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Old 12-01-2011, 03:01 PM   #1
TazFan
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HNL to Aulani shuttle options

Hi all,

Wife and I are heading to Aulani in March. What shuttle options are available to get from HNL to Aulani??

We will be renting a car for a couple days but HNL prices are $40 more than at Aulani price (via Alamo of course...which seems to be the cheapest right now...$45 at Aulani / $86 at HNL...rack rate).

Thanks!
TazFan
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Old 12-01-2011, 04:34 PM   #2
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Sometimes HNL prices are pretty cheap, sometimes they are expensive (keep checking until about a month out, sometimes they drop).
Can't help you with shuttle prices, because I have a college buddy who gives me rides when I have to island hop, however, I do have an alternate option for you to rent a car.

We're going in 2 weeks and prices for rental cars at HNL were $90/day. So I poked around on Enterprise's website and found a neighborhood rental at Kapiolani Blvd for $9.99/day. Since I lived on Oahu in the mid-90's very briefly, I know that Kapiolani Blvd is within a 5 minute walk of Ala Moana shopping center, which is about a half hour bus ride from the airport (alternately a $15-ish cab ride). We're not taking much luggage since we're only going for a weekend, and we needed a car since we have a bunch of Honolulu restaurants we wanted to eat at, a few friends to visit, and my commencement ceremony to attend. So in trading in $2.50 and a half hour bus ride we're saving ~$250 for a 3 day car rental.

So, if you're looking for a cheap rental car you can keep the whole time, (which is also nice for getting groceries, etc) take a look at neighborhood rentals in Honolulu (you can Google map neighborhoods in about a 5 mile radius of the airport, (there's also probably some cheap places that rent to military since there's 3 major military bases within spitting distance of HNL), many are not too far from the airport (ie. a very cheap taxi ride).

Of course the price parking at Aulani may also be a concern for non-DVCers, but from your sig I'm guessing you're staying on points.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TazFan View Post
Hi all,

Wife and I are heading to Aulani in March. What shuttle options are available to get from HNL to Aulani??

We will be renting a car for a couple days but HNL prices are $40 more than at Aulani price (via Alamo of course...which seems to be the cheapest right now...$45 at Aulani / $86 at HNL...rack rate).

Thanks!
TazFan
Roundtrip transportation between HNL and Ko Olina seems to run between $100 (plus tip) and $300 (plus tip) roundtrip (per car, not per person).

Disney's website ( http://resorts.disney.go.com/aulani-...lani/location/) suggests Cloud 9 Limousine: "For reservations, call (800) 524-7999 and mention Aulani discount code DDA11."

The Ko Olina Resort, where Aulani is located, suggests Ko Olina Transportation: http://www.koolinatransportation.com/

A Google search will reveal a bunch of other transportation options, but you would want to do further research to see which of these are reliable and have good online reputations. (Anybody can set up a website.)

If you're going to spend money on roundtrip airport transportation AND a car rental at Aulani, I would recommend looking for an airport car rental for your entire stay. Look for discount codes and/or see if you're allowed to use your employer's corporate rate. You'll probably spend less and you'll have the flexibility of having a car for your entire stay (including making a run to Costco or Target the first night).
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:20 PM   #4
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Thanks for the insight! I was visiting the sights you mentioned plus many others today and it seems right now one-way from HNL to Aulani is about 50-60 bucks. That's doable but a lot depends on how ofter I intend to use a car. With Alamo at Aulani I can just grab a car and go for about $45/day. At this point I'm thinking 2-3 days but once we're there...that may be the only thing we do....drive the island and take in all of the wonder.

I love spontaneous vacations!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Horace Horsecollar View Post
Roundtrip transportation between HNL and Ko Olina seems to run between $100 (plus tip) and $300 (plus tip) roundtrip (per car, not per person).

Disney's website ( http://resorts.disney.go.com/aulani-...lani/location/) suggests Cloud 9 Limousine: "For reservations, call (800) 524-7999 and mention Aulani discount code DDA11."

The Ko Olina Resort, where Aulani is located, suggests Ko Olina Transportation: http://www.koolinatransportation.com/

A Google search will reveal a bunch of other transportation options, but you would want to do further research to see which of these are reliable and have good online reputations. (Anybody can set up a website.)

If you're going to spend money on roundtrip airport transportation AND a car rental at Aulani, I would recommend looking for an airport car rental for your entire stay. Look for discount codes and/or see if you're allowed to use your employer's corporate rate. You'll probably spend less and you'll have the flexibility of having a car for your entire stay (including making a run to Costco or Target the first night).
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:23 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tip on going to rental companies away from HNL. It looks like most are somewhat cheaper; not $10 cheap but I’m watching. Proof in point: Alamo at Aulani offers $45/day whereas Alamo at HNL wants $86/day (final costs).

Your experience is quite welcomed. So much so I got a few other things to bounce off of you. Of course anyone is more than welcome to chime in.

You mentioned TheBus. This is another option I am considering in my trek to avoid high rental car and shuttle/taxi prices:
HNL (bus 19 or 20) > Ala Moana (bus C) > Bus stop 661 (Farrington Hwy and Laaloa). Rent a car from Alamo at Aulani.
The bus stop looks to be about .5 mile from the resort, the trip is about 2 hours, and we will definitely look like tourists having our luggage with us.
· Is the above trip practical?
· Is there a better (aka closer/faster) transfer point for 19/20 and C? It is hard to tell where 19/20 stops at on the timetable map.
· Will having our luggage on the bus be a problem (2 large, 2 personal)?
To spend $10 (2 ppl - round trip) by bus and then rent for $45/day at Aulani looks ideal compared to taking a shuttle/taxi to Aulani to get the rental OR renting from HNL/nearby.


Quote:
Originally Posted by taaren View Post
Sometimes HNL prices are pretty cheap, sometimes they are expensive (keep checking until about a month out, sometimes they drop).
Can't help you with shuttle prices, because I have a college buddy who gives me rides when I have to island hop, however, I do have an alternate option for you to rent a car.

We're going in 2 weeks and prices for rental cars at HNL were $90/day. So I poked around on Enterprise's website and found a neighborhood rental at Kapiolani Blvd for $9.99/day. Since I lived on Oahu in the mid-90's very briefly, I know that Kapiolani Blvd is within a 5 minute walk of Ala Moana shopping center, which is about a half hour bus ride from the airport (alternately a $15-ish cab ride). We're not taking much luggage since we're only going for a weekend, and we needed a car since we have a bunch of Honolulu restaurants we wanted to eat at, a few friends to visit, and my commencement ceremony to attend. So in trading in $2.50 and a half hour bus ride we're saving ~$250 for a 3 day car rental.

So, if you're looking for a cheap rental car you can keep the whole time, (which is also nice for getting groceries, etc) take a look at neighborhood rentals in Honolulu (you can Google map neighborhoods in about a 5 mile radius of the airport, (there's also probably some cheap places that rent to military since there's 3 major military bases within spitting distance of HNL), many are not too far from the airport (ie. a very cheap taxi ride).

Of course the price parking at Aulani may also be a concern for non-DVCers, but from your sig I'm guessing you're staying on points.
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Last edited by TazFan; 12-02-2011 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 12-02-2011, 11:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TazFan View Post
You mentioned TheBus. This is another option I am considering in my trek to avoid high rental car and shuttle/taxi prices:
HNL (bus 19 or 20) > Ala Moana (bus C) > Bus stop 661 (Farrington Hwy and Laaloa). Rent a car from Alamo at Aulani.
The bus stop looks to be about .5 mile from the resort, the trip is about 2 hours, and we will definitely look like tourists having our luggage with us.
· Is the above trip practical?
· Is there a better (aka closer/faster) transfer point for 19/20 and C? It is hard to tell where 19/20 stops at on the timetable map.
· Will having our luggage on the bus be a problem (2 large, 2 personal)?
Using TheBus might be possible (especially for a student who likes to walk a lot and is traveling with only a small backpack). But I wouldn't consider it a practical choice, especially not with luggage. Presumably there are service employees at the resorts who rely on public transportation to get to their jobs, but they're not traveling with luggage.

Here are the luggage rules for TheBus: http://www.thebus.org/howtoride/RulesReg.asp

Even if TheBus allowed more bags and larger bags, you would still have the problem that TheBus does not go into the Ko Olina Resort (where Aulani is located). There is a bus stop on Farrington Hwy beyond the exit to Aliinui Drive into Ko Olina. You would then have to cross a busy 4-lane highway with your luggage -- without a traffic signal. Then you'd still have to walk almost a mile (much of it on the highway shoulder until you get into Ko Olina where the sidewalk starts).

By the time you deal with multiple city buses and walking the final mile, it will turn a pleasant 30-minute rental car, towncar, or taxi ride into an unpleasant and possibly dangerous 2-to-3-hour ordeal.

If you use Google Maps as a planning tool, be aware that Google Maps currently shows Aulani in the wrong location. Aulani is actually the big empty land parcel next to the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort on Lagoon 1, but Google Maps thinks Aulani is located on a residential street away from the water.

If you really want to use TheBus, consider taking it to the Kapolei Transit Center and then taking a cab from there right to Aulani. I've never done this. I don't how how practical it is. But my guess is that it's more practical (but also more expensive) than trying to rely entirely on TheBus and your feet.
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:05 AM   #7
taaren
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On the 19 and 20 lines I commonly see people with luggage ... if there's 4 pieces of luggage and four passengers, I'd be okay with taking that on one bus ... wouldn't take a transfer though, I'd go as close to Ko'olina as TheBus will take you then cab the rest of the way ... short cab rides are fairly reasonable on Oahu. You could even take the bus on the way in and take a shuttle on the way out.
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Old 12-03-2011, 01:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taaren View Post
I'd go as close to Ko'olina as TheBus will take you then cab the rest of the way ... short cab rides are fairly reasonable on Oahu.
That might be reasonable advice if the closest bus stop to Ko Olina were in an urban area where cabs are readily available.

However, the closest bus stop to Ko Olina is on the shoulder of highway that goes to Waianae, a part of Oahu not generally visited by tourists. Traffic whizzes by at freeway speed. In the unlikely case that a cab passes by, it probably has a customer in it.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:17 PM   #9
taaren
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horace Horsecollar View Post
That might be reasonable advice if the closest bus stop to Ko Olina were in an urban area where cabs are readily available.
However, the closest bus stop to Ko Olina is on the shoulder of highway that goes to Waianae, a part of Oahu not generally visited by tourists. Traffic whizzes by at freeway speed. In the unlikely case that a cab passes by, it probably has a customer in it.
When I lived on Oahu (almost half a lifetime ago), my friends who were military frequently called cabs to them and there was no charge other than a minimum distance of 1/8 mile and they showed up quickly. When not in Honolulu we were usually somewhere in Pearl City at a business or at friends' houses in the suburbia of that part of the island though. Not as familiar with Waianae, but Kapolei seems pretty populous. I'll defer to your wisdom since you seem to know more about that area though.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:16 PM   #10
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Oh wow! Thanks for the heads up on the "Ko Olina" bus stop. I realized that it was a mile walk but didn't realize that it was further down Farrington than expected and that we would have to deal with crossing highway speed traffic and then walking aside it on the shoulder!

After my last post I found A1 RentACar and Economy Rent a Car for $2 more than Alamo at Aulani. They have airport shuttles and are much more convenient than bussing around. So to heck with TheBus to start and finish our vacation...we'll get a rental.

As always, the DIS is a cauldron of information! Thanks Horace Horsecollar and taaren for your insight!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Horace Horsecollar View Post
Using TheBus might be possible (especially for a student who likes to walk a lot and is traveling with only a small backpack). But I wouldn't consider it a practical choice, especially not with luggage. Presumably there are service employees at the resorts who rely on public transportation to get to their jobs, but they're not traveling with luggage.

Here are the luggage rules for TheBus: http://www.thebus.org/howtoride/RulesReg.asp

Even if TheBus allowed more bags and larger bags, you would still have the problem that TheBus does not go into the Ko Olina Resort (where Aulani is located). There is a bus stop on Farrington Hwy beyond the exit to Aliinui Drive into Ko Olina. You would then have to cross a busy 4-lane highway with your luggage -- without a traffic signal. Then you'd still have to walk almost a mile (much of it on the highway shoulder until you get into Ko Olina where the sidewalk starts).

By the time you deal with multiple city buses and walking the final mile, it will turn a pleasant 30-minute rental car, towncar, or taxi ride into an unpleasant and possibly dangerous 2-to-3-hour ordeal.

If you use Google Maps as a planning tool, be aware that Google Maps currently shows Aulani in the wrong location. Aulani is actually the big empty land parcel next to the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort on Lagoon 1, but Google Maps thinks Aulani is located on a residential street away from the water.

If you really want to use TheBus, consider taking it to the Kapolei Transit Center and then taking a cab from there right to Aulani. I've never done this. I don't how how practical it is. But my guess is that it's more practical (but also more expensive) than trying to rely entirely on TheBus and your feet.
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Last edited by TazFan; 12-03-2011 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:49 PM   #11
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I posted on this on my blog. Using the city bus is not the way to get to Aulani from the airport.

Getting to Aulani, the bus stops near the resort leave you across Farrington Highway and it's a busy road. One stop has a light with a cross walk, but it's a 1.5 mi walk to the resort and the gate at that end of Ko Olina might be closed. The 40A and C buses stop at this stop.

The second stop is next to the entrance to Waimanalo Gulch near the main entrance to the Ko Olina resort. There you have to cross 6 lanes of traffic including a turning lane and off ramp with vehicles that are traveling at 45 to 60 mph. The walk from that stop is almost 3/4 of a mile into Aulani itself. There are also no sidewalks until you enter the resort. Carrying luggage across the highway would not be safe. Only the 40A bus stops at this stop.

As a local who uses this method to get to the resort, I speak from experience.

In addition, the drivers from the 19 and 20 routes which go into Waikiki from the airport are pretty lenient on the luggage rules (not blocking the aisle or taking seats, size, etc). The other routes and drivers not so much. I've seen people make it on one bus to a stop with luggage and at the transfer, the driver not let them on. The 40A and C bus routes are longer routes with locals and families and not as many tourists.

Due to the planned community within Ko Olina, at this time there are no plans for any bus routes to go into the resort itself. CMs using the bus have also had an issue and some sort of resort shuttle for them hasn't seem to gone anywhere. The CMs using The Bus has been an issue since the resort was announced.

When leaving the resort, I've used the HEA system which is supposed to tell you when the buses are arriving at the stops via GPS and I've had several occasions where the bus doesn't show up and I've ended up waiting an hour for the next one to arrive. Night trips to get from Ko Olina into Honolulu proper are challenging after 8pm since many of the routes don't go their full length. I've done 3 transfers and over 3 hours to get home near Waikiki from Aulani.

I would not advise using The Bus to travel to the resort.

BTW, here are pictures I took out there last weekend: http://www.flickr.com/photos/frikiti...7628286587863/
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:18 AM   #12
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Thanks for the tips. Yea...now knowing that the "Ko Olina" bus stop isn't as easy as originally thought...we're avoiding TheBus for our arrival and departure trips. That said, we're now getting a rental from HNL as I found nice deals from Dollar and Thrifty (who both have shuttles from HNL). I think we will still use TheBus (via the Kapolei Trans. Center) for any Waikiki trips just to avoid traffic, parking costs, and parking hassles.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Frikitiki View Post
I posted on this on my blog. Using the city bus is not the way to get to Aulani from the airport.

Getting to Aulani, the bus stops near the resort leave you across Farrington Highway and it's a busy road. One stop has a light with a cross walk, but it's a 1.5 mi walk to the resort and the gate at that end of Ko Olina might be closed. The 40A and C buses stop at this stop.

The second stop is next to the entrance to Waimanalo Gulch near the main entrance to the Ko Olina resort. There you have to cross 6 lanes of traffic including a turning lane and off ramp with vehicles that are traveling at 45 to 60 mph. The walk from that stop is almost 3/4 of a mile into Aulani itself. There are also no sidewalks until you enter the resort. Carrying luggage across the highway would not be safe. Only the 40A bus stops at this stop.

As a local who uses this method to get to the resort, I speak from experience.

In addition, the drivers from the 19 and 20 routes which go into Waikiki from the airport are pretty lenient on the luggage rules (not blocking the aisle or taking seats, size, etc). The other routes and drivers not so much. I've seen people make it on one bus to a stop with luggage and at the transfer, the driver not let them on. The 40A and C bus routes are longer routes with locals and families and not as many tourists.

Due to the planned community within Ko Olina, at this time there are no plans for any bus routes to go into the resort itself. CMs using the bus have also had an issue and some sort of resort shuttle for them hasn't seem to gone anywhere. The CMs using The Bus has been an issue since the resort was announced.

When leaving the resort, I've used the HEA system which is supposed to tell you when the buses are arriving at the stops via GPS and I've had several occasions where the bus doesn't show up and I've ended up waiting an hour for the next one to arrive. Night trips to get from Ko Olina into Honolulu proper are challenging after 8pm since many of the routes don't go their full length. I've done 3 transfers and over 3 hours to get home near Waikiki from Aulani.

I would not advise using The Bus to travel to the resort.

BTW, here are pictures I took out there last weekend: http://www.flickr.com/photos/frikiti...7628286587863/
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Last edited by TazFan; 12-13-2011 at 10:24 AM.
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