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Old 01-07-2013, 11:04 PM   #1
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Aulani Planning

Does anyone know if dining reservations are needed/recommended for resturants at Aulani?

Also, are there day trips or activities that can be planned through Aulani/Disney?

Not sure if this is the right place to post questions about Aulani. Mods, please move it if need be.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:58 PM   #2
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Because Aulani is a DVC resort the DVC board is the place to get answers to your questions.

I am moving this there.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:29 PM   #3
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I can only share our experience although I don't know if it was unique or not. We walked up for a prime time lunch and also a late dinner at Ama Ama. We did the same for the buffet and DH did that for breakfast at Ama Ama. We did reserve one dinner at Ama Ama making the reservation a few hours in advance but I doubt we had to have one. This was in early Dec and was a slower time at the resort.

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Old 01-09-2013, 01:24 AM   #4
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We did not eat at AMA AMA but we did do the dinner buffet at Makahiki. We made reservations that morning for the evening. We ate a little early though, I think 5:45? When we left there were many people waiting to be seated and the restaurant had been full. I would think making reservations when you get there would be ok.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:27 AM   #5
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You don't have to make reservations at Ama Ama or Makahiki, but I would recommend it.
Without a reservation, you're at the mercy of any crowd that happens to be at the resort on any given day. The restaurants at the resort are expensive, even by Hawaii standards (a nice dinner for two at Ama Ama can set you back $160 without alcohol. Basic breakfast for four will run $100.).

You can plan activities once you're at the resort, but remember that you will be paying for the "Disney Experience". That isn't a bad thing, but you'll pay more for the outstanding service.

You didn't say if you were renting a car or if you were staying in a villa with a kitchen.
Renting a car:
DVC Members aren't charged for parking, so if you rent a car and want to see the island (I would kill for a slice of chocolate haupia pie from Ted's right now), you don't have to have the car back by 5:00 to avoid the overnight parking fee. If you have a GPS, bring it (or Avis has them for rent). In Hawaii, it is illegal to operate your phone while driving, so getting directions from your phone while driving will get you in trouble with the law.
If you have a car and want to go to Pearl Harbor, Ala Moana, Waikiki (yuck), or any one of a million another gorgeous places, remember that Honolulu traffic is busy. Rush hour starts at 5:30 or 6:00 and lasts until 9:00 and then starts up again at 3:00 to 3:30 until 6:00. Traffic is busy every day of the week so plan extra time to get around and to find a parking place.

If you're in a villa and you want to prepare your own meals, the closest market is the ABC Store across the street from the resort. It's certainly not a mega-market, but they have some of the basics and they're expensive. We found it better to rent a car and drive to Target and Foodland.

What I miss most is sitting by the pool listening to the everything around me; children laughing, background music, and the water. Floating down the lazy river was one of my favorite passtimes; my son and I had a blast on the water slides.

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy yourself.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:32 AM   #6
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I went ahead and make tentative reservations for Ama Ama and Makahiki for our upcoming May trip. I have read enough trip reports where people weren't able to get in at a reasonable hour. To make reservations you can. Go to this site:


To see the excursions offered by the resort check here:


The excursion site is having a technical hiccup right now. But that is the correct URL.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:58 AM   #7
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I would highly recommend renting a car. Like someone said parking is free for DVC and allows you to purchase grocery items at Target or Safeway. or even Walmart, all located about 5 minutes away. There are many excursions and activites you can book through Disney, but you can save a lot of money doing them on your own. By doing them on your own you can also take your own time and if you see something else you can stop. We love to just get in the car and tour. We always have our bathing suits and snorkles in the car, food and drinks. We have found some pretty amazing spots. Talk to locals when you get there as well. They are great at directing you to pretty cool spots. I highly reccomend the Hawaiian Firefighters for surfing! Amazing!
Drive up to the North Shore and visit Haleiwa and enjoy shaved Ice at Matsumotos (sp?). Keep going alittle further, there is a beach with a tonne of turtlles. Just past there, Shark's Cove, don't let the name scare you, the snorkling is awesome. GO early in the day before it gets busy. Keep driving around the island the scenery is breathtaking as you come around and go back towards Honolulu. You will encounter Hunama Bay (sp?). We are Magnum PI fans of long ago and thanks to DVD's so are our kids now. It was our mission to find the Robins Nest last time, which we did! It was on that side of the island! Near Aulani one of the ships from Pirates of the Carribean is being stored. Kids loved driving over to see that. The Dole Pineapple Plantation is fun and of course a Dole Whip is always a great treat! The resort is amazing and by far my favorite Disney resort! There is so much to do there that you may not want to leave!
Don't forget to take in a luau. The Paradise Cove one is nice for the activities before hand, by the Fia Fia down the beach at the Marriott has been the best luau we have ever been to. Food was good, show was awesome and very atheuthic, and atmosphere was great!
Have a great trip!!!!
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:51 PM   #8
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But what about Mickey Bars?

Love this info! We are planning for Dec/Jan 2014. But hubby posed a great questions - do they have Mickey Bars?? You know - those amazing chocolate covered ice cream bars? My family is sadly addicted to these treats and I am embarassed to admit that one our first cruise we ate approx 30 of these- the second cruise, they didn't have them and we were devestated.

I cannot find on here any info about that - and hubs said "ASK DIS!"

Do they have them???
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:16 PM   #9
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Yes they are sold at kalepas store. Show your dvc card and get 10% off.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by AKMOUSE View Post
Love this info! We are planning for Dec/Jan 2014. But hubby posed a great questions - do they have Mickey Bars?? You know - those amazing chocolate covered ice cream bars? My family is sadly addicted to these treats and I am embarassed to admit that one our first cruise we ate approx 30 of these- the second cruise, they didn't have them and we were devestated.

I cannot find on here any info about that - and hubs said "ASK DIS!"

Do they have them???
A must have daily for my DS

They also sold them at the Lava Shack down by the pool
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