Aulani – My Hawaiian Trip Report

Written by Corinne Leon
Aulani
Aloha and E Komo Mai! Welcome to my very first Trip Report, and what a trip it was! We knew that 2015 was going to mark a milestone in our lives as we would be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. We talked about a few vacation options including a DVC Members Cruise, or a trip to the Disneyland Resort, but the destination that we kept coming back to was Hawaii. But it always seemed like such a crazy, impossible dream! So, when Disney built a DVC resort on Oahu in 2011, that dream didn’t seem so impossible after all! And by some miracle, everything fell into place and we were able to plan this amazing trip of a lifetime!

Continue reading “Aulani – My Hawaiian Trip Report”

We Fell in Love with Aulani

Written by – Liz Weimann

I am a planner. I make lists, schedules, and reservations. I take special care in making sure my girls have the “right” outfit for whatever we are doing that day. Vacations are my favorite things to plan. I love the detailed planning of a Disney World vacation. Let me tell you, when I got the chance to plan a family trip to Hawaii, I was in my element!

The first thing I did was get a book on Hawaii to make a list of all the things we would want to do and see. We had a list of restaurants that we might want to try. We made reservations. I put together a packet with our reservations and our schedules. I had everything ready to go. What I didn’t count on was the way our family would fall in love with Aulani – A Disney Resort & Spa.

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We arrived in Honolulu on Wednesday, May 21st. We had caught our first flight at 5:40am Atlanta time and we finally made it to Hawaii around 1:30pm Hawaii time which was not too far off our girls’ normal bedtime at home.  We were in our rental Jeep and off to Aulani by 3pm. I expected some meltdowns, but I think we were all caught up in the wonder of finally being in Hawaii that it didn’t matter that we were all tired. I checked in online before leaving home, so when we arrived at Aulani, we were greeted with glasses of fruit-infused water, leis, and our resort packet.

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Online check-in was great because we never had to go to the front desk. We were greeted outside the main door and escorted into the lobby while the Cast Member explained a few things about the resort lobby and the activities available.

Our room was ready upon arrival, so we headed up to our ocean view studio. I had contacted DVC Member Services prior to our trip to request an upper floor overlooking Waikelohe Valley, which is the main pool area. Both requests were fulfilled and we ended up with this fabulous view.

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One thing about Aulani is that there are only a few rooms that have full ocean views. These are all Grand Villas on the ends of each tower, but I think our view was just fine. We had no complaints.

Aulani is comprised of a central building with two towers leading off to each side. The lobby, the stores, the ‘Olelo Room and Makahiki restaurant are all located in the central building. ‘Ama ‘Ama, the community hall, and Auntie’s Beach House are located in the ‘Ewa Tower, while the Ulu Café is located in the Wai’Anae Tower. Our villa was in the Wai’Anae Tower.

The Waikelohe Valley has something for everyone. There are two pools, two water slides, a lazy river, and multiple hot tubs. We found three of them, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more. A couple of them are hidden pretty well. The whole area has a lovely tropical feeling and there seemed to be plenty of chairs…sometimes they were harder to find than others and maybe not where we wanted to be exactly, but we were always able to find one or two chairs in the shade.

We didn’t experience the food as much as we could have. We attended the character breakfast at Makahiki and it was one of the best buffets and character experiences we’ve ever had at any Disney resort or park. The characters came around multiple times and there were plenty of activities that the kids could do with Auntie throughout the meal. We really enjoyed ourselves!

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As I think back on our trip, I realize that we never made it to the Dole Plantation or to Haunauma Bay. We hiked up Diamond Head, ate shave ice at Matsumoto on the North Shore, had Leonard’s famous malasadas, walked around Waikiki, drove to the windward side of the island to check things out, and enjoyed the luau at the Royal Hawaiian, so we did plenty on our 10-day trip, but the one thing that we did more than anything was spend time at Aulani. I realized that sometimes all the planning in the world doesn’t make for a great vacation, but dropping everything to sit back, relax, enjoy the breeze, and a shave ice is the best vacation ever!

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Episode 7: All About Aulani

Aloha! Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 7. In this episode, we head over to Hawaii to answer all your questions about Disney’s newest resort, Aulani. Questions this week include:

  • For our listeners who have not visited Aulani or may not know much about it, what is some basic information about the resort itself?
  • We know that Aulani is Disney’s most recently completed Disney Vacation Club Resort. If a DVC member wanted to book a stay at Aulani, how many points are they looking at for 1 week?
  • For the guests who are not DVC Members, but want to book a vacation at Aulani, what is the average cost for 1 week in a standard room?
  • What kind of dining options are available at Aulani? Are there any options near the resort for DVC guests who may want to cook in their rooms?
  • What kind of transportation is available for guests coming to Aulani?
  • What types of activities are there at Aulani for children and families?
  • Are there activities at Aulani just for adults to enjoy?
  • Since Aulani is a Disney Resort, will guests still feel the ‘Disney’ touch even though this resort is not located near any of the theme parks?

Appearing this week are Dawn Gosdin, Rich Grady, Amy Leto, Marci Smith, and Liz Weimann.

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.