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Old 01-09-2014, 09:23 PM   #1
TALB
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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Aulani Christmas Trip Report

Well, we had an amazing trip to Aulani and San Francisco over the holidays! Myself, husband and 16 and 12 year old boys went.
Our Aulani trip was originally scheduled for last Spring Break but my husband ended up in the hospital. I was very relieved that I was able to get a 1bedroom villa over Xmas. We arrived on the 22nd and flew out at midnight on the 30th. The resort is beautiful and the grounds are amazing. I loved our room except for the doors not being solid. You could hear everyone get up to use the bathroom or moving around in the mornings. We were in room 1613 ocean view but faced the outside of the Marriot property and ocean. It was very quiet and close to the lobby and spa. The resort was full, however, I didn't feel it kept us from doing anything. We were always able to find chairs at the pool and beach. We ate several lunches from the pool food stands. Our favorite restaurant by far was Monkey Pod across the street. We ate there several times and it was amazing. Make sure you have the pie for dessert! We stopped at Costco and Target and the ABC store for breakfast food and supplies. We visited the Dole Plantation, watched the crazy surfers on the North Shore, spent time on Waikiki Beach, toured Pearl Harbor and took surfing lessons from Hawaii Fire. Hawaii Fire was the highlight of the trip! we also saw Michael Jackson's children and nephews around the resort several times and they were very well behaved and nice kids. He would be proud of how they behaved in public!

The only disappointment of the trip was that I bought a family photo session from Disney for a 45 minute session. The cost was $350. It was scheduled to be a sunset session. They called that day and said they wanted to start it earlier because they were worried about the time. I understood that to mean we would still be getting our sunset shots but that didn't happen. They started the session on the beach and we were facing the sun and all our pictures we are squinting. We then moved up into the resort for some floral shots but were sweaty looking in them. Why they didn't do the floral shots first I don't know! I wouldn't recommend doing this. Hire a photographer from the community. Our photographer was a young girl who wasn't experienced enough.
My husband and I spent an afternoon at the Spa. It was excellent . We had a couples massage and enjoyed the outdoor area of showers and heated pools. The spa is expensive but worth the price!
We then flew to San Francisco and stayed at the Argonaut on Fisherman's Wharf. The hotel was nice and in a great location. We went on the night tour of Alcatraz which was excellent. We spent a day a Muir woods hiking which I highly recommend. We took the double decker bus around SF and went across the Golden Gate Bridge. We also went to the Walt Disney Family Museum which is not to miss! We had wonderful meals in Little Italy. SF was fun to visit but the amount of homeless people asking for money really took away from the experience. I have no desire to go back there.
We ate at many great places throughout Hawaii and SF. If anyone has any questions regarding either place I would be happy to answer!
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:46 PM   #2
disneypoor
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So glad you had a great trip! Did you book Hawaii Fire on your own or through Aulani? We are going in August and have done surfing lessons each time we have gone to Hawaii, but it is always the highlight of each trip! Last year at Maui, we didn't prebook but rather found a place while we were there to take lessons from. It was awesome, but I would hate to get to Aulani and not find any place with openings, so I'm starting to think maybe we should book ahead of time for this one. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Susan
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:50 PM   #3
wiigirl
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Glad you had a wonderful trip
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:30 PM   #4
TALB
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Disney Poor. I did book Hawaii Fire on my own and if I remember correctly it was around $50 less than through Disney. They picked us up at the resort and brought us back. Bring cash so you can by the photo CD. It was $50 and we have some great pictures. It was a blast!
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:33 PM   #5
disneypoor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TALB View Post
Disney Poor. I did book Hawaii Fire on my own and if I remember correctly it was around $50 less than through Disney. They picked us up at the resort and brought us back. Bring cash so you can by the photo CD. It was $50 and we have some great pictures. It was a blast!
Thank you for your reply! I just now saw this post, or I would have responded earlier. Glad to hear they pick you up. I will do some checking. Thanks again!

Susan
__________________


09/93 Honeymoon at WDW, 03/01 First time to WDW with kids,
06/02 WDW, 11/03 First trip to Disneyland, 05/05 BIG family trip
to WDW POR, 06/06 First cruise on the Wonder/WDW ASM,
11/06 Disneyland, 03/07 7 Night Eastern, 09/07 3 Nights on the
Wonder, 03/08 Cruise to the Hawaiian Islands, 11/08 DD on the Magic,
11/09 3 Nights on the Wonder and WDW, 07/10 Family Vacation to WDW,
02/11 3 Nights on the Dream, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise on the Wonder, 03/12 One Week in Maui,
07/26/12 Bay Lake Tower 1st DVC Stay

Upcoming Trips: 03/16/13 5 Night DCL Western, 07/13 Villas at Grand California
Trip Reports: 06/06 Wonder, 03/07 Eastern, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise
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