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Old 02-12-2013, 08:41 AM   #1
nzdisneymom
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Arriving late at night for Aulani - what would you do?

The school board released the calendar for the 2013-14 school year so we now know when we can plan our son's Senior Year Spring Break trip - we've been waiting for this so we can go to Aulani! We'll be booking at 7-months for March so I've marked our calendar for August for when to make the booking - but that led me to looking at airline schedules to get an idea of flights, etc. Which leads me to my question....

We'll be flying from Atlanta and it looks like most of the airlines have flights arriving late in the evening in Honolulu. We will need to decide if we want to just find a place to spend the first night near the airport and then head over to Aulani the next morning, thus saving a night's points (we'll use those at WDW later in the use year) or if we should just go ahead and go over to Aulani when we get there so late in the evening.

If we stay near the airport, then the next morning we'll have time to pick up some groceries, etc., on the way over to Aulani (I need to see if they have refrigerated storage like they do at WDW to hold our things until our room is ready). And we'll be able to enjoy the resort for the day (or maybe find something off-property to do that day until check-in time).

So what would you do? We'll be flying there on a Saturday and then flying home on either Saturday or Sunday depending on which day gives us better fare (we'd book through Sunday morning and then modify if our airfare costs dictate that we need to). So we'll have a lot of time at the resort.

Thanks.
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Ending the holidays ~ January 3 - 6 ~ Saratoga Springs
Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:00 AM   #2
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I had to take a look on kayak.com to see just how atrocious the arrival times were in Honolulu for flights out of Atlanta Hartsfield. WOW!

I would agree with the idea of spending your arrival night in another hotel to save the points. By the time your flight arrives and you get your luggage, rental car and get to Koolina it will be very late. You'll spend points on just sleeping there -- not a judicious use of the precious DVC points, to be sure.

I can't recommend any Honolulu hotels -- however since you'll presumably have a rental car, it would give you the opportunity to do some sightseeing in Waikiki, Pearl Harbor, etc. on that first full day.

There is a Safeway and Costco in Kapolei for your shopping convenience. We didn't need to utilize refrigerated storage, however I did see people arriving with food -- so I would presume bell services has the facilities.

Enjoy your Aulani visit!

Aloha!
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:37 AM   #3
nzdisneymom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyalCanadian View Post
I had to take a look on kayak.com to see just how atrocious the arrival times were in Honolulu for flights out of Atlanta Hartsfield. WOW!

I would agree with the idea of spending your arrival night in another hotel to save the points. By the time your flight arrives and you get your luggage, rental car and get to Koolina it will be very late. You'll spend points on just sleeping there -- not a judicious use of the precious DVC points, to be sure.

I can't recommend any Honolulu hotels -- however since you'll presumably have a rental car, it would give you the opportunity to do some sightseeing in Waikiki, Pearl Harbor, etc. on that first full day.

There is a Safeway and Costco in Kapolei for your shopping convenience. We didn't need to utilize refrigerated storage, however I did see people arriving with food -- so I would presume bell services has the facilities.

Enjoy your Aulani visit!

Aloha!

Neil - thanks - yeah, I was really surprised when I was looking at Kayak this morning - and I did check HNL's website to see which airlines fly in so we can hopefully end up with a good flight schedule. If we had about 3 more days, we would break the trip up and stop in California at Grand Californian (we own there so we could try to get a night or two at 11 months out). But we don't have those days and really don't want to shorten our time in Hawaii to less than 6 nights.

We are really happy that the 1BRs in the newer resorts will sleep 5 as we are a family of four but the teenage boys don't want to sleep together so having the pull-out chair has worked well for them - and lets us take a 1BR instead of a 2BR (saving points - woo-hoo).

One thing about having a 7-month window is that we can figure out the air portion before making the reservation so we'll know better about flight schedules for next March.
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Ending the holidays ~ January 3 - 6 ~ Saratoga Springs
Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
Spring Break ~ March 16 - 23 ~ Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas
Hawaiian Vacation ~ June 9 - 15 ~ Aulani
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:45 AM   #4
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I don't think we got to the resort until 10 or so the night we arrived at Aulani last year. We landed around 630 or 7 pm I think? Got our car and made a quick stop for groceries. We had contemplated cash somewhere but in the end we just wanted to get to the resort and essentially start our vacation waking up at Aulani. Not certain how late your flight arrives but I suppose you could get something cheap for one night somewhere but remember aulani isn't near Waikiki.

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Old 02-12-2013, 09:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TagsMissy View Post
I don't think we got to the resort until 10 or so the night we arrived at Aulani last year. We landed around 630 or 7 pm I think? Got our car and made a quick stop for groceries. We had contemplated cash somewhere but in the end we just wanted to get to the resort and essentially start our vacation waking up at Aulani. Not certain how late your flight arrives but I suppose you could get something cheap for one night somewhere but remember aulani isn't near Waikiki.
Thanks - I saw the directions said it's 17 miles from HNL to Aulani which is part of why we'd consider staying near the airport for sleeping... we figure it will have been a really long day already. And you know what? I just realized that we might want to check flights from Tampa or Orlando, too - we live in very north FL and generally fly from ATL or JAX but for getting to HNL, it might be that those airports have better schedules - off to check kayak!

OK, back - whew - Orlando and Tampa have much better flight schedules than ATL!!!! So that will make a difference and likely make my question irrelevant!
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Ending the holidays ~ January 3 - 6 ~ Saratoga Springs
Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
Spring Break ~ March 16 - 23 ~ Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas
Hawaiian Vacation ~ June 9 - 15 ~ Aulani
Blogged our B2B Mediterranean Cruises 2013
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:53 AM   #6
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I was just going to suggest that maybe you could consider going out of a different airport. I've gone from both Pittsburgh and the DC area and I've always managed to arrive in the early-mid afternoon time frame. That's crazy that ATL doesn't have afternoon arrivals into HNL. I just booked our airfare for going to DL and Aulani this summer...and it was nearly the same price as what we paid in 2011 to go to Paris & Barcelona for the Med cruise.

Since you said you're going to price flying home on Sat. vs Sun. I just wanted to point out that many of the departure flights to come home leave in the evening. We always book one that leaves between 9 and 10:00 PM so we can enjoy one last day in paradise...but the problem with doing that is that if you leave on Saturday night then you'll arrive home on Sunday afternoon...so if you need to be home for work or school on Monday then you'll want to plan to leave on Sat.
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August 2014 - 3 n @ VGC & DL followed by 7 n @ Aulani follwed by 3 n on Maui / Jan 2014 - 5 n @ AKV Jambo House / Aug 2013 - 9 nights @ SSR / Aug 2012 - 9 n @ Boardwalk Villas and HRH / Mar-Apr 2012 6 n @ Bay Lake / August 2011 Disneyland Paris and DCL MED cruise / August 2010 Disney's DVC resort at Hilton Head Island, SC / March 2010 Kidani Village at AKV / August '09 BCV & Vero Beach / May '09 SSR / July '08 AKV & B2B Cruises on The Wonder/ January '08 VWL / August '07 OKW / July '06 Offsite - Waikiki, Kona & Ka'anapali, Hawaii / July '05 Disneyland & Disney Magic West Coast Cruise to the Mexican Riviera / Summer '04 CSR / May '03 Offsite - St. John, USVI / Summer '02 AKL & O.C., MD


















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Old 02-12-2013, 11:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anal Annie View Post
I was just going to suggest that maybe you could consider going out of a different airport. I've gone from both Pittsburgh and the DC area and I've always managed to arrive in the early-mid afternoon time frame. That's crazy that ATL doesn't have afternoon arrivals into HNL. I just booked our airfare for going to DL and Aulani this summer...and it was nearly the same price as what we paid in 2011 to go to Paris & Barcelona for the Med cruise.

Since you said you're going to price flying home on Sat. vs Sun. I just wanted to point out that many of the departure flights to come home leave in the evening. We always book one that leaves between 9 and 10:00 PM so we can enjoy one last day in paradise...but the problem with doing that is that if you leave on Saturday night then you'll arrive home on Sunday afternoon...so if you need to be home for work or school on Monday then you'll want to plan to leave on Sat.
Thanks - the nice thing about the way our school system does spring break is that the students have off on Monday, too - they have the teacher planning day that day so that gives us a little bit of time. What I was just thinking is that if we do the red-eye flight back to Orlando and get there on a Sunday morning, maybe we could check in at a DVC and hang out at WDW for the day and drive home on Monday (that gives us some time to rest from the flight before making the drive home). ATL and Orlando are about the same distance for us. My brother lives in ATL so there's always the bonus of getting to see him (and he keeps our car for us so no parking fees). Which makes me wonder if we were to book a night at a WDW hotel pre-flight, could we leave our car at WDW and take Magical Express to the airport, and then take Magical Express back from the airport to WDW? Hhhmmm... probably not but maybe???
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Ending the holidays ~ January 3 - 6 ~ Saratoga Springs
Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
Spring Break ~ March 16 - 23 ~ Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas
Hawaiian Vacation ~ June 9 - 15 ~ Aulani
Blogged our B2B Mediterranean Cruises 2013
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:56 PM   #8
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I've flown Delta several times from Atlanta into HNL and we arrived at around 3 pm - plenty of time to enjoy some daylight hours and get used to the time difference. Delta also used to have (don't know if it still does) a non-stop from ATL into HNL which is why we would be routed from NY into Atlanta.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVCismyhappyplace View Post
I've flown Delta several times from Atlanta into HNL and we arrived at around 3 pm - plenty of time to enjoy some daylight hours and get used to the time difference. Delta also used to have (don't know if it still does) a non-stop from ATL into HNL which is why we would be routed from NY into Atlanta.
Thanks for this post - I found Delta's schedule and they do show a non-stop from ATL to HNL that gets in late afternoon. So we'll keep that in mind, too. I'm so glad I asked here!
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Ending the holidays ~ January 3 - 6 ~ Saratoga Springs
Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
Spring Break ~ March 16 - 23 ~ Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas
Hawaiian Vacation ~ June 9 - 15 ~ Aulani
Blogged our B2B Mediterranean Cruises 2013
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzdisneymom View Post
Thanks for this post - I found Delta's schedule and they do show a non-stop from ATL to HNL that gets in late afternoon. So we'll keep that in mind, too. I'm so glad I asked here!
Glad to be of help.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzdisneymom View Post
We are really happy that the 1BRs in the newer resorts will sleep 5 as we are a family of four but the teenage boys don't want to sleep together so having the pull-out chair has worked well for them - and lets us take a 1BR instead of a 2BR (saving points - woo-hoo).
I don't know whether you are aware, but the 1BR at Aulani does not have a pull-out sleeping chair in the living room. Instead, it has a small pull down Murphy-style bed beneath the television set. It does officially sleep 5, however the pull-down bed really is not suitable for an adult-sized person (not sure how old/big your sons are), so you should be prepared for that, as well.

There is also no extra bathroom as in the other newer DVC resorts. It really is a head scratcher to me as to why this is...
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floribr1 View Post
I don't know whether you are aware, but the 1BR at Aulani does not have a pull-out sleeping chair in the living room. Instead, it has a small pull down Murphy-style bed beneath the television set. It does officially sleep 5, however the pull-down bed really is not suitable for an adult-sized person (not sure how old/big your sons are), so you should be prepared for that, as well.

There is also no extra bathroom as in the other newer DVC resorts. It really is a head scratcher to me as to why this is...
Well shoot - I didn't know that - darn it. We will have to think about this then.
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Ending the holidays ~ January 3 - 6 ~ Saratoga Springs
Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
Spring Break ~ March 16 - 23 ~ Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas
Hawaiian Vacation ~ June 9 - 15 ~ Aulani
Blogged our B2B Mediterranean Cruises 2013
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:26 PM   #13
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Somebody posted a couple of weeks ago that their son slept on the pull down and he said it was fine. Here's the link http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...14&postcount=4

Here's what the pull out bed looks like from the tour we took at Aulani in September.

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Old 02-12-2013, 05:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenLo
Somebody posted a couple of weeks ago that their 6'2" son slept on the pull down and he said it was fine.

Here's what the pull out bed looks like from the tour we took at Aulani in September.
Thanks for the picture. Our older son will be 17 1/2 and he is 5-8. My younger will be 16 and he is 5-11. The older one always takes the pull out chair. So that might work ok.
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Ending the holidays ~ January 3 - 6 ~ Saratoga Springs
Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
Spring Break ~ March 16 - 23 ~ Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas
Hawaiian Vacation ~ June 9 - 15 ~ Aulani
Blogged our B2B Mediterranean Cruises 2013
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:49 PM   #15
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We had a 9pm arrival at HNL, but due to a flight delay we didn't arrive until almost 11. We picked up our rental car and headed to Honolulu to stay at the Embassy Suites for the night. Definitely didn't want to waste points when we'd just be sleeping! We used hotel points for the Embassy which had a wonderful cooked breakfast included in the morning. Oh, and we had a lovely ocean view! We hiked Diamond Head that morning (since we were up early), then did our shopping and headed to Aulani. It worked out pretty nicely. In the future we said we would definitely do our "touring days" while staying cheap on points in Waikiki, then move over to Aulani for the real relaxation and beach time.
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