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Old 04-15-2019, 12:48 PM   #1
noreen99
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Default Advice and tips needed for planning 1st trip to Aulani.

Our 7 month window will be opening in a few weeks. I am used to planning WDW. To be honest I had no idea until reading past posts that so many things required advanced reservations.

We are party of 5 adults (me, the honey and my twentyish kids) cramming hopefully into 1 bedroom standard or island view. Cramming because I have no intention of borrowing or postponing (renting extra points is out if I want to keep within our vacation budget, considering we are heading to WDW for a convention just a few weeks before and I am footing the bill for that too..) We will be renting at least one vehicle to get around.

Getting nervous- my preferred flight & category is almost filled.( only 2 lie flat seats left -Because of medical issues I am terrified to fly without the lay-flat option.) Scared to book air without confirmed room reservations.

Do you generally grab airfare first or secure room first?

What experiences/restaurants tend to get shut-out at Aulani?
-outside Aulani (seems even that monkey pod restaurant is now taking reservations)

Most of the Aulani excursions are out for health issues looking for botanical gardens (paved ) nature trails, waterfalls
-whatís your must see day trips?

Polynesian culture center is on our list of must see- that said would you pick their nighttime dinner show or Aulani?

Has anyone done the Aulani cameraman dolphin /snorkeling cruise? Good bad blah?
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:37 PM   #2
Commish
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Originally Posted by noreen99 View Post
Getting nervous- my preferred flight & category is almost filled.( only 2 lie flat seats left -Because of medical issues I am terrified to fly without the lay-flat option.) Scared to book air without confirmed room reservations.
?
Good luck at the 7 month window - I am finding out the hard way that mid-June appears to be peak Aulani - I do not see an issue with November - early December availability for any 1BR category

The 7th month mark for June however was brutal - rooms gone in seconds

I was committed to going to Hawaii (for son's College Graduation) and while looking for flights found 3 nights at the Grand Californian - booked my Aulani flights after having 3/6 nights reserved - still waiting on the middle night to complete reservation (not worried)

Good luck - book the lay flat seat
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:20 PM   #3
noreen99
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Good luck at the 7 month window - I am finding out the hard way that mid-June appears to be peak Aulani - I do not see an issue with November - early December availability for any 1BR category

The 7th month mark for June however was brutal - rooms gone in seconds

I was committed to going to Hawaii (for son's College Graduation) and while looking for flights found 3 nights at the Grand Californian - booked my Aulani flights after having 3/6 nights reserved - still waiting on the middle night to complete reservation (not worried)

Good luck - book the lay flat seat

Congrats to your son! If all goes well ( summer class availability) I should be finally graduating after a 25 year hiatus this December with my Bachelors degree. Lol itís my graduation present to myself.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:20 PM   #4
JCinWonderland
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I booked flights after confirming room availability at Aulani. I walked our 1 bedroom island garden view a little before our 7 month window and also used that flexibility to coordinate our dates with the best frequent flyer fares on United.

Restaurants do book up at Aulani, so depending on what you want, make reservations. The character buffet breakfast at Makahiki was booked every morning I checked while actually there. We had reservations multiple mornings but considered switching a morning until I realized it was completely booked each morning of our stay. There was breakfast availability at Ama Ama even day before I found. Ama Ama books up more for dinner I found. Not sure if Makahiki was booked each evening because we didn’t want to eat dinner there. Monkeypod across the street is very good and I’d make reservations there too, but I don’t know if absolutely necessary. Roy’s down the other end of the street had good availability too.

I definitely recommend the lu’au at the Aulani. We all enjoyed it. The food was good (not great) but the show was really good. VIP seats included alcohol too.

This trip was all about relaxation and pool time for us so we didn’t do that much outside of the resort. We did go to the dole plantation one day for a few hours but I don’t think we will do that again. It definitely isn’t worth the time to me. On prior trips we’ve done the drive around the island but unfortunately I don’t have any recommendations as far as stops, etc.

Good luck booking your room and flights!

Last edited by JCinWonderland; 04-15-2019 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:36 PM   #5
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If you're going to PCC anyway, then I would do the luau there on the same day. Doing both villages and luau there will be an efficient use of time, as well as an more economical way to do a luau. You can probably do both at PCC for close to the price of the Aulani luau alone.
Add the PCC nightime show and you will have a wonderfully long day that does three things and doesn't really break the bank.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:29 PM   #6
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Here is a link to my trip report from our trip to Aulani this past February!

http://www.mouseowners.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=134658

We had the BEST time!

I would definitely do the the PCC evening show over the Aulani Luau. I'm sure you've checked the PCC website by now, you can see that have about MILLION different ticket options! It was super confusing! We ended up accidently booking an option that sadly didn't include the dinner Luau (had a prime rib dinner buffet instead that was LAME), but did at least include the evening show. Make sure whatever package you go with has the Ali'i Luau Buffet & Dinner Show NOT the Prime Rib Buffet! The evening show at the PCC is AMAZING! We didn't buy tickets to the Aulani luau, but did watch it from our balcony :-)

If you're looking for a paved Botanical garden, definitely check out Waimea Valley on the North Shore. It was one of my favorite outings we did! Also a beautiful drive up the North Shore!
https://www.waimeavalley.net
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:17 AM   #7
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We did Aulani in 2015 as part of our 2nd trip to Hawaii. On both occasions we went to see Pearl Harbor and on this occasion my husband and his friend also did the 5 hour tour of the USS Missourri.

I'm quite shocked that no-one on here has suggested you go and visit Pearl Harbor and see the USS Arizona memorial. It's an important (and very moving) part of your history and as a Brit I was really moved by it, much more than I expected
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by susieh View Post
We did Aulani in 2015 as part of our 2nd trip to Hawaii. On both occasions we went to see Pearl Harbor and on this occasion my husband and his friend also did the 5 hour tour of the USS Missourri.

I'm quite shocked that no-one on here has suggested you go and visit Pearl Harbor and see the USS Arizona memorial. It's an important (and very moving) part of your history and as a Brit I was really moved by it, much more than I expected
Pearl Harbor wasn't quite appropriate for our young children. We'll take them one day.
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susieh View Post
We did Aulani in 2015 as part of our 2nd trip to Hawaii. On both occasions we went to see Pearl Harbor and on this occasion my husband and his friend also did the 5 hour tour of the USS Missourri.

I'm quite shocked that no-one on here has suggested you go and visit Pearl Harbor and see the USS Arizona memorial. It's an important (and very moving) part of your history and as a Brit I was really moved by it, much more than I expected
I have only one plan for my 6 nights Aulani trip - Visit Pearl harbor and the Arizona - I will figure out the other 5 days while on the plane ;-)
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susieh View Post
We did Aulani in 2015 as part of our 2nd trip to Hawaii. On both occasions we went to see Pearl Harbor and on this occasion my husband and his friend also did the 5 hour tour of the USS Missourri.

I'm quite shocked that no-one on here has suggested you go and visit Pearl Harbor and see the USS Arizona memorial. It's an important (and very moving) part of your history and as a Brit I was really moved by it, much more than I expected
USS Arizona memorial is closed for repair indefinitely. It was definitely on our list of things we must see.

Has anyone done the alternative boat ride tour?
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