New to Aulani...is it worth the long flight?

Discussion in 'Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa' started by Anna Chassereau, Sep 15, 2018 at 8:18 AM.

  1. Anna Chassereau

    Anna Chassereau Mouseketeer

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    Hi everyone! Looking into possibly visiting Aulani for our 10th anniversary next summer. I'm thinking mid June for a week. It will be my husband, myself and our son who will be almost 9 at the time. We live on the east coast in South Carolina so this will be a LONG flight.

    For those that have flown from the east coast did you feel it was worth the long flight? It just makes me nervous to do with a kid...anyone flown with children around this age and how did it go if you have?

    Anyone know a good flight plan from Columbia, South Carolina? We've been to Disney World countless times and are taking our third Disney cruise this summer...I'd love to experience Aulani Just nervous for such an intense amount of travel to get there. Thanks for any advice! :)
     
  2. BWV Dreamin

    BWV Dreamin DIS Veteran

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    This is exactly what’s been holding us back. If we do get there, we are going to pay for the extra leg room seats. Would NEVER fly Southwest to Hawaii. Don’t care how much cheaper it is.
     
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  4. Anna Chassereau

    Anna Chassereau Mouseketeer

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    I hear you...that little bit of extra leg room may make all the difference. I just wonder how bad the jet lag is for flying there from the east coast?
     
  5. Kitzka

    Kitzka DIS Veteran

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    I think it’s a matter of what you are used to. I fly to Hawaii from nyc. It’s an 11 hour direct flight. I don’t think it’s bad at all. But I also regularly fly to Seattle and San Diego which is 5-6 hours and that’s very easy.

    I don’t get the extra legroom but I’m only five foot 2.

    Forbme it’s totally worth it to be in paradise. The red eye back is a breeze. (I fly red eyes often) and usually I’m awake for the first few hours. I read, watch movies etc. I doze off for the last few hours. Get back to the east coast. And do nap when I get home but make sure I only nap 2 hours max. Then I stay up the rest of the day. I don’t go to work to plan to do anything the first day back. That’s my recovery day.

    I think you will be okay. But if you have some concerns with the flight time maybe stop on the west coast for a layover to stretch your legs? I’m always anxious to get where I need to get.

    Good luck.
     
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  6. Anna Chassereau

    Anna Chassereau Mouseketeer

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    Thank you and I'm hoping you're right and we'll be ok! lol I know it will be worth it once we get there just not the biggest fan of long flights. I've traveled a lot and have taken many long flights to Europe...the longest being 14 hours which is longer than this will be so I know I'll survive it haha I think I have my husband talked into first class on the way there which looks to be longer than the way back so hopefully that will help :)
     
  7. BWV Dreamin

    BWV Dreamin DIS Veteran

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    My brother went to Aulani. Almost 2 days to adjust after they got there. Allow yourself a couple of days when arriving to catch up.
     
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  8. happymommy

    happymommy DIS Veteran

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    I've flown it from the East Coast over ten times, starting when my kids were 4 and 6. I even flew it alone with them when they were 5 and 7, so it's just what we're used to.

    If you can snag lie flat seats at least for the return flight, it's much nicer (for us it's connecting with American through DFW or Delta through ATL). Going over, extra legroom is nice for sure (or first class if you have the miles or it's in your budget).

    I agree to give yourself the first full day to relax and adjust. We usually go for at least two weeks (last trip I was there a full month, at the Marriott next to Aulani. We met several older couples who also go for a month, as owners of two weeks we can lock the 2br off and do the studio for two weeks then the one bedroom for another 2).

    Coming home, melatonin works to get rid of the jet lag for me.

    I could do a nonstop out of Washington Dulles, but that's on United, and won't fly with them. So I do the flight from BWI, which is 30 minutes from home, with one stop. Next trip is just DH and me for 12 nights (5 at the Moana in Waikiki then a week at the Marriott Ko Olina). We are going over first class on Delta through ATL, coming home first class on AA through DFW (I lucked out and had enough miles for lie flat seats both ways!).

    My kids travel well, and they find it a treat. First time I took my oldest when he was 6 months old from Honolulu to St. Louis alone, and that was fine (we lived on Oahu and he was born there). Going over on the red eye, he just slept the whole flight. Coming home was more challenging as he was awake the whole time, but the flight attendants were very helpful!
     
  9. Riburn3

    Riburn3 Earning My Ears

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    I really think it's worth it. I've been to tropical paradises all over the globe, and there isn't really anything quite as beautiful as Hawaii. I didn't go for the first time until I was nearly 30 because I was kind of skeptical about it having been to so many great places across Southeast Asia and the Caribbean, but it really is such a breathtakingly beautiful place. The sunsets there are out of a painting.

    Aulani itself is great too. It's where I have my DVC membership.

    In terms of your child flying, they are old enough it should be no problem. Just make sure you provide plenty of distractions. We have traveled all over the world with our 3 year old, and distractions are key. My wife and I are very strict when limiting our daughters TV/screen time, but when we fly its all bets off. We'll load up an ipad with tons of Peppa Pig videos and bring lots of coloring and sticker books, and it works wonders. I would imagine since your child is much older, it would be easier.

    If you prepare yourself for the time difference and treat it like you would a trip to Europe, you'll be fine. From the East Coast, the difference is an hour greater to Honolulu than it is to London.
     
  10. happymommy

    happymommy DIS Veteran

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    I agree about distractions. I'd always have them carry a backpack with things to occupy them.

    Also by 6 or so, they're old enough to pull their own rolling suitcase. With laundry facilities available, and Target nearby, we did 2 weeks in only carry on bags years ago. I just stopped at Target on the way to the resort to get some breakfast essentials (and wine of course) and toiletries (prices are the same as at home for the most part) and that only took maybe 30 minutes. It was so quick to get off the plane and not have to deal with waiting for luggage! You don't need much in Hawaii; flip flops (slippers in Hawaii), shorts, sundress for me, swim suits, a hoodie or sweater, pajamas. We do laundry almost daily, so it was easy.

    I'm sure you'll love it!
     
  11. jerseygal

    jerseygal DIS Veteran

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    Aulani is gorgeous, such a memorable trip for us, so happy that we did it, we lucked out, absolutely perfect weather! Flew nonstop roundtrip to/ from Newark four years ago, end of May. We liked it since it was a lot less crowded than the summer months with most school kids still in school. We loved all the pools, especially enjoyed the adult hot tub and adult pool. I forget exactly, but about 11 1/1 hours I believe nonstop going and about 10 roundtrip coming back, night flight, think we left Honolulu about 8:30PM, so it was nice having a full last day at the resort. We did "bite the bullet" to get extra leg room on United, DH, both adult DS are all over 6'3, youngest DS is 6'5. Really needed the extra leg room. Did a 8:30AM out of Newark, arrived Aulani early afternoon, first day was a LONG day, but none of us had trouble adjusting to time at beginning or end of trip. First day, ate a later lunch/early dinner by the time we reached resort and called it an "early evening". ENJOY, Aulani is SO beautiful!::yes:::woohoo:
     
  12. adamak

    adamak DIS Veteran

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    Hawaii is always worth it. We flew from NYC and flew through Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta before. Never did non-stop cause costs too much. I found that Delta is nicest of all of them. DC is 8 now and he had done Aulani 3 times. He's asking to go back every year.

    But. You will have to prep your kids if you have never flown that long before. Set normal expectation. Expect delays. Even after landing, it's still a long way to the hotel itself. And also, see the rest of the island. Don't just stay in the hotel.
     
  13. darly2004

    darly2004 Mouseketeer

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    So worth it. We have not stayed at Aulani, but have been flying to the neighboring Marriott Ko Olina every other year since our oldest was 1 1/2 years old (she's almost 11 now). Our flight is only 6 hours though. The youngest baby we have taken was 9 months old (3 kids at that time, the others were 5 and 8). We love Ko Olina. It is so beautiful and definitely our home away from home.
     
  14. ct7878

    ct7878 Mouseketeer

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    Have you thought about breaking up the trip with a small stop on the West Coast? We are in FL and usually spend 2 days in California on our way there -either at DLR or San Francisco. It does help to break up the trip, allows for a more gradual adjustment to the time change and also lets us experience someplace else on vacation. Just something to think about....
     
  15. olafLover

    olafLover DIS Veteran

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    We came for Europe, so for us the flight was even longer! We definitively felt it was worth it! But not just Aulani, all of Hawaii! Make sure you explore! It's so beautiful!
     
  16. Loveallthingsmouse

    Loveallthingsmouse Mouseketeer

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    We live in NC and LOVE Aulani, to us, it is absolutely worth the flight to get there! Hawaii and Aulani are absolutely beautiful, just have to know its a long flight but so worth it once you get there. We have flown Charlotte to Atlanta or Salt Lake City then on to Honolulu. Our next trip we are flying to LAX to break the flight basically in half.
     
  17. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

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    IMO, Aulani alone is not worth the flight and expense. But a Hawaii vacation is. I would not go all the way there and have Aulani be the focal point of my trip. It would just be my choice of accommodations, with ample time to explore the island(s). So if you have no interest in Hawaii, I'd be hesitant to recommend it. If you've always wanted to visit Hawaii, then Aulani is great place for a Disney fan to stay while doing so. Awesome resort, but very different than Disney World.

    How far are you from Atlanta? We flew to Honolulu by way of Atlanta (starting in Buffalo) and had a great flight. It was on Delta and it was an Airbus 330 plane, so it had 2-4-2 seat configurations which made it very comfortable for us. We were in standard coach, but were able to get up to stretch out legs often. There were hundreds of movies, TV shows, games, and music on each seat-back TV along with plugs at the seat. They served every fare class a hot meal during the flight, and provided a wrapped sandwich closer to landing. They also came by frequently with drinks and snacks, and alcohol was free for all fare classes. Never even ate the snacks I carried on! Couldn't have been a better flight, and the amenities made the time go by fast. We didn't think it was bad at all.
     
  18. Loveallthingsmouse

    Loveallthingsmouse Mouseketeer

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    How far are you from Atlanta? We flew to Honolulu by way of Atlanta (starting in Buffalo) and had a great flight. It was on Delta and it was an Airbus 330 plane, so it had 2-4-2 seat configurations which made it very comfortable for us. We were in standard coach, but were able to get up to stretch out legs often. There were hundreds of movies, TV shows, games, and music on each seat-back TV along with plugs at the seat. They served every fare class a hot meal during the flight, and provided a wrapped sandwich closer to landing. They also came by frequently with drinks and snacks, and alcohol was free for all fare classes. Never even ate the snacks I carried on! Couldn't have been a better flight, and the amenities made the time go by fast. We didn't think it was bad at all.[/QUOTE]

    Check the aircraft when booking (although that is subject to change)...I will say from our experience, Delta has changed the plane from the Airbus (very nice, one reason we chose to fly thru ATL) to the 767 (they changed after we had booked, looks like this is the plane now). The 767 was not nearly as nice, the entertainment on demand was lacking. The food was good, but we were disappointed after flying the Airbus to then go to the 767 (especially since we booked the Airbus and Delta changed it). We couldn't complain, we were still going to Hawaii, but we have chosen to break up the flight this time and fly thru LAX (different carrier but 1/2 the price Delta is charging, we have always flown Delta to HNL, but 1/2 price including car rental...we will try something new)
     
  19. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

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    Yes, the plane is always subject to change. Typically there is one flight per day to and from Atlanta on the Airbus, and it can be a pricier one. The rest of the flights are the 757. I wonder if your flight wasn't full or there was a mechanical issue that caused them to switch it to the 767? I agree that its not nearly as nice. But they still fly the Airbus 330 between Atlanta and HNL.
     
  20. pjacobi

    pjacobi DIS Veteran

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    If all you want is a tropical resort, the Caribbean is a lot closer and cheaper for those living on the East Coast. If you live on the West coast, Hawaii is like Florida to those on the East Coast.

    To make Hawaii worth the time and expense from the East coast, I needed to see and do something uniquely Hawaiian, such as Perl Harbor, Volcanos National Park, etc.


    -Paul
     
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  21. Loveallthingsmouse

    Loveallthingsmouse Mouseketeer

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    It may depend on the time of year too. We flew in May this year and again next May it is still the 767 (at a premium price). I had looked after the change and it seemed to be a new change and one going forward, at least the summer months. I agree, the Airbus is worth the extra, but I wouldn’t pay double hoping they would change it back to the Airbus. I am sure it has to do with demand, they want to fly a full plane.
     

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