Off to Aulani, Firstimer to the Islands

Discussion in 'DVC Resorts' started by MyLove4Disney, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. MyLove4Disney

    MyLove4Disney Disney Kid forever

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    I haven't put much out on the Boards in the DVC section usually in the DCL section. They are a world of information, I'm hoping you dis'ers are a world of information also.

    Since this is my first time to Hawaii, it will all be new, but at least I'll be going to Disney and that will be my familar/safe place.

    Anyway I was going for some ideas for things to do while there. I know everyone will enjoy each area differently but I would love to hear all your sugestions and thoughts.

    Introduction.

    Me dvc owner, celebrating my 50th birthday but still a kid at heart, can't wait for the water slides and lazy river...
    DD co owner 27
    DD Boyfriend 30
    2 of my BFF 45 and 60 she is the only one that has been to Oahu before.
    So 5 in all at this point, there my be 2 more my DB and his wife. It will be a full adult group that are kids at heart. We love the parks and do all the rides all 5 of us. DD is a former cast member of DLand and is a current CM of the Disney Store. Keeping the magic going.

    I have reserved a dedicated standard 2 bed room for a full week of sun, fun and relaxation. So we should have lots of space and really no one will have to share a bed unless the extra two come but that won't be bad. I also have a rental minivan for the week.

    Ok, I know this is going to sound weird, but 3 of the 5 do not eat any kind of sea food, nor are any of us foodies so we are not there for the food. I read a few of the foods reviews that are not so good. Anyway we are doing this some what on a budget when it comes to food, we would rather go do things than spend money in a resturant. No one is heavey into snokling or divers. So that is not what we will be into.

    So here goes the questions, in no particular order.

    1. We want to do the traditional dinner luau/show for my birthday celebration. What are your suggestions and what is the average costs? If you have the contact information that would be helpful as well.

    2. We want to visit Pearl Harbor and see the memorial. What is the best tour group that you were happy with?

    3. What other tours did you go on while you were there that you would suggest for an all adult group? Island tours, etc.

    4. We plan on doing many of our meals in the room. I have stayed in DVC resorts in Florida before but not had as many people to feed. What it the pots and pans situation? one fry pan, one pot in a 2 bed room or is there more to cook with. We especially are going to do big breakfast's/brunch, skipping lunch, I'm just wondering if I need to pick up a cheap fry pan and pot at Costco with all our other food pickup items? Or will the resort provide more if you ask?

    5. We are going to do a 1st day costco run, it there a regular larger grocery store near there area as well? and Walmart/target?

    6. I know at the airport we have to schedule lei's and purchase them. What does the resort offer and what are the costs.

    7. What types of events and activities are on property, the web site seems a bit lacking of what you can actually do and book at the resort.

    8. Any ideas or suggestions for other things to do are welcomed.

    Thanks everyone.
     
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  3. MyLove4Disney

    MyLove4Disney Disney Kid forever

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    I guess not enough Dis'er have been to Aulani yet. did find more information on the Dis site.

    But others have comments please share.

    thank you
     
  4. dianeschlicht

    dianeschlicht <font color=blue>DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Hon

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    I'll answer what I can in the body of your quote.
     
  5. dvc_john

    dvc_john DVC since 1993

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    I think the luau that Diane is thinking of is Paradise Cove. It's just the other side of the J.W.Marriott Illiani hotel, which is right next to Aulani.
    There is another one that is pretty close I think, Germaine's Luau (sic?).
    I have been to Paradise Cove, but not Germaine's.
     
  6. dianeschlicht

    dianeschlicht <font color=blue>DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Hon

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    You're right, John...Paradise Cove is the one I was thinking of. We have actually only been to luaus on the other islands....never Oahu.
     
  7. MyLove4Disney

    MyLove4Disney Disney Kid forever

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    Thanks John and Diane, your information will be helpful. I've been waiting for all this type of planning until now. Getting excited to here all the things we can do.

    Keep the comments coming. Love it.
     
  8. rbuzzotta

    rbuzzotta <font color=FF00CC>OKW until 2042<br><font color=t

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    There is a Super Walmart close to downtown Honolulu. I used to take my DD there when I went to visit her while she was a student there.

    Also, the Luau at the Hilton Hawaiin village is pretty good.

    A trip to the Dole Plantation is a must. Some time up on the NOrthShore is a must as well.

    Are you renting a car? I found travelling the highways there (really only 3) is pretty easy. Traffic is tough heading to Waikiki but otherwise not too too bad.

    If you have any specific questions, I can ask my DD and she may know. She went to HPU for 2 years and travelled the island alot. Just PM me and I will ask her.

    Have fun.....I watched it being built and would love to go back and stay there.
     
  9. DenLo

    DenLo DIS Veteran

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    Here's a trip report by Leitadala about her Aulani vacation. They did a lot of side trips. She doesn't like the food at the resort but her DH does. http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2819494

    And here's another thread that has links to reviews and other information for Aulani and Hawaii. http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2789797

    I would definitely do Dole Plantation there are multiple things to do there. http://www.dole-plantation.com/

    The Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor http://www.nps.gov/valr/index.htm

    And drive around Oahu especially to see the north shore and watch some surfers. Or you can take The Bus (which is the local bus system). But it travels on island time and isn't always on time.

    I would do a luau at Aulani if offered. There are others on the island, but some are pretty touristy including the Polynesian Cultural Center.

    I hope you have a fabulous birthday celebration at Aulani! Aloha!
     
  10. ccigliano

    ccigliano DVC Member WLV

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    The last time I was in Ko Olina, we stayed at the Marriott Ko Olina resort as I traded my Aruba Marriott for Hawaii Ko Olina, I booked an evening under the stars with a local astronomer with a very large expensive telescope right on the beach. If you'd like to experience star gazing you may want to go to the Ko Olina Marriott resort and inquire. I would do it again and you definitely need to make a reservation as they limit the size of the group so that everyone gets to see the stars and planets using the telescope. I also recommend driving over to Lanikai on the eastern side of the island. The drive over is beautiful and the beach is spectacular. Don't miss sunset on the North Shore either and we loved watching it from Sunset Beach as I sure that's how it got its name. Have a wonderful vacation and be sure to spend lots of time at Aulani too.
     
  11. DisneyCruiser2008

    DisneyCruiser2008 DIS Veteran

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    We've been to both Germaine's and Paradise Cove luaus and enjoyed them both. They are definitely touristy... But I'd expect that of any Luau...

    Oahu has good public transportation, so we don't usually rent a car for the entire trip.... But we do usually rent one for one day and drive to the North Shore and watch the surfers... It's a nice drive and different atmosphere on that side of the island.
     
  12. MyLove4Disney

    MyLove4Disney Disney Kid forever

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    Thank you all so very much. Dole plantation will be on the listing. Drive to Northshore at Sunset. I had heard about that, it is a great idea also.

    Thanks again.
     
  13. DenLo

    DenLo DIS Veteran

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    Roberts does most of the Hawaiian tours. http://www.robertshawaii.com/oahu/ We've traveled to Hawaii (all of the large islands) via cruise ships and have taken tours that were almost exclusively through Roberts Tours. A few were not Roberts Tours and I thought they were just so-so.

    But you could rent cars and just drive yourselves to most locations and not need a tour. As DVC members you'll have free parking at Aulani.
     
  14. dgaston

    dgaston <font color=purple>Proudly wears a "Believes in Fa

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    I would also suggest buying the Hawaii Entertainment book. It had discount coupons for the luau's and other helpful savings. I also use Tripadvisor to get reviews of various places.

    We did Pearl Harbor and the Missouri on our own -- all advise you to get there early!

    I also recommend getting shrimp from the shrimp trucks on the North shore for those of you that like seafood. Out of this world!
     
  15. MyLove4Disney

    MyLove4Disney Disney Kid forever

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    Thank you, I'm going to look into the entertainment book.

    I just finished reading the trip report link listed. Sounds great. Some will be must do and others we will have to skip this time. One in the group would not be able to do Diamond head trip. I would love to do, but I know it would be hard for me. I'm pooh sized but I could still do eventhough I would be slow. But the 60 year would not, only because last year she fell and broke her right leg and arm and had to have major surgery to repair, she is back walking and everything, but is not ready for anything that would be that hard. If she had not had the fall she would have been able to do it as well and would have been right up our alley.

    On the Luau, I was looking more for a big stage show type one, lots of dancing lots of music, do they actually have any of those or is that more of a hype type thing that really doesn't exisit?

    Thanks again. Love all your information. Down to 101 day from arrival to island.

    Getting excited already doing my packing planning to fit two people stuff into one bag.

    I live in California, so I don't have as long a flight as some of you. Non stop 6 hours. Now I have flown non stop from California to Florida but that was over land. I'm wondering how it will be to Hawaii. Yehaw, going to have to really pay attention to where the water flotation devices are kept. LOL.

    We leave at 9:30 am and get in about 2pm. So we will have some time for shopping and such the first day.

    We got very good pricing for our flight. Hawaiian airlines last week just under 350.00 round trip, but have to drive 80 miles to the airport. There is an airport only 10 min from my house but it was 150.00 more round trip, that times 5 people, it was worth driving the 80 miles and parking of 60.bucks. If I would have waited one we longer I would have had to pay 600.00 each. So in my book I got about 5 tickets for the price of 3. another Yehaw. More money to spend on fun.

    Thanks everyone
     
  16. vacationclub

    vacationclub Rochester, NY

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    We were there in September. I created a video (travel channel style) in case it gives you any inspiration. See signature below.
     
  17. MyLove4Disney

    MyLove4Disney Disney Kid forever

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    thank you for the video it was wonderful.
     
  18. donmil723

    donmil723 Stormalong Bay/Castaway Cay Beach Bum

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    Yes! It was AWESOME!
    :cool1::cool1:popcorn:::thumbsup2:thumbsup2
     
  19. MAGICFOR2

    MAGICFOR2 Condimentessa

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    Strange - I can't see a siggie for vacationclub :confused3
     
  20. Golden Rose

    Golden Rose Princess by Choice

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    We used to have family in the islands, so we've been over many times. Since you've never been, I would definitely suggest several things that have already been mentioned.

    1) Pearl Harbor/Arizona Memorial - drive yourself there early in the morning, the crowds get really bad. This can sometimes eat up a large chunk of your day, depending what all you choose to do in the area, and how long the wait is when you get there.

    2) Polynesian Cultural Center - I would think this is a must do for a group of young at heart adults. They also do have a big show at night, with dancing from assorted pacific island groups. It isn't close to Ko Olina. This is a full day and into the night activity.

    3) Honolulu - You really should plan to go to Honolulu for a day. Spend part of a day seeing Wakiki beach, visiting the Bishop's Museum, and going over to Ala Moana Mall. It's a beautiful shopping center, and has some really interesting shops. (Go by Shirokiya, the Japanese Department store, and plan on lunch there if anyone likes Japanese food.)

    4) Luau - For first timers, it is probably worth it. We don't generally find them worth the money often, since you end up paying at least $80 a person, but it is certainly worth doing at least once. You're really close to Paradise Cove Luau at Aulani, which, as mentioned is one of the big, popular ones. It will be the big show and feast you've seen in shows about Hawaii that you're hoping for.

    5) Build in at least one hang out at the resort day, probably two. (How long is your trip?) It is so easy to get caught up doing all the cool things that you don't spend enough time just relaxing. If you have any golfers in the group, there is good golf right there. There is, of course, the fabulous pool, and gorgeous beach. Even if your whole group doesn't snorkel, you might enjoy going into the lagoon while they're feeding the fish, and watching that. (I assume they still do that; they were doing that from the Marriott last year.)

    6) Other possibilities, depending on your interests -
    Waimea Falls Park - beautiful gardens lead up to a waterfall, and you can sometimes swim in the pool there. This might be a difficult walk for some of your party, but you used to be able to rent a golf cart (I assume you still can, but I don't know for a fact.) This is on the North Shore, and there are several gorgeous beaches nearby.
    Kualoa Ranch - lots of outdoor activities here, if anyone in your group would be interested in horseback riding, tours of sites used in movies (like Jurassic Park) and tv (like Lost), catamaran boating tours, atvs, etc.
    Dolphin or whale watching - whale watching is seasonal (November to April), dolphin watching really isn't. You can take a boat, and I think there is one that leaves from not too far from the resort, out to look for wild dolphins. Sometimes you can swim with dolphins, too.
    Day tours of other islands - you can fly to another island in the morning, tour the island for the day, and return to Oahu in the evening. There are tour groups that will facilitate this for you, and depending on your interest in other islands, it can be worth doing. You could hit some of the top sights in Maui, Kauai, or the Big Island this way, for between $300 and $400 per person (including the interisland airfare.) It is pricey, but depending on your interest in seeing other sights, for example the volcanoes and black sand beaches on the Big Island, it can be worth it.

    Hope some of this is useful!
     
  21. MyLove4Disney

    MyLove4Disney Disney Kid forever

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    Golden Rose. Oh my this is really a wealth of information. Thank you so much.
     

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