Traffic and Crowds

parkhopmom

Earning My Ears
Joined
Dec 3, 2010
We have been to aulani several times and usually drive along the north shore on our last day. We always have an afternoon flight so we leave aulani in the morning and go along the north shore all the way around the tip of Oahu and then head down to the airport, if you avoid the weekends the drive isn’t that bad. And it is lovely,
Our flight out is 10:30pm, so I was considering doing this! Glad to know it’s a doable thing.
 

cgattis

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
IDK how much of a crowd it takes to make him anxious, but if you guys visit the parks pretty much ever, and he’s ok, I think you’ll be fine on Oahu. I mean we saw people and had to wait for a few people in front of us at some super touristy things like PH and for that “prime” photo spot on Diamond Head. And sometimes you’re jockeying for parking spots. But this isn’t Black Friday at the mall, Christmas Day at Magic Kingdom crowds were talking. And you can always just drive until you see a pretty spot without a crowd and stop there, if you aren’t dead-set on certain stuff. I could be wrong (I don’t know him), but I really think he’ll enjoy it.
 

tgeorge

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
IDK how much of a crowd it takes to make him anxious, but if you guys visit the parks pretty much ever, and he’s ok, I think you’ll be fine on Oahu. I mean we saw people and had to wait for a few people in front of us at some super touristy things like PH and for that “prime” photo spot on Diamond Head. And sometimes you’re jockeying for parking spots. But this isn’t Black Friday at the mall, Christmas Day at Magic Kingdom crowds were talking. And you can always just drive until you see a pretty spot without a crowd and stop there, if you aren’t dead-set on certain stuff. I could be wrong (I don’t know him), but I really think he’ll enjoy it.
He’s actually never been to Disney😀 We went to Paris in March 2018 and the only place he had a real problem was in Versailles because there were so many people in an enclosed location. I’m actually most worried about traffic. He gets really unhappy in a car when there is traffic. I’m really hopeful that everything will go well and I’m worrying for no reason. I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Thank you for the input. I think we will drive and find places as we go, like you suggest and enjoy the beauty of it all.
 
  • cgattis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2009
    He’s actually never been to Disney😀 We went to Paris in March 2018 and the only place he had a real problem was in Versailles because there were so many people in an enclosed location. I’m actually most worried about traffic. He gets really unhappy in a car when there is traffic. I’m really hopeful that everything will go well and I’m worrying for no reason. I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Thank you for the input. I think we will drive and find places as we go, like you suggest and enjoy the beauty of it all.
    Just try to avoid rush hour (there are only a couple of major roads, so they clog up) and I think you’ll be fine. Other than that time of day, it’s just small to middle-size town kind of traffic—nothing crazy. Maybe find a beach where you’d like to see a sunset, go early (like 3) and take a romantic picnic dinner :). Or go early and then have a big breakfast out somewhere. But middle of the day and evening times are really no sweat.
     

    nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    Aulani is in Ko Olina which is in an isolated part of the island. The only way in and out is via the highway, so traffic will be a concern no matter where you're going. The best thing you can do is try to avoid rush hour times - leave early or late morning and/or come back mid-afternoon or later in the evening.

    DH and I visited the North Shore on a Monday in mid-September. We left Aulani around 8:30am and hit what we would consider "normal" traffic. The highway was busy, but it was not stop and go. It moved at a normal speed. As we got closer to the Dole Plantation (our first stop), traffic was fine. We made it to Haleiwa around 12pm and traffic was fine there as well. The only time we found some traffic in the North Shore was in the area of Laniakea (Turtle) Beach, and that is mostly because traffic is one lane in each direction and many people are trying to pull out of the lot or pull off to the side of the road to get to that beach. We made it back to Aulani around 8pm that night, and traffic was fine on the way back too. Frankly, even if you do catch traffic, its worth the hassle. The North Shore is not to be missed, IMO. We did encounter traffic on our way to the windward side on a different day, but the worst that happens is you're in the car for a while. Not a big deal.
     

    thedogatemyhomework

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 9, 2015
    for photography if you want sunrise pics head toward hawaii kai for some nice spots. aulani itself is a good area for sunsets. other places that tend not to be too crowded but good for photography would be yokohama bay (do not drive there after 1 pm or stop in waianae), and north shore haleiwa (try one of the many beach access areas past haleiwa towards dillingham airfield). most of the other spots can get quite crowded...and even those spots can as well.

    for sunsets just be careful as some of the parking lots for the beaches/parks get locked up at sunset (or around that time).
     

    dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    for photography if you want sunrise pics head toward hawaii kai for some nice spots. aulani itself is a good area for sunsets. other places that tend not to be too crowded but good for photography would be yokohama bay (do not drive there after 1 pm or stop in waianae), and north shore haleiwa (try one of the many beach access areas past haleiwa towards dillingham airfield). most of the other spots can get quite crowded...and even those spots can as well.

    for sunsets just be careful as some of the parking lots for the beaches/parks get locked up at sunset (or around that time).
    Can you elaborate on why not to drive to Yokohama bay after 1pm or stop in Waianea?
     
  • thedogatemyhomework

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 9, 2015
    especially on a weekday, traffic going towards waianae can become very very bad...and in several places it comes down to "1 road in 1 road out"...generally this starts to happen around 1 pm...sometimes it'll start earlier...sometimes a little later.

    waianae doesn't have any touristy things to do, and as a neighborhood...it isn't particularly tourist friendly. there really isn't any reason to want to stop in waianae barring an emergency need for a bathroom...even then...I'd try to hold it. yokohama bay is quite a ways past it, and other than the typical "don't leave valuables in your car" bit...its generally ok.

    if you travel with anything resembling pro level camera gear...do not ever put it in your trunk...taking camera gear out of your trunk at touristy places, or known photography spots...is almost like waving a giant "I got valuables in here" sign...doesn't much matter if you can see into your trunk or not. its not a guarantee that someone will break in...but it does raise your odds quite a bit.
     

    tgeorge

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2013
    for photography if you want sunrise pics head toward hawaii kai for some nice spots. aulani itself is a good area for sunsets. other places that tend not to be too crowded but good for photography would be yokohama bay (do not drive there after 1 pm or stop in waianae), and north shore haleiwa (try one of the many beach access areas past haleiwa towards dillingham airfield). most of the other spots can get quite crowded...and even those spots can as well.

    for sunsets just be careful as some of the parking lots for the beaches/parks get locked up at sunset (or around that time).
    This is great information! Thank you
     

    tgeorge

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2013
    especially on a weekday, traffic going towards waianae can become very very bad...and in several places it comes down to "1 road in 1 road out"...generally this starts to happen around 1 pm...sometimes it'll start earlier...sometimes a little later.

    waianae doesn't have any touristy things to do, and as a neighborhood...it isn't particularly tourist friendly. there really isn't any reason to want to stop in waianae barring an emergency need for a bathroom...even then...I'd try to hold it. yokohama bay is quite a ways past it, and other than the typical "don't leave valuables in your car" bit...its generally ok.

    if you travel with anything resembling pro level camera gear...do not ever put it in your trunk...taking camera gear out of your trunk at touristy places, or known photography spots...is almost like waving a giant "I got valuables in here" sign...doesn't much matter if you can see into your trunk or not. its not a guarantee that someone will break in...but it does raise your odds quite a bit.
    I’ve read about making sure not to leave items in the car. He has a great backpack that he travels with to carry all of his gear. Aside from Pearl Harbor, he will always have his bag with him. Thank you for the warning though. Definitely better safe than sorry.
     

    dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    especially on a weekday, traffic going towards waianae can become very very bad...and in several places it comes down to "1 road in 1 road out"...generally this starts to happen around 1 pm...sometimes it'll start earlier...sometimes a little later.

    waianae doesn't have any touristy things to do, and as a neighborhood...it isn't particularly tourist friendly. there really isn't any reason to want to stop in waianae barring an emergency need for a bathroom...even then...I'd try to hold it. yokohama bay is quite a ways past it, and other than the typical "don't leave valuables in your car" bit...its generally ok.

    if you travel with anything resembling pro level camera gear...do not ever put it in your trunk...taking camera gear out of your trunk at touristy places, or known photography spots...is almost like waving a giant "I got valuables in here" sign...doesn't much matter if you can see into your trunk or not. its not a guarantee that someone will break in...but it does raise your odds quite a bit.
    We may be going there to the harbor for a tour but its 8-12am so we would head back to Aulani afterwards so should be ok I guess
     
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