January 2020

Version 6

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 6, 2019
Hi Guys

Travelling to Aulani with my family of 4 (kids 5 and 7) from Sydney Australia in January 2020 and really looking forward to it.

Just wondering what the resort is like at that time? How crowded will it be, can we expect beach/pool weather, and how far in advance will we need to book activities and restaurants.

Thanks in advance.
 

kyton

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Depends on when in January - from just before Christmas until around the end of first week in January it can be busy on Oahu as US schools are on holidays. The second week on is normally quieter as those families go back to school whilst Australians are still off.

Are you spending any time in Waikiki? Some things are easier to do from there as Ko Olina is fairly remote with no public transport.

Don’t forget if you are booking a car you need to factor in extra insurance coverage - choose a broker that automatically includes what you need (we use www.traveljigsaw.com.au for every one of our yearly visits whereas others have used https://www.discounthawaiicarrental.com/ successfully).

Restaurants you can’t book online until a couple of weeks out from memory - Ama Ama is really the only one I book as early as I can. Roy’s and MonkeyPod I tend to book a couple of days before.
 

Version 6

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 6, 2019
Depends on when in January - from just before Christmas until around the end of first week in January it can be busy on Oahu as US schools are on holidays. The second week on is normally quieter as those families go back to school whilst Australians are still off.

Are you spending any time in Waikiki? Some things are easier to do from there as Ko Olina is fairly remote with no public transport.

Don’t forget if you are booking a car you need to factor in extra insurance coverage - choose a broker that automatically includes what you need (we use successfully).

Restaurants you can’t book online until a couple of weeks out from memory - Ama Ama is really the only one I book as early as I can. Roy’s and MonkeyPod I tend to book a couple of days before.
Thanks for your reply.

Yes, we are spending 7 nights in Waikiki and then 3 nights at Aulani before moving on to Disneyland.

We don't intend to leave the resort much while at Aulani, but am open to suggestions.

How long in advance will I need to book resort restaurants?

Does the resort have a shuttle into town?

Thanks again
 
  • nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    How long in advance will I need to book resort restaurants?
    I would book maybe 3-4 months in advance, just so you can secure the days and times you want. They can be flexible until later than that though. But its best to book early when you can.

    Does the resort have a shuttle into town?
    No shuttles. If you want to go anywhere outside of Ko Olina, where Aulani is located, you'll want to rent a car. Everything in Ko Olina is walkable, but there's only a few stores and restaurants - all created for tourists at tourist prices.

    But with 7 days in Waikiki and 3 days at Aulani, I would not rent a car for the Waikiki portion. There are tons of bus tours that leave from Waikiki that can take you to the tourist spots, plus a hop on/hop off trolley line that takes you up and down the Waikiki strip. Having a car in Waikiki can be pricey and parking can be a challenge. With 3 days after that at Aulani, I probably would just enjoy the resort and not leave.
     

    Version 6

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 6, 2019
    I would book maybe 3-4 months in advance, just so you can secure the days and times you want. They can be flexible until later than that though. But its best to book early when you can.



    No shuttles. If you want to go anywhere outside of Ko Olina, where Aulani is located, you'll want to rent a car. Everything in Ko Olina is walkable, but there's only a few stores and restaurants - all created for tourists at tourist prices.

    But with 7 days in Waikiki and 3 days at Aulani, I would not rent a car for the Waikiki portion. There are tons of bus tours that leave from Waikiki that can take you to the tourist spots, plus a hop on/hop off trolley line that takes you up and down the Waikiki strip. Having a car in Waikiki can be pricey and parking can be a challenge. With 3 days after that at Aulani, I probably would just enjoy the resort and not leave.
    Thanks for that. Any dining options inside and outside the resort I should make sure to do? Also, will I need to book resort activities (like snorkling in the rainbow reef) in advance of my stay?
     

    nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    Any dining options inside and outside the resort I should make sure to do?
    At the resort, Ama Ama breakfast was one of our favorite meals. Its a less expensive meal and the restaurant was half empty, so we had a great seat with a view of the lagoon. And the mac nut pancakes are to die for! Ama Ama dinner around sunset time is also a very popular choice. We did Makahiki twice - the character breakfast, which was crazy loud and busy but on par with a WDW character breakfast, and the regular dinner (no characters) which was very good and much quieter.

    Outside the resort, Monkeypod is directly across the street which we loved and ate at twice. Great happy hour specials, and also book a reservation on Open Table before you head over there to avoid any standby waits. Reservations are available last minute.

    If you visit Haleiwa, we loved Kono's for a casual quick lunch, and Haleiwa Beach House is great for a nicer dinner. Matsumoto's is also a must. In Waikiki, House without a Key at Halekulani hotel is great.

    will I need to book resort activities (like snorkling in the rainbow reef) in advance of my stay?
    Not sure on this - hopefully someone can confirm. The only other thing we booked in advance is the spa. If you're interested in doing the Aulani luau, that is another thing I would book ASAP.
     

    Mamasarges

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 3, 2018
    At the resort, Ama Ama breakfast was one of our favorite meals. Its a less expensive meal and the restaurant was half empty, so we had a great seat with a view of the lagoon. And the mac nut pancakes are to die for! Ama Ama dinner around sunset time is also a very popular choice. We did Makahiki twice - the character breakfast, which was crazy loud and busy but on par with a WDW character breakfast, and the regular dinner (no characters) which was very good and much quieter.

    Outside the resort, Monkeypod is directly across the street which we loved and ate at twice. Great happy hour specials, and also book a reservation on Open Table before you head over there to avoid any standby waits. Reservations are available last minute.

    If you visit Haleiwa, we loved Kono's for a casual quick lunch, and Haleiwa Beach House is great for a nicer dinner. Matsumoto's is also a must. In Waikiki, House without a Key at Halekulani hotel is great.



    Not sure on this - hopefully someone can confirm. The only other thing we booked in advance is the spa. If you're interested in doing the Aulani luau, that is another thing I would book ASAP.
    I don’t think you can reserve the snorkeling....
     
  • Version 6

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 6, 2019
    Bumping my own thread for another random question.

    Is there a line up or long wait for any of the pool activities (lazy river, waterslides, rainbow reef) etc?
     

    kyton

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 10, 2012
    Waterslides can have a massive lineup - sometimes the queue comes down the stairs. Lazy river you can enter from a number of spots however it can be congested when some people link their floats together (personal hate of mine!) as it stops others getting by them.
    The rainbow reef they only let a certain number in at a time so the fish aren’t stressed.
     
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