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Old 01-09-2012, 11:09 PM   #106
aussietravellers
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Originally Posted by australiankaren View Post
hey
Im a tad nervous as havent been to Hawaii as an adult..last time was 1982...so have no idea what to expect....I must be getting old, dont like change
so trying to get into the island spirit...
It's still the same! Well you will notice a lot of renovations, new buildings and a lot of traffic and a bit more modern in areas, but the feel of the place is still the same. It still has that hawaiian tropic coconut oil smell, the people are still the same. The old international marketplace is still there, still doing the pick a pearl, still has the pond with the koi, still has the shaved ice, still has the tacky stalls. Some of the old restaurants have gone (Bobby McGees, don't know if you went there, but that was a regular for us when we were kids holidaying in Hawaii, the yum yum tree has gone) and some are still there (Benihana). The airport is still the same, that outdoor, concrete type feeling. The only difference is that the flight has changed from arriving and leaving in the middle of the night, to now a more civilalized morning flight!

You will feel that island spirit the moment you land
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:49 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by aussietravellers View Post
It's still the same! Well you will notice a lot of renovations, new buildings and a lot of traffic and a bit more modern in areas, but the feel of the place is still the same. It still has that hawaiian tropic coconut oil smell, the people are still the same. The old international marketplace is still there, still doing the pick a pearl, still has the pond with the koi, still has the shaved ice, still has the tacky stalls. Some of the old restaurants have gone (Bobby McGees, don't know if you went there, but that was a regular for us when we were kids holidaying in Hawaii, the yum yum tree has gone) and some are still there (Benihana). The airport is still the same, that outdoor, concrete type feeling. The only difference is that the flight has changed from arriving and leaving in the middle of the night, to now a more civilalized morning flight!

You will feel that island spirit the moment you land
thanks for that..bought a smile to my face ...i remember the international marketplace, we hadn't seen anything like it..being a north Queensland kid..
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:25 AM   #108
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karen can't wait to see what you think of aulani

trying to decide if we should incorporate it on our way back at the end of our vacation??
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:23 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by aussietravellers View Post
It's still the same! Well you will notice a lot of renovations, new buildings and a lot of traffic and a bit more modern in areas, but the feel of the place is still the same. It still has that hawaiian tropic coconut oil smell, the people are still the same. The old international marketplace is still there, still doing the pick a pearl, still has the pond with the koi, still has the shaved ice, still has the tacky stalls. Some of the old restaurants have gone (Bobby McGees, don't know if you went there, but that was a regular for us when we were kids holidaying in Hawaii, the yum yum tree has gone) and some are still there (Benihana). The airport is still the same, that outdoor, concrete type feeling. The only difference is that the flight has changed from arriving and leaving in the middle of the night, to now a more civilalized morning flight!

You will feel that island spirit the moment you land
Oh Aussietravellers, I feel so nostalgic after reading this. Also, I read earlier this week that the International Marketplace is going to be demolished next year. Gosh, I felt so sad reading that because, we too, spent many lovely holidays in Honolulu growing up and we loved visiting the International Marketplace. I kept my little "bathtub" (that the drink came in, and my sister had the toilet) from Bobby McGee's for years! I haven't been back for 20 years and understand that the Marketplace it is very tacky now but it still seems sad.
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:16 PM   #110
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Oh Aussietravellers, I feel so nostalgic after reading this. Also, I read earlier this week that the International Marketplace is going to be demolished next year. Gosh, I felt so sad reading that because, we too, spent many lovely holidays in Honolulu growing up and we loved visiting the International Marketplace. I kept my little "bathtub" (that the drink came in, and my sister had the toilet) from Bobby McGee's for years! I haven't been back for 20 years and understand that the Marketplace it is very tacky now but it still seems sad.
OH the bathtub that the drinks came in... my mum still has mine, wasn't that just the best restaurant!
They have been going to close the Marketplace for years. 10 years ago staff at our hotel told us it was closing "next September", I was so upset... it was still there when we went the next Oct. Then it was "next July", well it was still there the following year and the following. 10 years on.... it's still there It will be sad when it goes because it is an icon in Honolulu, it's something that everybody remembers, but it is so rundown. I will be really sad when it eventually goes (and will have to find somewhere else to grab a last minute suitcase as they are really cheap there! )
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:20 PM   #111
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Oh my WOW!!!! The resort looks absolutely beautiful. And with that awesome Disney style that they bring to everything. Sounds like you are getting great service, shame about the limited food choices. Hopefully Disney fixes that up soon.

The pool's and gardens look stunning.

Is Aulani extremely expensive compared to similar level resorts in the area?
It was just beautiful. There are empty shops across the road at the little village I was talking about which I am sure will fill with more food options. As a DVC member visiting I would guess they would use their kitchen facilities a little bit for fixing breakfast and lunches. I am sure they will be listening. It certainly had all the little Disney magical touches everywhere you looked. The quality and attention to detail were truly amazing.

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Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
WOW! Aulani is spectacular. Okay. Need to plan a holiday to Hawaii.
It was really relaxing and something for us all. Very educational too... Tell DH. The girls really enjoyed hearing about the local Hawaiian stories and customs and learning the language.

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Originally Posted by Mum from oz View Post
Welcome home! Great report on Hawaii so far. Aulani look beautiful. It definitely makes me want to stay there one day. Can't wait to hear more!
Thanks Mum from Oz. I believe Aulani is something you need to do once even if only for a night or two.

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Originally Posted by aussietravellers View Post
What a fabulous fabulous report! You have certainly put Aulani at the top of my overseas vacation list! Thank you so much for sharing.

Sad to be leaving Hawaii, I have loved reading your whole Hawaii report, brings back so many fond memories for me of our many trips there. Looking forward to your Disneyland portion.
I was sad to leave too... I hadn't been since the very early 90's and I forgot just how lovely it is. DH was on his first visit and we plan to go back sooner rather than later. It just has a little bit of everything. I am uploading Disney photos now. Back at work and needed some catching up...

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Originally Posted by alicia1506 View Post
well jeez... now i need to figure out how to add in hawaii and a trip to aulani on our disney vacation in november.

i think i need to win the lotto

gorgeous, gorgeous pics -- it sounds lovely and serene & i now have added aulani to my 'must do' list.

thank you for the report. cannot wait to hear about your disneyland vacation.
Alicia. There is always one more thing to add to trips, sometimes you just cant fit them all in, like me, New York just never seems to be the right fit. I will get there one day. A never ending list means there is always another trip to plan and save for. Disneyland coming up, uploading photos now, so either a little later this morning or this evening STAY TUNED FOR CHRISTMAS WITH MICKEY

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Originally Posted by shushh View Post
Sigh...another place to have to visit. So wishing that we decided to go this January but it is not to be!

It sounded like you had a sensational time there with your family and the resort looks amazing. Thank you so much for sharing, taking the time to write in so much details and for posting the photos.

JEALOUS!!!!
Thanks for reading along, your road trip had me very jealous. I love traveling with the extended family since we dont normally get to spend a lot of time together. Our next trip is going to be DH and Myself only but not until March 2014. Have to do some things around the house and a swimming pool for the kids before anymore holidays. DH is such a Bah Humbug. No, his new skill developed on this trip was pleasant shopping companion, must not mess with the universe. This was too good to be true.

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Originally Posted by australiankaren View Post
hey

loved the bit about Aulani...we go in less than 40 sleeps, I wasnt feeling to excited about it till now...thanks

ok, back to the gym i go.....gota fit back into those swimmers
Don't worry about the gym, you shall be fine. I hadn't been to Hawaii for 20 years before going on this trip and the changes whilst there weren't bad ones. The International Marketplace felt less magical than I remembered but didn't get there at night. The streets were clean, the bus as cheap and easy as I remembered. Pearl Harbor had changed a lot and it felt more clinical than last time. Saw much more of the island this time but there are still parts I have yet to explore. You will have a great time and come home very relaxed.

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Originally Posted by becpee View Post
Now I REALLY want to experience Aulani

Might have to work it into the budget.

I love Hawaii!

Your trip looks like it was awesome
Thanks for reading along. I think everyone deserves a Hawaiian vacation.


Perhaps we need to have an OZ Disboards meet up in Hawaii, staying at Aulani of course.
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:16 PM   #112
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We're going to disneyland

Up at 4.30 to meet our 5am transfer to Honolulu Airport for our American Airlines flight to LAX. Had problems doing online checkin so was a little worried about seating arrangements but no dramas at all.

A Starbucks Gingerbread Latte got the body going and after a quick stop at the bookshop for DD2 as DH had accidentally packed her carryon bag and books in the luggage we were ready for the 5 hours to LA. Throughout the flight everyone was randomly saying - Guess what? We're going to Disneyland. Felt very strange waking up and doing the whole OMG, and not having to take a 14 hour flight, wake up in the morning and be there for dinner. Sweet.

Landed in LA 30 minutes early but did not get off the plane until our scheduled arrival time. I had organised a surprise limo pick up to take us to the Disneyland Hotel. As the car pulled up, my DD's were joking that's ours expecting the Super Shuttle. When they saw me speak to the driver and my DH moving the luggage they nearly wet their pants. In we all climbed, the local radio station in the car was playing Christmas carols and it was just perfect. The sunset as we drove south to Disneyland so arrived with the lights sparkling. DD2 was like, one of my dreams come true, now I just need to ride in a yellow Ferrari. What does she know about cars?

Into the new lobby area it is very different from our last visit but quite beautiful in shades of blue, pink and purple. There was no line so straight up to the desk where we were checked in quickly. The CM was so excited for us as we had one of the best views in the hotel. Again we were in the Frontier tower which is the furthest tower, but we really like it and had requested it. We were in a 2 bedroom suite and last time we were on the fourth floor, and this time we had exactly the same layout of rooms but on the 9th floor. Three hotels for the trip all on the 9th floor - go figure.

Well the CM was right, what a view, From Left to Right facing the Grand Californian we could see LA in the distance, Knots Berry Farm, the pool at the DLH, Rainforest Cafe, Splash Mountain, the Castle all lit up, the Matterhorn, Space Mountain, the Grand Californian, the Tower of Terror, the Bear Rock in DCA and the Symphony Swings. Just breathtaking.






And a little snow on the mountain... almost a white Christmas

I had made reservations at the Rainforest Cafe for 7pm. Now it was just after 6. We unpacked a little and then headed to the ETicket (concierge) lounge on the 11th floor of the Adventure Tower - referred to from now on as Floor 11 to check out what was there. We arrived in time for Happy Hour and had a lovely wine and sat and looked straight down Downtown Disney. Very nice.

Off to the Rainforest Cafe, we waited five minutes to be sat at the same table we sat at on our first visit, right next to the giant ape. We had been disappointed by Rainforest Cafe in London and Paris on our trip earlier in the year, but here in Anaheim it did not. I ordered my favourite Chicken Fried Chicken, the mashed potato is to die for. Another Coronarita which I could not finish and finished off with the VOLCANOOOOOOOOO



Leftover Volcano
We decided to go explore DTD and as we got to the House of Blues the Fireworks went off. They were just beautiful. We only saw them two more times on the trip as they were having safety issues with them. We headed to the World of Disney store to get autograph books and then Grandma and Grandpa took the girls back to the room and DH and I headed to Target to get a Christmas tree. So at 9pm we jumped in a cab. We found the tree and got back to the hotel at 10pm.

Everyone was still up. DH put together the tree and we all hit the sack ready for our 7am date with Goofy at his kitchen and off to Disneyland.

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Old 01-10-2012, 06:39 PM   #113
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Sounds like a great start to your Disneyland part of the trip. That view really is spectacular! The food porn is making me hungry, yum!
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:26 PM   #114
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I want a Coronita . That is one seriously good looking drink. Yum.

Loved your latest update, sounds like you are already having an awesome time.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:59 AM   #115
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Wink Aulani here I come!

areweindisneyyet

I want to personally thank you for the exceptional job on your TR on Aulani & Hawaii in general. My family is going to Aulani this February 27th-March 4th, & now, I'm much more excited thx to you!
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:14 AM   #116
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Love the view from your room! Were you at the end/corner of the tower to have that view? Is that the tower that's closest to Paradise Pier?

Isn't that Volcano at Rainforest Cafe delicious, we have never made it through one, but can't resist ordering when we go, YUM.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:15 AM   #117
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Sounds like a great start to your Disneyland part of the trip. That view really is spectacular! The food porn is making me hungry, yum!
Thanks Mum from Oz, the food porn is making me want to go back. I shall add some more view photos as we go along. It was truly magical.

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I want a Coronita . That is one seriously good looking drink. Yum.

Loved your latest update, sounds like you are already having an awesome time.
A Coronarita would make this trip report far more creative. Man it hits the spot. We really did have a great time, the relaxed element of the trip that I had hoped for really happened with everyone coming home relaxed not needing another holiday (well we all would go again but you know what I mean).

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areweindisneyyet

I want to personally thank you for the exceptional job on your TR on Aulani & Hawaii in general. My family is going to Aulani this February 27th-March 4th, & now, I'm much more excited thx to you!

Hi Logpey and thanks for reading along. I am glad you enjoyed reading the Hawaii and Aulani portion of the trip. We had such a great time. Enjoy Aulani, and enjoy the countdown.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:54 AM   #118
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Day One at Disneyland

We all slept like a dream and awoke ready to get dressed and head downstairs for our 7am date with Goofy. There were about five groups in front of us and Pluto greeted us at the door. We were taken into the restaurant to our table. Pots of coffee and milk were brought to the table and off to the buffet we went.





The girls were going nuts over the dirt (chocolate chips), PB & J Pizza and Mickey Waffles. It must have gone over their heads last time. We filled up on fresh fruit, eggs, bacon, breakfast burritos. We pulled off about three plates each.

We were visited by Chip and Dale but DH is sure they just switched aprons as they had the same coloured nose. Talk about spoil the moment. Baloo stopped by and danced with the girls, Princess Aurora welcomed us to her kingdom and invited us to her castle. Her fairy friends have been very busy decorating it with thousands of lights for Christmas. She was so delightful and magical. Jasmin popped in as well. While Goofy was around he did not make it to our table and since the parks had been open since 7am (a magic morning) we were keen to actually walk in the gates and get the party started.

Walking through Downtown Disney to the entrance gates felt like we had done this only yesterday, we quickly got through bag check and were through the gates and facing Mickey and the Disneyland Station in no time.

Walking through the tunnel and onto Main Street gave that same warm feeling inside, that feeling of being home. Despite much debate and conversation we had not yet decided on a first ride. DH and DD1 skipped down main street. Drat that I did not catch that on video for blackmail at a later date. Once we hit the hub we did not turn left, we did not turn right, for the first time ever we went straight ahead and through the castle. We then took Aurora up on her invitation and went for a walk through her home. We then decided to fly with Dumbo.



A sad event occurred. As we paired up to ride DD1 chose me. Now this is lovely and to be honest I am not sure if we have ever rode Dumbo together. What was truly sad was that she became the tall person and I was the small one who had to ride on the inside....... It kept everyone amused. From here we headed to the carousel, the tea cups and Alice before bypassing the Matterhorn (lines went forever) towards Tomorrowland. I went and grabbed fastpasses for Star Tours and we rode Space Mountain and Autopia. We then came back for a ride on Buzz. And yes, still the champion.

We then headed over to Frontierland to ride Big Thunder. We did this and also grabbed Fast Passes. We stopped for lunch at the Stage Door with DH miraculously finding a table for six. While he ordered I went and got fastpasses for Indy and another set for Big Thunder. While we were there BTM was still unconnected but this may have changed since we left.

On our trips I have never been on the Mark Twain or the Colombia. Something to change on this trip, so we jumped on the Mark Twain to make a further plan for the afternoon. We got off and used fastpasses to do Big Thunder again and then went on Pirates and the Jungle Cruise. Used our Star Tours FASTPASS. The upgrade to this is amazing. Just loved it.




At this point Grandma and Grandpa took the girls back to the hotel for a rest. DH and I got another set of Space Mountain fastpasses. We then went and got me a Premium Annual Pass to make the most of discounts for the trip. How exciting, it cost $225 to upgrade my 6 day park hopper which I more than saved in souvenir and food spending over the trip.

We walked back through Downtown Disney to the hotel and stopped at Floor 11 for some snacks. We grabbed some potato chips, pretzels, cans of soft drink, brownies and cups full of trail mix and graham crackers.

We did have dining reservations at the Jazz Kitchen but decided to blow them off to head back to the parks. DD1 was not feeling great so Grandma and her were going to stay behind while the rest of us headed back to the park to use our fastpasses. We took the monorail back which was great and hopped off in Tomorrowland. Now we had six fastpasses for four of us. We headed first to Space Mountain, just as we were about to enter the line DD1 phoned to say she felt better and wanted to come. I had their tickets so I headed back to the hotel to meet them and left the phone with DH. So back to the monorail I went. Met a lovely family from northern california and chatted to them. Met Grandma and DD1 in the lobby and headed back to the monorail. DH phoned on the way. The had rode Space Mountain twice with the fastpasses and were now heading towards Autopia so arranged to meet them there. By this time is was dark and we headed over to ride Big Thunder in the dark. My very first time at doing this and I LOVE IT. Way awesome. In line we met a lovely family from Chicago who had a daughter the very same age as DD2. They loved talking about the differences in school and life. They gave DD1 their Star Tours fastpasses as they had had enough for the day which was for three. DD1 was beaming.

We then headed to use the Indy FASTPASSES. DD2 was not sure about this one and clung on for dear life. I did not think she would ever go on it again at this point but she did later in the trip. The fireworks were about to start so we jumped on the Jungle Cruise and had the best guide I think I have ever had. He stopped the boat to give us firework views when he could. Again, a first at night and I truly loved it.

We should have rode again because there was no line, but the end of our cruise coincided with the end of the fireworks and we tried to cross the hub with fireworks crowd back to Tomorrowland. Stupidity. First bad mistake of the day. DH and the girls used the kindly gifted Star Tours passes while we browsed the shops.

DH asked if we wanted to grab dinner at the Pizza Port but I just wanted to go back to the room thinking we would grab something. Second bad move.

We ended up ordering room service which DD2 fell asleep before it arrived. Oh well. Not really a tragedy. We got so much done today, more than I imagined. We also had lots of fun.

Tomorrow, Cafe Orleans and Fantasmic.
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:22 AM   #119
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PAUSE.... I quickly take you back to Aulani FOOD PORN ALERT

I knew I took more photos of Aulani, the room, the food,

Found them and thought I best share. Sorry, after this interruption we will return to the scheduled Trip Report Day 2 of Disneyland.


Red Velvet Cheesecake at Barnes And Noble Ala Moana


Blueberry Cheesecake at Barnes and Noble Ala Moana


Angus Cheeseburger at Aulani at Off the Hook


Turkey Wrap with Sweet Potato Fries, could share between two easily


The Angus Burger with regular fries


Grilled Chicken and Regular Fries

All from Off the Hook
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:28 AM   #120
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Our Ocean View Room



The View









Our Room











Around the Resort

Back to the scheduled trip report....
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