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Old 02-14-2013, 03:11 PM   #16
floribr1
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Originally Posted by lulubelle View Post
Glad to hear that as I have already booked it for a day on their website. You get a 10% discount if you book and pay ahead. They have so many interesting things to see and do. I can't wait! Which parts did you like best? How long was the drive from Aulani?
Yes, we also took advantage of that 10% discount for pre-paying. My favorite was the ATV excursion -- totally thrilling! I was a bit nervous about it beforehand, but needn't have been. I really felt as if I were out in the middle of the Hawaiian "wilderness!"

The horseback riding was also fun, but since I hadn't been on a horse since I was 12 years old, I spent the first half of the experience being nervous about my horse.

I think when we go back, we will do the longer ATV tour.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:20 PM   #17
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I realized I didn't respond to the second part of your question about the drive from Aulani... weeellll, that part was not quite so fabulous. First of all, if you have never been to Oahu before you need to know that their traffic is pretty horrendous (and this coming from someone who lives in New York City). We left Aulani at a time we thought was very early: about 6:15am to get to Kualoa by 8:00am (mapquest told us the trip would take 55 minutes). It just so happened that a woman went into labor on the highway heading towards Honolulu, and we were in stand-still traffic for a loooonnng time. The good news is that we did get there at about 8:30am, which wasn't too bad, all in all... We just wanted to get there!

Moral of the story -- if you are heading in the direction of Honolulu, allow yourself plenty of extra time.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:18 PM   #18
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If you're thinking of surfing lessons, I'd recommend Hawaiian Fire... they take you to a pretty quiet beach that just happens to be near Aulani. Their instructors and equipment were top notch. They'll pick you up at Aulani, or give you directions so you can meet them there. http://www.hawaiianfire.com/ didn't realize until later that they're one of the top rated activities on Oahu on TripAdvisor... well deserved!
We're planning to book surf lessons here...any idea of about how far in advance we need to book this? Months? Weeks?
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:00 AM   #19
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We're planning to book surf lessons here...any idea of about how far in advance we need to book this? Months? Weeks?
Well... I booked it about 12 hours in advance. It was January 24 (so pretty low season), and it was just for 1 person... Not much help, I guess. Wouldn't hurt to call and get an idea how busy they are during your trip to see what they'd suggest. If you've got a vehicle, your non surfing family and friends are welcome to come to the beach as well. Not great for swimming, but my kids played In the waves and sand and had a great time.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:32 AM   #20
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1) I would say if you can afford to rent a car, do it, if you are trying to save money, don't. We enjoyed the resort so much, on our next trip, we may only rent for a few days, do get groceries, etc. If you want to see the rest of the island, I would rather get a car than public transportation. That time lost waiting for buses, etc is valuable to me and my family, i.e. worth the cost.

2) I heard bad things about the food as well but so far so good. We haven't tried Ama Ama yet but I can say that we did enjoy Off the Hook very much. Simple but delicious menu. Dinner buffet was good. Trying breakfast one on Saturday. Hawaiian BBQ across the street wasn't great and was overpriced. Haven't tried Just Tacos yet. We ate at a Shrimp truck in North Shore and it was okay and also ate at Zippy's which was good.

3) The room service menu includes family meals as well as individual serve items so I am sure they will have something to fit your needs.

4) Not sure, it's Feb right now.

5) We barely noticed the noise. I don't think I would pay for a cabana but really even without construction you'll hear a plane fly above every few minutes. Both of those don't take away from the fact that you are an awesome resort.

6) Mickey, Minnie, Stitch, Chip, Dale, Goofy and Donald are all here! I don't think I am forgetting anyone. Be sure to take advantage of the photopass photogs that are everywhere!
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:30 PM   #21
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I just realized I typed the Tour company's name wrong - it's Discover Hawaii Tours, not Discount. Sorry about that.

I got food from a shrimp truck and brought it back to my room after my day. I thought it was pretty good - I got the skampy. I think it's hit and miss with those trucks. I had some grilled chicken yesterday that was amazing - I got it at a corner food truck. LOL I just can't remember for sure where it was. It was on the way to the Tropical Farms Macadamian Nut farm.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:28 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by floribr1 View Post
One excursion that I don't hear people discuss much on these boards is Kualoa Ranch. It is a working ranch located in a stunningly beautiful valley on the windward (i.e., eastern) coast of Oahu. They offer half-day and full-day itineraries including a jungle tour, an RTV tour, horseback riding, and much more. Hands down, it was the best thing that we did while there... Picture yourself in the middle of an episode of Lost, and you'll get an idea of how beautiful it is (in fact, many scenes from that show were shot right there). When we go back to Hawai'i, Kualoa Ranch will definitely be on the itinerary again.
Thanks, for the tip!! I just checked it out. Wat tour did you do through them?? TIA!!
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:26 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floribr1 View Post
One excursion that I don't hear people discuss much on these boards is Kualoa Ranch. It is a working ranch located in a stunningly beautiful valley on the windward (i.e., eastern) coast of Oahu. They offer half-day and full-day itineraries including a jungle tour, an RTV tour, horseback riding, and much more. Hands down, it was the best thing that we did while there... Picture yourself in the middle of an episode of Lost, and you'll get an idea of how beautiful it is (in fact, many scenes from that show were shot right there). When we go back to Hawai'i, Kualoa Ranch will definitely be on the itinerary again.

How far is this Ranch from the Aulani??!!
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Feb. 2011 OKW April 2011 SSR Aug. 2011 Vero Beach, DCL The Dream-DD, SSR, Oct. 2011 SSR Jan. 2012 OKW April 2012 SSR June 2012 DCL, Magic out of NYC June/July 2012 SSR, Vero Beach November 2012 40th Birthday Cruise DCL Thanksgiving Fantasy
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:21 PM   #24
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It's on the other side of the island
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:48 PM   #25
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We spent 5 days on Oahu last year (did a day trip to Aulani too!) and did a Kualoa Ranch tour with KOS tours which was a LOST specific tour. It was AMAZING. 4 people max per hummer and one guide. best thing we did on the island except get married lol). I did a trip report here on the boards since after HI we did a DCL cruise.

Here's the link: index in first post at the bottom. Our ranch tour was day 4. Lots of pics!

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2877757
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:05 AM   #26
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Is anybody at Aulani right now? Or going very soon? I have a favor to ask.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:22 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AddictedtoDoleWhip View Post
Hello everyone,

I have a few questions about Aulani that I hope you can answer, we will be going to Aulani for Spring Break (very excited!) and I was wondering about a few things..

1) Should we rent a car? I know there are a few places that are walkable from the resort, but I know that if we want to do sight-seeing tourist-y things that we are going to need a vehicle right? The person I am going with seems to think otherwise, and says she would rather use public transportation but I don't know how reliable it is and I am pretty certain that it will take 3x as long to get to certain areas if we go that route. I think she's afraid of the cost, but I am thinking if we only rent a car for a few days it shouldn't be that bad right? Can you guys give me some tips on this and a good argument as to why a car is needed lol.
Definitely rent a car. There is just too much to do on the island that would be very time consuming and difficult without a car.

2) What are some good food places to eat and what is everyones favorite dish that they had while they were there? (I am open for restaurants outside of Aulani, I have heard bad things about the food at Aulani, but I happened to love most of the character buffets at WDW except for Chef Mickey's so I am easily pleased.) We have been very pleased with the food here at Aulani. Loved our meal at Makhiki, and our room service meal the first night was amazing! We went over to JW Marriott yesterday and ate at Chuck's steak and seafood, and enjoyed that very much too. Our favorite so far offsite though is the Monkeypod Kitchen across the road. WONDERFUL fusion type food and desserts.

3) I have been doing research on the Room Service, but I am wondering if they have things for a smaller group of people? There will only be two of us, and we can't eat for a family of four... but if that's all they have, is the Room Service food good? [COLOR="rgb(139, 0, 0)"]You don't have to order the family meals. You can older individual meals too, and that is what we did the first night. It was very good and seemed to come from Ama Ama.[/COLOR]

4) What is the weather like in April?[COLOR="rgb(139, 0, 0)"] BEAUTIFUL year round![/COLOR]

5) Which area is the best area to stay in the Resort? I know there is construction, but will the noise affect our stay there? Or do you barely notice it when you are inside? We don't notice much of the noise from construction, but the music and pool can be heard easily even in our 10th floor unit.

6) Which characters are seen around Aulani? (I know they won't have as many as they do in the parks, but I am crossing my fingers that my three favorite characters will be there )Minnie, Mickey, Goofey, Chip, Dale, Donald. Those are all we have seen so far.

That's all I can think of now, but I am sure I'll pop back in here if I have more questions! Thank you in advance!
Ask away, since we are here until Thursday.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:43 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by dianeschlicht
Ask away, since we are here until Thursday.
I know you have already seen, and replied, to my thread I had started (about the gift card). Thank you for checking for me!!
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:45 AM   #29
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Yes, we also took advantage of that 10% discount for pre-paying. My favorite was the ATV excursion -- totally thrilling! I was a bit nervous about it beforehand, but needn't have been. I really felt as if I were out in the middle of the Hawaiian "wilderness!"

The horseback riding was also fun, but since I hadn't been on a horse since I was 12 years old, I spent the first half of the experience being nervous about my horse.

I think when we go back, we will do the longer ATV tour.
I was just looking at their website and they have a few tours they offer. I'm not sure what the best one would be. Thinking of also doing the ATV but a bit nervous. I'm not really too interested in the horseback tour. Did they pick you up or did you drive yourself? Is it closer to Waikiki area or Aulani?
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:34 AM   #30
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We did Germaines and Dolphin Watch with Dolphin Star.

Germaine's was OK and given that DVC kids were free I am glad I did it. Cross Luau off of the list for next time. In general the Spirit of Aloha is better than most Luaus in my opinion. My wife and kids liked it.

The Dolphin watch was really good. We debated on the more expensive experience on a smaller boat with snorkeling. we opted for Dolphin Star since we did not think our kids were ready for deep water snorkeling. They were great, I do think that if the boat was dull it might not be as good but it was only at 50% capacity so we could move around and see the dolphins and whales.

Besides that I had a hard time getting my family to leave the resort. It was juts so great hanging out there. Can't wait to go back and until the renos are done.
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