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Old 12-30-2011, 04:18 PM   #91
Ms. Shuttergirl
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Oh my WOW!!!! The resort looks absolutely beautiful. And with that awesome Disney style that they bring to everything. Sounds like you are getting great service, shame about the limited food choices. Hopefully Disney fixes that up soon.

The pool's and gardens look stunning.

Is Aulani extremely expensive compared to similar level resorts in the area?
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:06 PM   #92
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WOW! Aulani is spectacular. Okay. Need to plan a holiday to Hawaii.
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:18 PM   #93
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Welcome home! Great report on Hawaii so far. Aulani look beautiful. It definitely makes me want to stay there one day. Can't wait to hear more!
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:20 AM   #94
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Day 2 at Aulani

Woke up and opened to the curtains, and yes, I was not dreaming.

We had booked the Buffet Breakfast at the Makahiki Restaurant with Aunty. Aunty visits three days a week and some of her Disney friends drop by. Other mornings it is just a normal buffet breakfast.

DH and I had already been downstairs on a coffee run to the Olelo Room which is located right next door. People were coming to enquire about breakfast to be told without a reservation they would not be seated. This breakfast was my dad's belated birthday present so I told DH I would just confirm to be sure. They had no record of our reservation. I also knew that I had a printed confirmation upstairs so I popped up to get in and went back down and all was good.

At 8 we headed down for breakfast. After going through the whole lost reservation thing AGAIN our Ohana (Family) were seated at one of the outside tables overlooking the pool area. It was beautiful but a little fresh so DH went back up to the room to grab an extra layer. We were greeted by Mickey at the door for a photo that we could have purchased. On sitting down our drink orders were taken and we headed to the buffet which had a great range of island, Japanese and Western breakfast food. My favourite was the Eggs Benedict version which came on purple muffin and used a Spanish Sausages as the meat. It was just a little hard to get of the buffet with dignity.

During our breakfast both Minnie and Goofy visited our table. Minnie stopped for a short visit and Goofy came and made us wave our napkins along to a song sung by Aunty. Aunty talks to dinners throughout the meal talking of Hawaiian customs. She also sings songs and has puppet fish and coconut shells that she gives to the children to follow her in a conga line through the restaurant. She also sings a special birthday song to birthday children and teaches them a hula. A special birthday cake was bought out for my dad and the waiters sung him happy birthday.

After a few trips to the buffet a light rain began which certainly encouraged us to finish up as there was little protection from the rain at our table and it was full inside and nowhere to go. So watch out for this if the skys are grey.



We then went to the Pau Hana Room which is like a community hall where they offer craft activities and board games to register for the Menehune Adventure. This is a bit like the Kim Possible Challenge at WDW with a mobile device sending messages and signals throughout the resort. We handed over a room key and signed a form saying we would pay for costs of not returning the device and headed out for the free activity. We chose to start outside but there is a lobby version.

With one child per 2 adults we set off around the resort helping Aunty with our tasks. Aunty talked a little too much at times but the activities and magical mischief we created was lots fun and got some great reactions from other guests who were quite unsure why things had just happened around them. Our younger daughter chose to do a second stage of the adventure by our eldest had enough after the first. Our two groups only doubled up on two activities over the hour or so that we spent. It was lots of fun and would be great for the children to go off and explore on their own.






We took a quick look at the gift shop - Kalepa's Store which had some unique Aulani souvenirs and pins. The shop is also a refillable mug station and stocks some basic food items and frozen meals. The Dooney and Burke bags were beautiful. The sun was coming out so we decided to hit the pools again and wait for my brother to call as they were arriving today. We found a great spot with four chairs by the spa near the lobby. It was very private. We made camp there for the day and hit the slides and pools. The girls wanted to go snorkelling in the snorkel lagoon so I purchased tickets for them and my dad to join them. There arm band for the day got a special clip allowing them entry all day. Like all things Disney you become an adult at 10 so for DD1 and my dad it was $30 for the day and $20 for DD2.





They had a great time with lots of fish. They were not allowed to kick and they were not allowed to put their feet down. They also had to wear a life jacket to make it easy for the life guards to see them. One lifeguard is always in the water and one on pool deck.

Around 1.30 we got a call from my brother so I headed down to the gate at the beach as they were staying next door at the Marriot. They share the lagoon. We caught up with them for an hour before we got a call to say their room was ready so they went to get settled and we decided to meet at 5 at their hotel for some dinner so they could get an early night.

DD2 wanted to check out Auntys Beach House which a kids club type place. They take children up to 12 years of age. On our way we went past the day spa and Painted Sky Spa which is an area for teens and tweens to hang out. There are computers and games for them to play with a frozen yoghurt bar. DD1 was not much interested in staying but she is an introvert. We then went and dropped DD2 at Aunty's. She just had to let a member of staff know when she wanted to be collected and they would phone us.

We decided to head out of the resort and across the road to the small Ko Olina Shops.

There is a Country Store which is an ABC Store where you can make your own salads, purchase some grocery items, drinks and alcohol, souvenirs, tourist clothes and some pharmacy items. There is an ice cream shop, a local takeaway that serves Asian, Hamburgers and Fish and Chips and a Mexican Restaurant. There is space for more shops and would imagine that it will keep growing. We tried the takeaway shop for lunch which was just fine. With the limited food options this certainly expands the selection. If you have a car the Kapolei Village is around 4 miles away with supermarkets, Target and other takeaway establishments. If staying in a Villa you would probably cook more or have simple meals.

We ran into Grandma and Grandpa and DD1 went back to the hotel with them. DH and I went to check out the Wailana Pool which is a quiet more adult pool and grabbed a Mai Tai at the Bar.



We looked over the wedding area out to the ocean. Before we went upstairs we thought we would go check on DD2 at Aunty's. As we walked in the door one of the staff members was coming out to ring us - Perfect timing. She showed us around, she had lots of fun doing crafts, playing video games and playing outside in the playground. She was very keen to come back the next day. We grabbed her a quick snack from One Paddle, Two Paddle as she had missed lunch to keep her going until dinner.


One Paddle Two Paddle

We all got dressed for dinner and headed to the Marriott. They had struggled to find somewhere to eat there for us all so we head to the Mexican place at the Ko Olina Village. They managed to find a table for 10 for us and we all had a very pleasant meal. I had a beef taco salad which was so light and lovely after days of heavy food. Just perfect. Had another awesome margarita as well.

We headed back to the hotel to get ready for another Aulani day.
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:53 AM   #95
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Our last full day at Aulani as we leave for LAX at 5am tomorrow morning.

Grandpa had gone across the street to grab some yoghurt and fruit from the Country Store for breakfast. My girls love having their hair done so I had booked them in to get their hair done at the Laniwai Spa at 9am. Inside is so beautiful and peaceful. It cost $25 before tax each for the girls to have a wash, style cut and blow dry as they are 12 and Under. Pascal from Paris was amazing and the girls came away with great new haircuts that I am so happy with. This was a bit of fun girl time. Silly me was hoping we could keep it nice and pretty for our big family Christmas Lunch at AMA AMA but I should have known better and before I knew togs were on and to the pool we all went.



At around 12.30 we headed back upstairs to get ready. DH and went brought our guests up to our room as we had not quite finished yet and by Darling Brother proceeded to announce his engagement to his Darling Fiance. A double celebration was to be had. Ama Ama was beautiful looking over the ocean. Angus Burgers were ordered (my Darling Brother is telling everyone he has been knocked up by an Angus Burger), I had a goat cheese ravioli, DH had a local platter which he loved, Grandpa had fish. Everyone was happy with their meals. A special celebration engagment cake was brought out for the happy couple and the photopass photographers came and took some engagement photos which was a great memory from the day.









At Aulani they police the arm bands for pool use, DD2 was reacting badly to sea water with her skin on this trip, something that has not happened before so we tried to get our guests into the pool as our plans for the beach would not work for her. To do this we needed to add their names to our reservation and pay an additional cost. They do not offer guest passes. We added two adults to our room which meant that we could get to additional passes. If you are planning on having guests this is something to think about when you book if their is technically space in your room and it does not add to the cost. As it gets busier it is something that they will police more. After a great afternoon of fun and watching the sunset from our lounge chairs we said farewell to Darling Brother and Sister In Law to be.






DH and I started on some washing in the guest laundry and some packing was commenced. DH popped over to the take away shop to get some dinner for us all.

At 8.30 we headed down to the Storytelling Fire Pit in front of Ama Ama looking over the ocean for Mo'Olelo Pit Storytelling where Uncle came to tell us a Hawaiian story by the campfire. The fire was not working but Uncle was and he was very funny walking and moving amongst the crowd to tell us the story of the Menehune and the story behind the shapes of the buildings at Aulani. It was a wonderful 30 minutes spent with my family which I could go to every night. There are many stories and is not just a repeat. Absolutely magic. A perfect way to finish our Aulani stay.









I am so glad we came, it was the perfect length of time given the week in Waikiki. From Aulani we did not need to go anywhere. If we were staying here as a base we would need a car. There is a $30 per day parking fee unless you are a DVC Member and then it is free.

The little Disney touches and the quality of everything from design to creativity is Perfect Disney although it is not screaming and in your face. What I loved was that I felt that I was still in Hawaii at every moment.

The Cast Members are very proud of their home and the customer service is exceptional with 99% of Cast Members acknowledging you as you pass.

I look forward to returning...

Tomorrow up and raring to go by 5am to fly to Disneyland...
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:17 PM   #96
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Well you have made a believer out of me. I think the place looks fantastic. I especially love the sound of the evening storytelling. Beautiful.

Thank you for sharing Aulani with us, I am dying to go now.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:27 PM   #97
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What a fabulous fabulous report! You have certainly put Aulani at the top of my overseas vacation list! Thank you so much for sharing.

Sad to be leaving Hawaii, I have loved reading your whole Hawaii report, brings back so many fond memories for me of our many trips there. Looking forward to your Disneyland portion.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:14 AM   #98
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Yup. Another one here that has put Aulani on my wish list. Thanks for sharing. I think I can convince DH to make a pit stop there really easily. Facilities look great and there seems to be plenty of 'local' type activities for DS.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:39 AM   #99
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well jeez... now i need to figure out how to add in hawaii and a trip to aulani on our disney vacation in november.

i think i need to win the lotto

gorgeous, gorgeous pics -- it sounds lovely and serene & i now have added aulani to my 'must do' list.

thank you for the report. cannot wait to hear about your disneyland vacation.
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:03 AM   #100
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Sigh...another place to have to visit. So wishing that we decided to go this January but it is not to be!

It sounded like you had a sensational time there with your family and the resort looks amazing. Thank you so much for sharing, taking the time to write in so much details and for posting the photos.

JEALOUS!!!!
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:33 AM   #101
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hey

loved the bit about Aulani...we go in less than 40 sleeps, I wasnt feeling to excited about it till now...thanks

ok, back to the gym i go.....gota fit back into those swimmers
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:17 PM   #102
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wow karen your trip is so close... just over a month to go... are you excited?
i love the anticipation of a trip that's almost here in fact, i think sometimes i like the trip planning and anticipation almost as much as the trip itself
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:33 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alicia1506 View Post
wow karen your trip is so close... just over a month to go... are you excited?
i love the anticipation of a trip that's almost here in fact, i think sometimes i like the trip planning and anticipation almost as much as the trip itself
I totally agree Alicia. I love the anticipation and the planning so very much.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:22 PM   #104
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Now I REALLY want to experience Aulani

Might have to work it into the budget.

I love Hawaii!

Your trip looks like it was awesome
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:51 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alicia1506 View Post
wow karen your trip is so close... just over a month to go... are you excited?
i love the anticipation of a trip that's almost here in fact, i think sometimes i like the trip planning and anticipation almost as much as the trip itself
hey
I have been concentrating on the sept wdw trip I seem to have forgotten about hawaii
Im a tad nervous as havent been to Hawaii as an adult..last time was 1982...so have no idea what to expect....I must be getting old, dont like change
so trying to get into the island spirit...
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