Considering Aulani, a few questions.

Discussion in 'DVC Resorts' started by dizneekrazee, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. dizneekrazee

    dizneekrazee Fullfilling my bucket list, one vacation at a time

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    I found a great rate on airfare, and was given a great quote on Aulani. I have a couple of questions before I take the plunge.

    Food:
    How are the prices at the resort? Anywhere where I can access a menu with prices?
    From my understanding, there is an ABC store nearby (isn't there one in every corner in Hawaii? lol), where I plan to stock up on drinks/snacks, and maybe some breakfast items. Are there any sort of cooking instruments in the rooms? Even just 1 pan would be helpful.

    Transportation:
    I have been to Oahu before, although it would be my kids first time. I do not plan on going to Waikiki. We would only be on the island for 5days/4nights. Would you recommend a car? If so, is it possible to only have a rental for park of my stay? Like maybe 1 or 2 days?
    If I do not get a rental, what prices am I looking at for airport transfers for 4 (1A3C)?

    DVC:
    We are not DVC members (yet!!), but Aulani does interest me for the future. Do they offer any presentations while at the resort?


    I am sure I will have more questions as well. Thank you for your time.
     
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  3. donkthemagicllama

    donkthemagicllama <font color=blue>My DW would really like to visit

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    Prices are pretty high, although not that bad if you're comparing to a deluxe resort at wdw. The counter service options are very limited compared to a typical wdw deluxe though. (I understand this is being addressed though).

    If you're staying in a hotel room (and I assume you are if you're not dvc) there is a mini fridge and coffee maker in your room. I'm not dvc either, but I presume the dvc rooms do have cooking supplies.

    If you want to go anywhere away from aulani, a car is good, although parking is 35$ a night. When I priced it out, renting a car at aulani for a couple days was the same price as renting it for a week from the airport.

    They'll be more than happy (giddy even) to tell you all about dvc and take you on a tour ;).

    Our trip to aulani really has us considering dvc... Would love to go back!
     
  4. Sir William

    Sir William DIS Veteran

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    We haven't been to Aulani since it opened, though we did take a tour while it was still in construction. We were so impressed that when we had an opportunity to buy into Aulani, we did.

    We'll be making our first stay at Aulani this April, but I found the following on their website. Most of the restaurant links have sample menus. Not inexpensive, but it doesn't seem to be incomparable with resort prices elsewhere, whether in Hawaii or WDW.

    http://resorts.disney.go.com/aulani-hawaii-resort/dining/

    Here is a link to the rooms that will tell you what cooking facilities are available:

    http://resorts.disney.go.com/aulani-hawaii-resort/accommodations/resort-rooms-suites/
     
  5. dizneekrazee

    dizneekrazee Fullfilling my bucket list, one vacation at a time

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    Thank you for those links!!

    We were planning a cruise this year, but I think we will switch to Aulani.
     
  6. dizneekrazee

    dizneekrazee Fullfilling my bucket list, one vacation at a time

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    No longer considering, BOOKED!! Woohoo!!
     
  7. slowly

    slowly Crazy for DCL

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    There are plenty of great choices near the hotel within walking distance with every price range in mind. My personal recommendations are Roy's and Ushio Tei. I would recommend the character bfast at least once to say that you tried it. The choices at Aulani are high and not worth the money IMO.

    A car is a must especially if you are going to Waikiki. If you have a credit card with hotel booking benefits that's the way to go. Capital One has been my go to car booking place. Even if you don't have enough points to redeem you can pay with your CC. With a car take a trip around the North Shore and visit the shrimp trucks or eat shave ice at Matumoto's.
     
  8. aclov

    aclov DIS Veteran

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    Www.allears.net has menus. There was a thread on hear specifically for food if you wanted to search for.
     
  9. aclov

    aclov DIS Veteran

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    Im not see specific menus for Aulani here but there are some blogs. Also Mousesavers has information on Aulani and tips!
     
  10. dizneekrazee

    dizneekrazee Fullfilling my bucket list, one vacation at a time

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    Thank you!! If there are options in walking distance that is fine. We will certainly do the character breakfast at least once. I've always heard good things about Roy's, so we will be there for sure.

    As of now, I am thinking no car, but, a friend and her family may join us and change our minds. We will not be visiting Waikiki, but possibly North Shore and the Dole Plantation.

    Are there car rental places nearby if I only wanted a rental for 1-2 days?

    Oh, what about jogging paths? I've recently taken up running, and would like to continue.
     
  11. aclov

    aclov DIS Veteran

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    A few posters on other threads have mentioned MonkeyPod Kitchen just opened up and they have happy hour.
     
  12. utahkennedys

    utahkennedys DIS Veteran

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    I am going to be candid here and my experience is based on traveling mostly to Maui which we adore and staying at Westin Villas:

    We did not like the dining options at Aulani. They are overpriced and underwhelming. The character b'fast was ok but we loved the b'fast buffet at the JW Marriott next door much more as far as food selection. There is an ABC store for essentials with some salads/sandwiches as well. There is also a Roy's which we loved. We hit the Safeway in the neighboring town which also had a Chili's, Outback, etc...however this is not where we want to eat on vacation in Hawaii.

    A car is an absolute must. This resort is not near anything other than the other resorts at Ko'Olina. I can't imagine being "trapped" at the resort. I think Disney really didn't plan on people staying at the resort as much as has ended up happening either but the location drives that. When we were there a year ago only 1/2 (or less) of the buildings were built out and I can't imagine the crowds and craziness once they are finished. Although there were things we liked, the access to restaurants/activities and the size/scale of the resort lacking open grounds and enough pool space wasn't our favorite. Again, our frame of reference is a bit skewed but we preferred the Marriott Ko'Olina beach club where we stayed for another week after Aulani. The resort has it's own beach cove, much larger and spread out tropical grounds, and a more relaxed feel.
     
  13. dizneekrazee

    dizneekrazee Fullfilling my bucket list, one vacation at a time

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    This might be a stupid question, but if we are Aulani guests, can we dine at Marriott? I know we can use their beach. What about pool?
    And the ABC store, where exactly is it located? Walking distance? We had one at our resort my last visit (HHV).
     
  14. Iceman93

    Iceman93 Mouseketeer

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    I'l disagree with the utahkennedys a little bit; we spent five nights at Aulani without a car, and never felt "trapped" or like there wasn't enough to do right there at the resort.

    The ABC store (actually it's got a different name because it's a bit more upscale than your typical ABC store) is definitely within easy walking distance. And any of the other restaurants around, including those at the Marriott, will gladly take your money even if you're not a guest there!
     
  15. Stitch_lover_Sith

    Stitch_lover_Sith <font color=royalblue>So I want to weigh in on thi

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    So here are a couple of answers to your questions. Food choices on the Disney property are good but come with the Disney price tag. Right across the street there is an ABC/ Foodland combo store, more upscale that typical ABC. They have hot and cold foods. There are a couple of restaurants right in the same plaza area.

    Rental car answers, you can rent using the Disney concierge service or pick up at airport. I am going to recommend pick up at airport. The rental agencies charge Disney a premium destination charge. This will also help with food options, you can drive north shore way or even just to Pearl City and get some really Ono(good) food way cheaper than even the ABC in Ko olina Proper.

    Now as far as DVC you can go to the preview center which is in the Wainae Tower on Lobby level. Here you can ask questions and if you want schedule a time to take a full tour and speak to a guide. If you can ask for Preema she is laid back and very knowledgeable. She was on of the first two selling DVC in Hawaii.

    Now on the questions you did not ask but will help you with anyway. Traffic on Oahu sucks so if you have plans to do something on the North Shore plan on 45-60 minutes each way. Ko olina is out by itself with not to many good options to get in and out. For jogging trails the is the Ko olina Lagoon path that end to end is about 1.5 miles so multiple trips around for longer distances, there is a triathlon held here that how I know the distance. If you are up for a bit of a drive you can head Wainae way and run Kaena Point, this is a trail that take you to a bird refuge; this is also a great hike.
     
  16. donkthemagicllama

    donkthemagicllama <font color=blue>My DW would really like to visit

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    As far as access to other resort's properties:

    Beach: all beaches in Hawaii are public anyone can go to any beach. The Marriott actually shares Aulani's beach, so no benefit to going there.

    Pools: you generally have to be a guest at the property to use the pool.

    Restaurants: you can usually go to any restaurant.
     
  17. dizneekrazee

    dizneekrazee Fullfilling my bucket list, one vacation at a time

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    Does anybody have any idea how much a day rental would be at Aulani? Also, do you think Dole Plantation, North Shore, and PCC would be doable in a day?
    Does Aulani (or Marriott), have an onsite Luau? Prices, if so?
     
  18. donkthemagicllama

    donkthemagicllama <font color=blue>My DW would really like to visit

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    The onsite rental agency for aulani is Alamo. Goto Alamo.com and use HNLR72 as your pickup and drop off location to price it out.

    I'd say you could do all 3 of those in a day. Start off at the dole plantation head to the north shore, have lunch at a shrimp truck then go to PCC for afternoon/evening luau.

    Others may disagree though... We didn't find dole plantation or PCC to be that worthwhile though, so I wouldn't dedicate much time to them.
     
  19. dizneekrazee

    dizneekrazee Fullfilling my bucket list, one vacation at a time

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    Another question. I like to scrapbook our trips. Does the resort store have any Aulani themed stickers or paper I can scrap with?

    Ps. Think we will skip Dole Plantation & PCC, and do Paradise Cove day of arrival instead.
     
  20. wuzzles

    wuzzles Mouseketeer

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    We did the Fia Fia luau at the Marriott Ko Olina last month and had a great time. It's a 5 minute walk to get there. The Chief was hilarious and there was a lot of audience involvement. I think the price was $90 for the adults and $50 for the kids. They only offer the show on Tuesdays though.


    I did see some stickers and scrapbooking supplies at the gift shop. I think they even had a little kit. Not a scrapbooker myself so I didn't really pay much attention. Oh and they did have a few postcards.
     
  21. dizneekrazee

    dizneekrazee Fullfilling my bucket list, one vacation at a time

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    Perfect!!
     

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