February Aulani Pre Trip Report

Discussion in 'DVC Trip Reports' started by ONealFamily, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. ONealFamily

    ONealFamily Mouseketeer

    Feb 4, 2012
    My family and I have five short months before our trip to Aulani. This will be an exciting journey for me, my lovely wife, my two year old son, my eight year old daughter (she will be nine when we make our trip), and my wife's sister.

    Where our journey began.

    This will be our first trip home. We are new owners to DVC but longtime fans of Disney. My love affair with Disneyland began when I was a child. As an adult, I bought an annual passport the first time I could. I would use the pass three or four times a week since I lived in Southern California at the time. Even as a resident of Northern California I have indulged in annual passports anytime I saw myself heading down there more than once a year.
    My wife didn't go as a child but as an adult, I have initiated her to all things Disney. Our first long trip together when we were dating was 5 days at Disneyland. Our honeymoon was at Disneyland. And this last November/December, we took our young son to his first trip to Disneyland at the age of a year and a half.

    This last trip is key, you see, because this is what led to our DVC purchase. After a long day in the parks, we found the small room we booked across the street to be cramped, and the property not conducive to relaxing. We wanted to relax after a long day but found that we simply had a place to sleep, and that was it. In addition, we never stayed onsite because the per night price always scared us off. We are a small, single income family and wanted to budget everything where we could.

    We had considered buying DVC in the past, but the need was becoming apparent. Our kids were only going to get older and we needed more space and more amenities. Our last day at the part, we came across the DVC booth and arranged for a talk with our guide. We went over the financials and, me, being the ultimate planner looked at our vacation savings per month versus the cost of a contract and the projected cost of maintenance fees over time. I quickly realized that the cost of DVC was below the cost that we normally were putting aside for hotel stays and over 50 years, our family would see the value.

    With that, we purchased into Aulani and have been planning our next three or four vacations with more excitement than ever.

    I will note that we are a homeschool family. This makes it very easy for vacations because we can go pretty much whenever we want and I have found availability and nearly every resort we could dream of, which will be good to use in the next few years. For this first trip though, we are going to our home at Aulani.

    Planning Aulani

    I am a planner. While our plans are always subject to change, I like to be prepared. I figure the more prepared we are, the easier it is to be spontaneous. Rather than hem and haw if we have the time to do something new when we get to Hawaii, or if we have the money, we will know exactly what time we have free and how much we can spend, etc. With that, we have laid out a plan for each day.

    We are planning on alternating days between the resort and the rest of the island. Obviously, this may change depending on the number of activities we get involved in on or offsite, but we have a rental for all 11 days/10 nights.

    DAY 1
    We will arrive! Grocery shopping (Costco, Target, Walmart, Safeway) and hang out at resort!

    DAY 2
    Enjoy Aulani. Maybe go for a drive.

    DAY 3
    Dolphin and Snorkel tour and lunch on the Hoku Nai'a in the early afternoon and Paradise Cove Luau in the evening.

    DAY 4
    Enjoy the day at Aulani. Take in the Starlit Hui.

    DAY 5
    Visit Pearl Harbor (Already made my online reservations) and Dole Plantation.

    DAY 6
    Surf Lessons with Hawaiian Fire Surf School for my daughter. The rest of us will watch and take pictures. Rest of day will be spent at Aulani.

    DAY 7
    Kualoa Ranch and maybe Byodo-In Temple. Should be done by early afternoon. May head to Waikiki.

    DAY 8
    Enjoy the day at Aulani.

    DAY 9
    Free day to go to out and go shopping. Any good suggestions? We have thought about shopping at Aloha Stadium or going to Waikiki? Will take any good suggestions.

    DAY 10
    Enjoy the day at Aulani.

    DAY 11
    Enjoy the day at Aulani and fly home in the evening.:sad2:

    So those are our plans for now. Should be pretty fun with lots of time for relaxation and extra time for last minute planned stuff.

    I will keep you all updated as these plans grow and adjust.


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