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Old 08-13-2012, 06:46 PM   #16
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by Cruiser1969 View Post
Hahaha!!! Too late!! We're back and my teens had an AMAZING time Research is the key to having fun on Oahu without breaking the bank! We rented a car and did most of the fabulous activities suggested in this thread :D
I am looking at these suggestions for my Husband and I to do (but we also will have out 18mo old, but we are a travelling family and definitely plan to take her on the hikes.)

What did you end up doing?

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Old 08-13-2012, 09:44 PM   #17
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Here's what we did ...

Stayed at Aulani 3weeks ago with a 15, 13 & 12y/0. We had a rental car & loved exploring the island. A quick summary:

1. Half day at Pearl Harbor - did the Arizona & the Bowfin submarine tours - & grocery shopping on the way home. Picked up 3 inexpensive snorkel sets.

2. Full day on the North shore, drove all the way to shrimp trucks for lunch & then stopped at 2 different beaches on the way back. Stop at the local fruit stands & Ted's bakery near Sunset beach. The snorkeling at Sunset Beach & waimea Bay was great. We did the North shore a second time at the end of our trip, we loved the beaches so much. On the second trip, we had dinner in Haleiwa town & walked the shops with Matsumoto's shave ice for dessert.

3. We booked the Disney catamaran experience & it was well worth the price. Fun to socialize with other Disney families, & a good amount of teens on the trip. Hawaii Nautical (the tour company) did a really nice job. My teens loved the snorkeling from the boat in deeper water. It was a change from snorkeling right off the beach. Riding on the open air catamaran was fun too!

4. My 12 y/o did a 2 hr surf lesson & actually rode the board upright by the end of her lesson. I missed out on booking the Hawaiian Firefighters Surf school, since she decided to try this after we arrived, but the concierge directed us to another surf school who turned out to be on the same beach. She had a blast. Definitely a most do for athletic teens!

5. My 15 y/0 and I did the spa for an afternoon - her first spa eperience. The outdoor therapy garden was outstanding.

6. We played golf at Ko Olina right across the street. After 3pm, kids play free. Book a tee time then & play till dinner - Roy's is in the clubhouse & we had an excellent meal (fixed price 3 course menu is great for families).

7. Our only disappointment- missing out on Hanauma Bay. Believe everyone when they tell you to get there early. It opens at 7am and is about an hour away from Aulani. We went on a morning towards the end of the trip (when the teens no longer were rising early) and with traffic, didn't arrive until 9. It was already full. We continued driving up the windward side of the island to Kuoloa Ranch & took the movie sites tour, which we all enjoyed. We stopped at Kuoloa beach instead of doing the ranch's other beach tours. Then we continued on to Kualia for lunch at an island market (near the beach) and more beach time - lots of para sailers here. Plenty more snorkeling at these beaches too. To make a long story short, we never backtracked to Hanauma Bay, so I guess we'll have to catch it next time.

All of these excursions were fun, but my teens equally loved Aulani and all it offered. They loved the waterslides and lazy river and ordering lunch at Off the Hook. They even liked the Menehune interactive adventure, although the targeted age was probably for younger kids. We let them walk to the JW Marriott and explore the tide pools at the end of the walkway near there. They also played beach volleyball at Aulani and rented paddle boards. They stopped in the teen spa, at first for the frozen yogurt bar, but went back one night for karaoke. And on the night of the Starlight Hui, the teen spa enticed them back with free frozen yogurt & a teen social before they all went to the Hui together. I think Atulani does a really good job for teens. There are also lots of crafts, and hula lessons. We didn't get to try it all!

Hope this helps readers planning future trips.

Last edited by StormalongKay; 08-13-2012 at 09:49 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:28 AM   #18
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Thank you so much for the information. I'm glad that Aulani
is trying to step it up with more teen activities. We plan on spending some exploring the north shore. I also have a horseback ride scheduled at turtle bay as a surprise for my younger DD. It sounds like your trip was really thought out and well planned. Did you have any trouble getting your teen into the hydrotherapy garden? When I called to schedule spa treatments I was told that even if I scheduled a treatment for both my daughter and I she would not be able to use outdoor or indoor relaxation areas. Just wondering if I should try again??
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:51 AM   #19
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Planned out a day by day itinerary, but found it very easy to change things up depending on our mood/energy levels. Here's our final plan:

1- Mon. July 30
- Fly in at 8:30 pm
- Pick up car
- Drive to Aulani

2 - Tues. July 31
- KOA Pancake House breakfast
- Buy groceries & snorkel equip.
- Green Snow - Shave Ice
- Explore Aulani and relax
- Mo'Olelo Fire Pit Storytelling

3 - Wed. August 1
- Aulani - Beach and Pool
- Bracelet Making
- FULL MOON tonight

4 - Thurs. August 2
- Grand Circle Island Tour
Exclusive Kahala Estates
Diamond Head
Hanauma Bay*
Halona "Blow Hole" lookout*
Nuuanu Pali Lookout*
Byodo-In Temple
Lunch - Koaloa Ranch
Chinaman's Hat
Macadamia Nut Farm
Mormon Temple
Sunset Beach
Waimea Bay
Dole Plantation
- Ala Moana Shopping Centre

5 - Fri. August 3
- Laniakea Beach (turtles)
- Ted's Bakery Lunch& Haupia pie
- Waimea Waterfalls
- Waimea Beach
- Haleiwa - Aoki's Shave ice

6 - Sat. August 4
- Pearl Harbor
- USS Arizona
- USS Bowfin Submarine
Museum & Park
- Aloha Stadium shopping
- Green Snow shave ice

7 - Sun. August 5
- Aulani - Relax
- PHOTOSHOOT Maili Beach
- Hapa Grill dinner

8 - Mon. August 6
- Diamond Head Hike
- Lanikai Beach
- Zippy's lunch
- Tantalus to Round Top Drive
- Aulani's Starlight Hui - 7 pm

9 - Tues. August 7
- Chinaman's Hat
- Kualoa Movie Site Tour
- Tropical Farms Macademia Nut Farm
- L & L Barbecue - Lunch
- Leonard'sTruck - Fresh, filled malasadas!
- Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center
- Waikiki Beach Sunset

10 - Wed. August 8
- Giovanni's Shrimp Truck
- Waimea Rock
- Dole (fruit stand - sugar cane and mango)
- Paradise Cove Luau

11 - Thurs. August 9
- Pack and Check out by 11:00
- L & L lunch
- Green Snow Shave Ice
- Drop off Car, Fly Home 7:30 pm
Disney's Aulani Hawaii August 2012
Disney's FANTASY August 2013

Last edited by Cruiser1969; 08-14-2012 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:54 AM   #20
Where, oh where, have my little tags gone??
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My only regret was missing out on snorkeling I had injured my leg and was a bit paranoid about infecting it. I also should have done it sooner in the week when waking up earlier was easier! Oh well Our biggest family thrill was climbing Diamond Head!! Loved swimming in Waimea Falls, too
Disney's Aulani Hawaii August 2012
Disney's FANTASY August 2013
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:47 AM   #21
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No trouble using the hydrotherapy garden

Counselormom -
To answer your question, I didn't have any problems using the hydrotherapy garden with my 15 y/o. I scheduled lomi lomi massages for both of us at 3pm, so it was late in the day. The spa is open until 8. When we finished our massages, we put our bathing suits on & went outside to the garden. Initially there were 2 other ladies in the garden with us, but they left after about 10 minutes & we had it all to ourselves for the better part of an hour. The spa staff never said anything to us about her using the garden with me, in fact they came out twice to serve us fruit-infused water. Maybe it made a difference that I stayed with her at all times...

I made my spa reservations in Feb 2012, so I guess its possible that spa policy has changed since then. She was the only teen I noticed in the spa that afternoon. I hope you can have the same experience with your daughter. Feel free to PM me if you have further questions.
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