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Aulani expansion worries.....

Discussion in 'DVC Resorts' started by shoedude1971, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. shoedude1971

    shoedude1971 Earning My Ears

    Oct 18, 2011
    Hi! Wifey and I are headed to Aulani (9/28 - 10/12) to celebrate our 10 year anniversary! We've been counting down the days with ever increasing anticipation but yesterday, we received email notification of the impending expansion. Although Disney has assured guests of minimal impact, I'm very skeptical. Scaffolding, obtrusive walls and noise come to mind when thinking of this expansion. Looking to chat it up with other folks heading out there around the same time and also folks who have been to Aulani, have knowledge of the expansion details and can let us know how they think our experience will be....trip of a lifetime just became a bit less "trip of a lifetime-y ".....or not? Help!!!!
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  3. Anita13

    Anita13 Earning My Ears

    Jun 18, 2007
    I am booked at Aulani from 11/24 - 12/4. I wouldn't worry too much about the expansion. Disney is very good about keeping noise and mess down. I'm not too worried.
  4. disneynutz

    disneynutz DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

    Dec 11, 2006
    We deliberately do not do new Disney for a couple of years after opening. They need time to train, adjust, modify, and in this case, expand. A Aulani vacation is very expensive and it is only 1 resort and no theme parks so we would only vacation there once or twice in a lifetime. We would reschedule and not take a chance for a less than perfect vacation.

    :earsboy: Bill
  5. counselormom

    counselormom Mouseketeer

    Jun 25, 2010
    I am worried with you. We will be there October 12-19. I just sat and reread the email over and over again trying not to cry :rolleyes:
    My husband finally talked some sense into me and I'm feeling a little better.
    I did call the number in the email and was told that the hydrotherapy garden could be closed as well but they didn't know which days. Huge disappointment
    as I had booked several spa treatments just the day before. I really don't think it's going to be as disruptive as I'm imagining, but I'm going to have to work on letting go of things I can't control before we leave or I will just be irritated. Not sure if you are DVC or not but when I emailed my travel agent she changed my reservation over to the stay 3 get 2 offer and I now have a $766 resort credit (we already had it paid off) :cool1: This took a bit of the sting away!
  6. shoedude1971

    shoedude1971 Earning My Ears

    Oct 18, 2011
    Hi....Wow, did not know about the hydrotherapy garden..... wifey will not be happy....ugh.....we are DVC, but thanks....I'm sure it will be a great trip nonetheless....
  7. NC State Tigger

    NC State Tigger 'cause we all love State and I luv Tigger

    Sep 6, 2009
    Did your email state how long "the impending expansion" would last? Is this expansion Phase 3? If I understand correctly, Phase 3 is not scheduled to be completed untill well into 2013.

    Will Aulani visitors have to be concerned with construction and possible closings for the next year :sad2:
  8. Carrie in AZ

    Carrie in AZ DIS Veteran

    Mar 18, 2003
    We just returned from Aulani and LOVED it!!! Cannot wait to return. I read about the expansion plans yesterday and, frankly, I am having great difficulty understanding where all of these new things will be placed/located. Anyone else feel this way? I'm sure there is a sound action plan in place.

    I was excited to read all the details, though, because I do feel these new amenities are needed and will enhance the resort.

    Having said all of that, I wouldn't like it one bit that the resort would be undergoing an expansion during my dream vacation. It would make me nervous as I am a big worrier. But!!! Aulani is soooo beautiful, pictures DO NOT do it justice. I find it hard to beieve Disney would chop up what is already in place, especially since it is brand new. Maybe the expansion will be taking place around the "perimeter" and not affect those enjoying what is already in place????

    I'm wishing everyone magical stays at Aulani!!
  9. oktracy

    oktracy Mouseketeer

    Jul 5, 2010
    Hello All,

    I am traveling to Aulani 9/2- 9/9 this year. Does anyone know when the expansion will start?? Just trying to plan.
  10. jel0511

    jel0511 DIS Veteran

    Jan 30, 2001
    We just returned from Aulani also, and I agree with a PP, it's probably all located on the perimeter and won't affect your stay that much. The quiet pool is sort of hidden away and we didn't find it until our last day. The expansion is sorely needed IMO. There is no where near enough room on the pool deck once all the villas are open and occupied. It was warfare there most days to get a chair. The quick service food doesn't have enough choices IMO and gets tired quickly. I am looking forward to the added space AND new food choices....
  11. htmlkid

    htmlkid Gold DCL Member / SSR DVC Member

    Jun 13, 2010
    We just returned from Aulani and were at the end of the EWA building room 458 located near the elevators. On the other side of the elevators was the new wing where construction was going on. We daily heard jackhammering and construction noise. Lucky for us we were up most days early to get out and see the island, but on the last day we wanted to sleep in but the jackhammering started at 7:15. I called the front desk and they stopped it till 9am when it began again.

    Other then that you wouldn't have even know construction was going on.
  12. dsneygirl

    dsneygirl <font color=blue>My little pirate is here<br><font

    Jun 6, 2000
    Dh and I were speculating that they will expand the pool/deck area over where the stingrays currently are and into the quiet pool area. Maybe even take some of the area from where the Starlit Hui is now.

    Great about new quick service options. They are greatly needed.
  13. shoedude1971

    shoedude1971 Earning My Ears

    Oct 18, 2011
    I think you maybe be in luck, the email I received stated mid September...
  14. WildernessMickey

    WildernessMickey Mouseketeer

    May 2, 2003
    It sounds like the expansion of the pool area will be all to one side. It is where the quiet pool, sting ray experience, a bar, and a grassy area for Starlit Hui are currently located. This is all to one side of where the main pool, water bridge play area, snorkeling reef, and lazy river are, so those main areas should still be fun and not impacted.

    I was there during Phase 1, so I could always get a pool chair, but I was guessing that it would get very crowded when the whole resort was open. I really enjoyed the quiet pool, so I hope the expansion still includes a quiet pool.

    There was not much interest in the sting ray area, so I don't think it will be missed. The grassy area where Starlit Hui was located is a prime spot with great ocean views. I hope they take good advantage of that.

    Even though the expansion will cause some disruption, it will improve the overall experience and is really necessary. You will still enjoy the resort and have a great vacation. There is always the lagoon beach too! Enjoy.
  15. El&Asmom

    El&Asmom DIS Veteran

    Jul 14, 2006
    Anyone know when work is supposed to be complete on these areas? Dh and I are going for our 15y anniversary in Feb and hope it's over by then.
  16. Carrie in AZ

    Carrie in AZ DIS Veteran

    Mar 18, 2003
    My info says it will conclude mid 2013.
  17. Neraj

    Neraj Mouseketeer

    Apr 4, 2012
    Yeah, I hear June of 2013. Interesting that there are no mock-ups.

    I know they are converting the ground level Grand Villa, on the quiet pool side, into one of the quick service locations. The other location will be on the beach!

    Startlit Hui will be moving to a new, larger, location. To make room for the extension of the quiet pool and addition of a toddler pool.

    The AMA'AMA restaurant will be increasing in size and Makahiki will gain a retractable cover for the outside seating area.

    Those are some of the details I can remember from the top of my head...
  18. theOCdisney

    theOCdisney Mouseketeer

    Oct 18, 2006
    We received the email too. (We are going Oct 4-8.). Here is the email:

    "Over the course of our first year, Guests have told us again and again how much they've enjoyed their time at Aulani. So, in order to give our Guests more of what they love, we'll be expanding our Resort as part of our final buildout beginning in September.

    This expansion will include enhancements to the Waikolohe Pool area, as well as the addition of new water features, two new Quick-service dining options and a new, larger venue for our popular Starlit Hui show.

    These projects are being carefully scheduled to minimize impact to your stay, however, you will see and hear work in progress-so we hope you'll pardon our appearance and any construction-related noise. Our most popular features will be available during your stay, including:
    Waikolohe Valley pools/water fun area
    Beach access and activities
    Aunty's Beach House kids' club
    Starlit Hui show (except for a short hiatus in the fall)
    Other entertainment, including fireside storytelling, outdoor movie nights and visits from Disney Characters
    Laniwai Spa and Fitness Center
    All restaurants
    Please note that the Wailana Bar and Quiet Pool will remain closed for an indefinite period of time. Also, the Makai Preserve will close permanently in early October to make way for new water features.

    Again, we look forward to your visit. You will receive additional information soon regarding any impacts to your stay. If you have any questions, please contact Disney Vacation Club® Member Services at 800-********."

    We are disappointed, but our stay is an add-on to our Kauai trip. We have stayed in Ko Olina before at the Ihilani , so we will enjoy the lagoon and whatever amenities are available at Aulani. :)
  19. izzy

    izzy "It's not the heat -- it's the stupidity"

    Dec 9, 1999
    I was there in May, and everytime I was out by the pool I kept thinking that they are in big trouble when phase 3 of the resort opens. The pool deck area was barely big enough to handle the part of the resort that was already open, and phase 3 looks pretty large to me. There was no way the current pool area would be able to handle the number of people who will be staying in phase 3. I'm really glad to hear that they are going to expand this area. It might be a pain in the short term, but it's really needed for the long term.

    I'm surprised to hear that they are removing one of the grand villas from inventory and converting it into something else. Have any of the other DVC resorts done something like this before?
  20. shoedude1971

    shoedude1971 Earning My Ears

    Oct 18, 2011
    I guess we'll just make the best of it, I have faith in Disney....I mean, we'll be in Hawaii! 2 weeks in Hawaii with some inconveniences is better than 2 weeks most anywhere else, right?
  21. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

    Aug 30, 2009
    DW and I will be there this time as well. We have not received an email telling us of the expansion plans so I'm hoping it means it will not start until after we depart.

    Here is the link to Disney's post about the expansion and their comments

    Since the opening of Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in August 2011, Guests have enjoyed outstanding amenities and accommodations at this oceanfront Resort. And today, we continue to look for ways to enhance your vacation experience.

    With this in mind, if you visit between September and mid-2013, you may notice some of our work in progress as the Resort is expanded. Rest assured, you can still anticipate a fun-filled vacation at Aulani during this period.

    Explore all the updates planned at Aulani:

    Waikolohe Valley Pool Area
    Waikolohe Valley will soon delight Guests with more water features and dining options.

    During the pool area expansion, much of Waikolohe Valley will remain open—including Waikolohe Pool, the lazy river, slides, whirlpool spas, Rainbow Reef and Menehune Bridge. However, Makai Preserve will close permanently this fall; Wailana Pool (the quiet pool) and Wailana Bar will close for an extended period.

    Starlit Hui
    To accommodate more Guests, Starlit Hui will move to a larger venue. Be aware that Starlit Hui will close for approximately one month as it transitions to its new location.

    Makahiki – The Bounty of the Islands
    To provide shaded outdoor seating and accommodate additional Guests in inclement weather, an overhead trellis with retractable awnings will be added to the outdoor dining area at Makahiki.

    While enhancements are underway at Makahiki, restaurant operations will continue with interior seating only. As a result, the Disney Character Breakfast—Aunty's Breakfast Celebration at the Makahiki—will be extended to 6 days a week! This experience will be available Tuesday through Sunday, and Resort Guests will enjoy priority for advance reservations.

    Exterior Decorative Beams
    Finishing touches are being put on the building exteriors—including work on the decorative beam joints. While this work is in progress, you may notice some scaffolding and covered walkways at Aulani.

    Mahalo (thank you). Your patience is greatly appreciated during this enhancement period. For more information, please view our frequently asked questions or call (714) 520-7001.

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