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BringYourEarHat 09-30-2013 04:53 PM

Aulani Resort & Car Rental Necessity
 
Helloooo DISboard family!

I'm new to the boards and am so happy to have a network of Disney fans as a resource for my trip planning!:grouphug:

I'm in the process of planning a trip with my DH to Aulani tentatively in late May 2014. I'm trying to get some numbers so I can properly budget our trip and am stumped on the whole car rental thing.

So, I've done my homework and found that there is no free transportation from airport to resort through Disney. I am quite positive we will rent a car from Alamo and will be keeping it for a few days, as we do want to do some off-site excursions.

My question is this: We will be staying from Wed to Wed (8 days), but I'm sure there will be a few days we just kick back at the resort. Would it be financially beneficial to rent the car for our entire length of stay AND have to pay for parking (we are not DVC members)? OR, would it be easy enough and cheaper to only rent the car as needed?

If anyone has done research on this, or has personal experience to share, I'd LOVE to hear it. Sometimes all these planning details make my head spin :faint:

Thanks!
- Steph
Austin, TX

Fantaluminishes 09-30-2013 05:22 PM

There's not much to Ko'Olina besides the resorts. If you want to experience Honolulu, Waikiki, and the rest of Oahu, you will need to have a rental car. The area is too remote to take a cab to any of the major destinations on the island. That being said, have you checked to see if Aulani or one of the other resorts in Ko'Olina has a rental car office? If they don't, you will probably need one for your entire trip.

I'm sure Aulani is nice and all, but it's not Hawaii. It's a Disney resort on a Hawaiian island. I've been to Disney parks many times. We've also been to Hawaii more than ten times. I can't mix the two, therefore I'd never stay at Aulani. I might visit it next time, just to see what it looks like. But I'd prefer the real Hawaii when I'm there.

BringYourEarHat 09-30-2013 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fantaluminishes (Post 49707569)
There's not much to Ko'Olina besides the resorts. If you want to experience Honolulu, Waikiki, and the rest of Oahu, you will need to have a rental car. The area is too remote to take a cab to any of the major destinations on the island. That being said, have you checked to see if Aulani or one of the other resorts in Ko'Olina has a rental car office? If they don't, you will probably need one for your entire trip.

I'm sure Aulani is nice and all, but it's not Hawaii. It's a Disney resort on a Hawaiian island. I've been to Disney parks many times. We've also been to Hawaii more than ten times. I can't mix the two, therefore I'd never stay at Aulani. I might visit it next time, just to see what it looks like. But I'd prefer the real Hawaii when I'm there.

Hi Fantaluminishes,

Thanks for the input! They do have an Alamo rental facility on-site, but I have heard that Aulani is removed from all the action of the island, so to speak.

I'm a Disney nut, but my DH is not. Going to Aulani was my attempt at a "Disney" vacation, since my DH is not down with going to the parks and is wanting to go on a tropical vacation. I fear what you say is true though. I felt that way when I went on my DCL trip. It was a blast, don't get me wrong, but it was no WDW or DL. I returned home still feeling like I needed my "Disney Fix".

Maybe we can compromise and go to DL for a day (since we would have a connecting flight in LA) and spend the rest of our vacation in a different Hawaiin resort... -wishful thinking-

Over 10 trips is plenty of expertise! Any hotel recommendations? Preferably beach front?

Fantaluminishes 09-30-2013 06:58 PM

If you want to experience Honolulu and Waikiki, I suggest the Hilton Hawaiian Village. At 27 acres, it's a huge resort, that's centrally located on Waikiki Beach. The resort has great pools, beautiful landscaping and a fireworks show every Friday night. There are plenty of recreation and dining options on-site, and all of Waikiki is within walking distance. We don't do hotels in Hawaii anymore (we rent beach houses or condos instead), but we have stayed at this resort and really liked it.

There's plenty to do on Oahu, and you will still need a car for most of it. Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor, Hale'ewa, The Dole Plantation, Lanakai Beach and the Polynesian Cultural Center are just a few.

Not only is Aulani off the beaten path (about 20 miles) from Waikiki, the traffic getting to and from the Honolulu area can be a nightmare. Just as bad as the worst big cities on the mainland.

Maybe a good compromise with your DH would be a split stay with part of your time at Aulani. Or if you really want to be adventurous, try a split stay with Aulani for part of the time, and spend the rest of the vacation on a different island. We've done a few multi-island vacations, and we love them.

Disney WorldTraveler 10-01-2013 11:05 AM

We were in Aulani for about a week in October of 2012. I agree a rental car is necessary. We loved the resort but it's not a place you can stay for a week without ever leaving.

compshu 10-01-2013 11:39 PM

If you want to leave the Ko'olina area and explore the rest of Oahu, you will need a car as others have recommended. There is a $35 per day parking fee at Aulani unless you are a DVC member. That being said, I would suggest booking the shuttle: speedishuttle.com and renting a car for just the day you plan to go out. That should save you a bit of cash.

smiles5961984 10-31-2013 04:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by compshu (Post 49719353)
If you want to leave the Ko'olina area and explore the rest of Oahu, you will need a car as others have recommended. There is a $35 per day parking fee at Aulani unless you are a DVC member. That being said, I would suggest booking the shuttle: speedishuttle.com and renting a car for just the day you plan to go out. That should save you a bit of cash.

I agree with you. Aulani has a few things to offer for sure. But you will need a car to explore the island because you will like to see what the island offers (Tons of Beaches :))


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