Kualoa Tours?

Discussion in 'Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa' started by stormer, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. stormer

    stormer DIS Veteran

    Sep 28, 2007
    Looking at doing Kualoa Ranch. I am looking at the Premiere Movie Sites Tour ($120 for 2.5 hours) or the Hollywood's Hawaii Backlot Tour ($46 for 1.5 hours). Does anyone have any experience with either one? I see the Premier Tour is in an air conditioned van while the other is on a vintage school bus. Curious what the other differences are. I am very interested in seeing things the kids will recognize and having the ability to take pictures of the things we see. I would appreciate and advice or information you have. Thanks.
  2. si-am

    si-am DIS Veteran

    Apr 16, 2006
    We did the regular movie/ranch tour (1.5 hours, though it ended up being a bit longer.) We loved it! We did it just last week, and the vintage bus wasn't hot even at the end of July. Plus, the open windows provide opportunities for better pictures.

    They stop twice for you to get out and walk around to take pics-- once in an old WW2 bunker with movie props and then at the famous Jurassic Park log. The scenery was breathtaking and our tour guide was informative about both movies and the history of the ranch. I'm not sure we needed anything more or more time.

    Honestly, Kualoa was one of the highlights of our trip. We also had lunch at the cafe after our tour and the burgers were terrific although it was crowded.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
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  4. mfleeting

    mfleeting Mouseketeer

    Jan 27, 2014
    We haven't done those two tours, we did the Jungle Tour, but the entire area is such a nice area. I think you would enjoy any tour.
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  5. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

    Feb 11, 2009
    We did the Premier Movie Tour last September. I think I have more info and photos in my trip report, which is linked in my signature.

    From my recollection, at the time the Premier Movie Tour was only offered once a day and was capped at 12 passengers so we booked in advance. It was scheduled 9:30am-12pm and we needed to be at the ranch by 8:45 to check in, so we left Aulani at 7am since we didn't know how traffic is and it was an hour commute. We actually got caught up in traffic from an accident and made it just in time!

    The tour itself is in a 12 passenger air conditioned van with one driver/tour guide who wore a microphone. The van was also equipped with a TV screen, and the tour guide would play a clip from the movie as you were pulling up to each site. It was nice to have that context and actually see the site in the movie, because a lot of the sites are just open fields or locations where they used CGI or other features in editing to make it appear different in the movie. The tour takes you to every movie site location that is still accessible at Kualoa Ranch, so the tour includes part of the Jungle Tour and also takes you down to where the dock is for the secret island beach tour. So you go all over Ranch property. At the time, it was also the only tour that took you to the Indominous Rex pen from Jurassic World. We were able to get out and walk through the observation deck from that scene as well. It's my understanding this part of the tour may have changed now, because Jurassic World 2 is currently filming there.

    While we were there, the Jumanji sequel was being filmed so our driver took us by it and we could see from a distance the filming that was taking place. We did not see any celebrities, but we did pass two black Escalades with tinted windows - presumably the stars!

    Having only 12 passengers was nice because the tour guide was able to take photos for everyone, and we could spend as much or as little time as we wanted at each site. We also all could ask questions, use the bathroom when needed, etc. The Ranch also provided a cooler in the van for us with water and snacks.

    Overall, we really enjoyed it and I would recommend it to anyone who is a movie buff. That's about the only thing we were interested in with Kualoa Ranch, so it was the ideal tour for us. We also ate lunch at their buffet after which was great!
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  6. blessed2BaMama

    blessed2BaMama Earning My Ears

    Jun 3, 2013
    Our family adored Kualoa ranch on our trip last October. We had the Go Oahu card so we could do many tours at Kualoa for free. We did the jungle tour, the regular movie sites tour, some catamaran tour whose name I forgot. We also paid the full price to do the premiere movie sites tour which was our absolute favorite tour that we took. The premiere movie sites tour was much smaller and much more comfortable in the air-conditioned van and from my recollection there were only eight people on the tour that day and four of them were my family. The guide was amazing and you could tell she really knew her stuff it was worth every penny and we plan to do it again! If you have any questions about the other tours I will gladly answer anything else because Kualoa is a treasure !!
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  7. The Mayor

    The Mayor <font color=green>How about 7"...6" is for rookies

    Jan 8, 2006
    Has anyone ever done two tours in the same day? i'm leaning towards the 2 hour ATV tour and the Secret Island. Thoughts??
  8. penguins_fan

    penguins_fan Mouseketeer

    Nov 8, 2000
    We just did this tour last Friday, the air conditioned van with snacks and cold drinks was great on a hot day. They were running this twice a day, 9am and 1pm. Our tour guide, Chris, was great! You can fully tour the Ind.Rex observation deck, they've completed Jurassic World filming, nothing was restricted. It was great to be able to get out of the van at all of the major filming sites including the giant boneyard from Kong Scull Island, fun to actually get to play with the bones. Highly recommend the Premier version, definitely a trip highlight, the video screen allowed you to appreciate the sites even if you didn't see the movie.
    Also highly highly recommend the burgers in the snack bar area, a real sleeper, best burger on the trip!
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