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Old 06-28-2012, 06:37 PM   #16
Neraj
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I believe there is an a la carte option at the Makahiki restaurant... if that helps.
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Old 06-29-2012, 04:17 AM   #17
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Day 4 - Pearl Harbor

When we have talked to people about going to Pearl Harbor we have always been told to get there early to make sure you get a ticket for the video/ride to the Arizona monument. For those of you that are not familiar with how it works, if you want to visit the Arizona memorial, your get a ticket (its free) from the ticket desk at the front of the park. The ticket has a time on it. This is the time that you meet to view the video that you must see before your boat ride to the memorial. We arrived at the ticket stand at 7:55am and got a ticket for the 11:15 showing. If I had my choice, I would have wanted something a little earlier, but overall it was not a bad time. Even though my DW and I have been to Pearl Harbor a couple of times before, we wanted to do the walking tour of the rest of the exhibits that describe the timeline leading up to to an during the attack on Pearl Harbor. We wanted to make sure our DD really understood what she was about to see at the memorial. The tour has a audible headset that you can rent that talks about certain points in the tour. The cost of this is $7.50, which we thought was worth the money. Since we had three hours we were able to go through everything at a leisurely pace. When our time came, we watched the video, took our boat to the memorial stayed for about 30 minutes and then returned. I am always moved when we visit the Arizona Memorial and today was no exception. I was glad to see that our DD really seemed to understand what she was see at the memorial. When we got back to dry land we looked at couple of things at the park and visited the gift shop. All in all we were there for just over 5 hours. I was interested in seeing the battleship Missouri, but by the time we were done at the Arizona, my DD was ready for something different. Pearl Harbor was the priority, so I wash;t going to push it. I think that Pearl Harbor/ Arizona Memorial is a absolute must do at least once if you are on Oahu.

After Pearl Harbor, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and decided to do a little shopping in Honolulu. We drove down to Waikiki and parked our car to walk around the area. Parking was a little toughto find, but we found a parking garage that charged $4 per hour p arking. I don't know if there was something better, I decided I would park rather than spend a lot of time comparing rates. We walked around the area and visited the International Market Place, which for us is something we feel we have to visit when we are in Waikiki. We found a couple of things to buy and decided to head back to the resort for our 6:15 dinner reservations that we made at 'Ama 'Ama (we made these on Tuesday) we left Waikiki at 4:45 thinking that 90 minutes was plenty of time even with traffic. Wrong! We got caught up in stop and go traffic between Waikiki and the airport and arrived back at the resort at 6:45 (Two hours!) Needless to say, I was a little stressed and concerned about what would happen at 'Ama 'Ama. When we got to the restaurant, I explained what happened and they were very understanding, and seated us right away. I have seen some mixed reviews of the food at 'Ama 'Ama, but I will say that we were very pleased with our dinner. My wife had the fish-of-the-day and I had the New York strip. My DD had a small Steak of the children's menu. My DW and I also both had the Maui Onion Soup Au Gratin. Our food came out hot, prepared as we order, and tasted very good. Even though the cost of this restaurant is higher than Makahiki, we considered this the better value for us.

After dinner, we decided to head back to the room and relax for the rest of the evening. Our DD wants to do some more things at the resort, so we will probably stick close tomorrow.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:46 AM   #18
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Thanks for the wonderful trip report. We will be traveling in September. Sounds like a nice vacation is being had by all. Enjoy your trip and family time.

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Old 06-29-2012, 11:04 PM   #19
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Good to hear that you are having a wonderful vacation! Great job on the trip report.
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:21 AM   #20
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We called Wednesday morning (before the spa) and got dinner reservations for 6:30 at Makahiki. This is the buffet restaurant on the resort. It has a good variety of food to choose from and my DW and I tried many of the selections. Some of them we liked others we didn't. The food was okay and I ate quite a bit. My biggest issue with this restaurant is the fact that two out of three people in our family did not get their money's worth. The cost for three of us (all considered adults) was $135 before gratuity. Unlike me, my wife probably did not eat enough to justify the money for her meal and DD definitely did not. I am not sure we would do this again only because of this.

We were there last week & had the dinner buffet @ Makahiki. I have read all the previous reports of the food & went in with an open mind & LOVED IT!!!! I am Filipino,my husband Caucasian & obviously my teen boys both soo...... most of the dishes to us were like my MOM's cooking (I DO NOT cook Filipino dishes @ my house) & ANYTHING that goes WITH RICE is a given for us. So maybe if your looking for something that looks or tastes like HOMETOWN BUFFET- this wasn't for you. I can't say it was the best gourmet I've ever had or that the price matched the food but it is Disney in Hawaii (almost anything in Hawaii is expensive anyway) but the food was fine there. Later in the week went to a little hole in the wall type local restaurant called HIGHWAY INN as suggested by one of the beach attendant CM Jordan " if you are looking for local (like your grandma made) dishes stop by there."
We did & loved it! The beef dish (can't pronounce it) was awesome so I had to order 2 servings to take back with us! We ate it with sauteed veggies I picked up at ABC's across from the hotel & of course rice! I love that there was a rice cooker in the villas! Only in Hawaii!! My husband & I celebrated or 21st wedding anniversary @ AMA AMA & the food was good there as well. (yes quite $$$ but that's why it was only for the 2 of us!)
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:51 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by hjgaus View Post
We called Wednesday morning (before the spa) and got dinner reservations for 6:30 at Makahiki. This is the buffet restaurant on the resort. It has a good variety of food to choose from and my DW and I tried many of the selections. Some of them we liked others we didn't. The food was okay and I ate quite a bit. My biggest issue with this restaurant is the fact that two out of three people in our family did not get their money's worth. The cost for three of us (all considered adults) was $135 before gratuity. Unlike me, my wife probably did not eat enough to justify the money for her meal and DD definitely did not. I am not sure we would do this again only because of this.

We were there last week & had the dinner buffet @ Makahiki. I have read all the previous reports of the food & went in with an open mind & LOVED IT!!!! I am Filipino,my husband Caucasian & obviously my teen boys both soo...... most of the dishes to us were like my MOM's cooking (I DO NOT cook Filipino dishes @ my house) & ANYTHING that goes WITH RICE is a given for us. So maybe if your looking for something that looks or tastes like HOMETOWN BUFFET- this wasn't for you. I can't say it was the best gourmet I've ever had or that the price matched the food but it is Disney in Hawaii (almost anything in Hawaii is expensive anyway) but the food was fine there. Later in the week went to a little hole in the wall type local restaurant called HIGHWAY INN as suggested by one of the beach attendant CM Jordan " if you are looking for local (like your grandma made) dishes stop by there."
We did & loved it! The beef dish (can't pronounce it) was awesome so I had to order 2 servings to take back with us! We ate it with sauteed veggies I picked up at ABC's across from the hotel & of course rice! I love that there was a rice cooker in the villas! Only in Hawaii!! My husband & I celebrated or 21st wedding anniversary @ AMA AMA & the food was good there as well. (yes quite $$$ but that's why it was only for the 2 of us!)

It is always good to hear different viewpoint on any aspect of the resort. Thanks!.
There is one thing I want to be sure people understand. My issue with Makahiki was not with the food itself. My DW and I both found plenty that we liked. The issue was more with our DD and the fact that she was considered an adult for the buffet and there was no way she could eat enough to cover the cost. Maybe when she is older it will be better, but not right now.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:37 AM   #22
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Day 5 - Another resort Day

Our DD really likes the pool at Aulani, so we decided to stick around the resort for the day.

There were a couple of new things that we experienced today. Yesterday, we booked the interactive stingray experience that they have on the resort. Our DD is an inspiring marine biologist, so this was something that she was interested in. The cost is $45 for a child (11 is considered a child) and $50 for adults. There is a 10% is you are a DVC member. A portion of the cost of this experience is donated to the preservation of stingrays. I participated in this experience with my DD along with six other people. The ages ranged from adult to a child that seemed to be around 6. Other family members can come with you and watch. The guides in this area spent the first part of the program talking about the seven stingrays they have in the preserve area. All seven are of a species that is found only in Hawaii. They went through a discussion of the anatomy of the stingray and some of their defense mechanisms in nature. There is definitely a conservation message that is emphasized in this program. For this experience, you will need to get in the tank with the stingrays, but the water is not deep. I am around 6 ft tall and the water was at my upper thigh. The youngest member of our group had no issues standing in the preserve area. The program starts with allowing you to touch the fins and the end of the tail of the stingray while it is not moving. Then they broke us up into two groups. One group fed the stingrays and the other group got to touch a stingray as it swims by you. After a period of time the two groups trade. I will say that the guides took our safety seriously and have things set up to make you feel safe. The experience is scheduled for 45 minutes, but it seemed like it was a little longer than that (about 1 hour). As I am typing this, our DD is still talking about it. She even picked out one stingray as her favorite.

The other new thing we did today was our DD went to a session where they taught tweens to play the ukulele. This was a one-hour session and there were four kids that participated. The instructor taught the kids 5 chords that allowed them to play a couple of songs. We came back near the end of the session and the kids played a little concert for some of the folks that we in the area. I have to say that I was pretty impressed with how the kids did. I told our daughter that I didnít think I could find a decent ukulele teacher in central Indiana .

After the ukulele lesson, we spent some time in the room relaxing and then went to dinner. We had some gift cards to Ruth Chris Steakhouse and there are two on Oahu. Since our DD is a huge steak fan, we decided to go. I made the reservation this morning with no problem.

On other interesting thing to note. Yesterday was day 4 of our DVC stay, so housekeeping came into replace the towels. What they did not do was give us any new laundry soap, dish washer soap or bath soap/shampoo/conditioner. This was different than our previous experiences at BLT. We didn't need the laundry or dish washing soap, but we did need some shampoo and conditioner. Today, we called housekeeping to see if we could get some more. We said we would like two shampoos and one conditioner. What they brought us was two shampoos, four conditioners and three shower gels. I think we are set for the rest of our stay.


I think that tomorrow we will head to the North Shore to see what sort of trouble we can get ourselves into.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:39 AM   #23
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By the way. Thanks for all the encouraging comments. I am enjoying putting it together. Hopefully people are getting a little something out of it.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:12 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by oktracy View Post
Thanks for the wonderful trip report. We will be traveling in September. Sounds like a nice vacation is being had by all. Enjoy your trip and family time.

Ditto about the TR. We are also going in September and have made almost all our plans based on fellow DISboard members TR's, including this one.

BTW, has anyone done one of the shark excursions where they lower you in a cage to see the sharks up close?
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:35 PM   #25
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Subbing!! I'm following along too! Great info! We will be there Oct 21-27. I like hearing about the paid activities. Good to get a DIS perspective. I look forward to your next post.
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:21 PM   #26
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We are enjoying your report. Our family is set to arrive on July 4!
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:45 PM   #27
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great report enjoying it . Thanks
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:52 PM   #28
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Beach Chair Question

Dad 522,

We are thinking about buying beach chairs at Target when we get to Aulani. Do you think we need to do this or are there sufficient chairs, if any, available on the beach?

Thanks,

Dad 707
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:35 PM   #29
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great report Iceman... we will be there at Aulani on Monday! Thanks for the information!
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:14 AM   #30
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Dad 522,

We are thinking about buying beach chairs at Target when we get to Aulani. Do you think we need to do this or are there sufficient chairs, if any, available on the beach?

Thanks,

Dad 707
The one time we went to the beach, we were able to find a couple of chairs. From what I can tell it seems like there are enough available chairs, unless you want a bunch (more that 4) all together, then it could get tight. It also depends when you get out there. The middle of the day is the busiest. We are going to the pool and beach tomorrow. I will keep an eye on this and let you know.
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