Aulani Disney resort

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TarHeel2002
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:14 pm

Aulani Disney resort

Post by TarHeel2002 » Mon May 06, 2019 2:46 pm

Anyone have any experience with the Disney Aulani resort in Oahu? We have three kids (7, 5, and 0) and were thinking of trying to visit it in the next year or two? I see it books out way in advance so that's why I'm researching it now. We like the quality of the Disney resorts we have been to in the past and I would assume that that same high level of quality is present at the Aulani resort. I have an itch to take the family to Hawaii too so this seems like a great option? Thanks for any suggestions. :sharebeer

decapod10
Posts: 656
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:46 pm

Re: Aulani Disney resort

Post by decapod10 » Mon May 06, 2019 3:47 pm

I've never stayed there, but I've stayed at the Marriott Ko'Olina next door before and sort of walked through there. I'm not sure if it's worth the extra cash compared to say the Marriott, just depends on what you are looking for on vacation I think. If you are going to spend most of your time outside of the hotel doing things, then it's probably not worth it. If you think you'll use the amenities there, the kid's club, etc, then maybe it is.

On the other hand, my sister went, and their daughter loved it ('best vacation ever" my niece said, I think she was 10 at the time), so there's that.

Renting DVC points from a DVC owner is a potential way to save some money

playtothebeat
Posts: 356
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Location: southern california

Re: Aulani Disney resort

Post by playtothebeat » Mon May 06, 2019 6:03 pm

Went there the last 2 years with our son (he's now 5 and a half).
It's AMAZING, in my opinion (and i do not like the "disney" aspect of things, usually).
There is plenty to do for kids and adults. The pools are great, the lazy river is fun. There is an on-premise snorkeling reef which was really cool for our son to try snorkeling without doing it in the ocean (they pump ocean water into it, however, so it feels like you're in the ocean).
It's not cheap, and food certainly adds up. I think eventually you probably get sort of tired of the food, although there are enough options for my liking. There are restaurants and a mini market across the street, however, so you can always go pick up food.
I would recommend booking a villa which comes with a kitchenette. It was very helpful to have a mini fridge and microwave to make quick sandwiches, oatmeal, etc.

Also, have you looked at dvcrequest.com? We booked our last trip to Aulani through there, and i have nothing but great things to say about doing that as opposed to booking through aulani.com. You get discounts here and there at the property for being a DVC "member" (even though you may not be, by booking through DVCRequest you get full member benefits including free parking!). Their 2 bedroom villas have washer and dryer which could be helpful with kids as well. We had that suite two years ago when we went with extended family, and it was great to have a W/D plus a full kitchen.

linakin
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun May 26, 2013 6:51 am

Re: Aulani Disney resort

Post by linakin » Mon May 06, 2019 6:16 pm

I stayed there not too long ago. It's definitely a great place to stay! The pools are nice, and so is having the beach/lagoon just a few steps further.

I also recommend staying there through using a site like dvcrequest.com. You will be paying Disney prices for food if you eat on site, and even the small shopping plaza across the street has slightly inflated prices. The drive to a nearby grocery store/target is easy though.

I have read that they're renovating the pool areas, so you may want to wait till the construction is over.

alaskantraveler
Posts: 273
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 12:26 pm

Re: Aulani Disney resort

Post by alaskantraveler » Mon May 06, 2019 6:23 pm

I did a quick check. The basic 2 br villa is going for $6k/ week. Is it worth it?

bob60014
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Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: Aulani Disney resort

Post by bob60014 » Mon May 06, 2019 8:07 pm

If you are happy to stay in the compound I guess it's ok, but there is not much nearby. If wanting to get out and explore a car would definitely be needed

playtothebeat
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:39 pm
Location: southern california

Re: Aulani Disney resort

Post by playtothebeat » Mon May 06, 2019 8:54 pm

alaskantraveler wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 6:23 pm
I did a quick check. The basic 2 br villa is going for $6k/ week. Is it worth it?
In my opinion, yes. There are certainly cheaper hotels, but I highly enjoyed my time there. If you have a family with a couple of kids, having the space is nice.

As someone else said, if you want to explore you’ll need a car since the resort is somewhat isolated (I like that)

ras4250
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:25 pm

Re: Aulani Disney resort

Post by ras4250 » Mon May 06, 2019 10:04 pm

Have been there twice TarHeel, once with just my wife and once with my 3 year old. Wife cannot wait to go back. I would also describe it as awesome. Great for kids. The kids club is great, lazy river good, water play area great, and snorkel really cool. If kids are into disney, lots of opportunities for character pictures and breakfast buffet with characters. Food is expensive but generally good. The beach and water are perfect. It is isolated, which can be a good thing if that is what you want. Probably want to get a car in any event because that is easy way to get there from airport. Plus gives you option to explore, places like Waikiki and we also did the Dole plantation. They do a nice luau which is pretty cool for the kids. If you rent from a DVC member, I believe you should get free parking. I am a DVC member and do rent out points so let me know if you want me to look at availability for you. There is a treasure trove of information about the available rooms and views on disboards.com if you want to look into that as well.

We have stayed in a studio and a 2 bedroom. It is expensive, but the space is really nice (whether it is "worth" it can only be determined by you).

The Marriott next door is no longer a Marriott, it is now a Four Seasons. There is a Marriott Vacation Club down the beach.

ps - go Heels!

ras4250
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:25 pm

Re: Aulani Disney resort

Post by ras4250 » Mon May 06, 2019 10:07 pm

The pools and spas are getting work done August 19 to December 17, 2019. They are giving a $50 per room per night resort credit for stays during this time. More info here: https://www.disneyaulani.com/pool-refurbishment/

CascadiaSoonish
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:44 am

Re: Aulani Disney resort

Post by CascadiaSoonish » Mon May 06, 2019 10:26 pm

We've stayed at the properties on either side of Aulani in past years. We'd walk by the Aulani property and the volume would go up as we approached, then down as we walked away. Personally, I prefer the non-Disney properties in the Ko Olina area, you have the same access to the protected man-made lagoons / beaches for the kids, and plenty of food and beverage options on and off the property (Monkeypod Kitchen was consistently good and not unreasonably priced)

Fun tip: there's a small, natural rocky cove around the corner from the Four Seasons. Great place for experienced snorklers to bob around with the sea turtles.

ellink
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:54 pm

Re: Aulani Disney resort

Post by ellink » Mon May 06, 2019 11:15 pm

We hadn't stayed in a Disney property before and felt like it was $$$. For that reason, I was inclined not to like it but it's great.

joeblow
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 12:17 pm

Re: Aulani Disney resort

Post by joeblow » Tue May 07, 2019 12:11 am

TarHeel2002 wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 2:46 pm
Anyone have any experience with the Disney Aulani resort in Oahu? We have three kids (7, 5, and 0) and were thinking of trying to visit it in the next year or two? I see it books out way in advance so that's why I'm researching it now. We like the quality of the Disney resorts we have been to in the past and I would assume that that same high level of quality is present at the Aulani resort. I have an itch to take the family to Hawaii too so this seems like a great option? Thanks for any suggestions. :sharebeer
Aulani is a great place to stay. We're stayed there 4 or 5 times and have loved every trip. It is on par, if not better, than any other Disney hotel we've stayed, definitely top notch as far as resorts go.

To correct some of the above, the property next door is no longer a Marriott, but is now a Four Seasons. We stayed there when it was a Marrriott and it was nice. I'm sure its great as a Four Seasons. Doubt it will be as cheap.

The lagoon is nice, it can get crowded at times, as can the pools, but that seems true of most large resorts. Just get there early and reserve a spot for eh day. Dining is good both on property and off. There are a few options across the street, including Monkey Pod, a taco place and pizza. The ABC store is pretty convenient, with typical pricing, and they have good breakfast/lunch if you do not want to cook in your room or eat on property.

We generally prefer a smaller condos/properties when staying for any length of time, but always try to hit Aulani for a few days during our trips to Oahu.

Good luck!

Impromptu
Posts: 390
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:09 pm

Re: Aulani Disney resort

Post by Impromptu » Tue May 07, 2019 1:38 am

If this is a first trip to Hawaii, do not stay there. There are so many great things to do on Oahu, and most of them will be far away if you stay there. You will have to drive through the worst traffic. The food is incredibly expensive. The taste did not match the price. Diminishing returns for price.

If you all have already been to all the sites on Oahu, are just looking for a warm beach for you and your kids to relax on, and have extra money to burn, then it might be an option. But then why not one of the all inclusive resorts in Cancun?
I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

davewi
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Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:23 pm

Re: Aulani Disney resort

Post by davewi » Tue May 07, 2019 11:13 am

My experience at Aulani was a mixed bag. My young kids loved it. My wife really liked it. I couldn't stand it. It's really expensive. The food is mediocre. There are a zillion things for the kids to do.

It's not really Hawaii. It's a Disney theme park imitation of Hawaii. The beach is fake, with trucked in sand and an artificial reef. The luau is staffed with white kids from the mainland on summer break from college.

renue74
Posts: 1870
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:24 pm

Re: Aulani Disney resort

Post by renue74 » Tue May 07, 2019 12:02 pm

I've taken my boys to Oahu 2x in the last few years. They are a little older....at the time, they would be maybe 9 and 12.

There are so many things to do on the island and that resort is sorta kinda away from everything.

There are so many wonderful beaches in Oahu . (not Wakiki)....that we spent days on various beaches, visiting diamond head, snorkeling in Haunama bay, surf lessons on the north shore, snorkeling in Turtle Bay.

Resorts have a tendency to suck you in. Which is fine if you go some place like the Dominican Republic, Cancun, etc. where if you "wonder off the reservation," it's not the best.

But, Oahu has tons of things to do.

I would look at airbnb's.

sco
Posts: 945
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:28 pm

Re: Aulani Disney resort

Post by sco » Tue May 07, 2019 11:01 pm

Wouldn't Even go to Oahu, except for Pearl Harbor or to fly in....

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