Just back from Aulani and DL/DCA

Discussion in 'Canadian Trip Planning & Community Board' started by dsneygirl, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. dsneygirl

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

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    We were gone for 19 days and had an amazing trip. We flew BUF to San Diego and did the zoo (AMAZING!!!) and Sea World. Then it was 8 nights at Aulani which far exceeded all of my expectations it was incredible. Then we were back for 5 nights at the Disneyland hotel and the new Carsland. The park was packed but we all enjoyed it.

    If anyone has Aulani or travelling to CA questions I would be happy to help. In terms of airfare $$$ it wasn't all that much cheaper to go through California but we knew we wanted to do DL and break up the trip going as well. 12-13 hours with layovers and 2 kiddos was not my idea of a good time :)
     
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  3. petunia

    petunia DIS Veteran

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    I would love more info on Aulani...how were the hotel rates, is there any form of dining plan? Activities etc? Did it have the "Disney" feel?
     
  4. monkey30

    monkey30 Dreaming of my next vacation!

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    Thats great...if you would want to share a few pictures that would be awesome!
     
  5. Hunnypaw

    Hunnypaw Encinitas, CA

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    Sounds great!

    We are headed to DL today to see Carsland. Going to Aulani on Monday for 8 days! Share some insight if you get a chance! :thumbsup2
     
  6. hockey mom

    hockey mom <font color=coral>Loves to do the Napkin Dance at

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    Wow that sounds like an awesome trip. Glad you enjoyed it. How was carsland?
     
  7. dsneygirl

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

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    We are DVC members and used our points for a 1 bedroom. From my internet research a standard room runs about $500/night.

    There is no meal plan, nor would anyone buy it the restaurant prices are very, very expensive. Also there are only 2 sit down restaurnats so it would get pretty boring. Most people grocery shop and eat in their villas, we did the character breakfast one morning and it was comparable to park prices ($30).

    Tonnes of activities. There is a kids club which is included similar to on the cruise ship. There were character greetings, storytellers and recreation (beach toys, kayaks etc) We were there for 8 nights and we only left for 1 full day of touring there was just so much we wanted to see and do at the resort. The service was top notch and the facilities nicer than any WDW Deluxe (IMHO)
     
  8. who's ur daddy?

    who's ur daddy? Mouseketeer

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    We are scheduled to stay for a couple of nights in October. Heard the biggest complaint was the (relatively) poor quality of food. Any nearby restaurants that you'd recommend?

    Also, what kind of activities did you do at the resort? Kinda makes me wonder how we're going to fit in all those activities in a couple of nights... :(
     
  9. dsneygirl

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

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    We mostly ate in our villa or brought a picnic to the pool. with 2 little ones it was more of a hassle to pack everyone up, get dried off and go. A couple times we got food from Mama's Snack Shop. Also I found we weren't really that hungry. Dinner once time was a bagel and yogurt. :)

    A few things we did were
    ~menehune adventure trail (x4 or 5)
    ~snorkelling in Rainbow Reef
    ~Pool Party with characters and kids games (3 different afternoons)
    ~a tour of the hotel (1 hour long, free just show up)
    ~my son (5.5) did Stitch's Space Goo and the volcano experiment in the kids club
    ~movie under the stars
    ~Starlit Hui (nighttime show, only two or three times a week
    ~poolside games with Goofy near Rainbow Reef (different from the main pool games on other days)
    ~character greetings
    ~waterslides/lazy river

    Honestly we had no problem filling 8 full days with just the resort. Are you planning on touring or just staying at Aulani?
     
  10. dsneygirl

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

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    Forgot to answer you last question. We went on a tour and they said Aulani was designed to be Big "H" and little "D" to focus on Hawaii and not Disney. I would say they have succeeded. It felt like "Disney" in the sense that there was something for the whole family, quality activities and staff. The most Disney feel was probably in the kids club "Aunty's Beach house" which is an amazing facility.
     
  11. who's ur daddy?

    who's ur daddy? Mouseketeer

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    Darn! I knew I should have booked a night or two more at Aulani! We are staying for the bulk of our trip in Maui.

    I don't think there's a whole lot of time to do other things on this island, so will spend the time enjoying Aulani itself.
     
  12. dsneygirl

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

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    We've been to Maui as well, if you have done snorkelling, touring etc I would be happy to just stay at the resort and enjoy it. There is so much to do.
     
  13. fivebyfive

    fivebyfive Mouseketeer

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    What was included (price wise) and what wasn't? :confused3

    For example, I understand that Aunty's Beach House is included, but the Rainbow Reef is not. Do you have to pay for the use of other activities too, such as water slides/lazy river/pool party etc??

    Thanks! :)
     
  14. dsneygirl

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

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    Aunty's was but there were also "premium" experiences for kids which we opted not to. DS was more than entertained with the "free" activities offered.

    Extras were
    ~alcohol and food
    ~souvenirs
    ~excursions through Adventures by Disney
    ~sailboat/kayaks
    ~spa treatments
    ~Photopass CD/photo session
    ~parking (if paying cash, not a DVC member)
    ~rainbow reef

    All included
    ~character greetings
    ~pool, slides, beach, tours of lobby, art, gardens
    ~storytelling
    ~Starlit Hui
    ~movies under the stars
    ~pool party/games for kids
    ~menehune adventure trail
    ~umbrellas at the beach, boogie boards and sand toys
    ~DVC members can also sign out DVDs at no charge

    I think that's a pretty good list, if there is something else just ask?
     
  15. fivebyfive

    fivebyfive Mouseketeer

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    WOW, that's super helpful, thank you! :worship:

    Three questions if you don't mind:

    1) Just to clarify, seeing as the slides were free, was the lazy river free as well?

    2) What was the cost for Rainbow Reef and did you feel it was worth the cost?

    3) I hear that The ‘Ōlelo Room offers a continental breakfast, do you know if there is a charge for this?

    Thank you SO much!!!
     
  16. dsneygirl

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

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    WOW, that's super helpful, thank you! :worship:

    Three questions if you don't mind:

    1) Just to clarify, seeing as the slides were free, was the lazy river free as well?
    yes
    2) What was the cost for Rainbow Reef and did you feel it was worth the cost?
    I think it was $25 or $28 for an adult and maybe $15 for a kid (there was also a 10% DVC discount) I can't remember exactly. Yes it was well worth it. My DS waited all week to try it and then he loved it. If I could go back I would have bought length of stay so we could have gone every day. As it is we went 3x the day. You pay once for an entire day's use.

    3) I hear that The ‘Ōlelo Room offers a continental breakfast, do you know if there is a charge for this?
    Every item was priced a la cart, ie piece of fruit $2, bagel with cream cheese $3.50. I saw it set up but we always ate breakfast in our villa.

    Thank you SO much!!
    You're welcome!
     
  17. Torontogal

    Torontogal Mouseketeer & Disney Vacation Club Member

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    Thanks for your update. It is too bad there is such sticky shock at the resort.

    We are heading to Aulani next month - 1 bedroom. We plan to fly to the Big Island for a few days as well and then fly to CA so I can get my Disneyland fix. We are renting a car in Hawaii so intend on leaving resort property for some meals.

    I too would be happy to answer any questions when I return. Super excited!
     
  18. Torontogal

    Torontogal Mouseketeer & Disney Vacation Club Member

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    By the way, did you have a chance to do a Luau?
     
  19. dsneygirl

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

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    No. We have done the Old Lahaina Luau twice on Maui and I had read that none of the ones on Oahu were as good so we didn't bother.
     

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