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View Full Version : Aulani 1BR Pool View stay 12/3 - 5, 2011 TR


spleen
12-04-2011, 05:41 PM
Decided to do a trip report for our Aulani stay so I can share the many photos that we took along the way. We like to eat and so many of the photos will have to do with food - hopefully you'll join us for the adventure!

We checked into Aulani on 12/3/11 for a extended weekend stay. We had a late start getting there because my daughter goes to Saturday school and ended that day at 1:20 PM. It had been a big secret that we had kept from the kids that we were going to Aulani. They LOVE going to hotels and the fact that this was a Disney hotel would make it extra special! :woohoo:

My wife and I had done such a great job of keeping it from them until the day of the trip. My mother had dropped her off at school that morning because I had to work that morning and on the way to school, my daughter mentioned to my mother that I was picking her up from school afterwards. To which my mother said, "Oh, that's right, because you're going to that Disney hotel, right?" My daughter responded to this with "WHAT??? REALLY!??" :eek:

In all fairness, I hadn't told my mother specifically not to tell the kids about the fact that we were going to Aulani but really didn't think that it would have come up during conversation … :guilty: My fault (kicking myself under the table)

In any case, we picked her up from school and headed off to Aulani after two stops at Foodland (local supermarket) to pick up some odds and ends and Costco to pick up steaks, eggs, and milk. After which, we were headed to our home for the next 2 days! We had rented points to stay at a 1 BR pool view villa since we had tied up all of our points for a 1 wk stay at BLT this summer. We had done online check in 10 days prior and once we got there, after the customary lei greeting, they handed us our room keys which were all ready to go and we headed off to our room with bellman Jonathan with our luggage.

We quickly unloaded our groceries into the kitchen while Jonathan brought in our bags. At the end, he asked whether we had any reservations for dining for our stay. I mentioned that I had checked online for reservations for the character breakfast at Makahiki for tomorrow morning but everything seemed to be sold out. He offered to check with the concierge to see if there was anything that could be done and we quickly agreed. I headed off to self park the car (valet had graciously offered to keep the car on the side for the short time while we checked in and brought up our bags) and when walking back to our room, ran into Jonathan who was walking back to our room with a 8:15 AM reservation at Makahiki for the next morning! :cool1: Needless to say, we tipped well, lol! :dance3:

While the family continued to unpack, I rushed around the villa to take pictures before we totally destroyed it.

Kitchen:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-01.jpg

Bathroom with rain shower:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-02.jpg

Close up of shower:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-03.jpg

Bath with look through into the master bedroom:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-04.jpg

Close up of bath:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-05.jpg

Vanity in master bath:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-06.jpg

Bed in master bedroom:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-07.jpg

Living room with bunk bed under the TV pulled out:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-08.jpg

Dining table with kitchen in background and two munchkins eating a snack of cinnamon rolls brought from home:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-09.jpg

Living room with the sofa bed (folded up):
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-10.jpg

Balcony in living room:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-11.jpg

View from balcony (pool view room):
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-12.jpg

View from balcony (pool view room) - looking to left:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-13.jpg

View from balcony (pool view room) - looking to right:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-14.jpg

View from balcony (pool view room) - looking up at the Ewa tower:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-15.jpg

Details of columns along outside of building by our balcony:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-16.jpg

More to come!

Doug7856
12-04-2011, 05:56 PM
Wow, thanks for the wonderful pictures!

arthur06
12-04-2011, 06:22 PM
Wonderful pictures! Looks amazing.

wdrl
12-04-2011, 06:26 PM
Thanks for sharing your photos! Aulani looks great! Could you see the sunset from your balcony?

Which floor were you on? I know the Ewa Building has Pool View rooms on the 3rd and 4th floors, but the second building is suppose to have pool views on floors 1-5.

DenLo
12-04-2011, 06:27 PM
Wonderful pictures, especially of your beautiful children. Thanks for posting a TR. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your long weekend.

spleen
12-04-2011, 06:29 PM
Thanks Doug for following along!

After hanging out in the room for a while, it was getting close to dinner time. We had decided not to eat dinner at Aulani since it had sounded like that they were still working out kinks in dining and instead had made reservations at Azul next door at the J.W. Marriott Ihilani. But before we headed there, we had decided that we were going to have the kids eat dinner and hang out at Auntie's Beach House (kids club) to give us adults some "adult time" while eating dinner. Imagine, dinner without having to worry about the kids spilling and making a mess, making too much noise, getting bored with the meal

So we headed out of the room and through the lobby. I have a new fascination with light fixtures after reading lisaviolet's trip reports. Here's a random wall sconce I found:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-17.jpg

And another light fixture that's mixed in a flock of paper (?) birds:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-18.jpg

We took the stairs down past the lobby that leads to Makahiki on the way out to the pool area:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-19.jpg

Walking through the pool area:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-20.jpg

Something about this view struck me so I took a pic of it:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-21.jpg

Then we arrived at Auntie's Beach House. Can you believe, we spent the next 30 minutes here getting the kids set up for their kids club visit and I didn't take a SINGLE PICTURE that entire time? :lmao: I promise that I will get more pictures of this area before we leave.

You can order dinner to be served to your kids while they're at Auntie's and we had planned on doing this. Unfortunately, it turned out that the time deadline to do so is by 4:30 PM the day of so we had missed it by around 1 hour :sad2: This was going to cause a problem because we had dinner reservations in about 45 minutes from now and we had to figure out how to feed the kids. For anybody else who wants to order dinner for their kids at the kids club, REMEMBER TO PUT IN YOUR ORDER BY 4:30 PM that day.

So frantically, trying to come up with options, we rushed over to the next door One Paddle, Two Paddle to order some take out food for the kids.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-22.jpg

We ended up ordering the angus cheeseburger kids meals for them and sat down to wait. My daughter decided to try to amuse me while we were waiting by making faces at me:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-45.jpg

I don't have any pictures of the cheeseburgers - let's just say that they were pretty forgettable and the kids didn't finish them (though my son did finish off the fruit cup that his meal came with). May have something to do with the fact that the burgers had the consistency of hockey pucks. :roll eyes:

After the kids were safely deposited at Auntie's (they tore through the door like there was a lion after them or something), we headed off to the Ihilani. A dusk view of the Aulani main hall:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-23.jpg

We walked down to the lagoons and took the short (2-3 minute) walk to the Ihilani. Beautiful pool that they have but nothing at all like what Aulani has.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-33.jpg

The main dining room at Azul at the Ihilani:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-24.jpg

Azul apparently recently changed their menu. They used to be a Mediterranean restaurant but now have turned into an Italian restaurant (which doesn't quite fit with their name Azul which is "blue" in Spanish but oh well). My wife's parents had joined us for this meal so we had a relaxing meal sans kids.

Carpaccio:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-25.jpg

Lobster bisque:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-26.jpg

Seafood risotto:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-30.jpg

Lobster pasta:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-29.jpg

Maui prawns in white wine sauce:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-27.jpg

King crab ravioli:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-28.jpg

We were all full at this time but figured to go for the gusto so ordered dessert as well.

Tiramisu:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-32.jpg

Maui gold pineapple tart:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-31.jpg

More to come!

spleen
12-04-2011, 06:41 PM
Wonderful pictures! Looks amazing.
Thanks arthur06 - so far it's been pretty amazing!

Thanks for sharing your photos! Aulani looks great! Could you see the sunset from your balcony?

Which floor were you on? I know the Ewa Building has Pool View rooms on the 3rd and 4th floors, but the second building is suppose to have pool views on floors 1-5.

Thanks for following along, wdrl! We're on the 3rd floor (i.e. lobby floor) of the Waianae building so we're facing the wrong way to see sunset.

Wonderful pictures, especially of your beautiful children. Thanks for posting a TR. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your long weekend.

Thanks DenLo for the compliments on the kids and the pictures! Of course, my wife and I are sort of biased but we agree with you! :rotfl:

spleen
12-04-2011, 07:16 PM
After dinner, we were stuffed! We waddled back to Aulani, following the same path that we took to get to Ihilani. The gates that lead into Ihilani from the lagoons are key card operated. It's sort of a challenge to do this at night when you can't tell which way your key card is supposed to go in and after drinking wine!

More light fixtures on the walk back in Aulani:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-34.jpg

And walking up the staircase by Makahiki and admiring the Xmas decorations:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-35.jpg

We had to get a receipt for $35 to get my in-laws parking covered so we decided to peek into the resort store to see what damage we could do. First thing I saw were these Mickey dolls in Hawaiian (local) theming:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-36.jpg

And these lunch? boxes also caught my attention:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-37.jpg

More colorful clothing for sale along with mugs and water containers
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-38.jpg

And the infamous Aulani Dooney bags:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-39.jpg

After all of this, we spent enough to EASILY get their parking covered and we saw them off. On the way back to the room, we walked through the lobby again and I liked the lighting enough to take more pictures.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-40.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-41.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-42.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-43.jpg

And last but not least, a picture of one of Aulani's Xmas trees:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-44.jpg

Thus ended our first (short) day at Aulani!

More to come when I get the pictures from today loaded and edited!

deedisneydream97
12-04-2011, 08:02 PM
That food looks great!!! How were the menu prices?

Thanks for all the beautiful pictures of the resort. I wonder when they take the Christmas decorations down? Hoping to maybe catch a glimpse when we get there early January. Love the pics of your kiddies at the table in your room. Is there only one bathroom in the one bedrooms? I was hoping for a BLT-type set-up...but I am thinking "no".

Kathymford
12-04-2011, 09:39 PM
Your pictures are great. I can't wait to go just to take the pictures!! I have no plans to go just yet, but these are great. Christmas at Aulani sounds like something to think about! :rolleyes1

SmilingGrump
12-04-2011, 10:09 PM
Maui gold pineapple tart:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-31.jpg

More to come!

How was this? I'm a sucker for tiramasu, but I'm trying to branch out and when we go to Aulani in Feb, this might be tempting!

lisaviolet
12-04-2011, 10:44 PM
What gorgeous shots! :love: My goodness, it all looks like an Aulani brochure.

Thank you so much spleen. Truly. I can't wait to go one day. I have to save up for THAT airfare. One day!

Now I'm going back to actually read the TR. I was so distracted by your beautiful photographs.

lisaviolet
12-04-2011, 11:04 PM
We like to eat and so many of the photos will have to do with food - hopefully you'll join us for the adventure!



For food, outstanding photos and Hawaii? What a very difficult decision spleen. ;)



In all fairness, I hadn't told my mother specifically not to tell the kids about the fact that we were going to Aulani but really didn't think that it would have come up during conversation :guilty: My fault



This killed me. You didn't think it would come up in conversation? I love it! :rotfl2: ;) ;)


At the end, he asked whether we had any reservations for dining for our stay. I mentioned that I had checked online for reservations for the character breakfast at Makahiki for tomorrow morning but everything seemed to be sold out. He offered to check with the concierge to see if there was anything that could be done and we quickly agreed.



How lovely. Truly. It's wonderful to feel like you're being looked after. On this last trip a CM met us at the door to BCV and took us directly to a check-in CM - it's a lovely touch that makes you feel very special.

Nice! :goodvibes



While the family continued to unpack, I rushed around the villa to take pictures before we totally destroyed it.



I never get that picture on any trip. I must get it in the first ten seconds or not at all. ;)




Bath with look through into the master bedroom:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-04.jpg



I ADORE this shot. Totally looks like professional adverstising.



Bed in master bedroom:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-07.jpg



Wow.

I'm not a fan of the kitchen but this is lovely.



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-09.jpg



Munchkins. :rotfl2: What a perfect name. :love:



Living room with the sofa bed (folded up):
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-10.jpg




Lovely.




More to come!

Can't wait to read more and take in your photographs. Hope you're having fun spleen.

lisaviolet
12-04-2011, 11:27 PM
But before we headed there, we had decided that we were going to have the kids eat dinner and hang out at Auntie's Beach House (kids club) to give us adults some "adult time" while eating dinner. Imagine, dinner without having to worry about the kids spilling and making a mess, making too much noise, getting bored with the meal



Nice!

I hate to ramble on YOUR TR but I think I will. :goodvibes Adult time - lost these days. My parents have been married for 55 years. I'm sure their marriage wasn't perfect but I truly believe that it was successful because they ALWAYS had them time. Always. Full social life without the kids.

Back then I often wondered why I couldn't go here or there (they took us many places as well). But now I understand the importance.

So good for you guys.

Hope you had a lovely dinner.



So we headed out of the room and through the lobby. I have a new fascination with light fixtures after reading lisaviolet's trip reports. Here's a random wall sconce I found:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-17.jpg

And another light fixture that's mixed in a flock of paper (?) birds:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-18.jpg



So funny! :rotfl2:

And fine work. :thumbsup2



We took the stairs down past the lobby that leads to Makahiki on the way out to the pool area:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-19.jpg





Great shot! Love the wood carving.



Then we arrived at Auntie's Beach House. Can you believe, we spent the next 30 minutes here getting the kids set up for their kids club visit and I didn't take a SINGLE PICTURE that entire time? :lmao:



:laughing:




We ended up ordering the angus cheeseburger kids meals for them and sat down to wait. My daughter decided to try to amuse me while we were waiting by making faces at me:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-45.jpg



What a great photograph. :surfweb: Cute.




A dusk view of the Aulani main hall:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-23.jpg



Breathtaking. :love: My goodness - do you do this for a living? What a gorgeous photograph.





King crab ravioli:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-28.jpg

!

Yum.

lisaviolet
12-04-2011, 11:29 PM
Maui gold pineapple tart:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-31.jpg


Great photograph.

And I too would like to know how it was - lovely presentation that's for sure.

It's sort of a challenge to do this at night when you can't tell which way your key card is supposed to go in and after drinking wine!



:laughing: Funny.





More light fixtures on the walk back in Aulani:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-34.jpg



And now you see why I have the light fixture FIXATION. :rotfl2: SEE!

So pretty.



First thing I saw were these Mickey dolls in Hawaiian (local) theming:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-36.jpg



More colorful clothing for sale along with mugs and water containers
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-38.jpg



Loved these shots.



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-40.jpg



Wow, the lighting is gorgeous.




Thus ended our first (short) day at Aulani!

More to come when I get the pictures from today loaded and edited!

I wish you were staying for a week. :3dglasses I guess you do too, eh? :rotfl2:

oktracy
12-05-2011, 12:33 AM
Absolutely loving this trip report and the photos, oh my!!! It feels like I am right there with you. Thanks a million.

oktracy
12-05-2011, 12:45 AM
Absolutely loving this trip report and the photos, oh my!!! It feels like I am right there with you. Thanks a million.

spleen
12-05-2011, 01:40 AM
Thanks to all for the compliments and so happy to have lisaviolet following along! I'm always looking to improve my photography skills so I appreciate the positive (and even any negative) criticism. ;)

To answer some of the questions - the 1 BR has 1 toilet, 1 rainshower shower stall, 1 bathtub, and 2 sinks (not counting the kitchen sink). The 2nd toilet would have been nice but was not to be. The meal at Ihilani's Azul was very worthwhile and I would definitely do it again. Entrees were in the $20s to 30s so typical resort pricing and cheaper than a lot of WDW's signature restaurants :lmao: The pineapple tart was surprisingly light and the a la mode macadamia nut ice cream was just the right touch. We liked it better than the tiramisu (which was also very good but not as good as the tart).

Now to get back to loading, editing, and uploading more photos ... :surfweb:

moredisneyplease
12-05-2011, 08:01 AM
Great pictures! thanks for sharing! and i love, love, LOVE that trundle bed under the TV! Sooo smart!

ciao_gina
12-05-2011, 12:22 PM
Thanks for the Azul recommendation

I found the website FYI

http://www.ihilani.com/Oahu-Hawaii-Restaurants/Azul-17.html

spleen
12-05-2011, 06:41 PM
Our 2nd day at Aulani. We had managed to score a last minute character breakfast through our awesome bellboy, Jonathan, and we were excited to start off the day with a visit with Mickey and friends!

A quick post of the Mickey lamp in the room to get the day off right (this is for you lisaviolet!):
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-46.jpg

As a reminder, this is the entrance to the Makahiki restaurant, the buffet restaurant at Aulani that hosts the character breakfast on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday (posted in yesterday's photos):
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-19.jpg

The inside of the restaurant is very colorful!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-47.jpg

After we checked in at the restaurant, they led us to the line for a Mickey greeting:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-48.jpg

And their meeting and hugs with Mickey:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-49.jpg

And throughout the meal, we had visits by Minnie and Goofy:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-51.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-52.jpg

Auntie from Auntie's Beach House came by to sing a few songs and to get the kids up and parading around:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-50.jpg

Between the character visits and the parading and the getting of food for the kids, I don't think that i got to eat very much, lol! What I had was pretty good though - it was divided into pastries, salad, cold starters (like smoked salmon, cold cuts, and the like), along with hot entrees such as eggs, bacon, sausage, eggs benedict, a pineapple spiced ham (didn't try) and a smattering of Asian choices (congee, dim sum dumplings, fried rice, and miso soup). The kids had their own separate mini buffet with Mickey waffles, dollar pancakes, turkey bacon, and eggs. Sorry, didn't manage to grab any pics of the food itself, my bad! Our waiter was awesome - brought us some pineapple coconut bread to start, kept refilling my coffee and juice, and even got us take out cups of juice to go when we were getting ready to leave.

Walking out of Makahiki and admiring the rooftops of the main hall:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-54.jpg

It's a beautiful day in Hawaii!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-55.jpg

Kids are having a ball, running around and acting silly:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-56.jpg

And we run into Stitch on one of the pathways!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-57.jpg

The lobby looks very different during the daytime:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-58.jpg

And there are serene areas like this as well:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-59.jpg

Never did find out what this was in the lobby - the next time someone's at Aulani and they get a chance to ask a cast member, I'd appreciate it if they could fill me in :rotfl:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-60.jpg

We went swimming after this but don't have any pictures because I didn't bring the camera down. So the rest of the morning was spent swimming and having a ball with the lazy river and the kids swimming in the pool. We got out right around 11:30 or so - kids went back to the villa to eat leftover hamburger hockey pucks. My wife was still full from breakfast so decided to skip lunch. I felt the need for a bite so went back to One Paddle, Two Paddle to get the fish tacos which were just as good as people have said they are (sorry again, no pic - I'm slipping on my pictures of food!). Then we all took a nap in the villa.

After an hour or two, the kids woke up and wanted to go back to Auntie's Beach House to hang out but before this, we decided to do the Menehune Adventure Trail. This is a scavenger hunt like only Disney can do with high tech gadgets and using Disney magic to make an interactive adventure. There are many different versions of it and so it encourages you to keep playing. The 6 y.o. liked it. It was probably over our 3 y.o's head. Target audience is probably a little older than our daughter - probably 8 and higher would be best. My wife and I liked it so much, we kept playing even after our kids went to Auntie's! I won't give away any details about the hunt - you'll need to do the trail yourself to be delighted by your discoveries! :hyper:

You start by picking up your communicator at the Community Hall, located on the 1st floor of the Ewa tower:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-61.jpg

On the far end of the hall, there's a sitting area playing Disney movies that can be a great distractor for the kids as well.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-62.jpg

We picked up our communicator and started to follow the clues. There's a valley version and a lobby version - we chose to do the valley version today which takes you all around the Waikolohe Valley.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-63.jpg

The sun's out and it's definitely starting to warm up:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-64.jpg

Trying to understand our first clue:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-65.jpg

Like I said, holding our daughter's attention really well. Our son's attention is wandering.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-66.jpg

The search takes us to various displays and spots around the valley.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-67.jpg

Admiring the view from one of the bridges into the lazy river:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-68.jpg

to be continued!

DVC Doc
12-05-2011, 08:42 PM
Great TR! You're getting me so excited for my trip to Aulani in 6 DAYS!!!

travlrmel
12-05-2011, 10:34 PM
I/we were going to do a TR and found your post. Noticed that the Christmas garlands were up in your pics, we watched them put them up last Monday. Probably saw you there.

rascalmom
12-05-2011, 11:15 PM
Loving your trip report!! The pictures are great and your munchkins are adorable!

spleen
12-06-2011, 03:16 AM
The kids were getting thirsty after all the walking around and they were clamoring for shave ice so off we went!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-78.jpg

Christmas decorations along the front of the shave ice shack near the children's pool:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-79.jpg

My daughter wanted to get a rainbow shave ice but they didn't have strawberry. Then we wanted to do POG flavor (passion fruit - orange - guava) but they were out of guava. So we settled for passion fruit - orange instead. It was still good enough to make my daughter's eyes roll back! It's not Waiola or Ailana or Your Kitchen shave ice but it was still pretty good!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-80.jpg

Sweet tooth fed, it was time to drop off the kids at Auntie's Beach House. We had learned our lesson from the night before and had ordered them dinner to eat at the Beach House since the kids really wanted to eat there. Auntie's was also doing Chip and Dale's Beach Party at the Beach House that night which included dinner for the kids as well and initially was planning on having them do that but after finding out that they wanted $80+ per kid (!!!!!), we decided to skip that and just do a regular dinner to be served them at the Beach House and have them just play there instead. (Me "What do you think, should we sign them up for the Beach Party?" Wife "Are you crazy!?? We're not paying that much!") Cast members did think that it was the best event at Auntie's but sheepishly admitted the price was a little steep. A little!? :rotfl2:

At Auntie's Beach House - not sure if those oversized Xmas lights are there all the time or are up as Xmas decoration? They seem awfully big to put up temporarily though. :)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-69.jpg

Close up of the porch which is themed great!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-70.jpg

They make all the kids wash their hands when entering the Beach House (as a health professional, I heartily approve!)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-71.jpg

Lots of dress up wear for the kids to play with:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-72.jpg

and more on the other side of the room:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-73.jpg

The inside rooms are Uncle's Garage. The "windows" in this room are actually video monitors that change scenes. It's really cool to watch!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-74.jpg

This interactive touch sensitive game table was very cool too - think of it like a table sized iPad
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-75.jpg

Wall decorations inside the Garage:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-76.jpg

'Ama 'Ama is located right outside Auntie's so I took a picture of their sign on the way out:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-77.jpg

I didn't have much of the shave ice since the kids demolished most of it - on the way back to the villa, I dropped by the general store and was happy to find that I could satisfy my Mickey ice cream bar fix at Aulani:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-81.jpg

Though I ended up getting a Mickey ice cream sandwich instead - there's just something about the mixture of the chocolate cookie and the vanilla ice cream … yum. I'm also a big fan of Oreo ice cream sandwiches too, if you couldn't guess. :goodvibes

While eating my ice cream and sharing it with my wife (I know better than not to!), we wandered past the children waiting area across from the front desk in the lobby. Really cute how they've set it up.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-82.jpg

We ended up spending the rest of the afternoon kicking back in the villa, watching Ratatouille that we rented from the community hall (we've somehow missed watching it all these years, despite us being foodies). Then we dragged out the prime steaks that we had bought from Costco the other day and started prepping them.

Spleen's recipe for Asian-flavored steak prepared in an Aulani DVC villa (we're Japanese so this works for us)
I usually do this at home with more ingredients and with a cast iron pan but I wanted to do this relatively minimally and with spices and ingredients that we could use for other things so here goes:
Ingredients: steak, salt, pepper, garlic salt, olive oil, butter, soy sauce
1) take roasting pan out of bottom compartment of oven. Take off top grill and place the pan by itself in the oven. Set oven to bake at 500 degrees.
2) take steak and pat dry with paper towels. Take black pepper and coarse salt (we used ground sea salt but any type of salt would work) and sprinkle both sides of the steak. Sprinkle garlic salt to taste as well.
3) apply olive oil (rec. not extra virgin - this dish doesn't need the extra expense) to both sides of the steak until all surfaces are coated. Of course, if all you have is EVOO, feel free to use it.
4) heat the largest frying pan you can find in the DVC kitchen (looks to be about a 10 inch nonstick skillet) on high. Wait until skillet is REALLY hot
5) place steak in the frying pan to sear 30-45 seconds each side.
6) take steak out of frying pan using tongs in the DVC kitchen and place in the oven on the roasting pan in the oven and close door.
7) after 1 minute (for 1 inch steak and for medium rare - adjust cooking time to suit doneness), flip over steak in roasting pan for another minute. During this period, cut up a few pats of butter - unsalted is better but if all you have is salted, adjust salt in initial step to compensate. Open soy sauce (I use leftover soy sauce packets that come from sushi restaurants for ease of travel - two packets work well) and pour into bowl (about 1-2 tbsp)
8) after the last minute is up, open oven door, place pats of butter over surface of steak, and pour soy sauce over steak and butter and let butter melt - about 30 seconds or so.
9) pull steak out to rest on plate for 1-2 minutes Let butter and soy sauce mixture continue to cook in the roasting pan for another 30 seconds or so and then pull out and pour over steak (or reserve on the side).
10) serve with cooked rice (made in the Aulani rice cooker) and salad (salad in a bag with dressing using the olive oil)

Once again, no picture!! We were too hungry to wait for the pics, sorry. You'll have to use your imaginations as to how the steak came out. But it was good. :yay: And we were stuffed. Before we knew it, it was time to go downstairs to pick up the kids and put them to bed.

to be continued!

spleen
12-06-2011, 03:16 AM
On the way back to Auntie's, these anthuriums struck my eye:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-83.jpg

And more Xmas garlands strung up:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-84.jpg

Outside of Auntie's, looking up at the wall murals on the outside of the Aulani building.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-86.jpg

Walking back through the lobby, we were walking through the main foyer when a burst of light underfoot caught our eye
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-87.jpg

What was that? I ended up watching for a few more minutes. And then we saw this:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-88.jpg

And then this:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-89.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-90.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-91.jpg

Very mysterious! But more of that hidden Disney magic that hits us when we least expect it!

Time to go to bed! And thus ended our 2nd day at Aulani. But to end the day, a shot of the lamp in our living room with another Mickey!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-92.jpg

to be continued!

spleen
12-06-2011, 03:29 AM
Great pictures! thanks for sharing! and i love, love, LOVE that trundle bed under the TV! Sooo smart!

wasn't it? I thought so too - such a great way to make it blend into the room! Thanks for the compliments!

Thanks for the Azul recommendation

I found the website FYI

http://www.ihilani.com/Oahu-Hawaii-Restaurants/Azul-17.html

Yup, that's the one! If you decide to go to Azul in February, you'll have to let me know if you thought I was right in recommending it. :)

Great TR! You're getting me so excited for my trip to Aulani in 6 DAYS!!!

You'll have a great time, I guarantee! At the very least, the weather's gotta be better than in Ohio right now! :lmao:

I/we were going to do a TR and found your post. Noticed that the Christmas garlands were up in your pics, we watched them put them up last Monday. Probably saw you there.

Maybe we did?? Thanks for following along! Would love to read your TR too if you decide to post!

Loving your trip report!! The pictures are great and your munchkins are adorable!

Thanks for the compliments and for following along! The munchkins are very sad that they're no longer at "the hotel". :)

Doug7856
12-06-2011, 06:57 AM
Thanks for the steak recipe! They sound awesome!!

Enjoying your TR immensely!

travlrmel
12-06-2011, 11:21 AM
I'm so glad you got a picture of the floor. I wanted to take a video of it, but couldn't figure out what activated it. When we were first greeted, the host mentioned the Disney magic and the floor lit up. We thought it was rigged.

I got a chuckle from your "Asian flavored" steak because Asianflava is my name on other forums. I'm using my wife's account here and writing the TR because I made all the arrangements for the trip. You probably know what Togarishi is, it was the spice used in the Asian spiced brisket downstairs. I had to Google it.

spleen
12-06-2011, 10:58 PM
Check out day for any hotel is always a sad sort of day and our final day at Aulani was to prove to be no different. We had a leisurely breakfast in the villa with Portuguese sausage, scrambled eggs, and the leftover rice from last night (sausage and eggs brought from our supermarket / Costco trip). We asked the kids if they wanted to go back to Auntie's for the morning or go swimming. Surprisingly (or maybe not so much?), they chose to go back to Auntie's. Kids club or swimming hmmm, I would have thought it would be more of a chicken vs. egg sort of thing but the answer came quickly and unanimous.

We walked back through the lobby to Auntie's. We passed by the serene area that I took a photo of yesterday. Here's a different view of it this morning.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-092.jpg

As we walked past the General Store, I noticed a decoration located high above the store floor. Looking closely, it's a shave ice machine suspended in the air dropping down shave ice styrofoam balls.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-097.jpg

Walking through the garden outdoors, decided to take some photos of the plant life.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-093.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-094.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-095.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-096.jpg

We walked past the check out lounge where people that have checked out of their room can hang out until they have to leave for the airport. They have computers to do online check in and printers to print out boarding passes. They have a flat screen TV that shows departures out of HNL (Honolulu International) as well as flat screens to watch TV.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-098.jpg

The locker room where you can stash small valuables and bags that you don't want to give to bell services to hold:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-099.jpg

And the showers which seem very nice and well equipped
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-100.jpg

Auntie's wasn't open yet so we decided to walk around a little bit more:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-101.jpg

We came to the underwater viewing windows for Rainbow Reef and we just happened to catch a feeding!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-102.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-103.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-104.jpg

If you look carefully, there are fish carvings in the wall of the cave that holds the underwater viewing windows. Can you see the 3 fish in this picture?
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-105.jpg

And a crab (a little more obvious :rotfl: )
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-106.jpg

The stingray interactive exhibit (closed at the time)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-107.jpg

And the top of Rainbow Reef with the Menehune Bridge kid water play area behind it and the main Aulani hall in the background
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-108.jpg

The pricing for Rainbow Reef and the stingray experience currently. Still too rich for my blood. ;)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-109.jpg

The sun's coming up and it's shining off the walls of Aulani
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-110.jpg

Kids are hanging out on the loungers while we wait:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-111.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-112.jpg

The surfboards that mark the walkway that leads down to the lagoons with the J.W. Marriott Ihilani in the background
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-113.jpg

After this, we safely managed to drop off the kids at Auntie's and we headed back to the villa to pack. But one last surprise!

To be continued!

spleen
12-06-2011, 11:07 PM
I'm so glad you got a picture of the floor. I wanted to take a video of it, but couldn't figure out what activated it. When we were first greeted, the host mentioned the Disney magic and the floor lit up. We thought it was rigged.

I think it goes off every now and then on its own. But we did find out a little more later on - a more elaborate version of it can be triggered on command, apparently part of the Menehune Adventure Trail (shhhhhh!) :cool2:

I got a chuckle from your "Asian flavored" steak because Asianflava is my name on other forums. I'm using my wife's account here and writing the TR because I made all the arrangements for the trip. You probably know what Togarishi is, it was the spice used in the Asian spiced brisket downstairs. I had to Google it.

Yup, know what togarashi is. Don't use it particularly in my cooking too much but it's one of the few ways that Japanese food can have heat (outside of wasabi that is :goodvibes)

spleen
12-06-2011, 11:55 PM
On the way back to the villa, some more random scenery shots of Aulani:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-114.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-115.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-116.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-117.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-118.jpg

Our path to our villa took us past the DVC Preview Center and just for fun, we poked our heads in and asked the cast member at the desk if it would be possible for us to take a quick peek at a Grand Villa. She told us that they have scheduled tours that they run at 8 AM and 4 PM and if we were interested, she could sign us up. I told her that we were checking out that day and we wouldn't be able to attend, regretfully. So sad that we missed our chance! Oh well, maybe next time we're back. :sad1: :eeyore:

She looked thoughtful and then said, "Wait, let me check to see if we have a cast member available right now to take you up." She made a quick phone call and then told us, "Yup, I can have somebody take you up right now. Have a seat on the couch there and she'll be right here". All right! :woohoo:

So without further ado, here are pictures of 1001, an ocean view Grand Villa!

The entryway table
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-120.jpg

main living area
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-119.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-122.jpg

dining table
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-123.jpg

The balcony is enormous! Takes up the entire width of the building.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-121.jpg

Bedroom 1
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-124.jpg

Bathroom 1
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-125.jpg

Bedroom 2
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-126.jpg

Bathroom 2
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-127.jpg

Master bedroom
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-128.jpg

Look through master bathroom into master bedroom
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-129.jpg

And the vanity in the master bathroom has an embedded "floating" TV inside the mirror - really neat!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-130.jpg

We thanked the cast member for the tour - it was nice of them to make accommodations for our situation. We left dreaming of more points in order to book the Grand Villa one of these days. :cloud9:

Back to the villa to pack - and after getting that done and having bell services come to pick up our bags, we departed the villa. We wandered the gardens for another hour or so, thinking back on what a great weekend we had had.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-131.jpg

Then it was time to pick up the kids from Auntie's, head to the garage to pick up our car, drive to the front lobby, retrieve our bags from bell services, and do the 45 minute drive home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-133.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-132.jpg

Looking back on things, one of our most important questions was whether we would really enjoy a Disney resort that didn't have a theme park associated with it. I think that we've answered that to our satisfaction - most certainly yes! And we left so many things undone - we never made it to the fire pit storytelling sessions, we never got to the Starlit Hui, we never got to the Ohana Movie nights under the stars, we (my wife and I) never made it on any of the water slides! Admittedly some of these weren't offered on the days that we were there but I think we could have certainly spent more time at Aulani without feeling bored at any time.

We'd certainly love to come back to stay at any time and are busy trying to figure out how we can finagle another stay at Aulani sometime in the future!

For those of you that have followed this trip report to the very end, I thank you for your attention. I'd be happy to answer any questions that you might have though my experiences may be colored by the fact that I live in Hawaii (for example, we didn't do any excursions since there was no need for us to do any). Happy holidays to each of you and may all your Christmas wishes be Disney tinged!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-134.jpg

franandaj
12-07-2011, 08:26 PM
What a great report! We are tentatively planning to do a trip to Hawaii in 2013. Sort of a nomadic trip starting on the Big Island, visiting Hilo, the Volcano and Kona. My plan was to end up with five days at Aulani at the end to mostly relax. It sounds like we would have plenty to do while relaxing and wouldn't be bored at all.

Thanks for sharing your photos! Aulani looks great! Could you see the sunset from your balcony?


I'm interested in the answer to this question too! Or did I miss it? I really want to watch the sunset from my balcony sipping a glass of wine.



So we headed out of the room and through the lobby. I have a new fascination with light fixtures after reading lisaviolet's trip reports.

:rotfl2: The influence that she has on all of us! Me too! :lmao:

spleen
12-08-2011, 01:26 AM
What a great report! We are tentatively planning to do a trip to Hawaii in 2013. Sort of a nomadic trip starting on the Big Island, visiting Hilo, the Volcano and Kona. My plan was to end up with five days at Aulani at the end to mostly relax. It sounds like we would have plenty to do while relaxing and wouldn't be bored at all.

Thanks, I think you'll find plenty to do at Aulani over 5 days to relax!

I really want to watch the sunset from my balcony sipping a glass of wine.

We couldn't see the sunset from our angle. I suspect any of the ocean view rooms in the Ewa tower, most of the ocean view rooms in the Waianae tower, and some of the pool view rooms in the Waianae tower would have sunset views. Having said that, it would be REALLY easy to just take the elevator down, walk a minute, and see the sunset from the pool area with a great view. :)

:rotfl2: The influence that she has on all of us! Me too! :lmao:

I see them everywhere now. Even at home. :rotfl:

wdrl
12-08-2011, 06:55 AM
Thanks so much for your trip report. You did a fantastic job!! We are planning to visit Aulani in September, and we hope to book a Pool View studio. Unfortunately, I know that there are only 14 Pool View lockoffs in Aulani's Phases 1 & 2, so it might be difficult to snag one at the 7-month window.

A few questions: Aulani's third DVC building is not scheduled to open until 2013. Could you see any signs of construction going on? Did you hear if Aulani's Phase 3 might open ahead of schedule? I know Phase 2 opened a few weeks ahead of schedule.

Now that you have stayed in a Pool View villa, would you stay in it again? If you had a choice between the Ewa building versus the Waianae building, would one be better than the other?

How crowded was Auntie's Beach House? Your photos make it look like there were very few guests at Auntie's, at least during the times you visited. I would think with all the activities being offered that it could get very busy at times.

Do you know if DVC offers any special incentives for Aulani guests if you want to do an add-on while at the resort?

Again, thanks so much for sharing your photos and insights!!

htmlkid
12-08-2011, 07:37 AM
Thanks so much for your trip report. You did a fantastic job!! We are planning to visit Aulani in September, and we hope to book a Pool View studio. Unfortunately, I know that there are only 14 Pool View lockoffs in Aulani's Phases 1 & 2, so it might be difficult to snag one at the 7-month window.

A few questions: Aulani's third DVC building is not scheduled to open until 2013. Could you see any signs of construction going on? Did you hear if Aulani's Phase 3 might open ahead of schedule? I know Phase 2 opened a few weeks ahead of schedule.

Now that you have stayed in a Pool View villa, would you stay in it again? If you had a choice between the Ewa building versus the Waianae building, would one be better than the other?

How crowded was Auntie's Beach House? Your photos make it look like there were very few guests at Auntie's, at least during the times you visited. I would think with all the activities being offered that it could get very busy at times.

Do you know if DVC offers any special incentives for Aulani guests if you want to do an add-on while at the resort?

Again, thanks so much for sharing your photos and insights!!


As long as you call at the 7 month mark I don't think you would have a problem. I booked a garden pool view studio over the 4th of July week at the 7th month mark by calling at 9am with no problem. Three days later we decided to upgrade to a 1 BR Pool view and nothing was available. We waitlisted that, and yeaterday, only a few days later our waitlist came through.

lymommy
12-08-2011, 04:10 PM
Love following along your TR. We are going in July for my son's 6th surprise birthday! :dance3:

I was wondering how your 3 year old did at Auntys? My son will just be turning three a month before that and was wondering if activities are geared for little ones as well? What's the ratio of adults to kids? It will be my first time leaving the youngest at something like this. Hoping he will do ok!

spleen
12-08-2011, 05:10 PM
Thanks so much for your trip report. You did a fantastic job!! We are planning to visit Aulani in September, and we hope to book a Pool View studio. Unfortunately, I know that there are only 14 Pool View lockoffs in Aulani's Phases 1 & 2, so it might be difficult to snag one at the 7-month window.

A few questions: Aulani's third DVC building is not scheduled to open until 2013. Could you see any signs of construction going on? Did you hear if Aulani's Phase 3 might open ahead of schedule? I know Phase 2 opened a few weeks ahead of schedule.

Now that you have stayed in a Pool View villa, would you stay in it again? If you had a choice between the Ewa building versus the Waianae building, would one be better than the other?

How crowded was Auntie's Beach House? Your photos make it look like there were very few guests at Auntie's, at least during the times you visited. I would think with all the activities being offered that it could get very busy at times.

Do you know if DVC offers any special incentives for Aulani guests if you want to do an add-on while at the resort?

Again, thanks so much for sharing your photos and insights!!

Thank you for reading! No outward signs of room/building construction (though there were doing a fair amount of renovation work around the garden decorations). I think the Phase 3 work is mostly interior so there won't be much visible on the outside.

As for the pool view, while it was impressive when we first entered the villa and looked outside, the reality was that we didn't use the view very much. We had the curtains closed mostly for privacy issues and we only opened them in the morning to get the kids going and at dusk. Since we used the villa mostly for eating and sleeping (with some kick back time but that was all interior), I think in the future we'll save the points/costs and just go for the cheapest 1BR that we can get. If we need to see a view, it's really a hop, skip, and a jump down to the pool area where you can get any view that you want. :) I think if you're going for a pool view, the Ewa tower might be preferable since you've got a chance at a sunset view (though I suspect that you would really need ocean view in the Ewa tower to be relatively sure about that).

The crowd level in Auntie's was variable. Sometimes it was crowded (like Saturday before dinner when we checked them in, the room was packed with kids!). Other times, they were 1 of 2 or 3 sets of kids.

As for incentives, not sure - I suspect that they would have offered something if we had asked about it but we don't buy points directly from Disney (we're strictly resale people) so didn't inquire. They did say that points are going up to $135/point REALLY soon (if it hasn't happened already) so if we wanted to buy, we should decide quickly before the price increase.

Love following along your TR. We are going in July for my son's 6th surprise birthday! :dance3:

I was wondering how your 3 year old did at Auntys? My son will just be turning three a month before that and was wondering if activities are geared for little ones as well? What's the ratio of adults to kids? It will be my first time leaving the youngest at something like this. Hoping he will do ok!

Thanks for following along and congratulations on your son's upcoming 6th birthday! The 3 y.o. did great and had a fantastic time! He was busy playing with toy cars, playing with the game tables, watching movies, and playing dress up. He also did some arts and crafts while there (not as much as our 6 y.o. obviously). Not sure what the exact ratio of staff to kids were but there were always plenty of staff around watching the kids when we dropped them off and picked them up so never felt that they lacked supervision. I think it'll help if your 3 year old is in day care or preschool already since he'll have experience with socializing with other kids. Hope that helps!

DenLo
12-08-2011, 05:23 PM
. . . we decided to do the Menehune Adventure Trail. . . . .

You start by picking up your communicator at the Community Hall, located on the 1st floor of the Ewa tower:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-61.jpg

On the far end of the hall, there's a sitting area playing Disney movies that can be a great distractor for the kids as well.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-62.jpg

We picked up our communicator and started to follow the clues. There's a valley version and a lobby version - we chose to do the valley version today which takes you all around the Waikolohe Valley.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-63.jpg

. . . .

We this post I finally realized there is a separate community hall at Aulani. For some reason I thought there was only Aunties Beach House. The CM's at the Community Hall must not get many kids with all Aunties Beach House has to offer. :eek:

Thank you so much for TR and photos. I really enjoyed it.

I hope everyone is right about us getting our reservation at the 7 month mark without any problems. My DSIL got the last OV 1BR when she called this month for a June reservation. Others have reported having to WL, but I keep hoping it is because June is a school vacation month.

lisaviolet
12-08-2011, 10:27 PM
Yup, know what togarashi is. Don't use it particularly in my cooking too much but it's one of the few ways that Japanese food can have heat (outside of wasabi that is :goodvibes)

How far are you removed from Japan Spleen? I lived in Japan for a short while.

What a great report! We are tentatively planning to do a trip to Hawaii in 2013. Sort of a nomadic trip starting on the Big Island, visiting Hilo, the Volcano and Kona. My plan was to end up with five days at Aulani at the end to mostly relax. It sounds like we would have plenty to do while relaxing and wouldn't be bored at all.

:rotfl2: The influence that she has on all of us! Me too! :lmao:

:rotfl2: Funny.

And love hearing about your plans Alison. Nice. :wizard:

On the way back to the villa, some more random scenery shots of Aulani:


All lovely. Spleen, your TR has been SUCH a treat. Thank you.





So without further ado, here are pictures of 1001, an ocean view Grand Villa!

The entryway table
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-120.jpg



LOVELY shot! :love: I adore entranceways - one of the reasons I LOVE my DVC. Even in a studio. To me - the studios are not just hotel rooms because of these details. AKV lacks the attention to this area and I can feel that.



main living area
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-119.jpg



Love this photograph and the GV tour.


Back to the villa to pack - and after getting that done and having bell services come to pick up our bags, we departed the villa. We wandered the gardens for another hour or so, thinking back on what a great weekend we had had.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-131.jpg



I guess "please don't go" won't help, eh? popcorn::

lisaviolet
12-08-2011, 10:31 PM
The kids were getting thirsty after all the walking around and they were clamoring for shave ice so off we went!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-78.jpg

Christmas decorations along the front of the shave ice shack near the children's pool:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-79.jpg

My daughter wanted to get a rainbow shave ice but they didn't have strawberry. Then we wanted to do POG flavor (passion fruit - orange - guava) but they were out of guava. So we settled for passion fruit - orange instead. It was still good enough to make my daughter's eyes roll back! It's not Waiola or Ailana or Your Kitchen shave ice but it was still pretty good!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-80.jpg


!

Sighing. '

Sighing's good. :rotfl2:

:love: to all of these.

Your photographs make it all so enticing. popcorn::

lisaviolet
12-08-2011, 10:37 PM
On the way back to Auntie's, these anthuriums struck my eye:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-83.jpg



I guess so! Beautiful.



As we walked past the General Store, I noticed a decoration located high above the store floor. Looking closely, it's a shave ice machine suspended in the air dropping down shave ice styrofoam balls.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-097.jpg



So interesting. And great shot.



Walking through the garden outdoors, decided to take some photos of the plant life.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-095.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-112.jpg


!

Lovely lovely photographs.

I HAVE to get there soon. I actually dreamt about it last night. :rotfl2: Seriously.

I drove there - to Aulani. :3dglasses :confused3 And there was a water slide for cars. :lmao: The slide was the only entrance to the resort. :rotfl:

One day!!! :love:

lisaviolet
12-08-2011, 10:41 PM
After an hour or two, the kids woke up and wanted to go back to Auntie's Beach House to hang out but before this, we decided to do the Menehune

You start by picking up your communicator at the Community Hall, located on the 1st floor of the Ewa tower:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-61.jpg

On the far end of the hall, there's a sitting area playing Disney movies that can be a great distractor for the kids as well.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-62.jpg



What a great room.


We picked up our communicator and started to follow the clues. There's a valley version and a lobby version - we chose to do the valley version today which takes you all around the Waikolohe Valley.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-63.jpg

Trying to understand our first clue:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-65.jpg

Like I said, holding our daughter's attention really well. Our son's attention is wandering.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-66.jpg

The search takes us to various displays and spots around the valley.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-67.jpg



I would LOVE this. Seriously. I just found Kim Possible. Neat.


Oh and your son - he looks totally mischievious. :rotfl2: :goodvibes Is he?




Admiring the view from one of the bridges into the lazy river:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-68.jpg



Great place to end. Beautiful shot.

Obviously, I can not wait for another trip report. Thank you so much.

ACDSNY
12-09-2011, 12:04 AM
All these beautiful shots have me so excited for our January visit. I'm wishing it was more than 3 nights. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

My theme song this month is from Zac Brown Band...

"Wishing I was knee deep in the water somewhere
Got the blue sky breeze and it don't seem fair
Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair
Sunrise there's a fire in the sky
Never been so happy
Never felt so high
And I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise"

spleen
12-09-2011, 01:22 AM
We this post I finally realized there is a separate community hall at Aulani. For some reason I thought there was only Aunties Beach House. The CM's at the Community Hall must not get many kids with all Aunties Beach House has to offer. :eek:

Thank you so much for TR and photos. I really enjoyed it.

I hope everyone is right about us getting our reservation at the 7 month mark without any problems. My DSIL got the last OV 1BR when she called this month for a June reservation. Others have reported having to WL, but I keep hoping it is because June is a school vacation month.

Glad you enjoyed it! Yes, the Community Hall is separate. On the day that I left, I saw a craft session in there with a bunch of women and an instructor teaching how to make tapa (Hawaiian cloth made from the bark of a tree) and later on, when I went back, it looked like they were making tote bags and personalizing them with Hawaiian prints. When were you planning on going to Aulani? We'll be crossing our fingers for you for some good villa availability magic!

How far are you removed from Japan Spleen? I lived in Japan for a short while.

Born in Japan, raised in Hawaii - still very Japanese though by custom and parenting. :)

All lovely. Spleen, your TR has been SUCH a treat. Thank you.

You're very welcome - thanks for reading my TR! I've been reading yours for a while and loved the unique writing style that you have. And of course, your photographs. :worship:

Lovely lovely photographs.

I HAVE to get there soon. I actually dreamt about it last night. :rotfl2: Seriously.

I drove there - to Aulani. :3dglasses :confused3 And there was a water slide for cars. :lmao: The slide was the only entrance to the resort. :rotfl:

One day!!! :love:

Heehee - I can actually see that. :lmao:

Oh and your son - he looks totally mischievious. :rotfl2: :goodvibes Is he?

Is it that obvious? :dance3: He is very rascal - "kolohe", we say in Hawaiian. We tear our hair out much more over him than our 6 year old daughter. Might just be a gender difference though. :rotfl:

All these beautiful shots have me so excited for our January visit. I'm wishing it was more than 3 nights. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

My theme song this month is from Zac Brown Band...

"Wishing I was knee deep in the water somewhere
Got the blue sky breeze and it don't seem fair
Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair
Sunrise there's a fire in the sky
Never been so happy
Never felt so high
And I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise"

Glad you enjoyed the report! I spent 3 years of my life just north of you at Methodist Hospital off of Bruceville. Still have lots of friends in Sacto and love going back to visit. :) I'm sure you'll have a great trip in January!

podsnel
12-09-2011, 07:38 AM
Sounds like you had a fabulous time in just a couple of nights! :goodvibes Your kids are ADORABLE- and I have to say I am more than just a little envious of your home address:worship:. Thanks very much for all the details- good to know you enjoyed the restaurant next door, we are planning to go there one night and to Roy's on another- we want to go in late August, so I am REALLY hoping they address the food issues at Aulani by then, but if not, we'll be prepared with other options at least.

And your gorgeous photos were VERY MUCH appreciated!

Thank-you!! Melekalikimaka! :santa: (No idea if I spelled that correctly, but I hope I'm somewhere in the ballpark!)

bethy
12-09-2011, 09:42 AM
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! We leave the day after tomorrow for 7 nights in a 1 bedroom Pool view. Wheeeee!!!!!

I have been trying to figure out whether to put in a room request but I honestly cannot figure out any special preference because everything sounds so wonderful no matter where one's location!

:banana:

spleen
12-10-2011, 07:09 PM
Sounds like you had a fabulous time in just a couple of nights! :goodvibes Your kids are ADORABLE- and I have to say I am more than just a little envious of your home address:worship:. Thanks very much for all the details- good to know you enjoyed the restaurant next door, we are planning to go there one night and to Roy's on another- we want to go in late August, so I am REALLY hoping they address the food issues at Aulani by then, but if not, we'll be prepared with other options at least.

And your gorgeous photos were VERY MUCH appreciated!

Thank-you!! Melekalikimaka! :santa: (No idea if I spelled that correctly, but I hope I'm somewhere in the ballpark!)

Ellen! glad to see you on my trip report - your cupcake pictures from Starring Rolls was my inspiration for my food photos (who am I kidding, I like to take pictures of food all the time! But it was certainly one of the reasons for wanting to post the pictures of food in my TR :goodvibes )

Your spelling was right on - it's just that we break it up into the words: "Mele" = Merry, "Kalikimaka" = Christmas. And to you as well, Mele Kalikimaka and Hau'oli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year)! If you end up needing food recommendations off property, please let me know - I'd be happy to go through some options. :)

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! We leave the day after tomorrow for 7 nights in a 1 bedroom Pool view. Wheeeee!!!!!

I have been trying to figure out whether to put in a room request but I honestly cannot figure out any special preference because everything sounds so wonderful no matter where one's location!

:banana:

Bethy - you will have a wonderful time, no matter where your room is located! have a fantastic trip and thanks for reading!

fofinia
12-10-2011, 08:44 PM
Thanks for sharing all your beautiful photos! And your children are adorable!

mrsR123
12-10-2011, 11:02 PM
Thank you so much, Spleen, for the tremendous TR and photos. You have a great eye and a beautiful family.

I'm planning on Aulani for our 25th anniversary, but that's still 3 years away, so the photos keep me dreaming.

lilpooh108
12-11-2011, 11:13 AM
Hi Spleen!

What a great TR and pics! Thanks for all the detail. Your kids are ADORABLE! I have a few questions for our upcoming trip in 9 days! :banana: So excited!

1. Did you see the policy on kids under 3 playing (w/parent supervision) in Auntie's? Our DD is 2 1/2 and I'm sure she'd love to play dress up and w/the interactive computer games at Auntie's.

2. I've been yelping, but can't find anything that exciting/great in the Kapolei area to eat. Do you know of any good restaurants close to Aulani? We'll eat anything (Japanese, sushi, korean bbq, local foods, italian, etc).

3. We're only doing Waikiki 1 day during our trip for shopping. We LOVED Waiola's last time....the condensed milk w/Azuki = heaven on ice. Is Waiola's better than Ailana's? I think we'll only have time for one shave ice place that day.

4. Do you know what days the Starlit Hui was offered during your trip?

5. Where in the resort did you go to tour the Grand Villa? The lobby?

Thanks! :thumbsup2

rparmfamily
12-11-2011, 03:07 PM
I was told 2 different things about children under 3, that they do a playgroup in the morning so you can only go then, but it does say somewhere that you can go in (parent and child) anytime in something else I read.

It's ages 3 and potty trained for being able to stay at Aunties. I am looking forward to that day so hubby and I can leave all 3 kids there for a dinner! :)

lilpooh108
12-11-2011, 05:06 PM
I was told 2 different things about children under 3, that they do a playgroup in the morning so you can only go then, but it does say somewhere that you can go in (parent and child) anytime in something else I read.

It's ages 3 and potty trained for being able to stay at Aunties. I am looking forward to that day so hubby and I can leave all 3 kids there for a dinner! :)

Thanks for the info! I will ask about the playgroup when we check in. That sounds like fun. It would be nice to be able to leave her there for dinner...but we can't so we've only scheduled one "nice" dinner the whole week.

spleen
12-11-2011, 07:09 PM
Thanks for sharing all your beautiful photos! And your children are adorable!

Thanks you fofinia! Hope you get a chance to visit Aulani yourself!

Thank you so much, Spleen, for the tremendous TR and photos. You have a great eye and a beautiful family.

I'm planning on Aulani for our 25th anniversary, but that's still 3 years away, so the photos keep me dreaming.

Hi msR123 - congrats on the 22nd anniversary so far - I'm sure these next 3 years will just fly! And before you know it, you'll be heading off to Aulani to celebrate your special day :banana: Thanks for reading and the compliments. The 6 year old just got grounded for talking back to her grandmother so we're not feeling so "beautiful" towards her at this very moment but hey, such is parenthood, no? :lmao:

Hi Spleen!

What a great TR and pics! Thanks for all the detail. Your kids are ADORABLE! I have a few questions for our upcoming trip in 9 days! :banana: So excited!

1. Did you see the policy on kids under 3 playing (w/parent supervision) in Auntie's? Our DD is 2 1/2 and I'm sure she'd love to play dress up and w/the interactive computer games at Auntie's.

2. I've been yelping, but can't find anything that exciting/great in the Kapolei area to eat. Do you know of any good restaurants close to Aulani? We'll eat anything (Japanese, sushi, korean bbq, local foods, italian, etc).

3. We're only doing Waikiki 1 day during our trip for shopping. We LOVED Waiola's last time....the condensed milk w/Azuki = heaven on ice. Is Waiola's better than Ailana's? I think we'll only have time for one shave ice place that day.

4. Do you know what days the Starlit Hui was offered during your trip?

5. Where in the resort did you go to tour the Grand Villa? The lobby?

Thanks! :thumbsup2

Hi lilpooh - thanks for the compliments! Let me address your questions in order:
1) as rparmfamily has said, I believe the policy is that kids under the age of 3 are allowed in with parental supervision at any time while Auntie's is open. It's just that you can't leave them there on their own. I'm sure she'd have a ball though playing in there!

2) We've mentioned Roy's Ko 'Olina before which is just down the street from Aulani (we didn't go there because we live 2-3 minutes away from the original Roy's Restaurant). But if you haven't had Hawaiian Regional Cuisine, Roy's is an outstanding example of it (other choices in Honolulu would be Alan Wong's, Azure in the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Hoku's in the Kahala Resort, etc). More low brow stuff that's available in the Kapolei area - plate lunch, I would look at En Fuego, breakfast, I would look at Koa Pancake House, cheaper Japanese food, I would look at Kunio which is actually in the Waikele Shopping Center (2 more towns east from Kapolei), and in that same shopping center (2 restaurants to the right to be precise), there's also a cheap sushi place called Genki Sushi. Genki is a local favorite - if you've never had conveyor belt sushi before, it's a fun time for families and kids get a kick out of seeing their food come out on a conveyor belt. It's not just sushi either - they have Japanese style fried chicken, noodles, and other things available as well. http://www.genkisushiusa.com/locations.html#Oahu I also think that Assaggio's in Kapolei is pretty decent family style Italian food - they can pretty much do any pasta with any type of sauce that you might want with any type of protein. http://assaggiohi.com/kapolei.asp If there's something specific you're looking for, let me know - I've eaten at most restaurants in the Kapolei area since I used to work there.

3) Waiola vs. Ailana is sort of a chicken vs. egg thing for me. I really love the ice at Waiola - it's like eating cotton candy in terms of the mouth feel. I think Ailana is not quite as good that way (though don't get me wrong, it's still really good). I do think the syrups at Ailana is a hair touch better though since Ailana makes their own syrups, I believe. If you've tried Waiola before, you might want to give Ailana a try so you can compare them yourselves! http://ailanashaveice.com/index.html
http://ailanashaveice.com/images/pics/shaveice/Green_Tea__Azuki_Beans.JPG

4) I think the Starlit Hui was offered on Tuesday and Thursday nights while we were there (obviously we missed it)

5) on the 3rd floor (lobby floor) of the Waianae tower, there's a DVC Preview Center. You have to walk a little bit from the lobby into the Waianae tower to find it. That's where you can sign up to do the DVC tour and the Grand Villa!

Hope this helps!

travlrmel
12-12-2011, 04:01 AM
We'll have to try Genki Sushi next time. I intentionally left things out this time so that we'd have new things to see next time. I saw it when I bought hurricane popcorn kits at Price Buster's.

CRSNDSNY
12-12-2011, 08:42 AM
What a wonderful report! THank you!

ajf1007
12-12-2011, 09:58 AM
What an awesome TR!!! I thoroughly enjoyed your pictures and your commentary! What beautiful kids you have! Thank you for the Alauni inspiration, from the East Coast it seems like such a hike and something that was a "ok have to do that one day" but after reading your TR and making my husband read it too...it's now a "we have to get there stat" situation!!

Thanks again! Can't wait for your next one! Where are you off to next?:thumbsup2

podsnel
12-12-2011, 06:35 PM
Hey again! :goodvibes I saw your restaurant recs above (thank-you!!:hug:) and I am open and willing to try everything- so let me know about ANYTHING we can't miss that you might think of! :thumbsup2 That sushi place looks like a lot of fun, I will most definitely put it on our list.

And I agree- it IS fun to take pics of your food- I actually feel like I'm forgetting something important during a meal when I DON'T take a pic of the plates. I guess that means I have officially LOST it here on the DISboards. :upsidedow :rotfl:

And just in case I didn't say it enough before- your kids are SOOO cute!! :lovestruc

Ellen

lilpooh108
12-12-2011, 08:11 PM
Hi Spleen!

Thanks so much for your restaurant recommendations! We have a Roy's near our house and we love the butterfish...yum...we are planning on trying the one in Ko'Olina :thumbsup2 We'll definitely try out Genki Sushi as well.

We're still debating Waiola v. Ailana's, but it's nice to know that there are yummy options when we go out that way. :)

spleen
12-12-2011, 10:40 PM
We'll have to try Genki Sushi next time. I intentionally left things out this time so that we'd have new things to see next time. I saw it when I bought hurricane popcorn kits at Price Buster's.

For those that are interested in Genki's, I totally forgot until travlrmel just reminded me that there is a Genki Sushi in Kapolei as well. It's located in the same shopping center as Target.

here's the Genki menu in PDF format: http://www.genkisushiusa.com/docs/Genki%20Menu%20Oahu.pdf

I've posted this before but here's a map of Kapolei with shopping/restaurants located. Click the thumbnail picture to expand it into the full map.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/th_AulaniSurroundings2.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniSurroundings2.jpg)

What a wonderful report! THank you!

Thank you for reading!

What an awesome TR!!! I thoroughly enjoyed your pictures and your commentary! What beautiful kids you have! Thank you for the Alauni inspiration, from the East Coast it seems like such a hike and something that was a "ok have to do that one day" but after reading your TR and making my husband read it too...it's now a "we have to get there stat" situation!!

Thanks again! Can't wait for your next one! Where are you off to next?:thumbsup2

thank you ajf1007 for your compliments! Hope you get a chance to come out sooner or later - our tourism industry could certainly use the help! :cool2: Next trip is to Japan for the kids to pick up on some of their heritage (hopefully with a stop off at DisneySea!) and we're also busy planning the kids' first trip to WDW in June 2012, staying at BLT! :banana::banana::woohoo:

Hey again! :goodvibes I saw your restaurant recs above (thank-you!!:hug:) and I am open and willing to try everything- so let me know about ANYTHING we can't miss that you might think of! :thumbsup2 That sushi place looks like a lot of fun, I will most definitely put it on our list.

And I agree- it IS fun to take pics of your food- I actually feel like I'm forgetting something important during a meal when I DON'T take a pic of the plates. I guess that means I have officially LOST it here on the DISboards. :upsidedow :rotfl:

And just in case I didn't say it enough before- your kids are SOOO cute!! :lovestruc

Ellen

Ellen - thank you! I'm anxiously awaiting the rest of the adventures with Sean in your TR! I will certainly keep thinking of places for people to try while they're at Aulani! Please don't forget to try the malasadas while you're in Hawaii - they're Portuguese donuts without a hole that are famous in Hawaii. The best known are from Leonard's Bakery and Champion Malasadas. As it happens, there's a Leonard's Bakery truck located at the Waikele Shopping Center that I've mentioned before (where the Japanese restaurant Kunio is located and the other location for Genki Sushi). You have to eat them while they're hot! I know that travlrmel had a picture of Leonard's malasadas in his TR. Here's another picture I stole from the interwebs.
http://www.slowtrav.com/blog/eden/malasadas.JPG

Hi Spleen!

Thanks so much for your restaurant recommendations! We have a Roy's near our house and we love the butterfish...yum...we are planning on trying the one in Ko'Olina :thumbsup2 We'll definitely try out Genki Sushi as well.

We're still debating Waiola v. Ailana's, but it's nice to know that there are yummy options when we go out that way. :)

lilpooh - I think you can't go wrong either way that you go with Waiola or Ailana! Also if you like Roy's, I think you'll really like Alan Wong's. If you can snag a reservation and don't mind driving into town, it's certainly an experience! I'm quite fond of their chef's tasting menu.
http://www.alanwongs.com/honolulu-menu/index.html

1EvilQueenfan
12-13-2011, 12:38 AM
Thank you for your TR, it was wonderful and definately getting me excited for my up coming trip in January. :banana:

I am debating about doing the online check in. Do you think it is worth it?

Thanks again.

spleen
12-13-2011, 01:40 AM
Thank you for your TR, it was wonderful and definately getting me excited for my up coming trip in January. :banana:

I am debating about doing the online check in. Do you think it is worth it?

Thanks again.

Thanks for reading the trip report! I'm envious of your upcoming trip in January. :rotfl:

I'm uncertain what benefits online checkin really serves. It made our check in process quicker, that's for certain, but I'm not sure if there are any other benefits. We didn't have any room requests so don't have any way of checking if our chances of getting them would have improved by doing online check in?

So to sum it up, I'm not sure if it's worth it or not. On the other hand, there doesn't seem to be much down side so why not? :)

lilpooh108
12-28-2011, 12:52 AM
Hi Spleen,

Just got back and wanted to thank you for the Ailana's shave ice suggestion. We got bored one night at Aulani and drove out to Waikiki to do some shopping. Yelped Ailana's and saw that they had a Waikiki location....so DH dropped me off on the curb and I ran downstairs to order at 8:45 pm, 15 minutes before they closed.

I stood there and waited, and waited, and was nervous that they had closed down...then the owner (?) finally came out and I started rambling about how we had driven all the way from kapolei just to try his shave ice. I ordered the grean tea/azuki/snow cap & DH got the Calpico/Mango w/ice cream. YUMMMMMM!

The owner guy was super nice and told me that he hoped his shave ice lived up to expectations since we drove 40 minutes to get there :lmao::lmao:

We didn't get to try Genki Sushi (though we saw it while at the Waipahu Walmart) but we stopped off at Sushi Bay in Kapolei to pick up some take out. That place was good, as was Thai Lao (both had super nice owners).

Thanks for all your recs!

spleen
12-28-2011, 02:38 AM
Didn't even know that they had a Waikiki location! Glad you enjoyed it - next time you come back, I'll have even more places for you to try. :rotfl:

lilpooh108
12-28-2011, 02:30 PM
Didn't even know that they had a Waikiki location! Glad you enjoyed it - next time you come back, I'll have even more places for you to try. :rotfl:

It's in a weird little spot in the basement level of the Waikiki Shopping Center across from the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. Parking was :scared1::scared1::scared1: and $$$.

DisGirlAllie
12-28-2011, 09:33 PM
Dining table with kitchen in background and two munchkins eating a snack of cinnamon rolls brought from home:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniWeb-09.jpg
Oh my God, your kids are so adorable :laughing:
Great report, definitely put a trip to Aulani on the map!

emmababy
12-29-2011, 08:19 PM
Great trip report! Can you tell me the cost for Aunties?

spleen
12-30-2011, 02:25 AM
It's in a weird little spot in the basement level of the Waikiki Shopping Center across from the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. Parking was :scared1::scared1::scared1: and $$$.

Next time if you go to the original across from Ala Moana Shopping Center, parking is much easier and free. :cool1:

Oh my God, your kids are so adorable :laughing:
Great report, definitely put a trip to Aulani on the map!

Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed it!

Great trip report! Can you tell me the cost for Aunties?

Are you ready for this? The cost is ... ZERO, NADA! (well, not really, it's part of your room rate). But yes, compared to the prices of the kids clubs at WDW, so nice to not have to pay for the kids club! (though you have to pay separately if you want your kids to eat meals in the club) :laughing:

123Disney
12-30-2011, 10:59 AM
Love your trip report!!!! The pictures are great! We are going in June and this was so helpful!! Your kids are adorable.

spleen
12-30-2011, 11:28 PM
Love your trip report!!!! The pictures are great! We are going in June and this was so helpful!! Your kids are adorable.

Thanks 123Disney! You'll have a great time! June should be nice and warm - the pools were a *smidge* cold for us when we went in December. You shouldn't be having that problem in June ... :goodvibes

podsnel
01-02-2012, 09:01 PM
http://www.slowtrav.com/blog/eden/malasadas.JPG

YUMMMMM!!!! I PROMISE!!!! We will definitely get some of them- thank-you! And thanks for ALL the advice- I have saved so much of your TR in my favorites, Spleen! :goodvibes

spleen
01-03-2012, 03:21 AM
YUMMMMM!!!! I PROMISE!!!! We will definitely get some of them- thank-you! And thanks for ALL the advice- I have saved so much of your TR in my favorites, Spleen! :goodvibes

Looking forward to hearing all about your trip when you get back, Ellen!! popcorn::

Silly Little Pixie
04-22-2012, 11:13 PM
For those that are interested in Genki's, I totally forgot until travlrmel just reminded me that there is a Genki Sushi in Kapolei as well. It's located in the same shopping center as Target.

here's the Genki menu in PDF format: http://www.genkisushiusa.com/docs/Genki%20Menu%20Oahu.pdf

I've posted this before but here's a map of Kapolei with shopping/restaurants located. Click the thumbnail picture to expand it into the full map.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/th_AulaniSurroundings2.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniSurroundings2.jpg)
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Thank you SO MUCH! Saved the map to my "Hawaii File". We've been to Oahu before but it's been nearly 10 years.

spleen
04-23-2012, 04:51 AM
Thank you SO MUCH! Saved the map to my "Hawaii File". We've been to Oahu before but it's been nearly 10 years.

You're very welcome. Have a great trip and come back and tell us all about it!

mdsd8700
04-23-2012, 07:13 AM
here's the Genki menu in PDF format: http://www.genkisushiusa.com/docs/Genki%20Menu%20Oahu.pdf

I've posted this before but here's a map of Kapolei with shopping/restaurants located. Click the thumbnail picture to expand it into the full map.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/th_AulaniSurroundings2.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v608/spleen93/dis/AulaniSurroundings2.jpg)




Love this little map. We are going in June and had thought of dinner at Assaggio's the first night since it is so close to the hotel. When I looked at your little map, I seen it right on there. Have you ever eaten there?

spleen
04-24-2012, 10:29 PM
Assaggio's is our equivalent of the neighborhood Italian restaurant chain. It's not fancy but it's done well. If you like garlic, I do recommend the Chicken Anchovy Olio pasta.