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Princess Diva continues to look at the Aulani Resort, a Disney paradise vacation! If you missed any of the articles on the Aulani, you can find them here.

By Princess Diva

I know that once you get checked in you are going to want to start your vacation in paradise right away, but before you do, let me give you two little bits of advice that in the long run of your vacation will save you time and money!  That’s right, a few minutes after you check in and then you can totally relax!

Refillable Resort Mugs:

We have talked about resort mugs before here on Tips from the Disney Diva… but maybe you are still asking yourself, should I buy one, or shouldn’t I?  Are they really worth the money for the amount I will use them?  You could argue either way at other Disney resorts, but at Aulani, they are totally worth the $18.99 that you will spend.  It’s a little bit more than a regular Disney resort.

Before you gasp at the steep price for a plastic mug (especially when you multiply that by the number of people in your family…in our case we were looking at 4 of them), let me break it down for you.

We wanted to relax on this vacation, which meant sleeping late and spending a great deal of time at the resort by the pool.  That equates to a lot of drinks that we would end up buying while hanging out in the hot Hawaiian sun.  Our morning started with my husband heading to Kalepa’s Store, in the lobby to fill our cups with coffee.  I know there is a coffee pot in our room, but I like a little coffee with my creamer and for that you have to go to the lobby.  But, with our cups, all is free…coffee AND creamer.
Let’s do the math…7 mornings x’s $3.00 per cup (there were 2 of us drinking coffee) is $42.00!  And I’m not even done with breakfast!

OK, not convinced yet?  There are 3 filling stations around Aulani…one in the lobby (the only with coffee), one at the pool outside of the Lava Shack, and one next to One Paddle, Two Paddle.  The Lava Shack location is very handy while hanging by the pool.  If we would have ordered just one soft drink or tea a day at $3.00 a pop, we would have had the cups paid for.  But, we used them much more than just that…we made sure we were always full for lunches and dinners back in the room too.
Grocery Store:
I know that grocery shopping is not what you typically want to be doing on your vacation, but I promise that in the end, you will thank me.  Plus, a nice walk will be great after a long flight.

Now, I have used Garden Grocer in Orlando (read more about it here or here) when we stay at Walt Disney World.  I tried to find some delivery services around Aulani that would get what I needed to me so that I wouldn’t have to bother, but I was not happy with the selection of food for our family. So we hit up the grocery store across the street, ABC Island Country Market.
Here, you can grab milk for the mornings, (get ready for sticker shock…we paid $4.75 for a half gallon…a big difference from back home)  and snacks for the pool.  If you have a full kitchen, you can pick up some sandwich fixings, some really awesome salads (they have a really big salad bar), and fresh fruit.  They also have Hawaiian souvenirs, but remember NO DIAPERS!

There are some groceries in Kalepa’s Store, but selection is very limited.  We are big fruit and veggie eaters, so ABC Island Country Market was the best bet for us.

So if you find yourself booking a trip to the Aulani, consider this Diva advice!