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Old 09-10-2012, 10:29 PM   #1
ddoconnell
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Give me good, the bad and the can't miss of Aulani

We did it...pulled the trigger and made Spring Break ressies at Aulani!! So, I need my fellow DIS folks to give me all the info I need to make this an unforgettable trip. So tell me good, the bad, the ugly...the avoid at all costs and best of all: the can't miss things of this amazing resort. I know you all have lots of opinions so fire away!!

TIA
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Many times before but first time on property:
1996 - Port Orleans; 2001 - CBR (bought DVC); 2003 - OKW; 2004 - WL; 2005 - OKW; 2007 - SSR; 2009 - OKW ; 2010 - SSR & YC; 2011 - AKV & YC; 2012 - SST, VWL
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:35 AM   #2
oktracy
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I bought disney gift cards at Target with my Red Card and saved 5% off the total gift card purchase price. Gift cards are readily accepted throughout the hotel. Use these instead of charging to room account for all purchases and for paying your invoice at check out.

Request room near Lobby for a central location to shops, pool check in, spa and most restaurants. We were on the 4th floor and took the stairs regularly to the lobby and self parking area.

Spa is not to be missed. Loved the outdoor hydrotherapy area. Ask for hot tea and don't miss the coed relaxation room. Very beautiful and enjoy the snacks!

Love, Love, Loved the infinity hot tubs, kids and all, while overlooking the lagoon area.

My 9 year old spent many hours jumping and sliding from the mickey platform in the lagoon. He met lots of friends that way too.

Buy one or two refillable cups for drinks including coffee and tea. Occasionally you can get unsweetend ice tea from one of the walk up bars.

Take advantage of photo pass photographers. Great for family photos and beach/sunset shots.

Pool view rooms come the with added bonus of musical performances from the Oleo Lounge that can be heard from your room every night and perhaps not so welcome chants and music at 7 am each morning. Sliding glass doors are sound proof.

Quiet pool has its own private bar for drinks and light meals/snacks

Read Daily IWA regularly. Pick up at turn down. Check out the Weekly IWA also. Kind of like a week at a glance model of the Daily IWA.

If you have little ones, the pool party was cute and entertaining

If you have young children, make a short trip to Pearl Harbor before checking in to the hotel

Leonards Malasadas truck at the Waikele Outlets next to Old Navy. Outstanding!

POG (juice) 1/2 gallon size is only $2.95 at the gift shop. I thought this was a great price.

We bought a few small food items and gifts from the Island Country Market across the street from the hotel. The prices are fair for HI. Deli and food cooked to order is also available here as well.

Make reservations for dinner at Roys also across the street. Don't miss the chocolate souffle. We ate in a lot so this was our splurge.

Enjoy, I hope this helps!
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:34 PM   #3
aclov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oktracy View Post
I bought disney gift cards at Target with my Red Card and saved 5% off the total gift card purchase price. Gift cards are readily accepted throughout the hotel. Use these instead of charging to room account for all purchases and for paying your invoice at check out.

Request room near Lobby for a central location to shops, pool check in, spa and most restaurants. We were on the 4th floor and took the stairs regularly to the lobby and self parking area.

Spa is not to be missed. Loved the outdoor hydrotherapy area. Ask for hot tea and don't miss the coed relaxation room. Very beautiful and enjoy the snacks!

Love, Love, Loved the infinity hot tubs, kids and all, while overlooking the lagoon area.

My 9 year old spent many hours jumping and sliding from the mickey platform in the lagoon. He met lots of friends that way too.

Buy one or two refillable cups for drinks including coffee and tea. Occasionally you can get unsweetend ice tea from one of the walk up bars.

Take advantage of photo pass photographers. Great for family photos and beach/sunset shots.

Pool view rooms come the with added bonus of musical performances from the Oleo Lounge that can be heard from your room every night and perhaps not so welcome chants and music at 7 am each morning. Sliding glass doors are sound proof.

Quiet pool has its own private bar for drinks and light meals/snacks

Read Daily IWA regularly. Pick up at turn down. Check out the Weekly IWA also. Kind of like a week at a glance model of the Daily IWA.

If you have little ones, the pool party was cute and entertaining

If you have young children, make a short trip to Pearl Harbor before checking in to the hotel

Leonards Malasadas truck at the Waikele Outlets next to Old Navy. Outstanding!

POG (juice) 1/2 gallon size is only $2.95 at the gift shop. I thought this was a great price.

We bought a few small food items and gifts from the Island Country Market across the street from the hotel. The prices are fair for HI. Deli and food cooked to order is also available here as well.

Make reservations for dinner at Roys also across the street. Don't miss the chocolate souffle. We ate in a lot so this was our splurge.

Enjoy, I hope this helps!
I was curious if they accepted Disney GC's, so thanks for posting! Quick question - did you rent a car?
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:44 AM   #4
oktracy
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Yes. Disney Gift Cards accepted throughout the hotel. I used mine extensively. We rented a car but did not use it much. One trip to Target and one to the North Shore. I tried to do most of my stocking up on the way to the resort. Probably could have rented a car for the day and that would have been fine but we found a good rate with Thrifty thanks to Dis Boards.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:10 AM   #5
Psychodisney
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How exciting! We were there with our three kids(13,17,19) this summer. As far as a car, I'd totally recommend one but I guess it depends if you plan on soing much touring. We used it every day! There is an Alamo desk on site so you could rent one at the airport to get there and turn it back in. If you're DVC, parking is free.
We ate off site frequently but without a car, there are enough options between Aulani, the Marriots and across the street.

Check the DVC trip reports board. Many of us(including me) have detailed reports with tour info and places to see.

How old are your kids? Are you looking to relax at the resort or see/do things?

Do you have a villa? You can pick up groceries at the exit before Aulani at the Target or Costco. This summer, Target was increasing their grocery selections and they also have adult beverages. We enjoyed our own cocktails.....big $ saver!

I'll second the spa! We did the couples massage and really enjoyed the hydrotherapy garden. Plan to arrive with plenty of extra time before your treatment to enjoy the peace!

There's a nice walking path in front of the lagoons for a morning run/walk. The resort is awesome in the early morning as it's waking up!
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:31 AM   #6
ddoconnell
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Our kids are 26 and 15 and they are so psyched about going! Thanks for the heads up on Target and Costco...we have a 2BR villa so we will be enjoying that kitchen! We planned to have a car because we want to see other parts of the island too. The kids are researching things they want to do. But, both agree that they really want to take the time and enjoy the resort...and the fact that we are in Hawaii!!

Thanks for the info on the gift cards....we may do that for the kids so they can control what they spend and not charge everything to the room!

Keep the suggestions coming...and I will check out the trip reports for other ideas!!
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DS (25) DD (14)

Many times before but first time on property:
1996 - Port Orleans; 2001 - CBR (bought DVC); 2003 - OKW; 2004 - WL; 2005 - OKW; 2007 - SSR; 2009 - OKW ; 2010 - SSR & YC; 2011 - AKV & YC; 2012 - SST, VWL
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:04 PM   #7
aclov
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I noticed some discounts on the DVC Member website
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