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Old 05-25-2011, 05:56 AM   #1
bigAWL
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The future of beach crowds at Aulani?

I'm not an owner at Aulani, and I'm in the market for any more DVC points, but I really hope to stay at Aulani some day. However, I do have a big question about the beach there, and I'm wondering if anyone here has any insights.

This recent piece from the DIS Unplugged Blog (http://www.disunplugged.com/2011/04/...-clubs-aulani/) makes reference to a "private beach and lagoon." But I've also read that the beaches on the lagoons at Ko Olina are public beaches. Anyone know for sure? At least, I would assume, Aulani is sharing the beach with guests at the JW Marriott resort next door.

I looked it up, and Disney's Aulani will have about 840 rooms. If they book a lot of the 480 2-br villas as split units, then you can expect to add abother 200-300 or more to that total. The Marriott already has 387 rooms and suites. That's approaching 1500 rooms on a lagoon that looks to be just a bit smaller than the family beach at Castaway Cay (before they extended it for the Dream). Comparing what the Castaway Cay family beach feels like when guests from the 877 cabins on the Magic show up, I'm worried that the beach will be REALLY crowded there.

Oh, and there's also another undeveloped plot that fronts the same lagoon (about the same size as the Aulani site). Any ideas what the future might hold there? Another 500+ room resort, perhaps?
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2014 Jun ........................................ Magic 12-night Med. Barcelona-Venice

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2015 Jan ...... Saratoga Springs Resort ......... Fantasy 7-night E. Caribbean San Juan
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:57 AM   #2
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A few key differences. The big one being when DCL goes to Castaway Cay really the only things to do are go to the beach or stay on the ship. At Aulani there will be many options each day and I can't see each person in every room going to the beach every day.

Second when they talk about a private beach and lagoon they might be talking about on the property itself. I believe they are going to have a snorkeling lagoon right on the property.

There are actually 4 lagoons that are near the Aulani property that are public and there is plenty of room to spread out.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:26 AM   #3
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As PP mentioned, there are actually four lagoons nearby, so I don't think beach crowds will be huge. Many guests will be out sight seeing, or going to waikiki beach! My understanding is that there are NO private beaches in Hawaii, they are all public by law and must remain that way. They must be referring to the on site water area's in their publicity materials.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:09 AM   #4
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as others have mentioned above, there are no private beaches in Hawaii - all beaches are public. Having said that, the Ko Olina resort where Aulani is located does restrict public access to the lagoons there by limiting public parking. Once the parking stalls are full, the resort does not allow further public access to the area until parking becomes available - a policy that has caused no small amount of resentment in the local community in the area.

Also as previously mentioned, the number of lagoons available at Ko Olina are much more than the lagoon directly in front of Aulani.



There are 3 other lagoons that are to the left of the main lagoon in the picture above. I have taken a Google map of the area and marked in the area where Aulani is being built and its relationship to the 4 lagoons. It's a quick walk to the adjacent lagoon though obviously, the most farthest away lagoon would be a little trek (people walk back and forth for exercise all the time)

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Old 05-25-2011, 08:37 AM   #5
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The beaches will be crowded. All beaches in Hawaii are public, but as was said, they try and limit access by limiting parking. And their are LOTS of beaches on the islands, so it isn't like everyone needs to flock to this one. But there will be lots of rooms around that lagoon and while there are lots of things to do in Hawaii, sitting on the beach is a prime reason people go. The large private pool that Aulani will have will take some pressure off the beach.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:57 AM   #6
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Sure, I get the point that there are other things to do: sight-seeing, shopping, eating, golf, the marina, Aulani's pool and water features. And there are other things to do on Castaway Cay: eating, kids area, teen area, adult beach, excursions; but the family beach is the place most people go.

I'm not sure how many people the other lagoons will draw from the JW Marriott and Disney resorts, though. It appears to be about a 500 yard trek from the center of one lagoon to the center of the next. That's great for exercising, but not so good for schlepping a family of 5 and all the gear. Also, those other lagoons have other resorts on them (another 1000 rooms) - surely with more to come in the future. [Editing to add:] Plus there are over another 1000 units in non-ocean front resorts and rental communities in the immediate vicinity.
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............... Walt Disney World ............ Disney Cruise Line .................... Disneyland Resort .............. Disneyland Paris

1979 .......... Golf Resort
1984 .......... Hotel Royal Plaza
1989 .......... Offsite?
2007 Jun .................................................. .................................................. ................. Newport Bay Club
2008 May-Jun .. Shades of Green ................. Wonder 4-night Bahamas Double-dip
2009 Jul ...... Shades of Green ................. Magic 7-night E. Caribbean Tortola
2010 Jun ........................................ Magic 12-night Northern Europe
2010 Dec ...... Saratoga Springs Resort ......... Magic 11-night S. Caribbean Holiday
2011 Jul ........................................ Wonder 7-night Alaska .................... Villas at Grand Californian
2011 Oct ...... Polynesian - AKV Kidani
2012 Jun ...... Bay Lake Tower .................. Fantasy 7-night W. Caribbean
2013 Mar ...... Beach Club Villas - BLT ......... Dream 4/3-night Bahamas Back-to-Back
2014 Jun ........................................ Magic 12-night Med. Barcelona-Venice

Future Plans:

2015 Jan ...... Saratoga Springs Resort ......... Fantasy 7-night E. Caribbean San Juan
2015 Jun-Jul .................................... Magic 11-night Norwegian Fjords & Iceland

Last edited by bigAWL; 05-25-2011 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spleen View Post
Also, just a note about your map. I believe Aulani takes up the entire plot from road to road in the center of that first lagoon. I think your red are should be double the size.
__________________
............... Walt Disney World ............ Disney Cruise Line .................... Disneyland Resort .............. Disneyland Paris

1979 .......... Golf Resort
1984 .......... Hotel Royal Plaza
1989 .......... Offsite?
2007 Jun .................................................. .................................................. ................. Newport Bay Club
2008 May-Jun .. Shades of Green ................. Wonder 4-night Bahamas Double-dip
2009 Jul ...... Shades of Green ................. Magic 7-night E. Caribbean Tortola
2010 Jun ........................................ Magic 12-night Northern Europe
2010 Dec ...... Saratoga Springs Resort ......... Magic 11-night S. Caribbean Holiday
2011 Jul ........................................ Wonder 7-night Alaska .................... Villas at Grand Californian
2011 Oct ...... Polynesian - AKV Kidani
2012 Jun ...... Bay Lake Tower .................. Fantasy 7-night W. Caribbean
2013 Mar ...... Beach Club Villas - BLT ......... Dream 4/3-night Bahamas Back-to-Back
2014 Jun ........................................ Magic 12-night Med. Barcelona-Venice

Future Plans:

2015 Jan ...... Saratoga Springs Resort ......... Fantasy 7-night E. Caribbean San Juan
2015 Jun-Jul .................................... Magic 11-night Norwegian Fjords & Iceland
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigAWL View Post
Also, just a note about your map. I believe Aulani takes up the entire plot from road to road in the center of that first lagoon. I think your red are should be double the size.
Yup. It was done quickly and not really meant to represent the size of the resort - more to locate the resort in relation to the lagoons. I'll update the map not to mislead anybody.

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Old 05-25-2011, 02:10 PM   #9
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I don't think the beaches will ever be a problem in Ko Olina. If everyone staying in Ko Olina went to the beach at the same time, it would be full, but I doubt that will ever happen.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:38 PM   #10
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When I went last summer, we drove up from Honolulu, and rode the Hawaiian Railway with some locals out to Aulani. I talked to some of the people who actually live up the hill (for lack of a better descriptor) from Aulani, Turtle Bay (I think), and the Marriott, and they weren't terribly happy. The lagoons and beaches aren't all that large, and the residential area, and clubs and golf courses in the area use those beaches too. These individuals were concerned about the "Disney thing" (I wasn't too popular as you may have guessed!) and their ability to watch dolphins from the shore, as well as increased traffic in the area. I think that everyone is trying to keep the beaches relatively low-key, but since it has the spector of Disney--they're worried, which I understand. I guess it also depends on your definition of "crowded" too. I find Waikiki crowded, but find the North Shore to be perfection....it's in the eye of the beholder, I suppose.
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:29 PM   #11
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Okay, so the beaches will be "full" and that's public, we understand that. What I am wondering is, what about the Aulani amenities (eg Water features, etc.)

How is this going to be controlled? If I'm paying good money for Aulani, it would be disappointing if Marriott or *anybody* else were allowed to use the water features. It's not that I think Disney will allow it, but I wonder how they will stop it.

Mexican all-inclusive resorts and SAB at BC use wrist bands, but idk if Disney has a plan for this or not.
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:50 PM   #12
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The Hawaiian resorts we went to all had gated pools and facilities. One (and I can't remember which one, we were the "public" on their beach) even restricted the snack bar to hotel guests.
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:05 PM   #13
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We were just at Beaches Turks and Caicos, which is on a public beach, with the nicest amenities of any hotel around it, and they didn't have gates and we didn't wear armbands. They kept security guards around to monitor people coming onto the property from the beach to make sure that people who weren't staying at the resort didn't wander into the pools/bars/restaurants. It did not seem like a very good system - way too easy to sneak in. All of the other all-inclusive resorts we have been to used the arm band system.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palaemon View Post
Okay, so the beaches will be "full" and that's public, we understand that. What I am wondering is, what about the Aulani amenities (eg Water features, etc.)

How is this going to be controlled? If I'm paying good money for Aulani, it would be disappointing if Marriott or *anybody* else were allowed to use the water features. It's not that I think Disney will allow it, but I wonder how they will stop it.

Mexican all-inclusive resorts and SAB at BC use wrist bands, but idk if Disney has a plan for this or not.
In Maui (for many hotels), there are gates/rock formations denoting the boundary of the hotel from the beach and you have to use key cards to access the gates going into the hotel area from the beach.

On the Big Island (where there's just less people/beach traffic) the hotel servers on the beach will ask you for your room key before you set up your towel on hotel lounge chairs, or if they are "assisting" you with seting up your chairs by the pool/beach.

It just depends on the set up, but most locals that work in the hotels will be used to asking guests whether they are guests. The question does not come off offensive or anything.

I bet Aulani will have a gate preventing random people from walking off the beach to use the pool features.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:30 AM   #15
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The beach is private but people from both hotels can use it so is shared.but only the 2 hotels have permission to use it. I would now because I've been there 2 times. I'm here right now so I would know trust me. But you have to be able to get in to one of the hotels. When you first get there they ask your name and what hotel your going to.
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