Hey Everyone! This whole journey started way back in November of 2011. During a holiday trip to Disneyland we spoke with one of the guides and bought into DVC for Aulani. We are a Disney family and have been considering DVC for a long time and finally decided to pull the trigger. The moment we bought in we started planning the trip. We booked our dates right at the 11 month mark and time just flew by. We booked a two-bedroom standard DVC villa from February 8th to February 18th to enjoy our 4th anniversary. There would be a cast of five characters on this journey. Me, my beautiful wife Renee, our beautiful 9 year old Angel, our 2 year old son Caleb and my sister-in-law (wife's sister) Misty. If you asked my wife, I became a bit obsessive with planning our trip. I read every review and trip report, slowly stewing over what plans to make, where to eat, etc. I was very close to setting up a corkboard on my office wall with pictures and yarn and thumbtacks to connect them. Much like an FBI detective would use to solve crimes in the movies. Needless to say, I didn't go that far, but I felt I was thorough. With all of that research, we were able to make a pretty solid plan of what to do each day and what to explore on the island. We booked a rental car for our entire stay. However, as the vacation drew near, we decided to throw most of that out the window. We decided that the best value for our time would be spent at the resort, enjoying all that Disney has to offer. During the planning stages some of the resources that helped were: -Oahu Drive Guide -Oahu Gold Magazine -Dis Trip Reports -Trip Advisor -Oahu Revealed Book We booked our air travel back in March of 2012 with Alaskan Airlines as soon as we could book. We booked 5 tickets for our family and my sister-in-law. The original price was $503/pp after tax flying from Oakland, CA to Honolulu. However, Alaskan has a nice policy where, if their prices go lower, you can get a credit for the difference. The prices went down quite a bit and we received a $155 credit for each ticket. Multiply this by the four people in my family and we decided to book another two tickets to Hawaii to invite my parents to come with us. They had never been to Hawaii and we hoped this would be a great blessing for them to get to vacation with us and their grandkids. We thought this might make our 2 bedroom villa a little more crowded but honestly, the rooms were more than big enough! So now we have an updated cast of characters. Me, my beautiful wife, our beautiful daughter, our son, my sister-in-law, and Mom and Pops. I was even able to book them on the same flight as us in the same area of the plane! The rental car planning was another adventure. After a lot of looking around at different discounts, I found that the Costco discount with Alamo was the best value for the time spent there. We were originally given a rate of about $600 for our trip from Feb 8-18th but after checking a few weeks before our trip, it went down to $400! Score! We also were paying for a car for my parents and that went from $400 to $200. Double score! So . After months of planning, the little one got his carry on backpack ready with all of his fun airplane surprise toys. On Feb 7th we made the drive to Oakland, but not without stopping at a familiar location for some animation fans. After staying in Oakland one night, we caught the shuttle to the airport and were on our flight to Hawaii! You can see my wife's excitement! However, a 5 hour flight can take its toll! It wasn't long before we were close to the island and they started serving complimentary Mai Tais! I will post the Hawaii pics as soon as I can but just wanted to set the stage! Mahalo!