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Old 08-31-2011, 01:19 AM   #1
DisneyFan68
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DVC Aulani Perks/Discounts

Just got back from visiting Aulani, and I have to say it is hands down the best resort in Hawaii. It was so nice and the weather was perfect even though the rest of the island including Waikiki was overcast and rainy. It was a little smaller than I had anticipated but still enough to do for the entire family. They even had a color daily newsletter called "the daily 'iwa" with all the activities of the day. The pools, slides, and menehune bridge look awesome! I can just imagine how amazing the resort would look at night. I can't wait to actually stay there next week!!!

Anyway, my question is, does anyone know the perks and discounts that are being offered to DVC members at Aulani?
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:46 AM   #2
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Thats great to hear! Another month and change and I will get to stay there too!
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:50 AM   #3
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At this time there are no merchandise or dining discounts in any of the shops or restaurants. I asked several times, and kept getting the same answer "no."

They do have discounts for the spa if you are DVC, Kamaaina (local resident), or any parks annual pass holder. Annual pass holders also get a discount on rooms, so be sure to ask, and don't forget to bring your AP with you to show at check in.

Here is my report from our visit to the Grand Opening on 8/29/11.


Aulani Resort Grand Opening first impressions. (August 29, 2011).


by Jeff Da Runner on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 10:19pm


We arrived in the mid-afternoon to Aulani. We were greeted with "E Komo Mai Hale." (Welcome Home). Everything looked and smelled new.

Today was the Grand Opening, and we were there just to visit and take it all in. Prior to this, we had visited the Disney Vacation Club model units, and had a perimeter tour while still under construction. Our first of two stays will be this upcoming month.

After taking in the main hall, we walked around the viewing deck with overlooks the outdoor dining/bar area. Further away we could see the lazy river, and volcano mountain. We went back through the lobby, and passed the concierge and front desk areas, and the children's waiting room (TV, and a few fun activities).

There are hidden Mickey's, and hidden menehune's all over the place!

From there we found ourselves at the keiki pool playground. It was created with lots of imagination. My girls wanted to jump in, despite not having our swimsuits with us. Let me just say, the pools and hot tubs are EVERYWHERE you turn. Waterslides, river float, hot tubs, wading pools. And lets not forget the beach cove just a few yards away. I would guess there is an acre and a half or more of water activities. Tons of lounge chairs, and still lots of room left despite it being very crowded.

According to one of the lifeguards, wristbands are issued at check in. And that's how they enforce hotel guests using the pools, vs. day visitors. Towels are available in several locations around the pool.

Then there is a pay to enter saltwater snorkling pool. In one area you can look through the windows and see all the tropical fish, and an occassional swimmer go by. Pretty neat. WARNING: It's pricey either by the day, or length of stay price.

There is also a sting ray attraction that is free. But it seems like they open and close it throughout the day, to give the rays a break. Naturalists are there to give talks about the rays. Kids will love this.

There is bar to one side of the outdoor area, and guess what? Another pool!

Near this bar they have an evening hula show. We caught the very end of the act after dinner, and it was pretty good. It's crowded, so get there early to find lawn seating.

On the other side of the vast pool area, is another bar, and Ama Ama restaurant. We were to dine there so we continued touring knowing we'd come back that way.

We ventured into the keiki's Auntie's Beach House. Think the Oceaner's Club aboard any Disney Cruse ship. Lots of free, fun activities for the kids. There are several rooms within the club, with lots of space for the kids to roam. You just sign them in, and leave them as long as they want to stay. You are issued a pager to get buzzed should they want to come out, or in the event of an emergency. Very cool.

Now for you Adventurer's Club enthusiasts. There are artifacts from the Pleasure Island Adventurer's Club that completely decorate the movie room inside the Auntie's Beach House. So either you have to enroll your child to go see it, or take a complimentary tour.

While walking around, we saw a LONG line for photos with Mickey, Minnie, and Stitch. It was around 6 pm outside, and I knew there was no way we were going to stand in line and still make it to dinner. My girls were fine with standing off to the side, watching everyone else battle for their turn. And of course, there's Photopass opportunities around the resort!

Also for the family to explore, is an interactive scavenger hunt. You get a PDA device (not sure where), and you go hunting around for magical things. Very similar to Mission Kim Possible at EPCOT.

Now, back to dinner. The ambiance was great, as we were seated just before sunset. The food was very tasty, but for the prices, my appetite wanted more food. I had a "French" Maui Onion soup, seafood stew, my wife had the market priced fish, and my keiki had the ravioli and steak off the kids menu. Throw in dessert and a cocktail, and of course the check goes up. I wasn't shocked by the sticker price, having seen the menu online in advance.

There are two other restaurants, one a buffet, and one a quick service take out menu. I think all together there are three bars. There is a shave ice stand, and a small curios store near the volcano.

Following dinner we took a final stroll near the beach cove, and there was Hawaiian music being played by a trio, and a really nice firepit (propane) to sit by.

We hit the gift shop, and left with some pretty cool grand opening day, and DVC member merchandise. Because of the crowd, most Aulani items had signs that said, 2 items per guest. Pins and vinylmation were big sellers. I didn't see anyone leave the store without some package in hand. Pin trading takes place with any Cast Member working the cash register. They have pin books that you can look through. I already see a lot of the merchandise is already up for bid on eBay.

The craziest thing I did see was the re-fillable soda mugs. $32.99 for the length of stay. Uh, seriously? Folks, stop by the COSTCO or market in Kapolei, and pick up your groceries there. It's 10 minutes down the road. Or, pay a little bit more than the market, and shop at the ABC store across the street in the Ko Olina shopping center.

Self parking. Free for four hours if you spend $35 on food, drink, or souvenirs. Completely FREE to DVC club members. Just show your card to the valet desk. They scan your ticket, and you put it into the electronic machine at exit to lift the gate.

Highlights, we me Imagineer Joe Rhode, and Vice President Djuan Rivers. Both took a few minutes to talk to us, and really made us feel welcomed. Both were engaging with my girls, and made the greeting very special. Photos with both of them.

One minor disappointment was there are no DVC members discounts in the stores or on dining. We were told maybe in the future, but no discounts at this time.

We didn't check out the Spa or the teens activity lounge. We left those for next time we are there to explore even further.I hope you enjoyed this review. If there is anything else I can answer for you, just ask.

AlohaMick was with us, and several people asked to take photos with him. They all thought he was a riot. I explained how there are many traveling Mickey gnomes, and they were quite amused.







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Last edited by mkymsehi; 08-31-2011 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:28 AM   #4
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Thanks Jeff!!! That's an awesome review of Aulani! It gives me more tips for our stay next week. It is a bummer that DVC members don't get some kind of discount at the restaurants but hopefully that'll change as the resort gets into full swing. It did seem like a perfect crowd of people to me, not too crowded or too empty. I just can't imagine what it'll be like once they open phases 2 & 3 though. YIKES!!! We gotta enjoy it now before it gets way more crowded. I did have a few questions...

1) My wife and I are DVC members and we got a room for my in-laws too. Are ther 2 free parking per DVC membership or 2 free parking per reservation?

2) I was a little surprised because I was under the impression that snorkeling was included in the resort fee but the sting ray was an additional cost. But when we visited, it looked like there was a fee for both. Is that right?

3) what was you and your family's favorite part of Aulani?
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyFan68 View Post
Thanks Jeff!!! That's an awesome review of Aulani! It gives me more tips for our stay next week. It is a bummer that DVC members don't get some kind of discount at the restaurants but hopefully that'll change as the resort gets into full swing. It did seem like a perfect crowd of people to me, not too crowded or too empty. I just can't imagine what it'll be like once they open phases 2 & 3 though. YIKES!!! We gotta enjoy it now before it gets way more crowded. I did have a few questions...

Opening day had lots of people, but I never felt it was crowded. The resort is huge! Only the store was full of people selecting their Aulani merchandise.

1) My wife and I are DVC members and we got a room for my in-laws too. Are ther 2 free parking per DVC membership or 2 free parking per reservation?

I read it's two cars per DVC room, but don't quote me. I bet you could do more, because all you do is show your DVC membership card to the valet. They swipe your ticket in an electronic reader, write DVC on it, and hand it back to you. You put it in the gate machine upon exit. No one checks on the cars coming or going out of the self park lot.

2) I was a little surprised because I was under the impression that snorkeling was included in the resort fee but the sting ray was an additional cost. But when we visited, it looked like there was a fee for both. Is that right?

The salt water snorkel has both a daily fee, or a length of stay fee. IT'S NOT CHEAP, and no discounts for DVC members or AP holders (at this time).

The sting ray encounter is also EXPENSIVE. But if you've never been in the ocean because you're from: Iowa, Wyoming, or somewhere that doesn't have ocean...then maybe these activities are for you.

I live here in Honolulu, and can go snorkeling anytime I want, for free.













3) what was you and your family's favorite part of Aulani?
We loved all the theming. It's not full Hawaiian immersion. More like subtle Hawaiian theme with hints of Disney.

We can't wait to use the pools when we actually stay in 2 1/2 weeks.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:15 AM   #6
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Great review...thanks!
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:53 AM   #7
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Thanks so much for the review! I am disappointed in such a high charge for the snorkeling. I guess it is a measure of crowd control though.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkymsehi View Post
The craziest thing I did see was the re-fillable soda mugs. $32.99 for the length of stay. Uh, seriously? Folks, stop by the COSTCO or market in Kapolei, and pick up your groceries there. It's 10 minutes down the road. Or, pay a little bit more than the market, and shop at the ABC store across the street in the Ko Olina shopping center.
Does Disney include a lock and chain with the mug as I would be worried about leaving that mug on my pool lounge chair.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:38 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by DVC Dude View Post
Does Disney include a lock and chain with the mug as I would be worried about leaving that mug on my pool lounge chair.
Excellent point!
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:01 PM   #10
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We have a spa appointment booked during our stay in 2 weeks. I emailed back the person who I have been communicating with in setting up the appointment. They said that there is not a DVC discount for the spa. I will certainly ask when I am there but just wanted to pass on the information.
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:29 PM   #11
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Thanks for the review. It sounds like a great resort.
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:32 PM   #12
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WOW!!!!! Thank you for posting your review. Aulani looks beautiful!!!! Hopefully we will have the opportunity to visit next Sept.
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emilymad View Post
We have a spa appointment booked during our stay in 2 weeks. I emailed back the person who I have been communicating with in setting up the appointment. They said that there is not a DVC discount for the spa. I will certainly ask when I am there but just wanted to pass on the information.

When I filled out the online form requesting information, and to book a tentative date for a spa treatment, there were the following check mark boxes.

Guest Type:
Guest of Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
Kama'aina
DVC Member
Cast Member
Laniwai Day Guest


However, when they sent me the price sheet, they did not indicate what the discounted prices are. We'll see if they come out with a discount sometime, but who knows???

BTW, Kama'aina (local residents) often get discounts here for showing our local ID.
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:05 PM   #14
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Hi we are staying at Aulani at the min and there is a discount for the water activities you 10% off all activities.
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:19 PM   #15
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Im curious as to when we will be able to buy into Aulani again? Has anyone heard when sales could ebgin again?
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