011, 11:11 PM
Aulani opened today. I have been a bit surprised at the lack of "Dis" activity relating to it. I'd like to see some live pictures myself.

I am also surprised...this is huge news and not a single post all day

quirty30
08-30-2011, 12:39 AM
If I were in Hawaii right now, the last thing I'd be doing is anything with my computer!

rparmfamily
08-30-2011, 03:19 AM
We check in on Thursday. :)

The opening has been all over the news here!

emilymad
08-30-2011, 07:49 AM
We leave in less than 2 weeks. I can't wait to read the trip reports!

moredisneyplease
08-30-2011, 08:27 AM
bump! i want to read one too! popcorn::

Leitadala
08-30-2011, 09:36 AM
I can't wait to read Aulani trip reports either! I guess it's reasonable to wait for people to finish their trip before posting a report though, darn them having so much fun right now in the Hawaii sun while I'm at work stalking DIS! :rotfl:

DenLo
08-30-2011, 09:56 AM
You think someone could have posted via their phone by now. I'm pretty sure people posted here on the Disboards that they were going opening day.

deedisneydream97
08-30-2011, 10:52 AM
I found something on their local news channel.

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/15351650/disneys-aulani-resort-grand-opening-on-monday

I think you need an updated flash player to watch it.

addiedisney
08-30-2011, 12:55 PM
Maybe people are having SO MUCH FUN that they can't break away!!

Really, just a little update of the day, (:tinker:with photos) PLEASE....I really am glued to the computer!!
:yay::yay:

mkymsehi
08-31-2011, 02:13 AM
Aulani Resort Grand Opening first impressions. (August 29, 2011).
by Jeff (https://www.facebook.com/jeff.darunner) Da Runner on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 10:19pm

We arrived in the mid-afternoon to Aulani. We were greeted with "E Komo Mai Hale." (Welcome Home). Everything looked and smelled new.

Today was the Grand Opening, and we were there just to visit and take it all in. Prior to this, we had visited the Disney Vacation Club model units, and had a perimeter tour while still under construction. Our first of two stays will be this upcoming month.

After taking in the main hall, we walked around the viewing deck with overlooks the outdoor dining/bar area. Further away we could see the lazy river, and volcano mountain. We went back through the lobby, and passed the concierge and front desk areas, and the children's waiting room (TV, and a few fun activities).

There are hidden Mickey's, and hidden menehune's all over the place!

From there we found ourselves at the keiki pool playground. It was created with lots of imagination. My girls wanted to jump in, despite not having our swimsuits with us. Let me just say, the pools and hot tubs are EVERYWHERE you turn. Waterslides, river float, hot tubs, wading pools. And lets not forget the beach cove just a few yards away. I would guess there is an acre and a half or more of water activities. Tons of lounge chairs, and still lots of room left despite it being very crowded.

According to one of the lifeguards, wristbands are issued at check in. And that's how they enforce hotel guests using the pools, vs. day visitors. Towels are available in several locations around the pool.

Then there is a pay to enter saltwater snorkling pool. In one area you can look through the windows and see all the tropical fish, and an occassional swimmer go by. Pretty neat. WARNING: It's pricey either by the day, or length of stay price.

There is also a sting ray attraction that is free. But it seems like they open and close it throughout the day, to give the rays a break. Naturalists are there to give talks about the rays. Kids will love this.

There is bar to one side of the outdoor area, and guess what? Another pool!

Near this bar they have an evening hula show. We caught the very end of the act after dinner, and it was pretty good. It's crowded, so get there early to find lawn seating.

On the other side of the vast pool area, is another bar, and Ama Ama restaurant. We were to dine there so we continued touring knowing we'd come back that way.

We ventured into the keiki's Auntie's Beach House. Think the Oceaner's Club aboard any Disney Cruse ship. Lots of free, fun activities for the kids. There are several rooms within the club, with lots of space for the kids to roam. You just sign them in, and leave them as long as they want to stay. You are issued a pager to get buzzed should they want to come out, or in the event of an emergency. Very cool.

Now for you Adventurer's Club enthusiasts. There are artifacts from the Pleasure Island Adventurer's Club that completely decorate the movie room inside the Auntie's Beach House. So either you have to enroll your child to go see it, or take a complimentary tour.

While walking around, we saw a LONG line for photos with Mickey, Minnie, and Stitch. It was around 6 pm outside, and I knew there was no way we were going to stand in line and still make it to dinner. My girls were fine with standing off to the side, watching everyone else battle for their turn. And of course, there's Photopass opportunities around the resort!

Also for the family to explore, is an interactive scavenger hunt. You get a PDA device (not sure where), and you go hunting around for magical things. Very similar to Mission Kim Possible at EPCOT.

Now, back to dinner. The ambiance was great, as we were seated just before sunset. The food was very tasty, but for the prices, my appetite wanted more food. I had a "French" Maui Onion soup, seafood stew, my wife had the market priced fish, and my keiki had the ravioli and steak off the kids menu. Throw in dessert and a cocktail, and of course the check goes up. I wasn't shocked by the sticker price, having seen the menu online in advance.

There are two other restaurants, one a buffet, and one a quick service take out menu. I think all together there are three bars. There is a shave ice stand, and a small curios store near the volcano.

Following dinner we took a final stroll near the beach cove, and there was Hawaiian music being played by a trio, and a really nice firepit (propane) to sit by.

We hit the gift shop, and left with some pretty cool grand opening day, and DVC member merchandise. Because of the crowd, most Aulani items had signs that said, 2 items per guest. Pins and vinylmation were big sellers. I didn't see anyone leave the store without some package in hand. Pin trading takes place with any Cast Member working the cash register. They have pin books that you can look through. I already see a lot of the merchandise is already up for bid on eBay.

The craziest thing I did see was the re-fillable soda mugs. $32.99 for the length of stay. Uh, seriously? Folks, stop by the COSTCO or market in Kapolei, and pick up your groceries there. It's 10 minutes down the road. Or, pay a little bit more than the market, and shop at the ABC store across the street in the Ko Olina shopping center.

Self parking. Free for four hours if you spend $35 on food, drink, or souvenirs. Completely FREE to DVC club members. Just show your card to the valet desk. They scan your ticket, and you put it into the electronic machine at exit to lift the gate.

Highlights, we me Imagineer Joe Rhode, and Vice President Djuan Rivers. Both took a few minutes to talk to us, and really made us feel welcomed. Both were engaging with my girls, and made the greeting very special. Photos with both of them.

One minor disappointment was there are no DVC members discounts in the stores or on dining. We were told maybe in the future, but no discounts at this time.

We didn't check out the Spa or the teens activity lounge. We left those for next time we are there to explore even further.I hope you enjoyed this review. If there is anything else I can answer for you, just ask.

AlohaMick was with us, and several people asked to take photos with him. They all thought he was a riot. I explained how there are many traveling Mickey gnomes, and they were quite amused.

Footnote:
At this time there are no merchandise or dining discounts in any of the shops or restaurants. I asked several times, and kept getting the same answer "no."

They do have discounts for the spa if you are DVC, Kamaaina (local resident), or any parks annual pass holder. Annual pass holders also get a discount on rooms, so be sure to ask, and don't forget to bring your AP with you to show at check in.

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/17009df0.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/fefeb7a7.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/236bc442.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/80f587b2.jpg

slum808
08-31-2011, 02:58 AM
Did I read your post right, is parking free for dvc members even if your not a guest? Great post BTW. We can't wait to go.

beachbunny
08-31-2011, 02:58 AM
Aloha! I'm posting from my room at Aulani using their free WiFi - way to go Disney! I arrived at lunch time on opening day and will be checking out tomorrow. I was greeted with an orchid lei and my husband received a kukui nut lei. We were given a tour of the lobby area before we checked-in. We had booked a standard room but were upgraded to a partial ocean view room at check-in.

Highlights include the awesome cast members (everyone wishes you "Aloha"), the beautiful rooms, the fun pool area with two slides and a lazy river, and the plentiful entertainment. We posed with Goofy and will be doing the character breakfast at Makahiki tomorrow morning. The evening show on opening night was not to be missed - very Hawaiian and very Disney with hula, ukulele, musicians, singers, and Disney characters. Tonight there was no big show but they did show Finding Nemo on the lawn.

Only a few areas need improvement. Service has been very slow at both sit-down restaurants and at the take-out place we had lunch at yesterday - hopefully that will improve with time. The Hawaiian theming is great, but I wish there was more Disney - I mean, there are a bunch of five star hotels in Hawaii that offer the same level of luxury and service - don't slam me, I'm just thinking out loud...

We also ran into a couple of rude guests who just didn't think lines were for them. But I guess they're everywhere.

I was surprised at all of the great merchandise. Aulani already has its own Dooney and Bourke bags, there was a limited edition opening day pin, and there are Mickey shaped macadamia nut shortbread cookies for sale. All very cool and all very pricey!

I'll try to post pictures later!

beachbunny
08-31-2011, 02:59 AM
Yes, free parking for all DVC members. Otherwise, it is $35 per night (I think, I still haven't seen that charge yet).

mkymsehi
08-31-2011, 03:16 AM
Did I read your post right, is parking free for dvc members even if your not a guest? Great post BTW. We can't wait to go.


Yes. I self parked, and when I left, I showed my DVC member's card to the valet desk. The attendant swiped my ticket in a electronic reader. When I put it into the mechanical arm machine, up went the arm, and out I drove. I was there for about 6 1/2 hours. $35 saved!

My wife parked in valet, and was told it was free with a receipt of $35 in merchandice, food/drink. The attendant said it was valid for 4 hours. But, she stayed longer than 4 hours and her parking was still free. She did tip a couple of bucks for the service.

But to tell you the truth, with souvenirs and sit down dinner, we did some serious damage with our credit cards. And we weren't even staying overnight! Our first stay is in 2 1/2 weeks, and then a month later.

We fortunately live 20 miles away in Honolulu, and can use our "leftover" points here, without traveling to the mainland to be "Welcomed Home."

I'll file another report in a few weeks after our first real stay.

addiedisney
08-31-2011, 07:28 AM
Thank you so much for your trip reports!! They were exactly what I needed this morning to get me going! Again, a huge thanks!!
:lovestruc

Simba's Mom
08-31-2011, 08:47 AM
I thonk it makes sense that they issue pool wrist bands when you check in. I guess that's because the only time I had pool wristband issues was a pain. Bo one checked for a wristband when I entered the SAB area. But when I went up for a towel, the CM refused me until I walked back and got my room key, which was at the lounge chair. I suppose I could have anticipated, but wristbands at checkin sound better. I wonder if they'll consider this at all DVC resorts?

godalejunior
08-31-2011, 10:07 AM
oh my word....Aulani D&B bags???!!!! Do post a picture...pretty please!!!

twinklebug
08-31-2011, 11:06 AM
Thank you BeachBunny for your report and mkymsehi, for the report & pics... I'd really like to see the pic of Joe Rhodes if you don't mind sharing :goodvibes

My personal goal: to make a trip to Aulani within 4 years!


We also ran into a couple of rude guests who just didn't think lines were for them. But I guess they're everywhere

Oh good, the MeFirst family made it. I was so concerned for them after last time I saw them rushing up to the AKV front desk before me. It seems 'someone' had charged to their room for a full week of meals out and the front desk was trying to explain that room charges are not included in the cost of DVC. Mr. Mefirst was busy arguing that he'd drop his DVC membership due to be unfairly treated while Mrs. MeFirst was ramming her 6 year old's stroller into the heels of everyone within her radar.

Seems they made amends with Disney. :wizard:

ChiSoxKeith
08-31-2011, 11:14 AM
We'll be checking in in exactly 14 days from right now. I can't wait.

GrimGhost
08-31-2011, 11:29 AM
Aulani Resort Grand Opening first impressions. (August 29, 2011).
by Jeff (https://www.facebook.com/jeff.darunner) Da Runner on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 10:19pm

Following dinner we took a final stroll near the beach cove, and there was Hawaiian music being played by a trio, and a really nice firepit (propane) to sit by.



You mention this live music, but did you hear BGM (Background music) throughout the resort? Was it Polynesians BGM or did they come up with something new?

mkymsehi
08-31-2011, 11:54 AM
oh my word....Aulani D&B bags???!!!! Do post a picture...pretty please!!!

I will tonight. There were three sizes, and not cheap!

mkymsehi
08-31-2011, 11:56 AM
Thank you BeachBunny for your report and mkymsehi, for the report & pics... I'd really like to see the pic of Joe Rhodes if you don't mind sharing :goodvibes




I'll post a picture later.

mkymsehi
08-31-2011, 11:58 AM
You mention this live music, but did you hear BGM (Background music) throughout the resort? Was it Polynesians BGM or did they come up with something new?

Local artist Kealii Reichel did the resort soundtrack. Do a youtubesearch under Aulani and his name.

There was no cd for sale.

We did hear the music, and it was very pleasant, adding to the ambiance.

In the afternoon several duo's or trios played music in different areas of the resort.

I'll post photos later.

PrincessYessenia
08-31-2011, 11:59 AM
Aulani already has its own Dooney and Bourke bags

:scared1: omg I just lost my mind! :laughing: That is what I've been hoping for for the longest! Thanks for sharing, I didn't think I could be anymore excited about my trip...until now! :banana::cool1:

cannp123165
08-31-2011, 12:53 PM
Sounds great - I too would love the Dooney and Bourke bags! :)

kbeam
08-31-2011, 12:59 PM
I know they aren't tiki torches, but were those 'lights' lit around the grounds at night?

jmatias
08-31-2011, 01:11 PM
Thanks for the reports. We check in tomorrow and the reports are getting me more excited.

Good thing DH won't be here this weekend as I check out the D&B bag. I have a strong feeling that our family will do some damage in the gift shop :thumbsup2

Thank you Disney for bringing your Magic to Oahu!

Jen

ChiSoxKeith
08-31-2011, 03:16 PM
Sounds great - I too would love the Dooney and Bourke bags! :)

Please, everyone in Hawaii, purchase all of these before we get there in 14 days. That way my wife won't see them......

mkymsehi
08-31-2011, 03:18 PM
Aulani merchandise photos. Here's the public link to my Facebook page, with most, but not all the goodies. Again I say, it's NOT cheap!!!

Look through and you will see the Dooney & Bourke purses (3 sizes). The big one costs $220. I didn't look at the prices on the medium or small sized ones.


https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150298950489269.355977.792524268&l=cab23a4115&type=1

Feel free to copy and paste the photos. I just ask that you provide a photo credit "Taken by Jeff Oh - DVC Member" wherever you post the pictures.

mkymsehi
08-31-2011, 03:29 PM
I know they aren't tiki torches, but were those 'lights' lit around the grounds at night?

They're propane torches. They look sort of like charcoal briquettes on skewers.

I have a picture, but will have to upload it from home.

jmatias
08-31-2011, 03:49 PM
Awesome photos Jeff.

I know we will do some damage this weekend in the gift shop :cool1:

mkymsehi
08-31-2011, 04:06 PM
Awesome photos Jeff.

I know we will do some damage this weekend in the gift shop :cool1:

Now is the time to walk into your bosses office, and demand your pay be DOUBLED OR TRIPLED!!! You betcha you're going to do some damage, I personally guarantee it.

Between my wife and I shopping with our keiki, and a nice sit down dinner for four, we spent a little over $400. Fortunately, some items were for friends who will reimburse me.

Still, for not actually staying at the resort, that Mouse has a firm grip on my wallet!!! LOL.

jmatias
08-31-2011, 04:10 PM
On second thought.....maybe I don't want a Disney resort in my hometown.........NOT! :thumbsup2

I hope we don't leave Aulani next monday and want to buy more points......that will be more expensive then our gift shop expenses! :scared1:

KAT4DISNEY
08-31-2011, 04:22 PM
Now is the time to walk into your bosses office, and demand your pay be DOUBLED OR TRIPLED!!! You betcha you're going to do some damage, I personally guarantee it.

Between my wife and I shopping with our keiki, and a nice sit down dinner for four, we spent a little over $400. Fortunately, some items were for friends who will reimburse me.

Still, for not actually staying at the resort, that Mouse has a firm grip on my wallet!!! LOL.

No way! We've been told that resort specific merchandise just doesn't sell! :rotfl2:

And DVC merchandise? Impossible! :rolleyes:

jmatias
08-31-2011, 04:25 PM
No way! We've been told that resort specific merchandise just doesn't sell! :rotfl2:

And DVC merchandise? Impossible! :rolleyes:

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:

I will personally prove them wrong this weekend and have the receipts to prove it :dance3::dance3::dance3::dance3:

carlbarry
08-31-2011, 05:04 PM
They're charging for snorkeling in the Reef? I'm ticked off!

DisneyFan68
08-31-2011, 06:11 PM
I'm still shocked at the refillable mug and how much it costs. I think it's ridiculous. I wonder if the cost is so high because Disney just assumes people will reuse it on multiple trips even though the sign says only for the length of the current stay. How do they enforce that?

jmatias
08-31-2011, 06:38 PM
They're charging for snorkeling in the Reef? I'm ticked off!

If you wish, you can snorkel in the ocean for free. Best recommendation I have on Oahu is at Hanauma Bay which is on the east end of Oahu. Believe there is a nominal fee.

Every resort/attraction I know that has some type of swim with the fish/dolphin, etc. charges.

jmatias
08-31-2011, 06:42 PM
I'm still shocked at the refillable mug and how much it costs. I think it's ridiculous. I wonder if the cost is so high because Disney just assumes people will reuse it on multiple trips even though the sign says only for the length of the current stay. How do they enforce that?

I believe the Hawaii Marriott resorts refillable mugs are $35 + tax.

thewelts
08-31-2011, 06:46 PM
I am visiting Aulani in December as a DVC "guest". I have been told that ONLY DVC members are offered complimentary self-park. All other guests (DVC and non-DVC) will be charged $35/day. Ouch! Looks like we may not rent a car after all.

EWL
08-31-2011, 06:54 PM
If you wish, you can snorkel in the ocean for free. Best recommendation I have on Oahu is at Hanauma Bay which is on the east end of Oahu. Believe there is a nominal fee.

Every resort/attraction I know that has some type of swim with the fish/dolphin, etc. charges.

I could swear that John and Kevin's DIS Podcast review of Aulani mentioned specifically that when some Disney bigwig toured Aulani and was told that they planned to charge to snorkel, he said no way are we going to do that. Does anyone else recall that? I wonder what happened then? :confused3

adminjedi
08-31-2011, 07:25 PM
They're charging for snorkeling in the Reef? I'm ticked off!

All of the promotions and marketing I saw indicated it was with a fee.:confused3

tbay
08-31-2011, 07:41 PM
thank you so much for your posts
aulani looks wonderful
nice to see pictures
Can't wait to stay there

mkymsehi
08-31-2011, 07:44 PM
I am visiting Aulani in December as a DVC "guest". I have been told that ONLY DVC members are offered complimentary self-park. All other guests (DVC and non-DVC) will be charged $35/day. Ouch! Looks like we may not rent a car after all.

If you're staying on a DVC reservation, I would think you would be given the two free vehicles. I'm not positive, so I suggest you just call and ask.

LoveToDisney
08-31-2011, 07:57 PM
Thanks for posting all the cool pics of Aulani Merchandise...wow!!

beachbunny
08-31-2011, 08:13 PM
I just did the character breakfast buffet at Makahiki this morning. They have the breakfast on Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday. Price was $36? per person. Only three characters, Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. There is also a character named aunty who sings, jokes, and entertains. You visit Mickey before going in. They take your picture and then try to sell it to you for $34. Minnie and Goofy make the rounds but they are S L O W!!! We were there for two hours and didn't get to visit with Minnie. People weren't leaving because they were waiting for characters long after they had finished eating.

Swimming with the fishies costs $20. There aren't a whole lot of fishes. If you want to swim with fishes for free, I would recommend making the long drive out to Hanauma Bay, a wildlife sanctuary. There are tons of fish there.

The stingray interaction is currently free because it still is not the full experience. They will be charging for petting the rays soon. The rays are at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m. Make a reservation with concierge if you want to do this one.

Regarding bracelets for the pools, you must get one every day. To get your bracelet, go to the large pool towel stand, show your room key (one per person) and they'll put a bracelet on you. A different color bracelet is issued each day. Pools are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

We had dinner last night at Ama Ama. It was fabulous. DH had the salt crusted catch of the day and I had duck. With one appetizer and one dessert each, plus one drink and tip, out tab was $200. Lunch tab at Ama Ama was about $75 for two. At Ama Ama you get a beautiful sunset over the beach. And starting at 7 p.m., there was live entertainment.

The take out place next to Ama Ama has a really nice angus burger that they serve with greens or taro chips. Price for that was $17. Drinks in non-refill cups were $3 and bottled water was $2.50.

The hotel amenities are similar to those on the cruise ship by H2O, except packaged for Aulani.

There is a nightly turn down service where they leave an orchid and the next day's Daily Iwi. It kind of looks like the daily planner you get on the cruise ship. It lists out what events will be available that day.

I purchased the small messeger D&B purse. It cost $170.

The gift box of assorted shortbread cookies shaped like Mickey heads costs $20.

carlbarry
08-31-2011, 08:15 PM
Deleted. I figured it out.

carlbarry
08-31-2011, 08:19 PM
I could swear that John and Kevin's DIS Podcast review of Aulani mentioned specifically that when some Disney bigwig toured Aulani and was told that they planned to charge to snorkel, he said no way are we going to do that. Does anyone else recall that? I wonder what happened then? :confused3

Yes, they did. But the executive was Jim Lewis. I don't think he has much pull anymore at DVC.

beachbunny
08-31-2011, 08:20 PM
I forgot to mention they're also doing photopass at Aulani. If you're interested, I suggest starting your card early to get as many pictures as you can. There are photopass photographers at the pool (yeah, I know, I just HAVE to get the pictue of me in a swimsuit riding an innertube), with the characters, and at other locations around the resort.

carlbarry
08-31-2011, 08:30 PM
If you wish, you can snorkel in the ocean for free. Best recommendation I have on Oahu is at Hanauma Bay which is on the east end of Oahu. Believe there is a nominal fee.

Every resort/attraction I know that has some type of swim with the fish/dolphin, etc. charges.

That's exactly why it should be free. I'm in Hawaii, I can go to a beach, and not pretend I'm in the shark lagoon at Typhoon Lagoon!
But a friend of mine who has been to Hawaii many times has told me that Hanauma Bay is awful: very shallow, impossible to snorkle without getting scraped by the coral.

izzy
08-31-2011, 08:38 PM
Does anyone know if they're planning on letting us use the TIW card at any of the Aulani restaurants?

Great reports everyone! I can't wait to go there, hopefully next May!

DisneyMomJen
08-31-2011, 08:48 PM
I am typing from my iphone so this will not be that long. Checked on on opening day. Disney did an awesome job! We love it here! We are in a two bedroom which is beautiful.
They actually had FOUR Dooney bags on opening day. One was xomqpletelu different which sold out opening day. All dark brown leather with embossed patterns. They said this one was the first like this. $330. I got this one and my DD got the other tote type which was $220. DH was feeling very generous since he told us all to get one! DD9 got the wristlet which is $50. They are so nice!
Mugs are $33 which is crazy. So far I have counted nine people with mugs over 3 days. We stopped at Safeway and bought 4 12 packs for $14 which included two free bags of chips.
First day was crazy. Ate at the counter service which was not very good. I don't think they have their act together yet. $85 for six burgers which were not good. We have the breakfast buffet twice. Yesterday was just ok. Today was a character breakfast and was much better.
I will try to post more later.

beachbunny
08-31-2011, 08:53 PM
carlbarry: Maui has some nice snorkeling if you want to take a boat out to Molokini. But for Oahu, Hanauma Bay is your best bet for snorkeling. Your friend needs to go swimming, not wading. By that I mean that he's probably snorkeling very close to shore - where all the other people are. If you go out farther to where the water is deep, it is clear because there aren't a bunch of people walking through it and you won't bump into any coral because coral doesn't grow more than one or two feet tall at Hanauma Bay.

But I do agree with you. They shouldn't be charging to swim with the fishes.

mkymsehi
08-31-2011, 09:16 PM
But a friend of mine who has been to Hawaii many times has told me that Hanauma Bay is awful: very shallow, impossible to snorkle without getting scraped by the coral.

I kindly disagree with it being to shallow at Hanauma Bay. But if that's your friends opinion, I won't argue.

There are many areas to swim between the coral. To have swum over the reef and gotten scraped, it's likely your friend swam at low tide.

I suggest you try it yourself when you get over here. Your experience may be completely different than your friends. Hopefully you'll enjoy it.

I live in Honolulu, and frequent the bay often. It's $7.50 for 13 and up. 12 and under are free. $1.00 to park all day.

But like you said in your post, just go snorkel in the ocean, and save your money versus paying to swim in the Aulani Rainbow Reef. It's about 50 yards away from the salt water pool.

thewelts
08-31-2011, 09:35 PM
If you're staying on a DVC reservation, I would think you would be given the two free vehicles. I'm not positive, so I suggest you just call and ask.
Sadly I did call... I was told that I would have to pay for parking. I'll keep checking as this may change over the next few months.

bmalonef45
08-31-2011, 09:59 PM
Thanks for all of this. We're so pumped for March. Good thing we got our airfare on FF points. We'd never be able to afford all the things from the gift shop. We especially appreciate all the discussion of the prices and the food. We'll be in a 2 bdrm with a full kitchen. We're not planning to cook all week but we'll definitely stop at the store on the way from the airport.

carlbarry
08-31-2011, 10:27 PM
Thanks for the info on Hanauma. I'll give it a try. Funny thing is, on Tripadvisor, the reviewers give it either 1 star or 5 stars!

ACDSNY
08-31-2011, 11:45 PM
Thanks Jeff for all the fantastic info and pics! I can't wait to see it in January!

kikiq
08-31-2011, 11:49 PM
Thanks for the info on Hanauma. I'll give it a try. Funny thing is, on Tripadvisor, the reviewers give it either 1 star or 5 stars!

I can understand the 1 star or 5 stars reviews.

If you just go and not really know what to expect and where to snorkel, then you might give a 1 star. You might not know that there is a small charge to get in and a charge to ride the trolley. And you might decide to walk down and then UP. You might not know that you need to "leave the shallows of the beach" to see the fish. You might not know to look at the waters from the top, notice that you can avoid the coral by going to the far left or right and see lots of fish.

If you do your homework and know what to expect, you probably will give it 5 stars. We walk down, pay to ride up, sit to the far right or far left, and swim out beyond the coral reefs. We also go early in the morning. We've stood in the water just before the coral and watched the fish swim between our legs. We would give it 5 + stars every single time.

beachbunny
08-31-2011, 11:55 PM
One more thing. Both restaurants were pretty much booked solid the entire time I was there. The were not taking any walk-ups. I think this was because a lot of locals wanted to try out the restaurants - this may change as time goes on. However, if you want to have dinner at Ama Ama or do the character breakfast at Makahiki, I would definitely book ahead of time.

mkymsehi
09-01-2011, 01:54 AM
They're propane torches. They look sort of like charcoal briquettes on skewers.



http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/48cf2e21.jpg

mkymsehi
09-01-2011, 01:57 AM
oh my word....Aulani D&B bags???!!!! Do post a picture...pretty please!!!

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/556fc9e0.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/5c47f1bf.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/5117a299.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/ac770431.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/1077e048.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/a651dc59.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/18ea59da.jpg

Photographs provided by Jeff Da Runner - DVC member since 2007

mkymsehi
09-01-2011, 02:03 AM
Oops, double post.

mkymsehi
09-01-2011, 02:10 AM
You mention this live music, but did you hear BGM (Background music) throughout the resort? Was it Polynesians BGM or did they come up with something new?

Local artist Keali'i Reichel created the resort music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDEDTa0ejYo&feature=relmfu

mkymsehi
09-01-2011, 02:41 AM
Thank you BeachBunny for your report and mkymsehi, for the report & pics... I'd really like to see the pic of Joe Rhodes if you don't mind sharing :goodvibes



Imagineer Joe Rohde

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/1958a40b.jpg

Vice President of Aulani DVC and Resorts Djuan Rivers

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/76635403.jpg

Both were absolutely great in talking to me and my girls. They engaged my daughters in the conversation, asking them about who they were, where we are from (Honolulu), and what we thought of the new resort. Each "Welcome Home'd" me when I told them I was a DVC owner.

We must have spoke to Joe Rohde for at least 15 minutes, talking about where he grew up as a boy here in Honolulu. We talked to Djuan Rivers between 5 to 10 minutes.

When I told Djuan we were coming back to stay in 2 1/2 weeks, he said to make sure we said hi to him again should we see him.

I can only guess that Joe was busy doing media all day, and Djuan was absolutely busy making sure the Grand Opening went perfectly. They made a great impression on us. My girls thought "they were really cool."

AnnaS
09-01-2011, 05:33 AM
Thank you so much Jeff for taking the time and sharing your review and pictures!

I love all the bags.

Have no plans to go in the very near future - my son is considering it as part of his honeymoon next year.

Disneyfn420
09-01-2011, 06:18 AM
Yes, they did. But the executive was Jim Lewis. I don't think he has much pull anymore at DVC.

I thought they said in the podcast it was Bob Iger who said no charge....he still has some pull...lol It technically is free, if you have your own equipment...at least that is what I have heard. So you are paying to rent the equipment, not to snorkel...am I correct?

emilymad
09-01-2011, 09:16 AM
I thought they said in the podcast it was Bob Iger who said no charge....he still has some pull...lol It technically is free, if you have your own equipment...at least that is what I have heard. So you are paying to rent the equipment, not to snorkel...am I correct?

I saw elsewhere else to rent snorkel equipment for the day was $20. So if you do the snorkel lagoon can you keep the equipment for the whole day and then also use it elsewhere?

carlbarry
09-01-2011, 09:36 AM
I saw elsewhere else to rent snorkel equipment for the day was $20. So if you do the snorkel lagoon can you keep the equipment for the whole day and then also use it elsewhere?

Somewhere here I saw a link to 600 pictures of Aulani. Two were of the signs with prices for Rainbow Reef/Makai Preserve. I don't know how to link them, so here are the prices:
Rainbow Reef Experience
Adult: $20
Child: $15
Length of Stay Rainbow Reef
Adult: $39
Child: $29
Length of Stay Recreation (includes Rainbow Reef and unlimited beach rentals only) Individual: $99
Makai Preserve:
Adult: $50
Child: $45
Presumably the Rainbow Reef Experience includes snorkel rental. There is also a picture of a board with "Beach Rentals":
Snorkel Set: Hourly $10, Half Day $15, Full Day $20
Single Kayak: Hourly $20
Double Kayak: Hourly $30
Stand up Paddle Board: Hourly $30, Half Day $75
Beach Umbrella: Half Day $15, Full Day $20
Double Chase (sic) Lounge Chair: Half Day $30, Full Day $40
The aforementioned Length of Stay Recreation at $99
Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Adventure: Adults $99, $79 Kids
Hawaiin Paddling Canoe Adventure: $79 $59
Stand Up Paddle Lesson: $39
Stand Up Paddle Adventure: $59
AND EVERYTHING HAS A 4.71% TAX TO BE ADDED

kbeam
09-01-2011, 12:51 PM
They're propane torches. They look sort of like charcoal briquettes on skewers.

I have a picture, but will have to upload it from home.


Thanks Jeff!

rentayenta
09-01-2011, 01:06 PM
:thumbsup2 Great photos Jeff.


I must get the darker brown D&B bag. :lovestruc

theOCdisney
09-01-2011, 01:10 PM
Snorkel in the bay!! We stayed at the Ihilani in 2004 and I snorkelled 1st thing in the morning with several sea turtles. Swim near the opening by the rocks...that is where the turtles are. Not too many fish at that time, but the turtles made up for it.:)

beachbunny
09-01-2011, 02:03 PM
I was told that the brown D&B bags sold out the first day. Hope they get more in soon.

I was told that the $20 is to swim in the fish lagoon with gear included.

beachbunny
09-01-2011, 02:05 PM
By the way, if you look at Jeff's pictures above, you can see the two gifts with purchase. For $19.95 you can get the burlap bag and for $29.95 you can get an Aulani throw.

carlbarry
09-01-2011, 03:19 PM
Snorkel in the bay!! We stayed at the Ihilani in 2004 and I snorkelled 1st thing in the morning with several sea turtles. Swim near the opening by the rocks...that is where the turtles are. Not too many fish at that time, but the turtles made up for it.:)

Great! Thanks. I was looking forward to Rainbow Reef as a "treat," but the idea of paying to see a man made re-creation of the natural beauty surrounding it, well, just makes very little sense to me.

jmatias
09-01-2011, 05:51 PM
Great! Thanks. I was looking forward to Rainbow Reef as a "treat," but the idea of paying to see a man made re-creation of the natural beauty surrounding it, well, just makes very little sense to me.

I believe Rainbow Reef will appeal to those who are hesitant about snorkeling in the ocean.

At Hanauma Bay you see all the normal small reef fish like tangs, etc. You also see quite large fish that will be munching on the coral, eels, puffers, etc. Also, it is swimming in the open ocean with currents, etc. and that may concern some not so strong swimmers.

frank808
09-01-2011, 07:36 PM
Thanks for the photos Jeff. Any DIS members will be there sunday to tuesday for a meet and greet? Are they sold out of the opening day Aulani pins? Do you have a pic of the opening day pin?
So parking is free for DVC members even though we are not staying there? I was told it would be free if we were staying on points or cash. Thanks for the pics and will put up another trip report in a few days.
Also will be eating 1 character breakfast and a non character buffet breakfast to see if there is any difference.
Is the dinner a must try like the Napa Rose at VGC?

beachbunny
09-01-2011, 08:15 PM
By day 2 they were pretty close to sold out on the grand opening pin. It was two per person. I don't think they'll be in stock by this weekend. Oh, and they are not on the shelves. You have to ask the cashier for them.

The character buffet breakfast and the non-character buffet breakfast, both at Makahiki, are pretty identical - except for the big price difference - for which you get only three characters and a horribly long wait for them to rotate around the dining room. If you've been to some of the nicer buffets in town like Halekulani or the Prince, this ain't it.

The must-do dinner is Ama Ama. It's right along the beach, and if you time it right, you get a beautiful sunset! The food at Ama Ama is pacific fusion. The poke martini appetizer is nice, the entrees were delicious, and the desserts are awesome (if you like tart, try the lilikoi dessert and if you like chocolate, have the chocolate cake)! Ama Ama is pricey - $200 for two including beverages, appetizers, entrees, and desserts.

Brancaneve
09-01-2011, 09:01 PM
We had dinner last night at Ama Ama. It was fabulous. DH had the salt crusted catch of the day and I had duck. With one appetizer and one dessert each, plus one drink and tip, out tab was $200. Lunch tab at Ama Ama was about $75 for two. At Ama Ama you get a beautiful sunset over the beach. And starting at 7 p.m., there was live entertainment.

The take out place next to Ama Ama has a really nice angus burger that they serve with greens or taro chips. Price for that was $17. Drinks in non-refill cups were $3 and bottled water was $2.50.



.


Great info beachbunny. But it looks like I will be cooking most of my meals at Aulani. Meals seem very, very pricey!

frank808
09-02-2011, 05:59 AM
OK just had to drive to Aulani early to get the grand opening pins and some other Aulani specific pins tonite (thanks for the heads up guys). The regular grand opening pins were all gone by tonite. I just missed buying the last 5 of the locket style grand opening pins with mickey. BTW there were 1400 made of these limited trading pins. Although I did get to buy the DVC member grand opening pins. They are 3d pins of mickey on a surf board sliding across the pin. So for all you DVC members we still have a chance at some grand opening pins.

After spending $150 on pins we decided to walk around waikahole valley. It is very nice at nite. There was barely anyone at the pools and there were people walking around here and there. The lazy river and slides are open 8am till 8pm. The pools are open 8am till 10pm and the jacuzzis are open till 11pm. The infinity edge jacuzzi at the edge of the property (very nice sunset view)had a whopping 4 people in it. All the employees were very nice and said hello or aloha. Every employee had that disney happiness to them. Also just like Jeff said about the parking, I just showed the valet desk my membership card and they said good nite and wrote dvc member on it and parking was free. Hope parking situation doesn't change for the members as it was great walking around and sightseeing.

TreesyB
09-02-2011, 08:55 AM
Great info beachbunny. But it looks like I will be cooking most of my meals at Aulani. Meals seem very, very pricey!

I agree. But we are in a studio - so maybe sandwiches might be our lunch. I'm looking to see if there is a menu posted for Ama Ama yet... anyone?

CruznLexi
09-02-2011, 11:42 AM
Does it take the Disney gift cards?

incoo
09-02-2011, 11:51 AM
We are goingin Jan/12 and were wondering about different prices,particularly car rental costs at the resort and which company runs it and if the lenght of stay price for beach items were per person or can you share?Thank you

LovinmyDisneylife
09-02-2011, 11:54 AM
I agree. But we are in a studio - so maybe sandwiches might be our lunch. I'm looking to see if there is a menu posted for Ama Ama yet... anyone?

http://resorts.disney.go.com/aulani-hawaii-resort/dining/table-service/ama-ama-beach-restaurant/

Scroll to the bottom and there are some downloadable menus for Ama Ama.

justkeepswimmin
09-02-2011, 12:11 PM
By the way, if you look at Jeff's pictures above, you can see the two gifts with purchase. For $19.95 you can get the burlap bag and for $29.95 you can get an Aulani throw.


Oh I am suck a sucker for those "gifts" with purchase. :lmao:

I have several throws and this one will be a must have when we go here in a few weeks. Thanks for posting all these great pics!

jaurban
09-02-2011, 12:15 PM
The gifts with purchase are all over our house - and have made packing the suitcase difficult at times... sigh...

I must book a trip to get a brown D&B bag however......hopefully there will be more.

ShuisFan584
09-02-2011, 01:30 PM
Thank you so much for all the pictures and reports! Aulani seems really amazing and I hope to visit one day.

Are there any pictures floating around of the pools? I'd love to see them.

emilymad
09-02-2011, 03:08 PM
I have a couple of random questions that I am sure we don't know yet but I am asking anyway :)

Are their laundry rooms for those in studio rooms to use like the other DVC resorts?

Any idea what the quick service dining options look like? We leave in a week and I am trying to make a shopping list for Target and trying to decide if we need to get lunch food, etc.

Thanks for all the great reviews and info!

beachbunny
09-02-2011, 03:32 PM
I didn't see any laundry rooms but I wasn't staying on the DVC side.

Quick service options on property are limited. There is a take out window next to Ama Ama that serves burgers ($16-17), kalua pork sandwiches, and some other items. Kids meal was $7(?). A refillable mug was $32. A drink cup was $3. Inside the two stores (one is next to the lobby and one is near the pool) they sell packed lunches and drinks. There is a shave ice stand and the pool bar serves food.

rparmfamily
09-02-2011, 04:15 PM
I am sitting at the pool right now and I absolutely love Aulani. The biggest thing is to plan your meals properly or you will be spending a lot of money on it.

The fire pit and infinity style hot tubs are wonderful at night. It is so well planned and flows so great.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE AULANI!!!!

jmatias
09-02-2011, 07:09 PM
We checked in last night and got to enjoy the pool today. Beautiful resort. Love reading about how everything came together......much respect for the Hawaiian culture.

All Cast Members are sooooo friendly. Everyone CM we passed took the time to say Aloha and greet you with a sincere smile.

DD & I enjoyed the two slides.....one slide you ride on a tube either single or double person. This "float" slide lands you on the lazy river so you can just keep your tube and keep going around.

The other slide is a single person slide which is dark all the way through and pretty quick. Very fun.

Jacuzzis throughout the pool area. Most beautiful one is an infinity jacuzzi with a fabulous view of the ocean.

Menehune Bridge is the children's water play area that has 2 smaller slides for the little ones and tons of water/splash/play areas.

To answer a question about laundry....there are laundry rooms available for those staying in studios.

We are in a 1 bedroom on the 16th floor island view. Nice big lanai. I took several pictures and will post early next week.

Gotta run right now and will check back if any questions.

Aloha from Aulani!

Mulan2
09-02-2011, 10:08 PM
Thank you for all the great pictures and info on Aulani. Was in Hawaii for our honeymoon and once more after that. Planning to go in 2015 for our 20th anniversary. Seeing how expensive it will be, I better start saving now and tell the kids that they won't be going with us!

frank808
09-03-2011, 12:41 AM
Anyone DIS wanna have a meet and drink at one of the bars sunday afternoon. I would like to meet other DIS and put some faces to the screen names. If anyone wants to meet pm me and I will try to organize a meet and drink!:grouphug:

emilymad
09-03-2011, 06:45 AM
Thanks so much for the information! We are getting really excited!

Popovich
09-03-2011, 01:02 PM
Is it $32 for ONE mug, what are tbey refilled with - Margaritas???? :scared1:

PrincessYessenia
09-03-2011, 02:06 PM
Is it $32 for ONE mug, what are tbey refilled with - Margaritas???? :scared1:

:lmao: yep, just for one...that price just can't be justified IMO :confused3

Debs Hill
09-03-2011, 02:14 PM
Thanks for all the reports so far! Has anyone taken any of the Disney excursions? Would love to hear about those and see some photos! How about some food porn!?!

Finally, how is the spa?
Debx:)

jmatias
09-04-2011, 12:17 AM
Couple of random things.

-Busy today. Looked like a lot of locals checking in for the long holiday weekend and saw many people who were just sightseeing.

-Fast, free internet in our 1 bedroom DVC unit.

-Disney put two floating platforms in the lagoon that kids could stand on top and jump in the water. People were having a lot of fun with that.

-Gift shop sold out of the larger D&B bags.

-Best DVC resort pool by far. Lots of lifeguards all around.

-Had to show room key to get towel and wrist band which is a new color everyday.

Jen

mardonna
09-04-2011, 12:43 AM
I am staying on a friends DVC points in a 1 bedroom......we are a family of 6 but I left youngest of reservation because he is only 3 1/2....I didn't think of it being a problem but now I am worried because of this pool issue and also in kids clubs....anyone have thoughts.....do I just tell them at front desk that we decided to bring her last minute or what?

Also can I request a pay for daily maid service on our villa....we are only staying 4 nights and I would love to have my bed made every day and have the place cleaned up.....also will I still be charged for parking?

jmatias
09-04-2011, 01:46 AM
I am staying on a friends DVC points in a 1 bedroom......we are a family of 6 but I left youngest of reservation because he is only 3 1/2....I didn't think of it being a problem but now I am worried because of this pool issue and also in kids clubs....anyone have thoughts.....do I just tell them at front desk that we decided to bring her last minute or what?

Also can I request a pay for daily maid service on our villa....we are only staying 4 nights and I would love to have my bed made every day and have the place cleaned up.....also will I still be charged for parking?

You can pay for daily maid service....not sure the price.

Don't know about the parking for staying on friend's points. If i have time I will ask.

As for the 6 people issue I can't answer b/c I don't know. All I know is occupancy for the 1 bedroom is 5 people.

This weekend we are a family of 3 and son wanted to invite friends for the night. Told him can have 2 friends since we can fit 5. Had to show all 5 keys for our pool towels and wrist bands.

While we were getting our towels I saw a lady speaking to a CM. Issue was they couldn't get towels/wrist bands for their group. Looked like daughter invited 8 friends to come along for the day even though they just had a room that fit 4. For 2 hours the kids had to swim in the ocean while Mom went to sort it out. She had to go pay for another room so they could all play at the pools.

mardonna
09-04-2011, 02:09 AM
I can understand having 8 friends but we are talking about a 3 year old......also how will they deal with babysitter...sometimes we hire a sitter at the pool to help is....she would need a wristband....I guess they will have to fine tune this a bit....

Let me know what you find out....

bwvBound
09-04-2011, 09:19 AM
I am staying on a friends DVC points in a 1 bedroom......we are a family of 6 but I left youngest of reservation because he is only 3 1/2....I didn't think of it being a problem but now I am worried because of this pool issue and also in kids clubs....anyone have thoughts.....do I just tell them at front desk that we decided to bring her last minute or what?

Also can I request a pay for daily maid service on our villa....we are only staying 4 nights and I would love to have my bed made every day and have the place cleaned up.....also will I still be charged for parking?You should consider other options such as rebooking a 2 Bedroom unit for your stay or leaving one person at home.

I can understand having 8 friends but we are talking about a 3 year old......also how will they deal with babysitter...sometimes we hire a sitter at the pool to help is....she would need a wristband....I guess they will have to fine tune this a bit....

Let me know what you find out....Unless the babysitter is an Aulani staff member, I think the obligation for fine tuning falls to you.

mardonna
09-04-2011, 11:02 AM
I just can't imagine flying to Hawaii and walking tnto resort and then have them tell me I have to leave.. she is 3 years old.....worst case scenario I will have them remove my name from reservation.....and I won't use facilities.

I will stand out side the gate in a chair and watch....

pthuhges2
09-04-2011, 11:39 AM
We're going to Aulani turkey day week! Can't wait! Thanks for your trip reports so far. Keep 'em coming!

Euchre_U
09-04-2011, 11:46 AM
Question 1 - I see on the Aulani website that the Ama Ama restaurant will only be open for breakfast in "Phase 2" - can anyone who has been there (is staying there at the property NOW) confirm this is correct?

If so, then does this mean the only breakfast option (other than eating in your room) is the Makahiki buffet breakfast? I see on the Makahiki menu it states that there is an "ala carte" menu available - maybe this is Aulani's interim solution?

Question 2 - this may have already been posted, but I don't remember seeing the answer - what are the options for a luau at Aulani? Is the Paradise Cove luau the only option that is currently within walking distance? If so, has anyone been to this venue and have any sort of feedback (value, entertainment, was it "good")?

the donut
09-04-2011, 11:49 AM
I just can't imagine flying to Hawaii and walking tnto resort and then have them tell me I have to leave.. she is 3 years old.....worst case scenario I will have them remove my name from reservation.....and I won't use facilities.

I will stand out side the gate in a chair and watch....

Yes, I'm shocked they don't let you shoplift from the gift shop and steal the towels, since you came all that way.

Overall, you're breaking the rules that are most likely set by the fire code and seem to expect Disney to accomodate you. In fact, if they discover that you are violating the occupancy rule, you may be forced to purchase another room.

the donut
09-04-2011, 11:53 AM
I am staying on a friends DVC points in a 1 bedroom......we are a family of 6 but I left youngest of reservation because he is only 3 1/2....I didn't think of it being a problem but now I am worried because of this pool issue and also in kids clubs....anyone have thoughts.....do I just tell them at front desk that we decided to bring her last minute or what?

Also can I request a pay for daily maid service on our villa....we are only staying 4 nights and I would love to have my bed made every day and have the place cleaned up.....also will I still be charged for parking?

I think it's $45/day for daily maid service for a 1-BR at WDW, but I don't know for sure if prices are the same at Aulani.

mardonna
09-04-2011, 12:51 PM
Yes, I'm shocked they don't let you shoplift from the gift shop and steal the towels, since you came all that way.

Overall, you're breaking the rules that are most likely set by the fire code and seem to expect Disney to accomodate you. In fact, if they discover that you are violating the occupancy rule, you may be forced to purchase another room.

You are calling me a thief.....that is a bit scounttrong don't you think...:..first of all I borrowed someone's points so technically they weill be making money off of us because we will be spending more money and secondly I'm willing to try and resolve issue....since my daughter is 3 1/2 I have never thought about it because they normally allow a child under 3 to stay...they don't count in room count......

TreesyB
09-04-2011, 01:14 PM
You are calling me a thief.....that is a bit scounttrong don't you think...:..first of all I borrowed someone's points so technically they weill be making money off of us because we will be spending more money and secondly I'm willing to try and resolve issue....since my daughter is 3 1/2 I have never thought about it because they normally allow a child under 3 to stay...they don't count in room count......

I think you have to realize that a DVC membership stay is different than a stay that you purchase. Membership does not have the same laissez faire rules that a purchase stay does. You are actually jeopardizing your friend's (presumably) clear membership status by trying to fit more people into a 1 bedroom. If you want the maid service, and additional person in your room, you should give back your friend's points and pay for the stay. You will be more happy doing that as you demand your money's worth.

mardonna
09-04-2011, 01:22 PM
Just to clarify though I am correct that a child under 3 does not count in room count...that is what we have been told...and we have stayed in other villas as a party of 6 without incident.

saintstickets
09-04-2011, 01:29 PM
Anybody have pics of the room views? DW and I are going next year for our 30th anniversary and wonder if the Ocean view room is worth the extra points. I've only seen one pic in another thread and yes, you could see the ocean but it was right over a parking lot too. I guess it could be a lot like BWV where the BW views vary greatly upon the room itself. Any pics/advice is appreciated. TIA.

TreesyB
09-04-2011, 01:35 PM
Just to clarify though I am correct that a child under 3 does not count in room count...that is what we have been told...and we have stayed in other villas as a party of 6 without incident.

You might want to check here too - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=901569&page=173

I don't see where they talk about Aulani particularly, but you might want to post there to see what the experts say.

TreesyB
09-04-2011, 01:39 PM
Anybody have pics of the room views? DW and I are going next year for our 30th anniversary and wonder if the Ocean view room is worth the extra points. I've only seen one pic in another thread and yes, you could see the ocean but it was right over a parking lot too. I guess it could be a lot like BWV where the BW views vary greatly upon the room itself. Any pics/advice is appreciated. TIA.

I would be very disappointed if I paid extra Ocean view points for a parking lot and a glimpse of the Ocean.

I booked a garden/pool view - hopefully it will be nice and no parking lots.

rascalmom
09-04-2011, 02:10 PM
You are calling me a thief.....that is a bit scounttrong don't you think...:..first of all I borrowed someone's points so technically they weill be making money off of us because we will be spending more money and secondly I'm willing to try and resolve issue....since my daughter is 3 1/2 I have never thought about it because they normally allow a child under 3 to stay...they don't count in room count......

A child who is 3 1/2 is NOT "under 3". She's under 4, but not under 3. :confused3

jaurban
09-04-2011, 02:26 PM
All children count for DVC, the occupancy rules will say for example you can have 5 people plus one infant in the pack and play - with that infant being under 3, not over. They still give a room card for each person, even an infant, - so you can have that for whatever comes with the room - at Aulani - pool privileges, and at WDW for example, extra magic hours.

Steamboat Girlie
09-04-2011, 04:39 PM
I'm trying not to get scared away from Aulani by the prices of everything!

Do you have to pay to rent a chair by the pool, or just the beach chairs and umbrellas? Wondering if someone will start a chair swap, like they do at Vero.

I am hoping DVC members can park for free. There seems to be a little ambiguity there.

It seems like we will have to make some meals in the villa, and def. eat off site. So renting a car will be a priority.

$35 for a refillable mug seems ridiculous. We don't drink tonic (what we call soda in Boston) so it's a non issue. But I would think you would have to drink a lot to justify that purchase.

I really want to visit Aulani, but flying four people out from Boston, we're looking at around $4000 for airfare (give or take). Then factoring food, and rental car, this is def. going to be splurge. Still trying to decide if it's something that we're going to do. But it certainly looks beautiful.

the donut
09-04-2011, 05:46 PM
You are calling me a thief.....that is a bit scounttrong don't you think...:..first of all I borrowed someone's points so technically they weill be making money off of us because we will be spending more money and secondly I'm willing to try and resolve issue....since my daughter is 3 1/2 I have never thought about it because they normally allow a child under 3 to stay...they don't count in room count......

I'm not calling you a thief, I'm just trying to say that I don't understand why traveling a long way would justify breaking the rules, which seemed to be your rationale. I was just using the other statement as an example of why I thought the argument wasn't logical.

As someone else already pointed out, a child that is 3 1/2 does count in the room total as the rule is "under 3", i.e. has not yet turned 3.

DisneyMomJen
09-04-2011, 07:50 PM
Anybody have pics of the room views? DW and I are going next year for our 30th anniversary and wonder if the Ocean view room is worth the extra points. I've only seen one pic in another thread and yes, you could see the ocean but it was right over a parking lot too. I guess it could be a lot like BWV where the BW views vary greatly upon the room itself. Any pics/advice is appreciated. TIA.

We stayed last week. We were one of the families that posted here that we had originally booked a 2 bedroom, were called by DVC to tell us that they did not have any 2 bedroom and would put us in 2 hotel rooms. They called back just a few weeks ago to tell us that they now have a 2 bedroom again which will be an ocean view. They did not charge us any extra points. Anyway, I would be pretty ticked to have spent the extra amount in points to have the view that we had. The master bedroom was mostly of the JW Marriott right next door with a small partial view of the ocean. The other bedroom was somewhat better. I would not use my points for an ocean view based on this.

As far as counter service meals. They have the one counter service which is right next door to Ama Ama. We ate there opening day and the resort was crazy. The burgers were not good which could have been since it was extremely crowded. We found a great Counter service type place on our last day. Across the street is a shopping area with a more upscale ABC store. They have an area in the back with great sandwiches, burgers, salads, etc. The salads were made to order just like the Beach Club Marketplace. The prices were reasonable. The sandwiches were huge for $6.99. Salads were $6.99 for small and $8.99 for large. Burgers and fries for $6.99.

My 3 teenagers did the length of stay recreation for $99. It was great since it just gave them alot more to do and kept them busy during our stay. It also included the snorkeling in the man made area which we all did. It was really nice with tons of fish. After two laps around you are pretty much done. I don't think it is worth $20.

We LOVED Aulani and would definitely go back.

theOCdisney
09-04-2011, 08:25 PM
While we were getting our towels I saw a lady speaking to a CM. Issue was they couldn't get towels/wrist bands for their group. Looked like daughter invited 8 friends to come along for the day even though they just had a room that fit 4. For 2 hours the kids had to swim in the ocean while Mom went to sort it out. She had to go pay for another room so they could all play at the pools.

Imagine how crazy the pool area would be if every guest were successful at renting a room and then bringing double the capacity of the room!! I'm glad Disney is enforcing their rules.

As far as 6 in a 1 bdrm, I think Disney would not allow it because they would be violating the Hawaii State occupancy regulation. I know in 2000 when we took our first family trip to Hawaii we were required to reserve 2 rooms. The capacity was 4 per room (there were 5 of us). The front desk was very strict in enforcing this policy and this was the reason they gave when I inquired. That was a turning point for us, we realized how much better it was to have more space. From then on we booked a two bedroom or two rooms wherever we went. I wouldn't want the stress of getting all the way to Hawaii only to find we had to get another room!! I realize Hawaii is expensive, but this is a risk I wouldn't take.

jmatias
09-04-2011, 08:32 PM
Today's random posting:

- Enjoyed the Makahiki character breakfast. Saw Mickey, Minnie & Goofy. Kids all enjoyed the food. Liked it much better then the dinner buffet. Aunty was singing songs engaging people, having kids parade along with her throughout the restaurant. Cute.

- Got to the pools around 11:00 and it was crowded. Had to look around a bit before we found 1 open lounge chair. If its crowded now....it will be really crowded when the entire resort is open. Lots of loungers with just towels on it. Can only guess CMs will have to start checking on this at some point in the future.

-Loungers on the beach are free. You leave a CM monitored gate to get to the beach. They ask to see your room key or pool band to allow you back into the resort. Beach not crowded.

- Ordered lunch at One Paddle Two Paddle quick service. Wasn't quick...waited 15 mins for our food. But it was peak lunch time and I understand that this is opening week. Ordered 3 angus cheeseburgers, 1 chicken lettuce wrap, fruit cup, strawberry smoothie, and 3 drinks. Total was $72. Food was okay.

-At gift shop asked about the D&B bags and was told the sold out styles not expected back till December. There is a sign that they are taking your info if you want to be on a waiting list.

-Lots of families with kids having a great time.

Jen

rascalmom
09-04-2011, 08:48 PM
Thanks everyone for your reports and info. I have never been to Hawaii and hope to go someday. Aulani is very, very tempting!!

mardonna
09-04-2011, 11:12 PM
I'm not calling you a thief, I'm just trying to say that I don't understand why traveling a long way would justify breaking the rules, which seemed to be your rationale. I was just using the other statement as an example of why I thought the argument wasn't logical.

As someone else already pointed out, a child that is 3 1/2 does count in the room total as the rule is "under 3", i.e. has not yet turned 3.

I totally understand where you are coming from.....my daughter was under 3 when I made the reservation and will be 3 1/2 when we get there....and I just realized this when we stayed at Disneyland this weekend.....we always get 1 room because the room accommodates 5 plus a pack n play....my daughter hasn't slept in a pack n play since she was 2 so we have always brought her a small sleeping blow up bag......it dawned on me after reading all of these posts that this could be a problem....we have already booked our air fare and are staying at Aulani the fri-Tue before Thanksgiving so I am hoping that we can still get a 2 bedroom....we were booked in Ocean View but might need to downgrade to another view.....sounds like ocean view is not the greatest anyway....I may give the resort a call this week and get their thoughts.....

blizzards39
09-05-2011, 12:11 AM
Can anybody tell me what alcohol/beer costs? Also, like other Disney resorts, can you discreetly consume your own on the resort grounds? What about drinks/coolers on the beach?

emilymad
09-05-2011, 07:30 AM
For the refillable mugs is there a place to fill them with coffee in the mornings?

stlrod
09-05-2011, 07:48 AM
Was looking for disney dining reviews and found this:
http://www.davidkucic.com/ewa-beach-real-estate/disney-aulani-resort-on-oahu-my-personal-review
Interestingly, it is the 3rd poor review of Ama Ama I have read. One is on yelp and here is the other:
http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2011/09/04/guest-review-ama-ama-beachside-restaurant-at-disneys-aulani-resort/
Looks like it's going to be either the buffet or Roy's for NYE.

jmatias
09-05-2011, 11:44 AM
For the refillable mugs is there a place to fill them with coffee in the mornings?

Yes...in the gift shop.

Euchre_U
09-05-2011, 11:48 AM
What are the luau options at Aulani?

jmatias
09-05-2011, 11:55 AM
What are the luau options at Aulani?

No luau at Aulani. I'm guessing because Paradise Cove is right down the road and puts on a big production.

incoo
09-05-2011, 01:12 PM
just a quick question about the chairs on the beach,I thought you had to rent them as we are considering the lenght of stay package for beach rentals


Today's random posting:
j
- Enjoyed the Makahiki character breakfast. Saw Mickey, Minnie & Goofy. Kids all enjoyed the food. Liked it much better then the dinner buffet. Aunty was singing songs engaging people, having kids parade along with her throughout the restaurant. Cute.

- Got to the pools around 11:00 and it was crowded. Had to look around a bit before we found 1 open lounge chair. If its crowded now....it will be really crowded when the entire resort is open. Lots of loungers with just towels on it. Can only guess CMs will have to start checking on this at some point in the future.

-Loungers on the beach are free. You leave a CM monitored gate to get to the beach. They ask to see your room key or pool band to allow you back into the resort. Beach not crowded.

- Ordered lunch at One Paddle Two Paddle quick service. Wasn't quick...waited 15 mins for our food. But it was peak lunch time and I understand that this is opening week. Ordered 3 angus cheeseburgers, 1 chicken lettuce wrap, fruit cup, strawberry smoothie, and 3 drinks. Total was $72. Food was okay.

-At gift shop asked about the D&B bags and was told the sold out styles not expected back till December. There is a sign that they are taking your info if you want to be on a waiting list.

-Lots of families with kids having a great time.

Jen

rparmfamily
09-05-2011, 03:38 PM
We had a great time and we noticed a lot of locals that were staying there were inviting their family in to play for free. Yesterday this caused problems because of the lack of available seating. I wish there was a way that they could do a better job handing out wristbands because it's clear that you can't fit a family of 20 in a regular room.

I did like how there were enforcing the people without bands to leave. A lot of people tried to come in and swim for the day but got busted.

Paradise Cove and Germaines are the luaus that Aulani has partnered up with.

Aunties Beach House for kids 3-10 was fantastic. Our kids did not want to leave at all. What a great program!

I look forward to our return trip next month.

rparmfamily
09-05-2011, 03:43 PM
Imagine how crazy the pool area would be if every guest were successful at renting a room and then bringing double the capacity of the room!! I'm glad Disney is enforcing their rules.

As far as 6 in a 1 bdrm, I think Disney would not allow it because they would be violating the Hawaii State occupancy regulation. I know in 2000 when we took our first family trip to Hawaii we were required to reserve 2 rooms. The capacity was 4 per room (there were 5 of us). The front desk was very strict in enforcing this policy and this was the reason they gave when I inquired. That was a turning point for us, we realized how much better it was to have more space. From then on we booked a two bedroom or two rooms wherever we went. I wouldn't want the stress of getting all the way to Hawaii only to find we had to get another room!! I realize Hawaii is expensive, but this is a risk I wouldn't take.


A lot of families that are local are passing out their room keys to their friends so they can get wristbands. Saw it four times and I noticed that the cast members working the stand were being very flexible on the rules. Three ladies with no room key got a wristband because they go to college with the guy at the stand.

tamclan
09-05-2011, 04:03 PM
[QUOTE=DisneyMomJen;

My 3 teenagers did the length of stay recreation for $99. It was great since it just gave them alot more to do and kept them busy during our stay. It also included the snorkeling in the man made area which we all did. It was really nice with tons of fish. After two laps around you are pretty much done. I don't think it is worth $20.

We LOVED Aulani and would definitely go back.[/QUOTE]


Can you please advise what is included in the $99 length of stay recreation.


Thanks,

TreesyB
09-05-2011, 04:29 PM
No luau at Aulani. I'm guessing because Paradise Cove is right down the road and puts on a big production.

Hmmm... just reading about Paradise Cove and there are many mixed reviews including the kind of food served. Anybody know of other Luaus?

TreesyB
09-05-2011, 04:36 PM
Was looking for disney dining reviews and found this:
http://www.davidkucic.com/ewa-beach-real-estate/disney-aulani-resort-on-oahu-my-personal-review
Interestingly, it is the 3rd poor review of Ama Ama I have read. One is on yelp and here is the other:
http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2011/09/04/guest-review-ama-ama-beachside-restaurant-at-disneys-aulani-resort/
Looks like it's going to be either the buffet or Roy's for NYE.

That's discouraging. Hopefully it's the opening week jitters and they will all get their act together by November! I booked Ama Ama at sunset for my birthday dinner. I think the atmosphere is itself is worth the price though - saw some pictures on Yelp and it's gorgeous!

DisneyFan68
09-05-2011, 04:56 PM
A lot of families that are local are passing out their room keys to their friends so they can get wristbands. Saw it four times and I noticed that the cast members working the stand were being very flexible on the rules. Three ladies with no room key got a wristband because they go to college with the guy at the stand.

I'm so disappointed to hear that because it's not fair for all the other paying guests that won't get a seat or have to deal with the crowd because of other people bringing in their friends and family and letting them use the pool facilities without actually staying there. I was wondering about this and if people would be doing this against the rules and apparently it is happening. I really hope that they start enforcing the rules more and come up with a better system. Knowing some locals, they may bring their extended ohana and have a huge pool party leaving paying guests to find empty chairs else where. Very disappointing...

bwvBound
09-05-2011, 04:57 PM
Looks like it's going to be either the buffet or Roy's for NYE.We are definitely planning on visiting Roy's when we visit later this month. I've already cashed in some Amex Member Reward points for the Roy's gift card. Looking forward to our trip!

carlbarry
09-05-2011, 05:33 PM
Can you please advise what is included in the $99 length of stay recreation.


Thanks,

According to a picture posted of the prices at "Malibu Joe's Beach Rentals," the "Length of Stay Recreation Includes unlimited Rainbow Reef experience & beach rentals $99" Presumably, "beach rentals" would include the items listed above that notice on the sign, namely "Snorkel Set," "Single Kayak," "Double Kayak," "Stand up Paddle Board," "Beach Umbrella," and "Double Chase (sic) Lounge Chair."

jmatias
09-05-2011, 05:45 PM
just a quick question about the chairs on the beach,I thought you had to rent them as we are considering the lenght of stay package for beach rentals

I believe the beach lounger is free for resort guests. The lounger is tan to differentiate it from the Ihilani chairs which are white.

There is a $15 daily charge for a beach umbrella.

jmatias
09-05-2011, 05:52 PM
I'm so disappointed to hear that because it's not fair for all the other paying guests that won't get a seat or have to deal with the crowd because of other people bringing in their friends and family and letting them use the pool facilities without actually staying there. I was wondering about this and if people would be doing this against the rules and apparently it is happening. I really hope that they start enforcing the rules more and come up with a better system. Knowing some locals, they may bring their extended ohana and have a huge pool party leaving paying guests to find empty chairs else where. Very disappointing...

I personally didn't see the sharing of the cards but can see how that would happen since all you have to do is show say 5 cards to get 5 bands. They really didnt look at the cards for names, etc. and check it against a list. At the Marriott Koolina, we had to show our room card which they checked against a master list and would mark something down I'm guessing to show that someone already came by for a pool band.

I think there will be adjustments in the future as Disney figures things out.

DisneyFan68
09-05-2011, 07:36 PM
Anyone know how much it is to rent a cabana at Aulani?

bonnielynn
09-05-2011, 07:43 PM
bump

DisneyMomJen
09-05-2011, 07:50 PM
According to a picture posted of the prices at "Malibu Joe's Beach Rentals," the "Length of Stay Recreation Includes unlimited Rainbow Reef experience & beach rentals $99" Presumably, "beach rentals" would include the items listed above that notice on the sign, namely "Snorkel Set," "Single Kayak," "Double Kayak," "Stand up Paddle Board," "Beach Umbrella," and "Double Chase (sic) Lounge Chair."

They told us that the Double Chase Lounge Chair was not included. I overheard that the price for this was $30 for half day and $40 for whole day.

Single and Doulbe Kayaks, Paddleboards, Beach Umbrellas, snorkel equipment and Rainbow Reef were all included. I felt it was definitely worth it for my kids since they used the Paddle Boards at least twice everyday, tried kayaking and snorkeled in Rainbow Reef. It definitely kept them busy. The teen club did not seem that good and there was never anyone in there.

carlbarry
09-05-2011, 07:56 PM
They told us that the Double Chase Lounge Chair was not included. I overheard that the price for this was $30 for half day and $40 for whole day.

Single and Doulbe Kayaks, Paddleboards, Beach Umbrellas, snorkel equipment and Rainbow Reef were all included. I felt it was definitely worth it for my kids since they used the Paddle Boards at least twice everyday, tried kayaking and snorkeled in Rainbow Reef. It definitely kept them busy. The teen club did not seem that good and there was never anyone in there.

They obviously have some things to work out. The sign should indicate the double isn't included. And they should learn how to spell "chaise."

pthuhges2
09-05-2011, 09:00 PM
Anyone know how much it is to rent a cabana at Aulani?
Just got off the phone (I was interested too)
$275 per day(9am-6pm) includes 32" tv, wi-fi, fruit tray, bottled water, ceiling fan& "upgraded furnishings" and hold 5 people( all must be registered guests)
Half day is $150- half day is walk-up day of rental only.

Apparently you can only book a cabana after you've checked in. I'm going in Novber and they can't reserve one for me today.

Aloha

PrincessYessenia
09-05-2011, 09:08 PM
They obviously have some things to work out. The sign should indicate the double isn't included. And they should learn how to spell "chaise."

You're right, they should specify that! I was looking forward to using it. That's kind of a bummer :sad2:

rparmfamily
09-06-2011, 12:47 AM
Earlier that was my DH posting LOL (I told him to make sure to put Mr Rparmfamily LOL!) but anyway, yes, there was a LARGE group next to us all day on Sunday. Over 20 people. And more were coming, and while I didn't see any actual handing over of keys, they seemed to have no problem getting wristbands. Hubby was getting aggravated but I told him there was no way for us to know if all these friends/family didn't stay there. Seriously, I saw at one point 5 more people walk up to the guy next to us and he said most of us are here, some are over there and gestured to across the pool area. We were by the Menehune kids' area and I think we were nearly the only people not with this group. They literally had an entire huge area to themselves, probably 10-15 chairs at least by us. Sunday was pretty crowded so this did not help. I think they are going to have to get very strict once the rest of the resort opens. It was clear that only the 2 large areas next to the lobby were open with like 4-5 other sections not open yet. The pool area will be nuts then. The lagoons were empty, appeared most were at the pool. The pool area is HUGE and awesome, the slides were great, my toddler LOVED the Menehune area and the little slides. :) The 2 infinity hot tubs are amazing, there is also a hidden hot tub and then one with a waterfall into it by the main pool. There is an "adult/quiet" pool off to the side of the resort with nothing fun by it but a bar :) but it is not signed as adult/quiet but I swear I read it somewhere, maybe on here. I really didn't see many kids there but I also wasn't there much, usually at the main pool.

My big kids loved Auntie's (though they were also still getting the groove of it, check in/out was sometimes nutty and on the paper it says they get snacks every 2 hrs and my son said he only got water but my DD said she got pretzels one time. They call you when the kids are ready to be picked up so we kept our cells with us at all times. I wasn't sure if you could leave the resort while they are at Auntie's, but we didn't anyway.

We ate several times at One Paddle, Two Paddle and mostly got the Angus burger kids meals ($6.95?) and we thought they were great. The taro chips weren't bad, and the fruit was great. I also ate the kalua pork (with kimchee, which I took off because I don't care for kimchee) but the pork was great and the sea asparagus salad was good.

They had Mickey head ice cream for $3.25 and we ate those. :) Brought our own sodas and plastic cups and just got ice out of the machine. We also brought our own snacks and made meals in the 1br. I think I was the 1st person to use that oven, it had the new oven smell when I turned it on LOL.

Overall the resort is top-notch, very detailed, very Hawaiian (and I mean native Hawaiian not kitschy Hawaiian) and it all flowed very nicely .

MEM
09-06-2011, 08:00 AM
I personally didn't see the sharing of the cards but can see how that would happen since all you have to do is show say 5 cards to get 5 bands. They really didnt look at the cards for names, etc. and check it against a list. At the Marriott Koolina, we had to show our room card which they checked against a master list and would mark something down I'm guessing to show that someone already came by for a pool band.
I think there will be adjustments in the future as Disney figures things out.


This sounds like an excellent idea and I hope you recommend it to Disney.

emilymad
09-06-2011, 08:16 AM
It is concerning that there already issues with people cheating the system to get pool access. I can't imagine what it will be like when the resort is completely finished. I really hope Disney get's their act together fast in coming up with a better system. The pool area is one of the main reasons to stay at Aulani. There are lot of cheaper nice beach resorts around the world or even on Oahu. I guess I am most surprised by the fact that Disney didn't anticipate this happening and already have the correct process in place.

incoo
09-06-2011, 08:27 AM
Just a quick request of any beach pictures plus any other pictures on the beach( chairs,double chairs ect...)Also can you take the kayaks outside the lagoon or are you limited to their area.Thank you

stlrod
09-06-2011, 08:31 AM
Hmmm... just reading about Paradise Cove and there are many mixed reviews including the kind of food served. Anybody know of other Luaus?

The Fia Fia show at the Marriott on Thursdays seems to get a little better reviews:

http://www.ihilani.com/Oahu-Hawaii-Restaurants/Fia-Fia-Show-85.html

DisneyMomJen
09-06-2011, 08:34 AM
Just a quick request of any beach pictures plus any other pictures on the beach( chairs,double chairs ect...)Also can you take the kayaks outside the lagoon or are you limited to their area.Thank you

You can only take the Kayaks inside the lagoon area. I don't think you would want to go outside since a few of the days it was extremely rough outside the lagoon.

MamaDrama
09-06-2011, 01:03 PM
Just got off the phone (I was interested too)
$275 per day(9am-6pm) includes 32" tv, wi-fi, fruit tray, bottled water, ceiling fan& "upgraded furnishings" and hold 5 people( all must be registered guests)
Half day is $150- half day is walk-up day of rental only.

Apparently you can only book a cabana after you've checked in. I'm going in Novber and they can't reserve one for me today.

Aloha
I would check with another CM on that. I have a cabana already booked for our November stay!

tfc3rid
09-06-2011, 02:29 PM
I am visiting Aulani in December as a DVC "guest". I have been told that ONLY DVC members are offered complimentary self-park. All other guests (DVC and non-DVC) will be charged $35/day. Ouch! Looks like we may not rent a car after all.

What do you mean by 'DVC Guest'?

stlrod
09-06-2011, 03:03 PM
The Fia Fia show at the Marriott on Thursdays seems to get a little better reviews:

http://www.ihilani.com/Oahu-Hawaii-Restaurants/Fia-Fia-Show-85.html

I emailed the concierge and learned that this is offered on both Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Tuesdays, it is offered at the Marriott Beach Club Villas and on Thursdays, it is offered at the JW Marriott.

rparmfamily
09-06-2011, 03:59 PM
You can't take SUP's or kayaks out of the lagoon, and I wouldn't recommend it anyway, the water in that area can be rough, has reef and breaks against rocks. :)

Personally I'd recommend doing a kayak adventure,etc at Kailua Beach, though that's on the other side of the island and you'd need a car. You can rent kayaks at the beach, but go early, and check the surf report first. You can kayak out to the bird sanctuary there and it's gorgeous.

I also recommend Germaine's Luau. We loved Germaine's, we've been there twice.

incoo
09-06-2011, 09:47 PM
Are the beverage stations for the mugs distributed around the resort,or do you have to run to one place.Still trying to bring costs into line.We are looking into renting a car for 10 days and pay the parking(we do intend to tour a couple of days) just to have the convenience of it avaible for groceries restaurants ect.. Or we may rent per use decisions decisions :confused3
Then there is the cost of airport transfers:surfweb:

jmatias
09-07-2011, 02:01 AM
Are the beverage stations for the mugs distributed around the resort,or do you have to run to one place.Still trying to bring costs into line.We are looking into renting a car for 10 days and pay the parking(we do intend to tour a couple of days) just to have the convenience of it avaible for groceries restaurants ect.. Or we may rent per use decisions decisions :confused3
Then there is the cost of airport transfers:surfweb:

I saw beverage stations in the gift shop and at the quick service restaurant called One Paddle Two Paddle.

slowly
09-07-2011, 02:17 AM
What do you mean by 'DVC Guest'?

DVC Guest I think means that a DVD Mbr reserved a Villa for a non-DVC mbr. Just came off a two night stay at Aulani with a DVC Guest and we were both able to get the parking free. You must tell the front desk that the reservations are under DVC. That's what worked for them.

canadianminniemouse
09-07-2011, 02:28 AM
Are the beverage stations for the mugs distributed around the resort,or do you have to run to one place.Still trying to bring costs into line.

As far as I know, there are 3 locations - Kalepa's Store (the gift store), The Lava Shack (in the volcano) and One Paddle, Two Paddle. Both of my parents bought the refillable mug and actually got their money's worth because we did not really leave the resort and they drank coffee every morning and soda throughout the day. We were there 5 nights.

canadianminniemouse
09-07-2011, 02:53 AM
Just a quick request of any beach pictures plus any other pictures on the beach( chairs,double chairs ect...)Also can you take the kayaks outside the lagoon or are you limited to their area.Thank you

Sorry, can't post photos yet.

tfc3rid
09-07-2011, 09:22 AM
DVC Guest I think means that a DVD Mbr reserved a Villa for a non-DVC mbr. Just came off a two night stay at Aulani with a DVC Guest and we were both able to get the parking free. You must tell the front desk that the reservations are under DVC. That's what worked for them.

Ahhhh... Wasn't sure if you meant a DVC Member who is not an owner at Aulani... I'm visiting in January using my points but am not an Aulani owner, just Boardwalk, Beach Club and SSR.

canadianminniemouse
09-07-2011, 04:07 PM
Just a quick request of any beach pictures plus any other pictures on the beach( chairs,double chairs ect...)Also can you take the kayaks outside the lagoon or are you limited to their area.Thank you

I didn't take any photos specifically of the beach chairs but maybe these will be a little helpful.

view of the beach from one of the floating pads
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r60/mcbeant/014.jpg
view of the beach from the pool area
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r60/mcbeant/049.jpg

canadianminniemouse
09-07-2011, 04:19 PM
At Makai Preserve you can interact with the stingrays. It normally costs $50 per adult and $45 per child but it was free for my son and I because the stingrays are just getting used to being around people. You can't really tell from this photo but the stingray that we helped train weighed 46 pounds! It was a neat experience. You have to make a reservation. They only take small groups at 9, 11 and 2.

http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r60/mcbeant/170.jpg

http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r60/mcbeant/154.jpg

DisneyFan68
09-08-2011, 03:49 AM
At Makai Preserve you can interact with the stingrays. It normally costs $50 per adult and $45 per child but it was free for my son and I because the stingrays are just getting used to being around people. You can't really tell from this photo but the stingray that we helped train weighed 46 pounds! It was a neat experience. You have to make a reservation. They only take small groups at 9, 11 and 2.

http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r60/mcbeant/170.jpg

http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r60/mcbeant/154.jpg

Those are amazing pictures!!! Do you know how long it'll be free for and if it was difficult to get a reservation for the makai preserve?

Also, do you know if they give resort tours for guests to show them everything the resort has to offer and to tell us some of the stories behind some of the details of the resort?

rparmfamily
09-08-2011, 04:00 AM
Here is the menu from One Paddle Two Paddle

http://i1122.photobucket.com/albums/l538/rparmfamily/Aulani140.jpg

http://i1122.photobucket.com/albums/l538/rparmfamily/Aulani141.jpg

rparmfamily
09-08-2011, 04:03 AM
Those are amazing pictures!!! Do you know how long it'll be free for and if it was difficult to get a reservation for the makai preserve?

Also, do you know if they give resort tours for guests to show them everything the resort has to offer and to tell us some of the stories behind some of the details of the resort?

Yes, they do. Everyday they publish the daily IWA which has what is going on during the day. The one you mention was called "Aloha, Welcome to Aulani" and was at 415pm.

Disneyfn420
09-08-2011, 07:16 AM
Yes, they do. Everyday they publish the daily IWA which has what is going on during the day. The one you mention was called "Aloha, Welcome to Aulani" and was at 415pm.

Is the Starlight hui show done every night? We are staying for 4 nights, but have a luau planned for one already so hope they have it a night we will be around.

dreamlinda
09-09-2011, 04:50 PM
Subscribing, going in Feb. '12. Can't wait! Thanks for all the info and clues ~ you all are good scouts :)

luvdisney24
09-09-2011, 06:57 PM
Are the beverage stations for the mugs distributed around the resort,or do you have to run to one place.Still trying to bring costs into line.We are looking into renting a car for 10 days and pay the parking(we do intend to tour a couple of days) just to have the convenience of it avaible for groceries restaurants ect.. Or we may rent per use decisions decisions :confused3
Then there is the cost of airport transfers:surfweb:

Just wondering what you found in the way of airport transfers. Disney recommends Cloud Nine Limousine which quoted me $240 round trip. Cloud Nine told me there was a discount code for Aulani Guests that would save me about $25 but I can't see to find it.

I think we're set on going with the car service and then just renting a car for a day or two when we're there. Doing that will be less expensive than renting a car for our entire stay and then having to pay $35 per night to park it.

incoo
09-09-2011, 07:16 PM
I had googled transfers from Honolulu , found a couple and they varied from 80 to 160 return, still looking

luvdisney24
09-09-2011, 07:21 PM
I had googled transfers from Honolulu , found a couple and they varied from 80 to 160 return, still looking

Please let me know what you find. I know I want a private car service and would love to find something a little less expensive.....or just find that discount code! LOL After an 11 hour flight, I don't want to have to worry about getting a rental car and finding my way to the resort. I also don't want to end up on a shuttle that makes several stops. Just want to find someone reliable.

rparmfamily
09-09-2011, 10:17 PM
Is the Starlight hui show done every night? We are staying for 4 nights, but have a luau planned for one already so hope they have it a night we will be around.

No, I think it is only offered twice a week.

DisneyMomJen
09-10-2011, 08:41 AM
Is the Starlight hui show done every night? We are staying for 4 nights, but have a luau planned for one already so hope they have it a night we will be around.

The week we were there the show was Monday and Thursday.

chermikmom
09-10-2011, 10:43 PM
Is the food included in the price of the resort...or is food seperate?

carlbarry
09-10-2011, 10:56 PM
Is the food included in the price of the resort...or is food seperate?

It is NOT all inclusive. People have been reporting dinner for 2 at $200, lunch for $75.

Disneyfn420
09-11-2011, 02:10 PM
The week we were there the show was Monday and Thursday.

Oh no :( We have the luau scheduled for Thursday and we arrrive on a Tuesday

Disneyfn420
09-11-2011, 02:26 PM
The week we were there the show was Monday and Thursday.

Did you see the Starlight Hui? Is it a don't miss? We are thinking of switching Luau to Friday so we can see it as well.

living20057
09-11-2011, 05:01 PM
Wow that is good to know. We will be in a one bedroom for two weeks with three people. My mom may come out for one of the weeks. I will definitely add her name to the reservation.


You can pay for daily maid service....not sure the

price.

Don't know about the parking for staying on friend's points. If i have time I will ask.

As for the 6 people issue I can't answer b/c I don't know. All I know is occupancy for the 1 bedroom is 5 people.

This weekend we are a family of 3 and son wanted to invite friends for the night. Told him can have 2 friends since we can fit 5. Had to show all 5 keys for our pool towels and wrist bands.

While we were getting our towels I saw a lady speaking to a CM. Issue was they couldn't get towels/wrist bands for their group. Looked like daughter invited 8 friends to come along for the day even though they just had a room that fit 4. For 2 hours the kids had to swim in the ocean while Mom went to sort it out. She had to go pay for another room so they could all play at the pools.

living20057
09-11-2011, 05:06 PM
A chair swap sounds good. :cool1:


I'm trying not to get scared away from Aulani by the prices of everything!

Do you have to pay to rent a chair by the pool, or just the beach chairs and umbrellas? Wondering if someone will start a chair swap, like they do at Vero.

I am hoping DVC members can park for free. There seems to be a little ambiguity there.

It seems like we will have to make some meals in the villa, and def. eat off site. So renting a car will be a priority.

$35 for a refillable mug seems ridiculous. We don't drink tonic (what we call soda in Boston) so it's a non issue. But I would think you would have to drink a lot to justify that purchase.

I really want to visit Aulani, but flying four people out from Boston, we're looking at around $4000 for airfare (give or take). Then factoring food, and rental car, this is def. going to be splurge. Still trying to decide if it's something that we're going to do. But it certainly looks beautiful.

DisneyMomJen
09-11-2011, 07:45 PM
Did you see the Starlight Hui? Is it a don't miss? We are thinking of switching Luau to Friday so we can see it as well.

Yes, we saw the show and it was really good! I think it is definitely something that you would want to see. Get there a little early since they had 3 different 'activities' set up while you were waiting for the show. One was make your own flower hair pin or a flower lei for your wrist, another was making a hat out of what looked like palm tree leaves and I am not sure about the 3rd. They were all locals brought in to do these and it was not just for kids. There were also alot of locals watching the show.

WebmasterCorey
09-12-2011, 12:51 PM
I just scanned a week's worth of the daily events and activities.
http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-resorts/aulani-hawaii-resort/#iwa

I'm still adding photos here, but you can check out what I have so far. http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/g1324-aulani-resort26-spahawaii.html

justkeepswimmin
09-13-2011, 11:33 PM
I just scanned a week's worth of the daily events and activities.
http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-resorts/aulani-hawaii-resort/#iwa

I'm still adding photos here, but you can check out what I have so far. http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/g1324-aulani-resort26-spahawaii.html

These are awesome! THANK YOU! It seems similar to the daily schedule you get on the cruises and that makes me very happy. My almost 12 year old is a little bummed she is not old enough for Painted Sky Spa. Seems like they have a lot of fun events scheduled there.

emilymad
09-14-2011, 11:33 AM
I have been at Aulani for a couple of days now and have a few thoughts. We arrived Sunday afternoon and the whole resort was packed. There seemed to be a lot of people not staying here but just wondering around checking out the resort. The pool was very crowded. We weren't looking to go swimming yet but I am not sure we would have found a chair. Come Monday the place is empty so I think it was a lot of locals. The wrist band system is fine but I can see how people could easily just hand their card to someone else. Yesterday I did see the pool people with a list of last names that they were highlighting when you picked up a wrist band. Hopefully they are working on improving things.

All of the cast members we have come across are fantastic. I really think they are the best group of cast members we have ever experienced at any Disney hotel. Hopefully their enthusiasm continues as time goes on.

We bought one of the refillable mugs. It is a much better quality mug than the ones in Disney World. It has been working out for coffee (real Kona) and sodas. Haven't seen too many people with them but there aren't too many people here right now. We wish that Disney would use these mugs in WDW instead of the cheaper ones they have now.

Our biggest frustration is food choices. None of this was a surprise to us from what we had read before we arrived but it is getting a little annoying. There just aren't that many places to get something to eat. We did the dinner buffet which was good but we see no need to do it again. It wasn't that memorable of a meal. The menu at Ama Ama doesn't appeal enough to us to pay the prices. The quick service and two lounges have burgers or Hawaiian/Asian food selections. The problem is that the menu of these three places are basically the same. You can get a burger at the quick service or sliders at the lounges. It is just a little surprising that Disney didn't put in a little food court like they have at AKL. The convenience store across the street has decent food at good prices.

We are having a fantastic time. The resort is just spectacular. The pictures don't do it justice. I am just not sure when the resort is completely open and fully booked that it isn't going to be uncomfortably crowded.

dreamlinda
09-14-2011, 12:45 PM
One of the frequent questions for mainlanders traveling to Hawaii is what to do on the last day. Many of the return flights are overnight so have late evening departures. Check-out is 11:00 am and on our upcoming trip our flight is at 11:00 pm. I know bags can be checked with bell services. I read somewhere that Aulani has some arrangements to assist with this situation, like locker rooms with showers or something so you can spend the day in the resort or at the pool and clean up prior to the flight. Has anyone seen or experienced these accomodations? What should we expect? :confused3

Harleyis#1
09-14-2011, 12:50 PM
Great question, looking forward to ideas for that last day a Aulani.

PrincessYessenia
09-14-2011, 04:26 PM
One of the frequent questions for mainlanders traveling to Hawaii is what to do on the last day. Many of the return flights are overnight so have late evening departures. Check-out is 11:00 am and on our upcoming trip our flight is at 11:00 pm. I know bags can be checked with bell services. I read somewhere that Aulani has some arrangements to assist with this situation, like locker rooms with showers or something so you can spend the day in the resort or at the pool and clean up prior to the flight. Has anyone seen or experienced these accomodations? What should we expect? :confused3

There is a late check out lounge for guests. We also have an 11pm flight on our last day. The lounge is supposed to have lockers, showers, and a tv viewing area. We will be there December 3-10 so we haven't seen it in person yet, but this is what I have read. It would be nice to hear from those who have used this area.

emilymad
09-14-2011, 05:31 PM
There is a late check out lounge for guests. We also have an 11pm flight on our last day. The lounge is supposed to have lockers, showers, and a tv viewing area. We will be there December 3-10 so we haven't seen it in person yet, but this is what I have read. It would be nice to hear from those who have used this area.

We were offered to use it when we checked in before our room was ready. Our room ended up being ready before we had walked around so we didn't use it. I will try to check it out later today and report back.

dreamlinda
09-14-2011, 07:02 PM
We were offered to use it when we checked in before our room was ready. Our room ended up being ready before we had walked around so we didn't use it. I will try to check it out later today and report back.

Thanks, that will be great!! Lucky you, it's raining and 53 degrees at our house. Our day will come....

PrincessYessenia
09-14-2011, 07:34 PM
We were offered to use it when we checked in before our room was ready. Our room ended up being ready before we had walked around so we didn't use it. I will try to check it out later today and report back.

:thumbsup2 thanks!

DisneyFan68
09-15-2011, 12:31 AM
There is a late check out lounge for guests. We also have an 11pm flight on our last day. The lounge is supposed to have lockers, showers, and a tv viewing area. We will be there December 3-10 so we haven't seen it in person yet, but this is what I have read. It would be nice to hear from those who have used this area.

The lounge is fairly nice. It is 2 connected rooms with tv's and chairs. There are also restrooms and showers and lockers. It's not terribly big though. I'd say maybe 3 families may be able to fit in there comfortably at a time. If I needed a place to stay until my flight and wanted to save points I'd used it. It's definitely not the most ideal but it's doable.

PrincessYessenia
09-15-2011, 01:34 AM
The lounge is fairly nice. It is 2 connected rooms with tv's and chairs. There are also restrooms and showers and lockers. It's not terribly big though. I'd say maybe 3 families may be able to fit in there comfortably at a time. If I needed a place to stay until my flight and wanted to save points I'd used it. It's definitely not the most ideal but it's doable.

Thanks a ton for the report! :goodvibes

dreamlinda
09-15-2011, 03:33 PM
The lounge is fairly nice. It is 2 connected rooms with tv's and chairs. There are also restrooms and showers and lockers. It's not terribly big though. I'd say maybe 3 families may be able to fit in there comfortably at a time. If I needed a place to stay until my flight and wanted to save points I'd used it. It's definitely not the most ideal but it's doable.

Thanks, we don't want to hang out there but want to take a shower and change before our final dinner reservation. Also noticed that there is a day pass option for the SPA, but hate to spend the $ if the lounge will suffice. MAHALO!!

emilymad
09-16-2011, 01:29 AM
I took a few pictures of the lounge today. I will post them once I get everything downloaded. The bathrooms aren't that different than the ones in the spa.

There were also a few computers in the lounge as well which would come in handy for boarding passes, etc. There were two families in there today and it seemed a little cramped. Doable but any more than that could be a little crazy.

mkymsehi
09-16-2011, 02:33 AM
Friday I'll be showing friend from California around the grounds for the day. Lunch and cocktails on the agenda.

Saturday we check in for our first official stay. The keiki are excited we get a Disney vacation 35 minutes from our home.

I'm more excited because it doesn't involve airfare for four to Anaheim, Lake Buena Vista, Paris, Tokyo, or Hong Kong!

boscoj
09-16-2011, 02:36 AM
does anyone know if the villas have a rice cooker?

thanks!

mkymsehi
09-16-2011, 03:13 AM
does anyone know if the villas have a rice cooker?

thanks!

When I toured the model home at Aulani back in December, the full kitchen had a rice cooker on display. Not sure if they actually have them in the one, two, or villas now.

I'd suggest you just call up and ask.

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/2733926f.jpg

PrincessYessenia
09-16-2011, 09:29 PM
does anyone know if the villas have a rice cooker?

thanks!

From the Aulani website:

For the Disney Vacation Club Villas with full kitchens, the following amenities are also available:
Rice Cooker
Chopsticks (reusable)
Rice bowls
Miso bowls

rparmfamily
09-17-2011, 12:06 AM
Yes, they have a rice cooker as pictured. It's awesome! Chopsticks too!

emilymad
09-17-2011, 12:09 PM
Here are a few pictures of the lounge for those with late flights.

An almost identical seating area was on the other side of the room.

http://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt283/emilymad11/Hawaii/DSC04378.jpg

Women's restroom

http://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt283/emilymad11/Hawaii/DSC04377.jpg

http://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt283/emilymad11/Hawaii/DSC04376.jpg

Lockers in the restroom.

http://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt283/emilymad11/Hawaii/DSC04375.jpg

There was also a nice counter with a lot of plugs if you needed to use your laptop or recharge your phone. People were using it while I was there so I didn't take a picture.

dreamlinda
09-17-2011, 12:16 PM
THANKS!!!!:thumbsup2

MiaSRN62
09-17-2011, 01:00 PM
Great photos and info--thank you....did I see a refillable mug for $33 ?!! :faint:

emilymad
09-17-2011, 01:46 PM
Great photos and info--thank you....did I see a refillable mug for $33 ?!! :faint:

Yes, refillable mug is $33. It is a really nice insulated mug. I would say a similar mug at Target would probably cost $20. Much nicer than the ones in WDW. It kept our drinks nice and cold out in the sun. We shared one between us and it worked out well. We saw lots of people walking around with them.

Scrappy_Tink
09-18-2011, 01:12 PM
I think a good solution for the wrist band problem would be a pretty simple fix. When they leave your orchid and AWI for you for the next day, they leave your wrist bands for the next day too. That way, the only "extras" they'd hand out would be "lost" bands and people checking in that day (which they could give bands at check in)

I've already started a Hawaii folder, and we aren't going for three years :sad2:

Anyone having problems getting reservations 7 months out yet? Anyone brave enough to book during "Golden Week" (1st week of May) yet? :goodvibes

PrincessYessenia
09-18-2011, 01:58 PM
No problems booking 7 months out for us!

lilpooh108
09-18-2011, 07:40 PM
I hope someone can answer these questions :goodvibes

1. How much was Rainbow Reef?

2. Are the photopass cards the same as the ones you get in DLR or WDW? We're doing a late October WDW trip and I'd love to combine my photos on one photopass card to order just one CD

3. What was the quality of the food for counterservice, shave ice, snacks?

4. Are there lots of "free" umbrellas by the pool area for use? From what I can understand, the "for fee" chairs/umbrellas only apply to the beach area.

5. I'm trying to understand the DVC parking situation...I read somewhere that you hand your DVC member card to the valet to get a ticket...does that mean you self park then you find the valet to leave the parking lot...or that you just valet and its free? Thanks!

TIA~ :)

carlbarry
09-18-2011, 08:00 PM
I hope someone can answer these questions :goodvibes

1. How much was Rainbow Reef?



TIA~ :)

Rainbow Reef is adult/child $20/$15, length of stay $39/$29, and length of stay "recreation" (which includes other rentals--see above) is $99.

lilpooh108
09-18-2011, 08:06 PM
Rainbow Reef is adult/child $20/$15, length of stay $39/$29, and length of stay "recreation" (which includes other rentals--see above) is $99.

Thanks very much! :thumbsup2

bwvBound
09-18-2011, 08:57 PM
Rainbow Reef is adult/child $20/$15, length of stay $39/$29, and length of stay "recreation" (which includes other rentals--see above) is $99.The length of stay recreation rentals are not offered at this time. We asked yesterday as both Rainbow Reef and Joe's rentals had the option blacked out (taped over). All part of the ongoing tweaking.

bwvBound
09-18-2011, 09:00 PM
Yes, refillable mug is $33. It is a really nice insulated mug. I would say a similar mug at Target would probably cost $20. Much nicer than the ones in WDW. It kept our drinks nice and cold out in the sun. We shared one between us and it worked out well. We saw lots of people walking around with them.
The mugs we purchased on Saturday were $18 and change. They are of 'ok' quality that I wouldn't pay over $4 for from Target.

carlbarry
09-18-2011, 09:12 PM
The length of stay recreation rentals are not offered at this time. We asked yesterday as both Rainbow Reef and Joe's rentals had the option blacked out (taped over). All part of the ongoing tweaking.

I believe earlier in the thread, someone had inquired about thatat Aulani, and they were told something was not included that should have been under the rubrick "beach rentals." Maybe that clarification is part of the reason.

thewelts
09-18-2011, 10:59 PM
I'm curious to know if this returns. We are visiting in December. We were planning to utilize the $99 length of stay for recreational rentals, as we will be there for 7 days.

Please post updates and news.

PrincessYessenia
09-19-2011, 02:54 AM
I'm curious to know if this returns. We are visiting in December. We were planning to utilize the $99 length of stay for recreational rentals, as we will be there for 7 days.

Please post updates and news.

We will also be there for a week in December and I'm wondering the same thing...:rolleyes1

Podgieree
09-19-2011, 01:11 PM
The mugs we purchased on Saturday were $18 and change. They are of 'ok' quality that I wouldn't pay over $4 for from Target.

Which mugs are you referring to when you say that you paid $18.00?

bwvBound
09-19-2011, 01:44 PM
Which mugs are you referring to when you say that you paid $18.00?They were next to the refilling station in the general store and had heavy plastic inventory control tags that had to be removed by the cash register staff. They are tall plastic mugs with black interior and lid; outer layer is clear plastic with a colored paper insert. The paper inserts are patterened after the hallway wallpaper design, but offered with either red, blue, green or purple backgrounds. Do these match yours?

DisneyMomJen
09-19-2011, 02:11 PM
I would be really disappointed if they don't continue with the Length of Stay Recreation. My 3 teens really enjoyed this. I don't think their Aulani stay would have been as 'wonderful' since this package kept them busy for an hour or two each day while also letting them enjoy new experiences. I felt the teen club was extremely lacking. The kids ativities seemed geared to the 3 -7 year olds. This was the first week of opening.

carlbarry
09-19-2011, 02:40 PM
I would be really disappointed if they don't continue with the Length of Stay Recreation. My 3 teens really enjoyed this. I don't think their Aulani stay would have been as 'wonderful' since this package kept them busy for an hour or two each day while also letting them enjoy new experiences. I felt the teen club was extremely lacking. The kids ativities seemed geared to the 3 -7 year olds. This was the first week of opening.

If Disney found that people were signing up for this, and using it for many hours each day . . . I can easily see why they would drop it in favor of charging by the hour. They probably figured the Length of Stay would work like a gym membership: people pay and then hardly use it.
They know how to do the math, and will reconfigure to bring in the most bucks.

Podgieree
09-19-2011, 03:17 PM
They were next to the refilling station in the general store and had heavy plastic inventory control tags that had to be removed by the cash register staff. They are tall plastic mugs with black interior and lid; outer layer is clear plastic with a colored paper insert. The paper inserts are patterened after the hallway wallpaper design, but offered with either red, blue, green or purple backgrounds. Do these match yours?

I don't have any yet, but now I am confused as I thought that the refillable mugs were $33, not $18. My husband just asked me what my plans were regarding mugs. If they are $18 for the refillable ones, we will be purchasing them. Now I'm going to look at spa treatments for the day after we arrive.

bwvBound
09-19-2011, 03:30 PM
I don't have any yet, but now I am confused as I thought that the refillable mugs were $33, not $18. My husband just asked me what my plans were regarding mugs. If they are $18 for the refillable ones, we will be purchasing them. Now I'm going to look at spa treatments for the day after we arrive.We were told the price on refillable mugs dropped as part of the tweaking. At $18, these seem to be selling well (lots of folks are carrying the mugs). The refill station in the store has good coffee and nice selection of tea bags ... I think there were only sodas at the pool area refill station.

Podgieree
09-19-2011, 05:26 PM
We were told the price on refillable mugs dropped as part of the tweaking. At $18, these seem to be selling well (lots of folks are carrying the mugs). The refill station in the store has good coffee and nice selection of tea bags ... I think there were only sodas at the pool area refill station.

Thank you so much for the updated information. I really appreciate it!

bwvBound
09-19-2011, 06:50 PM
Went snorkeling off-property, but nearby. We had our own gear. The spot was easy to find using tips from the following web-site: http://www.hawaiisnorkelingguide.com/kahe_point_beach_park_snorkeling.html

Cambsuk
09-19-2011, 07:15 PM
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2792809

My trip report from opening week.

I am surprised they removed the length of stay option, I don't think anyone would really snorkel every day, but I guess Disney was losing money on that option.

I am also glad to see the price of the refillable cup go down, I would have bought it for $18 as a souvenier

DisneyFan68
09-19-2011, 09:29 PM
I heard there was supposed to be BBQs that guests would be able to use at Aulani. I didn't see any though. Does anyone know where they are located?

bwvBound
09-19-2011, 10:00 PM
I heard there was supposed to be BBQs that guests would be able to use at Aulani. I didn't see any though. Does anyone know where they are located?Sitting in storage right now. We were told they'll be installed on the island-view side of the Ewa tower. That space is still blocked off in construction.

mkymsehi
09-19-2011, 11:08 PM
I showed friends around the resort on Friday, and stayed from Saturday to Sunday.

I didn't bother to look at the refillable mugs, having seen them at $32.99 on opening day. Didn't notice if they were now $18.

The beach rental and Rainbow Reef rental shacks both had the $99 length of stay part taped over on the signs.

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/3e6237f9.jpg

Cambsuk
09-20-2011, 10:52 AM
I hope someone can answer these questions :goodvibes

2. Are the photopass cards the same as the ones you get in DLR or WDW? We're doing a late October WDW trip and I'd love to combine my photos on one photopass card to order just one CD
?

4. Are there lots of "free" umbrellas by the pool area for use? From what I can understand, the "for fee" chairs/umbrellas only apply to the beach area.


http://i1231.photobucket.com/albums/ee520/erikape/IMG_3401.jpg

As far as I know its a regular photopass card, I was able to use this same card last week at Disneyland without any problem. I haven't ordered any of the photos though so I am not sure about that part of it.

There are a few (like 5?) 'free' umbrellas on the beach that are closer to the JW and are a permanent feature of the beach, but there are no chairs, the chairs either belong to Disney or the JW.

Sorry I just read that you meant the pool area not the beach, there are umbrellas but not very many by the larger pools, its open and not covered. Also most of the ones they do have are taken quickly.

FullAB
09-20-2011, 02:19 PM
Thanks for all the feedback everyone! We are staying a week in a two bedroom pool view villa in late Feb. We cant wait!

mkymsehi
09-21-2011, 02:14 AM
I just had to call customer service at Photopass in Florida, to resolve issues with my cards issued at Aulani. When I uploaded to my account, it recognized my numbers, but the photos did not appear in my albums.

Speaking to a Cast Member, I had to describe days and approximate times we took photos with characters, or around the resort. Since I already had Disneyland photos from two weeks ago, she was able to see what I looked like, in order to go through the photos in their system. Once she found one, she could link up all the others. So my photos have been added to my account.

HOWEVER, the picture taken with Mickey at the Character Breakfast, did not come with the event number printed either on the boarder, or the back of the photo. The Aulani Photopass people had no clue that once you purchase a event photo, it can be added to a card or into my account with the event number. In fact, they won't scan your card when the picture is taken, but they photograph your dining reservation slip.

While you're dining, they come around and show you the photos, and ask you if you want to purchase. Another $32 added to your bill for one 5 x 7" of your family, with one 5 x 7" of Mickey and Minnie. Plus four 3 x 5's, of each of the two photos they take of you with Mickey at the entrance.

Make sure you deduct the $32 mentally from your bill, otherwise you're tipping on the higher amount including the photos.

I did have my photopass card with me from Disneyland, but they recommended I use the Aulani card, since the beginning part of the code is AULA NI_ _ _ _. There system is separate from the parks system.

As far as the umbrellas poolside. First come first served. Lifeguards and pool attendants work from 8 am to 8 pm. Early at 7 am, not many guests are up yet, and usually go to breakfast. By 9 am on Saturday, most of the umbrellas were taken. But on Sunday, less people were on property, and we scored a nice spot next to the Menehune Bridge kids play area. Stayed there ALL DAY LONG, and saw lots of other people come and go.

There is the option to rent a pool cabana. No idea what it costs, but if you've got the money, then splurge.

EDITED 2/14/12:

Disney Photopass has fixed their problem, and photos from Aulani now upload to their server in Florida. You can order photos online, or the photo CD. Big hint, pre-order the disc online BEFORE your trip for $99. It's more if ordering it at the resort.

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/ebfc6eb1.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/3178684a.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/2f82777b.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/667d810c.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/bdfc9115.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/c95d7278.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/9b2f116b.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/885da61e.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/fc9efbe0.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/2aa7d85b.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg92/mkymsehi/0e211783.jpg

emilymad
09-21-2011, 08:43 AM
I think the cabana is $275 for the day. At least that is what the pool attendant quoted the people in front of us in line for wrist bands. I only saw one of the cabana's in use during our stay. I want to say they had about 8 people in their group.

twinklebug
09-21-2011, 09:01 AM
Just curious, what is there to do onsite that does not cost extra?

So far I have: swimming, evening movie, community hall. I guess that's pretty typical of the other Disney resorts.

I'm far more familiar with SC and FL than HI so they don't feel as isolated to me.

What is there to do offsite but within a short drive? (<1 hr)

lilpooh108
09-21-2011, 09:56 AM
Cambsuk & Jeff,

Thanks so much for your responses to my questions! We're really looking forward to our December trip :goodvibes Hopefully the Photopass system will have worked out all of its glitches by then.

Thanks again!

bwvBound
09-21-2011, 10:43 AM
Just curious, what is there to do onsite that does not cost extra?

So far I have: swimming, evening movie, community hall. I guess that's pretty typical of the other Disney resorts.

What is there to do offsite but within a short drive? (<1 hr)Note that the 'Evening Movie,' shown in the Painted Sky Spa, is only for Tweens and Teens. It isn't a family movie night as it might be if shown poolside, on the beach, etc. Additional on-property free activities, add: character meet'n'greets, Menehune Adventure Trail; pin trading; story telling with Uncle; and morning exercise program (7a daily; activity varies).

Offsite, nearby: swap meet at the Aloha Stadium ($1 pp entrance; lots of souvenir products; Sa/Su/W); beaches!; USS Arizona Memorial with related historical center and attractions.

If you enjoy snorkeling -- either bring or rent gear and have fun visiting various beaches. For intermediate/advanced swimmers, there is an excellent snorkeling spot just west of the Ko Olina property (really short drive).

carlbarry
09-21-2011, 10:49 AM
According to the scans of the daily activities posted previously, other free activities include:
Sunrise yoga, Total Body Circuit, Fish Feeding Viewing at Rainbow Reef, Maka'Ika'I the Nature and Wildlife of Aulani for Adults, Aloha Fun With Disney Friends, Shake A Shaka Pool party with Disney Friends, Aloha Fun! with Disney Friends, Aloha Welcome to Aulani, Mo'Olelo Fire Pit Storytelling, Po La'Ila'I Sunset Gathering, Teen Ukelele, and so forth.

bwvBound
09-22-2011, 01:51 PM
Just back from Yoga on the lagoon (free activity). Wow - it was a fantastic workout and we feel g-r-e-a-t (if not a little like Gumby). We also enjoyed the 2.3 mile power walk yesterday morning. I highly recommend joining the 7A fitness activity!

TreesyB
09-22-2011, 08:07 PM
Just back from Yoga on the lagoon (free activity). Wow - it was a fantastic workout and we feel g-r-e-a-t (if not a little like Gumby). We also enjoyed the 2.3 mile power walk yesterday morning. I highly recommend joining the 7A fitness activity!

I am looking forward to that! And then I won't have jet lag when we go home!

bwvBound
09-22-2011, 09:05 PM
Just back from lunch at Ama Ama. Oh! They have a good selection of Press Pot tea varieties on the desert menu. Next time, we'll order the tea early in the meal! The press pot made at least 4 mugs of tea and is easily shared by two.

bwvBound
09-24-2011, 02:18 PM
Note that the 'Evening Movie,' shown in the Painted Sky Spa, is only for Tweens and Teens. It isn't a family movie night as it might be if shown poolside, on the beach, etc. I was wrong! The resort offered a family movie night out on the wedding garden lawn last night. We watched The Little Mermaid while sitting on woven mats. Perhaps they didn't have these earlier through the week due to media events?

Disneyfn420
09-26-2011, 11:01 AM
Just wanted to say I just got back from Hawaii and 4 nights at Aulani. Everyone in my party LOVED it...and several were not Disney fans. We had a 2BR and a studio, both DVC. I snorkeled in both the lagoon and Rainbow reef...had a great time...tons of fish in the lagoon. Cast members were top notch. It was empty when we were there..could walk up for reservations in all the restaurants...only time it was crowded was our last day which was a Saturday and we left for our cruise. The character breakfast was packed. If anyone has any questions, let me know.

carlbarry
09-26-2011, 11:33 AM
Just wanted to say I just got back from Hawaii and 4 nights at Aulani. Everyone in my party LOVED it...and several were not Disney fans. We had a 2BR and a studio, both DVC. I snorkeled in both the lagoon and Rainbow reef...had a great time...tons of fish in the lagoon. Cast members were top notch. It was empty when we were there..could walk up for reservations in all the restaurants...only time it was crowded was our last day which was a Saturday and we left for our cruise. The character breakfast was packed. If anyone has any questions, let me know.

So is it worth paying for Rainbow Reef if the lagoon is so good for snorkeling? Thanks.

Jaaron2
09-26-2011, 05:21 PM
We are planning a two week Aulani vacation in July / August....The wait for 7 months (to book) is killing me :crazy2: We just want to lock in our dates so we can book our flights and begin planning...... We tried to book cash in advance (so we can lock in our dates) but they havent released any cash rooms yet :eek:

We checked the regular room rate for our stay (we are planning on July 28 to Aug 11) and it was...... sit down.......$24,800.00.......who said DVC doesnt pay.

vacationclub
09-26-2011, 05:48 PM
Sorry I didn't see this thread earlier.

We were at Aulani just after Labor day. I was in Hawaii for vacation and some work. I'm a freelance TV cameraman, and own a video production company. Since I had 3 HD cameras with me....of course I covered it. I put together a travel channel style review: An Inside Look at Aulani. (Also has some excursions covered.)

http://vimeo.com/29434941

PrincessYessenia
09-26-2011, 06:15 PM
Sorry I didn't see this thread earlier.

We were at Aulani just after Labor day. I was in Hawaii for vacation and some work. I'm a freelance TV cameraman, and own a video production company. Since I had 3 HD cameras with me....of course I covered it. I put together a travel channel style review: An Inside Look at Aulani. (Also has some excursions covered.)

http://vimeo.com/29434941

Awesome! Thanks for sharing! :thumbsup2

bwvBound
09-26-2011, 06:34 PM
So is it worth paying for Rainbow Reef if the lagoon is so good for snorkeling? Thanks.Lots of variables involved!

Lagoons:
* May have some issues with clarity depending on ocean conditions.
* No lifeguards on duty.
* Provide your own gear (rentals are available).
* The fish tend to hang near the rocky landscapes. These spaces will be near the ocean-side of the lagoon, not the shoreline. You must be both brave and strong enough to swim across the lagoon to the spaces near the inlets.
* You are swimming in the ocean. Could be scary to many!
* You might see larger critters ... sea turtles, reef shark and (reportedly) hammerhead.

Rainbow Reef:
* Visibility and water conditions are generally consistent.
* Well monitored with CMs.
* Appropriate equipment is provided.
* Pretty certain viewing of a good variety of fish.
* Environment is structured, contained and very safe.

I think some will prefer the lagoons and others, who might not even consider the lagoons or open ocean, will try Rainbow Reef. Especially if visibility is poor at the time they wish to snorkel.

mamaprincess
09-26-2011, 07:06 PM
Sorry I didn't see this thread earlier.

We were at Aulani just after Labor day. I was in Hawaii for vacation and some work. I'm a freelance TV cameraman, and own a video production company. Since I had 3 HD cameras with me....of course I covered it. I put together a travel channel style review: An Inside Look at Aulani. (Also has some excursions covered.)

http://vimeo.com/29434941

That was beautifully shot, edited and narrated. Thanks so much for sharing.

carlbarry
09-26-2011, 07:14 PM
Lots of variables involved!

Lagoons:
* May have some issues with clarity depending on ocean conditions.
* No lifeguards on duty.
* Provide your own gear (rentals are available).
* The fish tend to hang near the rocky landscapes. These spaces will be near the ocean-side of the lagoon, not the shoreline. You must be both brave and strong enough to swim across the lagoon to the spaces near the inlets.
* You are swimming in the ocean. Could be scary to many!
* You might see larger critters ... sea turtles, reef shark and (reportedly) hammerhead.

Rainbow Reef:
* Visibility and water conditions are generally consistent.
* Well monitored with CMs.
* Appropriate equipment is provided.
* Pretty certain viewing of a good variety of fish.
* Environment is structured, contained and very safe.

I think some will prefer the lagoons and others, who might not even consider the lagoons or open ocean, will try Rainbow Reef. Especially if visibility is poor at the time they wish to snorkel.

Thanks! I'm definitely going to try the lagoon.

bwvBound
09-26-2011, 07:22 PM
Thanks! I'm definitely going to try the lagoon.C'mon -- think BIGGER! You should aim to try all four lagoons (we saw sea turtles in three of the four) ... and possibly open ocean at off-property beaches? Google Electric Beach to see if it might interest you?

carlbarry
09-26-2011, 07:32 PM
C'mon -- think BIGGER! You should aim to try all four lagoons (we saw sea turtles in three of the four) ... and possibly open ocean at off-property beaches? Google Electric Beach to see if it might interest you?

Ha! Oh yes, of course. Hanauma Bay, and Kahe Point a.k.a Electric Beach (even though I've been told it's in a "bad" area) . . .
Now by "lagoons" (plural) does that mean other lagoons neighboring the ones at Aulani?
Thanks again.

bwvBound
09-26-2011, 07:39 PM
Now by "lagoons" (plural) does that mean other lagoons neighboring the ones at Aulani?Right! I'm referring to the four man-made lagoons along the Ko Olina coastline. You might also want to venture to the natural lagoon and beaches just beyond the neighboring Marriott hotel (exit Aulani at the coastal walk, turn right and follow the trail to where the pavement ends ... keep going ... happy exploring!).

Disneyfn420
09-26-2011, 08:54 PM
I did the lagoon and Rainbow Reef and enjoyed both. I am not a strong swimmer and I had no trouble as long as I staayed within Aulani property. The water was very buoyant and I had flippers. Not as many fish there though. And water wasn't as clear. I did a snorkel excursion on our cruise and water was very clear but didn't see many fish. In rainbow Reef it was awesome as I was going against "traffic" and had hundreds of fish coming at me a few times...was very cool. As a beginner I loved being in a protected environment for my first time. Made me do the other excursion later on!


Lots of variables involved!

Lagoons:
* May have some issues with clarity depending on ocean conditions.
* No lifeguards on duty.
* Provide your own gear (rentals are available).
* The fish tend to hang near the rocky landscapes. These spaces will be near the ocean-side of the lagoon, not the shoreline. You must be both brave and strong enough to swim across the lagoon to the spaces near the inlets.
* You are swimming in the ocean. Could be scary to many!
* You might see larger critters ... sea turtles, reef shark and (reportedly) hammerhead.

Rainbow Reef:
* Visibility and water conditions are generally consistent.
* Well monitored with CMs.
* Appropriate equipment is provided.
* Pretty certain viewing of a good variety of fish.
* Environment is structured, contained and very safe.

I think some will prefer the lagoons and others, who might not even consider the lagoons or open ocean, will try Rainbow Reef. Especially if visibility is poor at the time they wish to snorkel.