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Old 01-10-2012, 11:02 PM   #16
ciao_gina
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Thanks again for all of the details.

What is the Menhume challenge?

Can you get regular (non Kona) coffee at Aulani?

Do you know if Roy's is opening soon?
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:19 PM   #17
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So happy to hear that they have Miley ice cream bars!!

Do they offer the star gazing tour every night? Is there an extra charge? I'd love to learn about the resort while we are there.
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:32 AM   #18
mgodfre3
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Day 4

Ok so the trip is halfway over, why does it come along so slow, but go by so fast.

The Daily IWA is a newsletter akin to a cruise ships activity log. We pick up the next day's nightly at the front desk and it tells you Charector Photo Ops, Craft Activities, shows and other events around Aulani. It is a great guide to plan out Activities.

The Menehune Adventure Trail is a exploring activity using a Android device provided by the Pau Hana Cast members on the 1st floor in the Ewa tower. The device has you video call Aunty, whose friends keep calling her to ask for help with various things. You are guided to a spot, where with the help of the Menehune magical things start to happen around the resort. Today we made rocks rise out of the rivers, helped baby sea turtles and sprayed tourist with water from fountains as a joke. It is worth doing and actually a lot of fun.

There are 2 laundry facilities in both the Ewa and Wainane tower. They look good and secure with a key to Aulani card. I heard that studio guests can ask the front desk for 6 free tokens to the laundry room, but haven't confirmed that yet.

We drove by Roy's today and it looked closed still. I will call tomorrow to get an idea, as we would love to go for Happy Hour. We are going to the one in Hawaii Kai (the original) for dinner Thursday night.


The star gazing tour is in two versions a free one that is a broad over view and it I think twice a week, defiantly on Monday nights I will check the Weekly IWA and let you know, Also I will scan in the IWA's when I get home for all of you to see. They have a more advanced Stargazing activity with a NASA expert who brings a telescope. Im not sure about the details on that one though.

Today like I said we skipped Makihiki because it honestly did not look like it was worth $27 each. When then went on a member tour of the 2BR & GV room 1001. It was a breathtaking room but all we can afford are studios. But like an idiot I forgot to take pictures up there! We also sent a photo to our DVC Rep of us at finally making it to Aulani, and he sent us back that he is on the Disney Wonder this week...too funny. After the lei making activity, which was fun, we took the hard top off the Jeep and drove to the Dole Plantation. We got a small Dole Whip at this tourist trap and it wasn't as good as at the Parks. If we all comment about it I am sure we can get Dole Whips at Aulani, just saying. Then we headed ton the North Shore to show my DW the CHOICE Waves and Halewia Town. As we went through town, I saw Matsumotos was not busy, so we stopped to try it. In all my 10 years of living in Hawaii I never had Matsumotos Shave Ice. To be honest I liked the one at Aulani better, a lot of syrup is not necessarily a good thing, who knew! Then we continued on to Waimae Bay, Turtle Bay, Kahuku and along the cost down to Hawaii Kai. We grabbed dinner at Cha Cha Cha Salsaria in Hawaii Kai, a place I worked at 12 years ago and it was great like I remembered, if you go try the Papaya Chicken Quesadilla. A quick drive back and we went to the infinity tub to chill the night away.

TIL that the Front Desk, Aunty's Beach House, the Lava Shack and Kalepepe's Store all have pin trading books with Kalepepe having 2, so buy some cheap pin lots on ebay and bring them with you! As far as vinylmations, none are traded on property, the closest place is at the Disney Store in Ala Moana which is under remodel right now.

Tomorrow, I think we will just enjoy the day at the resort again, why not eh?
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:56 PM   #19
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Thanks again!

Do you mind telling me what you paid for the jeep? We have a sedan rental and I am thinking a Jeep would be way more fun.

Thanks!
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:48 PM   #20
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Somehow through Alamo we got a jeep for 8 days for $263. I think my wife applied the DVC discount but I'm happy. We originally had a ford focus for $200 but what the heck we are on vacation!
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgodfre3 View Post
Somehow through Alamo we got a jeep for 8 days for $263. I think my wife applied the DVC discount but I'm happy. We originally had a ford focus for $200 but what the heck we are on vacation!
I was just wondering where you rented the Jeep from. Where do you find the DVC code for the rental?

Your trip report is great!
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:04 AM   #22
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Got the jeep from Alamo and dvcmember.com has the discount info

Today was very low key! We stayed at the resort all day and did nothing! We ate bfast on our balcony in our robes again. We then went to the pool and enjoyed the morning. I decided to try snorkeling in the actual ocean today and was disappointed. I saw about 20-25 fish total and was just not excited as I was with Rainbow Reef. I did not venture past the lagoon though because I am not a confident diver by myself. maybe ISPs just lazy but the RR is just convient, there and fun. It is a great controlled diving experience that I just have grown to enjoy after more then 5 trips into it so far. We then went though the pool, slides and lazy river the rest of the day, stopping for a pool side lunch, grilled chicken fingers and fries and kids mini cheeseburgers and fruit each was $6.95. We had shave ice later and then I went to RR for the 139 feeding. We made olelo necklaces in the Pau Hana room and then tried real snorkeling again in the ocean with the same result only fewer fish. We had dinner with friends in Hawaii Kai at the Kona Brewing Company Pub, they should stick to beer, I know I will stick to buying their bottles.

As a local and a guest I and my DW have noticed a few things. A lot of locals come to the resort which is to be expected. The thing that is getting annoying is they are getting in and getting wristbands from the friends who are cast members. Which is a little annoying. lso the cast members don't have the same professionalism that their park counterparts do and the whole resort feels like a franchise of Disney with they're standards and guidance but Hawaiian attitudes of no worries at times. Don't get me wrong we are in love with this resort we are just noticing a lot of growing pains.

They started work on some cement in the zero entry of the main pool which is in the way and an eyesore but it should be gone soon. Other then that the resort is fantastic and I encourage all members to come here and experience a relaxing vacation, but be sure to voice your concerns so we can make this experiment a success and get Disney to make this resort a 10/10 and build more resorts like is in other places.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:25 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgodfre3 View Post
As a local and a guest I and my DW have noticed a few things. A lot of locals come to the resort which is to be expected. The thing that is getting annoying is they are getting in and getting wristbands from the friends who are cast members. Which is a little annoying. lso the cast members don't have the same professionalism that their park counterparts do and the whole resort feels like a franchise of Disney with they're standards and guidance but Hawaiian attitudes of no worries at times. Don't get me wrong we are in love with this resort we are just noticing a lot of growing pains.
Also as a local and a guest we were there last month. Noticed this too: a ton of locals, particularly hanging out at the pool on the weekend. Some were obviously related to CM's (saying hi to the employees, etc), which I assumed were taking advantage of their auntie/uncle/cousin/sibling's employee rate on the room, since many of us here on Maui do this for birthdays, etc (I miss being related to someone who works for the Grand Wailea). Did not think they just got the pool bracelet for free, but they might have ... we talked to many of the locals (or they talked to us), and several mentioned that they were staying there on SSR or AKV points, using them for staycation weekends. There were substantially fewer locals on Monday, we spent that day at the resort and flew home on Hawaiian's last flight.

I'm hoping that all of them were there "legitimately" ie they had paid for a room either by points or a CM discount ... and in retrospect its logical that we ran into so many since we were not interested in the "other things" Oahu has to offer, we were interested in the resort so stuck close to the pool and other amenities that Aulani had to offer. People from Oahu would similarly be interested in just hanging out at the resort, where many of the tourists will be off exploring the island for large portions of their vacation days. It would be unfortunate if CMs were handing out bracelets to friends and family without rooms.

Also note that I called and said I'd be coming in for the weekend with family for my graduation, and most were just coming for 1 night in Waikiki, not staying at Aulani and I asked if I could get 4 pool bracelets, or buy a couple more for 1 day of our 3-day stay, they said no they weren't set up to sell extra bracelets. They did say, however, that our guests were welcome to use everything except for the pool slides without wearing a bracelet and if they were questioned to just give our room number. We ended up not taking advantage of this as my family chose shopping after the ceremony then heading straight to the airport rather than coming to see the resort with us, but its interesting that they have a policy allowing more people than the room allows to spend time in the resort area.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:02 PM   #24
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Day 5
Roys is still closed until further notice. I honestly have been enjoying the heck out of is trip. I am so relaxed! Today was another lazy pool day with lunch at target snack bar because we were craving a pizza. They need a chipotle, earl of sandwich and a Wolfgang puck express over here, maybe I need to look into some investments haha. Tonight we will go to the original Roy's that is 40 minutes away. I can't wait. Sorry but no pics but I don't feel safe taking my iPhone to the pool. Construction was done and I have noticed some cast members have began checkling into the hotel, as I see thm coming out of rooms and discussing it in the valley. Haha. Guess they get to see it from a guest perspective.

I am honestly just taking the next couple of days slow and easy and it is such a great trip after all the years of Disney park trips. I will totally come here every few years. See you all later.
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:20 PM   #25
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Great TR You're having the vacation I'm trying to plan on having! I would love to see a pic of your Island View. Also, after you check out, perhaps the room no.? I love your 'native' perspective, keep those touring tips comn
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Old 01-13-2012, 01:04 PM   #26
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That's an amazing rate on the Jeep. You probably stayed over a Saturday. I'm having a hell of a time finding a decent rate on a Jeep for a Sunday through Friday. Best I could find is a 10% discount, plus a two car class upgrade to a full-size. That's a GREAT discount, but just not what I want. (The DVC discount is only 10%, so it's doubtful that was the entirety of the discount your wife got on the Jeep. It was probably the Save $30 and 25% off discount I've seen.)

The DVC discount is pretty much the same as you'd get with any other corporate ID, but if you want to check it, the code to use is 309397.
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Old 01-13-2012, 02:43 PM   #27
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I uploaded some photos of the view onto Flickr, the link is in the first post. We are in the Waianane Tower on the 7th floor. I will tell you the room number when we get back.

Roy's in Hawaii Kai is excellent and I highly recommend you go there it is so worth the drive. The pineapple upside down cake and chocolate souffle are to die for. This morning we are running to the Disney store at Ala Moana to get some Animation 2 and tiki vinylmations then it's pool day again with a movie night on the lawn.

I asked my wife about the jeep and she said she just looked every day and got lucky. The next day the jeep was 550 for the same dates. I don't know but she said she only used the DVC discount but it was only like $19 off or something like that. I liked Alamo because they have self checkout kiosks. And I didn't haver spend half my vacation waiting to rent a car. Ok I'm out so see you all later.
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