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Posted by on Oct 25, 2012

Arriving at Aulani


What a view!

Author: Princess Diva

Let me tell you about one of the most amazing vacations that I have ever taken!  Last month, my husband and I decided to spend out 10 year anniversary in Hawaii at Aulani (of course).  We decided to drag the 3 Disney Brothers with us too because we just couldn’t do something this HUGE without them!  Everyone is already asking about going back, and you know it was an awesome vacation when my husband says that he would recommend Aulani to his friends! (After 10 years of marriage, I still don’t think that he gets my affinity for all things Disney).  After landing in Honolulu, we found our driver and were off to Aulani!

Diva Tip:  Aulani does not have a shuttle or bus that takes you to the resort, so arrange for transportation prior to arrival…reserve a rental car (these can be hard to come by on the fly), or reserve a shuttle service or car service.  We chose the latter for two reasons. 1) We were planning on spending most of our time at Aulani just relaxing and didn’t feel that we would need a car the whole trip, and 2) drivers are usually local and are full of great info and history about where you are visiting. 

Taxis are available, but tend to be expensive…the airport is about 45 minutes from Aulani depending on traffic (and did you know that Hawaii has the worst traffic in the country?)  Also, when you book a car service or shuttle, ask about discounts for booking your return trip to the airport!

As we pulled up, I was amazed at really how beautiful and big it was.  As of now, only part of the two towers are open.  There were a lot of people there while we were there, so I can’t imagine what it will be like once the entire resort is ready.  They are already planning on expanding the pool deck!  One of our drivers told us that many of the locals were not very excited at first about Disney wanting to build a resort. After many meetings and talking to the community, everyone was very pleased at how accurate every detail has been made!  Leave it to Disney to do their homework! 

As we piled out of the car, we were welcomed home and our bags were taken by the bellmen.  I was given a beautiful flower lei and all the guys were given kukui nut leis (these, we were told used to be worn by royalty).  We walked into a beautiful open air lobby and were escorted to the front desk for check in.  Here we were given our keys and a welcome packet.  Now is the time you can decide to use your room key for charging purposes (this makes poolside dining really easy without having to carry cash or credit cards to the pool).  Be careful though, it’s easy to overspend when you do this too!  

Kids can watch cartoons during check-in

 The welcome packet contained a map, a dining guide and an overview of the daily Iwa (this is one of the most important pieces of paper that you will receive…it explains everything that the resort has to offer).  Each day, there is a new daily Iwa that shows the events that are planned for that day.  You will be amazed at how much there is to do on the resort.  We tried to do as much as we could, and we still couldn’t fit everything in, in 8 days! 

The Disney Brothers waiting for our room

Our room was not ready (rooms are ready after 3:00PM, but we were told that since we were in a one bedroom villa, our room wouldn’t be ready until sometime between 4:00PM and 6:00PM).  Nowhere did I read this prior to arriving!  Anyway, I gave the check-in desk our cell phone numbers and were told that they would call or text us when our room was ready.  It was now 3:30PM and I didn’t not pack our carry on like I suggested in my packing list.  We spent some time exploring the lobby and made our way to the Luana Lounge to hang out and watch TV while we were waiting.  Lucky for us, we only waited 30 minutes for our room.  

So, I am leaving you on the edge of your seat…I can’t wait to tell you about our room!  It was awesome!

Kristin is the founder and co-director of Tips from the Disney Diva & Devos. She started writing the blog when she realized there were many people going to Disney World and having a miserable time, and it was all from a lack of planning. She knew that she could help and has assembled the finest writing team she can find !

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