Oahu itinerary waikiki & aulani

Discussion in 'Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa' started by Jacquelyn89, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Jacquelyn89

    Jacquelyn89 Earning My Ears

    Oct 8, 2018
    Hi I will be traveling to Oahu this month with babies ranging from 3 months - 1.5 year old and adults ages 30-80 years old . Wanted to know if my itinerary looks good . Do you think we have enough time to do all the things listed below ? Thanks

    Day 1 Thursday
    • Arrive at HNL airport from LGB
    • Pick up rental car
    • Check in hotel waikiki
    • Costco/target
    • Duke paoa lagoon
    • Ala Moana magic island or mall
    • Hula show Kuhio beach 630

    Day 2 Friday
    • Honolulu zoo am
    • Waikiki beach
    • Wedding in KoOlina in the afternoon/evening

    Day 3 Saturday
    • KCC farmers market am
    • Aloha stadium swapmeet am
    • Pick up more relatives from airport
    • Afternoon Snorkel catamaran for 2 hours in waikiki. Kids will be at koOlina lagoons

    Day 4 Sunday
    • Diamond head hike sunrise
    • Tantalus lookout
    • Hanauma Bay
    • Lanai lookout/ Halona blowhole
    • Makapuu lighthouse trail
    • Sea life park
    • Waimanalo bay recreation or Kailua beach
    • Nuuanu Pali lookout
    • Waimea valley hike

    Day 5 Monday
    • Pillbox Hike sunrise
    • Breakfast Boots n Kimo’s
    • Lanikai Beach or Kailua beach
    • Byodo in temple
    • Kualoa regional park China mans hat
    • Kualoa ranch movie sites tour
    • Kahuku Shrimp trucks -Giovanni’s or Romy’s
    • Sunset beach park
    • Laniakea Beach
    • Matsumoto shaved ice
    • Tantalus outlook

    Day 6 Tuesday
    • Leonard’s bakery
    • Check out of waikiki
    • AM Check into aulani leave luggage while waiting for room
    • Green world coffee farms
    • Dole plantation. Train ride and eat dole whip
    • Hale’iwa bowl
    • Explore aulani pool time/lagoon
    • Kawaa luau

    Day 7 Wednesday
    • Character Breakfast at aulani Makahiki 7a
    • Beach time/lagoon koolina
    • Pool time at aulani
    • Explore resort take character pics
    • Sunset pics

    Day 8 Thursday
    • Snorkel at Paradise cove early morning
    • Checkout aulani
    • Return rental / flight home
  2. olafLover

    olafLover DIS Veteran

    Jun 28, 2017
    Day 4, 5 and 6 seem to be a bit busy, especially considering the ages you're dealing with.
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  4. alohamom

    alohamom DIS Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    I was thinking the same thing as @olafLover however I think if you have these things as "possible" activities rather than "must dos" then I think you are a fantastic planner!

    You did a great job planning Saturday with the airport pick up smack dab in the middle of it.

    I think I would keep Kailua Beach for Monday because you are going to get lots of locals there on Sunday and parking can be hard to come by on the weekends because of this.

    If it were me, I think what I would do on your Aulani check in day is check in and leave your luggage as planned BUT have a swim suit bag packed to change into and just explore the Aulani pools for the afternoon. I think you could run late if you head up to Dole, the coffee farm, Hale'iwa and you really only have a couple of days at Aulani. I would be taking advantage of those pools as much as possible. I am wondering if you have incorporated driving to accommodate naps for the kids?
    Jacquelyn89 likes this.
  5. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

    Feb 11, 2009
    I'm not sure where the closest Costco/Target is to Waikiki (I've only been to the ones in Kapolei), but it may make more sense to stop there on the way from the airport. Traffic and parking in Waikiki can be nuts, so you may not want to go back out once you're settled in. Also, it's very easy to get to Ala Moana center using the pink line trolley if you don't want to hassle with driving there.

    We were told the Honolulu Zoo was nothing to write home about so we skipped it. This was the sentiment we heard from a few - small, old, and nothing different or special from a zoo you'd have at home. Just mentioning this in case you're looking to cut anything from the itinerary.

    We weren't super impressed with the Swap Meet. Cheap souvenirs, but it was hot walking around there, every other booth seemed to have the same stuff, and the same things could be found at most ABC Stores at a slightly higher price. Again, just mentioning this if you need to cut anything.

    This seems super busy and you're all over the island. IMO, Kailua Beach deserves a few hours and Waimea Valley took us about 90 minutes to walk through as two able-bodied adults. With children and eldery in tow, it could take longer. We opted not to swim at the end of the trail, but you could build in more time for that if desired. Waimea Valley is pricey at $16pp (when we were there) and it was a beautiful nature walk, but not something we'd repeat on a future trip.

    Again, you're all over the island. Be mindful of the traffic and rush hours on Oahu. On our Kualoa Ranch day, we also visited Kailua Beach and Byodo-In Temple which worked well. We dedicated a separate day to the North Shore and did Laniakea Beach and Matsumoto's that day, along with Dole Plantation. For your Kualoa Ranch tour, that can take up a big chunk of time. If you do the VIP movie site tour, its over 2 hours long and we had to be there 45 minutes early to check-in. We drove in from Aulani and left the resort at 6:45am. Ended up leaving Kualoa around 12:30.

    I would highly recommend doing Dole in the morning if you can. The later in the day it gets, the hotter it is and the lines are longer. We got there at opening and waited about 20 minutes for the train, but it gets much longer later in the day. And I believe they are only open 9:30-5pm. It's also a little out of the way from Aulani, which is why we did it on our North Shore day.

    If you don't make it to Leonard's, they have a food truck that is permanently stationed in the outlets parking lot on the way to Aulani. Its an easy stop for malasadas without taking you out of the way.
    Jacquelyn89 likes this.
  6. jillt2ph

    jillt2ph DIS Veteran

    Dec 29, 2013
    Wow, I am exhausted just reading what you have planned! I was online at 8 AM this morning to book Aulani for May :)

    On Friday, make sure you leave plenty early for that wedding in Ko'Olina. Traffic is crazy! It took us 2 hours on a Wednesday afternoon to get from Waikiki back to the resort. If you get there a little early for the wedding, you can use the time to scope things out for when you move to Aulani on Tuesday.

    After my first visit, I wised up. When I am at Aulani, I have no desire to leave :) So my second trip started with 2 days in Waikiki - we got a multi day trolley ticket and did 5 or so of the different routes and spent some time just walking around.
  7. aprincessatlast

    aprincessatlast DIS Veteran

    May 1, 2012
    Wow that is an ambitious itinerary! Logistically with traffic I think is near impossible on some of the days. (day 4 and 5 esp) You are missing how much parking time etc will take at half those destinations. However if you get it done I will be amazed and want the details please!!

    We were there 11 days and got maybe one or two things off your list each day. We might have got a bit more done but that sun beats you down. I love to explore too and had loads of ideas but my follow through was terrible. The traffic on Oahu while not as miserable as it was made out did prohibit us quite a bit from doing things we wanted. Also the time thing messed with us and the fact that everything seems to shut down by 5 or 6.

    Hanauma bay (2-3 hours) plus parking etc and hiking Diamond head with parking etc. (2 hours min). I keep saying parking because unless you get there at 7 am you will likely be relegated to off street parking and heading on a hike before the hike. Waimea valley is nowhere near Hanauma bay and Diamond head. Those 2 alone will take up most of the day.

    Remember it's not just highway traffic but two lane roads to get where you want with low speed limits and things like turtle traffic. Also to get to Lanikai beach and Kualoa Ranch (highly recommend both) and then attempt North Shore to get to Matsumotos (lines of 100+ deep when we passed) and enjoy each destination seems unrealistic. Save time and get shaved ice while you are in Waikiki at Wailoa shaved ice. Sure the ambiance is not a Surf town but the shaved ice is amazing! Perhaps if you are traveling solo or plus one you might get a bit more done but with the group you have? If you must do it all then move some of the things you have on day 4 and 5 to day 2 and 3 and wake up super early so you can grab those premium parking spots that will save you some time.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
    southerngirl528 and Jacquelyn89 like this.
  8. Jacquelyn89

    Jacquelyn89 Earning My Ears

    Oct 8, 2018
    Oh it does seem busy now come to think of it
    southerngirl528 likes this.
  9. ILovePixieDust

    ILovePixieDust Mouseketeer

    Apr 10, 2014

    Yes, WAY too busy. Depending on how many babies and toddlers and also how able all the adults are (80 years old - how well can he/she walk?) I dont think your day 4,5,6 is doable at all - even with just 2 adults I wouldn't try and venture that itinerary. I like a go go go vacation but I also like to enjoy it.

    I think it would be helpful for you to look at a map and group things together so you are not driving all over the place - traffic in Oahu is not fun and can take longer than you think - especially if you are taking a few cars and will also need to be finding more than one parking spot at each location.

    Day 4 alone you have 3 hikes/walks, 3 lookouts, Sea Life Park, Kailua Beach, and Hanauma Bay? Honestly, you wouldn't be able to truly enjoy and of that at that pace. And maybe work out a reasonable time you would need at each spot?

    And note that Kualoa Ranch is very very strict with their times. If you miss the tour you are booked on its too bad - your whole group may not be able to go together on a later tour. They are asking groups to arrive an hour before the tour time as well because it is so busy there.

    I also second the recommendation to not leave Aulani once you get there! Especially with just a 2 night stay!
  10. Jacquelyn89

    Jacquelyn89 Earning My Ears

    Oct 8, 2018
    Yeah will do .I heard lots of people use the luana lounge. Ooh haven’t incorporated their naps
  11. Jacquelyn89

    Jacquelyn89 Earning My Ears

    Oct 8, 2018
    Thanks everyone for your feedback and comments :) I’ll try to cut down my activities and consider traffic and parking
    southerngirl528 likes this.
  12. southerngirl528

    southerngirl528 Dreamin' of Maui

    May 9, 2013
    I have to agree with all the PP's. :cutie: I think that lots of first timers to Hawaii and/or Disney's Aulani Resort on Oahu, attack their trip planning like a trip to WDW. ::yes:: I mean, it's Disney right? :confused3 But not really..... Aulani is "little Disney and big Hawaii" emphasis. And for me, part of what makes Hawaii such an extraordinary place is that it beckons you to just......be. To be still and feel the softness of the breezes, to smell the fragrance of all the flowers on those breezes, and to just soak in the spectacular scenery and feel life's stress start to....melt....away..... :goodvibes

    I have to agree with the above. If at all possible, avoid rush hour traffic. Folks from outlying areas of Oahu will be all driving INTO Honolulu/Waikiki in the early morning hours and then headed back OUT of the city in the late afternoon and early evening hours.

    You have some lovely things on your lists but since you asked for input, I would say to go through all those activities and prioritize them according to your absolutely MUST-do's. And then pare away a bunch of them. Even if you think you will never be back to Hawaii, IMHO you will not enjoy your wonderful Hawaii trip to the fullest if you over book. :thumbsup2 :flower3:
  13. jillt2ph

    jillt2ph DIS Veteran

    Dec 29, 2013
    3C493113-19F7-40EE-9798-33C2229D8C7E.jpeg Also, don’t forget to have a shaved ice at Aulani!

    And there may be activities in the Pau Hana room you might be interested in. I did the ukelele class my first time and painted a cel the second visit.
    bobbiwoz and southerngirl528 like this.

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