Glad I went but probably wouldn't go back. Two nights more than enough.

wbn36

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Was there July 9-11. The resort was nice as expected. We rented points from a well known reputable company which allowed us a one bedroom DVC villa that was better than expected. WWa

The hotel itself was not as great as expected. It was nice and the theming was beautiful, but for the money there really isn't a ton to do. I could not imagine paying the money to stay here and then leaving to tour the island unless I had unlimited funds. My daughter is a Disney addict and she looked at me after our first full day there and agreed that our two nights there was enough. We are not sit on the beach folk so that had something to do with it for sure.

Sit down table service restaurants are significantly limited. We were highly doubtful we would want to leave the resort because we were there such a short period of time, however on day 2 we found ourselves at Monkey Pods across the street and we really enjoyed it. I think our total bill was $75. We just happened to like to eat early and they told us it was happy hour. We ordered 3 pizzas @$10 each and appetizers were half price. Deal of the century --- so much that went we went to Maui the following week we went to the location there as well.

Amma Amma was excellent but pricey. At there or lunch which I do recommend because the burgers were great and just a few dollars more than if you order the takeout ones. Dinner was great as well.

The characters did seem to very available during the day.


Overall it's a great resort and very pretty but for the money it is doubtful we would return but since our main reason on Oahu was to see the Island, you would be best served being in a more central and cheaper location unless you just wanted to beach and pool it on the resort at Aulani.
 

Pooh2

Dis Veteran
Joined
Jan 2, 2011
Sounds like it was not your cup of tea!
We went for 9 nights several years ago and wished we had gone longer!
We toured each morning and spent afternoons floating in the cove.
Would love to get back there some day!
 

nkereina

Last chance to lose your keys.
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Its been said that Disney built Aulani with the thought in mind that people would stay here as a "home base" while exploring the island. They underestimated the amount of people who would travel to Aulani as a destination in and of itself, without leaving the resort. This explains the lack of dining, the difficulty with pool chair availability, lack of evening entertainment, etc etc.

I don't necessarily disagree with your sentiments. Two nights without leaving is plenty to see and do everything. We spent 6 nights, but only 2.5 days at the resort. The rest of our time was spent touring the island. It's not an ideal resort for touring because of the isolated location, but it was nice to come back there after spending the day away. It was beautiful to just sit and have drinks and enjoy the atmosphere while winding down after a busy day.

IMO, its a great resort that any Disney fanatic should try if they are visiting Oahu. I would not go all the way there JUST for Aulani - I always say people should go wanting a Hawaiian vacation, as opposed to an Aulani vacation.
 
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  • wbn36

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 1, 2009
    Sounds like it was not your cup of tea!
    We went for 9 nights several years ago and wished we had gone longer!
    We toured each morning and spent afternoons floating in the cove.
    Would love to get back there some day!

    Don't get me wrong, it was a beautiful resort. We stayed in Waikiki area first to be more central to the touring. If I had unlimited funds I would return but during our time the rooms were $700 and to pay that and then to go off property to tour would be tough to swallow. So we booked this after a few days of touring for some down time which is exactly what we got. I just like lots of space and was able to buy DVC points and spend the same amount as a room $700 and get a one bedroom villa which was great.
     

    vikequeen

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2015
    Its been said that Disney built Aulani with the thought in mind that people would stay here as a "home base" while exploring the island. They underestimated the amount of people who would travel to Aulani as a destination in and of itself, without leaving the resort. This explains the lack of dining, the difficulty with pool chair availability, lack of evening entertainment, etc etc.

    I don't necessarily disagree with your sentiments. Two nights without leaving is plenty to see and do everything. We spent 6 nights, but only 2.5 days at the resort. The rest of our time was spent touring the island. It's not an ideal resort for touring because of the isolated location, but it was nice to come back there after spending the day away. It was beautiful to just sit and have drinks and enjoy the atmosphere while winding down after a busy day.

    IMO, its a great resort that any Disney fanatic should try if they are visiting Oahu. I would not go all the way there JUST for Aulani - I always say people should go wanting a Hawaiian vacation, as opposed to an Aulani vacation.
    I've heard this as well . . .We explore the island when we go. But we own DVC so it makes it more affordable. I honestly can't imagine staying at the resort the whole time. I would not enjoy that vacation at all. It is too crowded and there isn't enough to do for an extended resort only stay.
     

    Amw1064

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 29, 2012
    We own DVC so our 11 night stay this past summer "cost" us $95 for the Hawaiian tax. We love being at the resort but are beach and pool people. Our favorite lagoon is the one next door so we go over there when we want to swim. We usually tour around the island every other day but love coming home to Aulani. You could leave me there forever and I would be just fine.
     

    cedricandsophie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2014
    We are Dvc owners st WDW and aulani. We have been to aulani 6 times and have decided to go every year even though it’s an expensive long haul from Chicago. We go in may for 10 nights so it’s not crowded but still warm. We get a one bedroom for the laundry and the kitchen. We take our adult daughter with Down syndrome and her best friend. We love it and never leave. But we have been all around Oahu and the other islands. For us it’s a paradise. Our daughter and her friend walk around on their own, see characters, hang out in community center. It’s a wonderful safe place much like being on a Disney cruise which we also love. I can see why some people might get bored but that’s not us.

    My husband and I both have our morning routines which rarely vary. I get up early, get a latte at the coffee bar, workout, get our chairs and come back to room for swim suit. My husband comes down later after reading on the lanai. He always stops to see the koi, gets his soda and joins me. The girls come down when they feel like it. For lunch I usually make sandwiches and Bring them down. We sit on lanai in early evening and listen to music and have a glass of wine. We go out for dinner most nights. Ama Ama at least once. The monkey pod, just tacos, etc. if we have a car we go into kapolei for dinner once or twice to our favorite Italian restaurant. And we go down to the Marriott to longhi for dinner on Tuesday when they have their luau and you can watch from the restaurant. As you can see we like a routine! To us aulani is a special magical place.
     
  • MickeyWaffles

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2010
    We’ve only gone once, Saturday to Saturday. I would use our DVC points at Aulani again in a minute.

    We found the restaurant offerings to be enough for us. But, we stayed in a DVC villa with a full kitchen so we ate some meals there, which we planned to do. We loved making food in the villa and enjoying it on the balcony with those gorgeous views.

    We left the resort for some excursions, but I would have been fine staying at Aulani all week without leaving at all.

    It really just depends on everyone’s preferences and what they’re looking for in a trip.
     

    North of Mouse

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 31, 2011
    Was there July 9-11. The resort was nice as expected. We rented points from a well known reputable company which allowed us a one bedroom DVC villa that was better than expected. WWa

    The hotel itself was not as great as expected. It was nice and the theming was beautiful, but for the money there really isn't a ton to do. I could not imagine paying the money to stay here and then leaving to tour the island unless I had unlimited funds. My daughter is a Disney addict and she looked at me after our first full day there and agreed that our two nights there was enough. We are not sit on the beach folk so that had something to do with it for sure.

    Sit down table service restaurants are significantly limited. We were highly doubtful we would want to leave the resort because we were there such a short period of time, however on day 2 we found ourselves at Monkey Pods across the street and we really enjoyed it. I think our total bill was $75. We just happened to like to eat early and they told us it was happy hour. We ordered 3 pizzas @$10 each and appetizers were half price. Deal of the century --- so much that went we went to Maui the following week we went to the location there as well.

    Amma Amma was excellent but pricey. At there or lunch which I do recommend because the burgers were great and just a few dollars more than if you order the takeout ones. Dinner was great as well.

    The characters did seem to very available during the day.


    Overall it's a great resort and very pretty but for the money it is doubtful we would return but since our main reason on Oahu was to see the Island, you would be best served being in a more central and cheaper location unless you just wanted to beach and pool it on the resort at Aulani.
    Agree with this! Would never go just for Aulani, because it's the islands, as well as the beautiful ocean views themselves that interest me. (Dh has been, but I haven't). We have friends there, also friends with families from there living here, so have lots of insider info on places to stay and things to do.

    We love Disney, and I know Aulani is beautiful (from many pictures), but we get our Disney fix quite often at WDW. I would be disappointed wanting a Disney fix there as I hear it's very limited - and of course, no parks! 😔 We're parks people, more so than beach or resort people.
     

    aulanidreamer

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2014
    It sounds like you stayed during a busy, expensive time. If you are touring mostly near Waikiki it definitely a haul and traffic is no fun, but to the north shore it’s better than driving back and forth from Honolulu. My preference on Oahu is to stay away from Waikiki and visit the rest of the island so Aulani works well for us. I agree the dining options are limited, but as DVC owners we prefer to save a little bit of money by eating in half the time. Now that the Four Seasons is open there are more dining choices, and Roy’s next door is excellent. We find Aulani way more relaxing than staying elsewhere, but we are beach and pool people and find Waikiki is too busy and dirty to enjoy the beach.
     

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