Aulani's Hidden Costs

Paul Stupin

New DVC Member
Joined
May 8, 2016
Like everything else, a lot depends on how you use your points. I'm going to spend a ton more time at Walt Disney World than Aulani, but when I do go to Aulani, it'll be up to and including a 2 bedroom ocean view for 8 nights, which is going to take around 600 points. From a points management perspective, I've decided it'll be cleaner to have a single large Aulani contract than a smaller Aulani contract and a second WDW contract, otherwise booking those giant blowout trips every few years would mean a ton of 7-month transfer headaches.
Understood! But what’s the difference between one large 600 point Aulani contract (which could limit resale buyers), or two 300 point contracts, or three 200 point contracts, both of which might be easier to sell down the line? They’ll all just pop up on screen when you book Aulani at 11 months. And though you might pay more for the lower point contracts, you’ll ultimately get more at resale.

That said, no judgement intended, I do see having just one can streamline things!
 

CaptainAmerica

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Understood! But what’s the difference between one large 600 point Aulani contract (which could limit resale buyers), or two 300 point contracts, or three 200 point contracts, both of which might be easier to sell down the line? They’ll all just pop up on screen when you book Aulani at 11 months. And though you might pay more for the lower point contracts, you’ll ultimately get more at resale.

That said, no judgement intended, I do see having just one can streamline things!
Once you get that high, I agree, but I meant more 300 versus 150/150, not 600 versus 300/300. I think 300 is the sweet spot, especially for anybody considering Direct. The pricing falls off a cliff once you hit that level.
 

sipnride

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
I think it can consistently go up at a higher percentage. I actually love Aulani and own there, but…(1) We live in Los Angeles, and (2) We also own at WDW and use those particular points for a WDW 11 month booking advantage. We use Aulani for Aulani.

Also, I’m not sure I would bet on AKV going down. Maybe, I guess. But maybe not. Also, using Aulani to get AKV at seven months will probably work, as it will with SSR and OKV. But using one’s points anyplace else, which is part of the fun of DVC, could be problematic.
Over the past year, AKVs average sale price has risen at a higher rate than any other WDW resort, followed by SSR. The aggressive buybacks are probably playing a role, as is the inflation were seeing more generally. I would imagine Disney is going to lay off soon now that the average is at $140 pp and for rising rates to cool the inflation, but even if I'm wrong, I'm thinking I'll feel better about having locked in a chunk of points at Aulani at 115 or less and then paying 160 pp for AKV next year than to continue this bidding war with Disney which is honestly starting to feel a little personal.

Ultimately I want to land on 1000 points over the next 5 years, so I figure I'm better off going for the bird in the hand vs the two in the bush. When I think about it that way, while also finding myself more intrigued and excited about the prospect of Aulani vacations in the future, I'm ready to find that perfect contract and put that bid in.
 

Royal Consort

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Born & raised in SF, getting my tix on the (un)subsidized train.
Excuse the Australian in me (Aulani is the closest US Disney hotel to me) but the flight from the US West Coast is about the same flight time as Florida. So many West Coasters say they buy Aulani because of your location. You all act like it's closer. Why?!?!
 

CaptainAmerica

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Excuse the Australian in me (Aulani is the closest US Disney hotel to me) but the flight from the US West Coast is about the same flight time as Florida. So many West Coasters say they buy Aulani because of your location. You all act like it's closer. Why?!?!
Hawaii is special, Orlando isn't. If I lived in California I don't think I'd ever go to Florida.
 

Royal Consort

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Hawaii is special, Orlando isn't. If I lived in California I don't think I'd ever go to Florida.
Oh come on. Walt Disney World is special and the reason most of us are here. That is not to denigrate Hawaii which has its own incredible beauty but utterly different to what WDW can offer. I might as well say Hawaii is not special because I have tropical far north Queensland, Great Barrier Reef and New Zealand on my doorstep.
 

sipnride

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
Excuse the Australian in me (Aulani is the closest US Disney hotel to me) but the flight from the US West Coast is about the same flight time as Florida. So many West Coasters say they buy Aulani because of your location. You all act like it's closer. Why?!?!

Well, I live on the east coast now so it definitely ain't about being closer physically, but culturally, well it sometimes feels like CA and HI are in one country and FL is in another.

Hawaii is special, Orlando isn't. If I lived in California I don't think I'd ever go to Florida.
To be fair, there are some pretty special things happening in Kissimmee. I don't know if there's anything quite like AKL in the world, and the proximity of so many different types of experiences in driving/monorailing/skylining/bus hopping distance from each other, I definitely wouldn't compare, say, Anaheim to it at all. Obviously there's the parks, but take a walk through the Coronado at night followed by dinner and drinks at the top of the tower and tell me that's not a special, romantic experience. And that's the Coronado I'm talking about, maybe one of the least magical places in WDW. Just saying.
 

Paul Stupin

New DVC Member
Joined
May 8, 2016
Excuse the Australian in me (Aulani is the closest US Disney hotel to me) but the flight from the US West Coast is about the same flight time as Florida. So many West Coasters say they buy Aulani because of your location. You all act like it's closer. Why?!?!
Bring equidistant between Florida and Hawaii, here in Los Angeles, is perfect. With the time difference, we leave LA at 7:00 am and are in Honolulu by 10 am. I don’t think a 5 1/2 or 6 hour flight to either Florida or Hawaii is bad at all. We love Aulani, but the 10 hour flight from the east coast might be a deal breaker.
 

Paul Stupin

New DVC Member
Joined
May 8, 2016
Well, I live on the east coast now so it definitely ain't about being closer physically, but culturally, well it sometimes feels like CA and HI are in one country and FL is in another.


To be fair, there are some pretty special things happening in Kissimmee. I don't know if there's anything quite like AKL in the world, and the proximity of so many different types of experiences in driving/monorailing/skylining/bus hopping distance from each other, I definitely wouldn't compare, say, Anaheim to it at all. Obviously there's the parks, but take a walk through the Coronado at night followed by dinner and drinks at the top of the tower and tell me that's not a special, romantic experience. And that's the Coronado I'm talking about, maybe one of the least magical places in WDW. Just saying.
Agreed. Both destinations are great.
 

Brian Noble

Gratefully in Recovery
Joined
Mar 23, 2004
We love Aulani, but the 10 hour flight from the east coast might be a deal breaker.
It's not great. We split the return flight from Hawaii to DTW into two days, with an overnight on the west coast. We are starting to think about doing the same thing on the way there. Conversely, it's "so far" that we generally go for at least two and sometimes three weeks at a time. So, it's not all bad. ;)

My son is about to move to LA, and that gives us an excuse to stretch the trip out even more if we want.
 

CaptainAmerica

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
We love Aulani, but the 10 hour flight from the east coast might be a deal breaker.
We've done it twice with the kids, direct from Boston both times

First trip: Kids 5, 2, wife 8 months pregnant
Second trip: Kids 7, 4, 1, with masks

We found the direct flight from Boston to Honolulu extremely easy. 11 hours in a wide-body jet isn't much worse than 3 hours in a narrow-body jet, and we pay for the Extra Comfort upgrade and book early so we get the bulkhead row.

Coming home is much more difficult, because my kids just can't do the red eye. We've tried it, and they don't sleep. So now, coming home includes just one night overnight around LAX to break it up.
 

Paul Stupin

New DVC Member
Joined
May 8, 2016
It's not great. We split the return flight from Hawaii to DTW into two days, with an overnight on the west coast. We are starting to think about doing the same thing on the way there. Conversely, it's "so far" that we generally go for at least two and sometimes three weeks at a time. So, it's not all bad. ;)

My son is about to move to LA, and that gives us an excuse to stretch the trip out even more if we want.
We've done it twice with the kids, direct from Boston both times

First trip: Kids 5, 2, wife 8 months pregnant
Second trip: Kids 7, 4, 1, with masks

We found the direct flight from Boston to Honolulu extremely easy. 11 hours in a wide-body jet isn't much worse than 3 hours in a narrow-body jet, and we pay for the Extra Comfort upgrade and book early so we get the bulkhead row.

Coming home is much more difficult, because my kids just can't do the red eye. We've tried it, and they don't sleep. So now, coming home includes just one night overnight around LAX to break it up.
Yeah, good idea to break it up! We’re going later this month for 15 nights. 4:45 am pickup at home. 7:00 am flight. Arrive in Honolulu around 10 am! It’s a brutally early morning, but it gives us an additional, almost full day there when we first arrive.
 

bumbershoot

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
I do, but to be clear, my s/o strongly prefers SV over any other type of room there, so when we visit we have and will be staying in SV rooms the overwhelming majority of the time.

If you have to stay in a certain type of room at AK, and you don't if you go to Hawaii, I don't understand buying in Hawaii.

I get that you're unwilling to pay a bit more right now, but I wouldn't potentially shoot myself in the foot by not having the 11 month window for the specific type of room you like.

If I lived in California I don't think I'd ever go to Florida.

Hmm. I grew up in CA and dislike visiting; I only do it to see remaining family and for high school reunions. I'd much rather head to Florida.
 

Paul Stupin

New DVC Member
Joined
May 8, 2016
If you have to stay in a certain type of room at AK, and you don't if you go to Hawaii, I don't understand buying in Hawaii.

I get that you're unwilling to pay a bit more right now, but I wouldn't potentially shoot myself in the foot by not having the 11 month window for the specific type of room you like.



Hmm. I grew up in CA and dislike visiting; I only do it to see remaining family and for high school reunions. I'd much rather head to Florida.
I too think buying Aulani just because it’s relatively cheap is not a good idea. And long after the buyer has forgotten the purchase price, those expensive dues will still be there, getting pricier every year…with no 11 month booking window at WDW, and an 11 month Aulani window no one really needs. I own there, but I do because I love it.

Personally, I’d pay a few thousand dollars more for the resort I really want. Also, I think OP’s plan is penny wise and dollar foolish. In the long term, I don‘t think Aulani resale will hold up as well as WDW resorts, so there’s potential gain lost there, plus those high dues that live forever, plus the added cost of getting to Hawaii and vacationing on an island where everything is pricey.

I also wouldn’t bet on being able to buy AKV at some firesale price in a year or two. With the huge number of contracts for sale out there, it’s a buyers‘ market, and in spite of inflation the economy’s fundamentals aren’t bad.
 

CaptainAmerica

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
I too think buying Aulani just because it’s relatively cheap is not a good idea. And long after the buyer has forgotten the purchase price, those expensive dues will still be there, getting pricier every year…with no 11 month booking window at WDW, and an 11 month Aulani window no one really needs. I own there, but I do because I love it.

Personally, I’d pay a few thousand dollars more for the resort I really want. Also, I think OP’s plan is penny wise and dollar foolish. In the long term, I don‘t think Aulani resale will hold up as well as WDW resorts, so there’s potential gain lost there, plus those high dues that live forever, plus the added cost of getting to Hawaii and vacationing on an island where everything is pricey.

I also wouldn’t bet on being able to buy AKV at some firesale price in a year or two. With the huge number of contracts for sale out there, it’s a buyers‘ market, and in spite of inflation the economy’s fundamentals aren’t bad.
I agree with most of this, but AKV ain't cheap from a dues perspective either.
 

Royal Consort

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
I also wouldn’t bet on being able to buy AKV at some firesale price in a year or two. With the huge number of contracts for sale out there, it’s a buyers‘ market, and in spite of inflation the economy’s fundamentals aren’t bad.
I would argue that AKL had been undervalued until recently. I think its current price seems reasonable for a deluxe that offers much more than OKW and SSR.
 

CaliAdventurer

To Hunger is to Live
Joined
Oct 27, 2014
Ive used my Aulani points at every resort at all times of the year save (VGC & VGF where I have contracts) and would sell my Aulani points last if I ever had to liquidate. Absolutely adore the resort and its becoming more and more popular so the rental value is high in peak times.
 








Top