For Best Sunsets Overall Go To Sunset Point
When looking out to the ocean from Aulani, you will see a grassy area on left tip of the lagoon. This is called Sunset Point and for a very good reason.
Talk a walk over here 20-30 minutes before sunset to take in the beauty. Out of view from Aulani are some rocky cliffs on the other side of the grassy knoll. These make a perfectly romantic spot to take in the sunset.
Make A Goal: Talk To Other Guests
We tend to re-learn this tip every time we travel to a Disney destination. We are typically more “keep-to-ourselves” travelers.
However, at Aulani, people are on vacation! They are happy, approachable, and usually being the best versions of themselves.
So, get outside your comfort zone and introduce yourself to someone new. Perhaps that person in the lounge chair next to you.
Many guests stay for extended periods at Aulani, which means you will probably bump into them a lot. We met many cool people…folks we would totally hang out with back home if we could.
The Trick To Saving Chairs At Aulani
After 8am, its fairly easy to keep your favorite Aulani pool or beach chairs for the day.
Cast members known as chair timers at Aulani come around every so often and will neatly fold your towel on the back of your chair if they notice you havent been there for an extended period of time.
Once the folded towel is placed on your seat, they will leave it there for one hour and if you dont come back during that time, theyll remove your belongings and make the chairs available to other guests.
If you need to be gone for more than an hour, one tip is to make friends with nearby guests that are willing to take down the folded towel for you if a chair timer does begin to monitor the time youve been away.
Alternatively, simply just check back on your spot every so often!
Naturally, the Golden Rule appliesif youre going to be gone for several hours, its only reasonable to plan on allowing others to have your spot.
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Vegetarians Can Ask For Special Meals
As a vegetarian, I know what it’s like to wonder if there will be anything delicious to eat.
For both the luau and the Makahiki character buffet, I let the staff know ahead of time that I am a vegetarian.
I was given fantastic treatment at both places.
At the luau, I was brought a special entree. At the buffet, the chef came out and gave me a tour of the buffet, telling me what was vegetarian and what wasn’t. He then asked me what I liked and he prepared a delicious tofu scramble for me.
Moral of the story? Let them know of your food preferences.
Go On A Menehune Treasure Hunt
At the community hall you can check out iPads that have been pre-loaded with a very special interactive game.
It is called Menehune Adventure Trailand through a series of videos, players are led throughout the resort lobby and grounds to unlock hidden treasure that have been left behind by the Menehune .
There are several different versions of the game, so there are plenty of variations to try.
We particularly liked playing this as the sun was going down, as many interactive elements light up and shine brighter in the twilight.
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Download The Daily Iwa In Advance
Are you a planner ? I like to make a tentative plan for my vacation in order to maximize my days.
Thankfully, Aulani publishes their Daily Iwa in advance and you can access it online before you ever leave home.
I suggest you download the Iwa, highlight the activities that interest you, and make a loose plan for each day to maximize your trip.
Here’s a sample of what my advanced planning looks like:
Is Car Rental Available At Aulani
Alamo has a car rental desk on-site at Aulani resort.
There are a wide variety of vehicles and vehicle types available for daily or weekly rental at the Aulani Alamo desk.
For other options, Enterprise Rental Car has a reservation desk nearby at the Ko Olina Marriott Beach Club.
And of course, it is very common to rent a car at the Honolulu airport and drive it to Aulani.
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Maybe Take The Dslr But Definitely Bring A Gopro
If youre a full-fledge photographer, then yes, you probably are ignoring this tip because you already have a plan to bring the DSLR. And rightfully sothere is so much to photograph in Hawaii.
However, if you own a DSLR and youre debating whether or not to bring it with you to Aulani, here are my thoughts.
There were only a few situations where I was prepared to carry and use my expensive DSLR. Most of the time at Aulani, I was in my swimsuit or shorts, jumping in and out of the lazy river, chilling on the beach, or just hanging by the pool.
These moments are perfect for my GoPro Hero7. Its small tiny actually and fits in my beach bag. It is waterproof and I can take it with me in my water adventures and capture those moments. It is convenient to put in the pocket and take to activities where the DSLR would be unwieldy. It does photos, video, and video time lapses. Super cool.Having the DSLR at the pool/beach just causes extra stress about it being stolen, getting sand in it, or getting doused with water.
Common moments you will want your DSLR at Aulani? Probably the luau, character buffet, and family photos at sunset.
Is A Disney Credit Card Worth It
Looking to save money and maximize travel rewards on a Disney vacation? A Disney credit card is often a popular choice among Disney-going travelers for doing just that. The prospect of earning Disney Rewards Dollars you can use on a future vacation for spending you already do sounds tantalizing. And pulling Mickey or another favorite
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What Is A Disney Gift Card
Yes, this is actually a question that has to be answered. There are actually three different things someone could reasonably refer to as a Disney Gift Card:
Let’s get to the truth about discount Disney gift cards.
1. An Actual Disney Gift Card
This is what people usually are talking about and what the rest of this post will be talking about. It’s the standard Disney gift card you can purchase everywhere from the Disney Store to Jewel and that can be used at most Disney locations in the U.S.
2. A Disney Rewards Redemption Card
This is what points earned from using a Disney Rewards Chase Visa get put onto. That is, they are the primary form of redeeming points in the Disney Rewards program. Like a Disney gift card, it can be used at most Disney locations in the U.S. Unlike a gift card, you don’t buy and sell these or give them away, theyre simply there to hold the points youve earned using a Disney credit card.
Disney Rewards Redemption Card
3. A Disney Store Merchandise Credit
Not many people would call this a Disney gift card but we want to alert you to the possibility of scams that are selling Disney Store merchandise credits, which come on cards, as Disney gift cards. These credits can only be used at the Disney Store, which makes them far less valuable to Disney travelers.
Order Lunch By The Pool
If you get hungry but don’t want to leave the comfort of your lounge chair, you can order food and beverages poolside.
From time to time, a cast member will come by and take your order. The menu is from the Off the Hook restaurant and has quite a few options to choose from.
My favorite? Try the burger or the sliders.
The only drawback is you have to wait for the cast member to make her way to your seat and flag her down.
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Stay With Your Stuff Until 8am
On our first visit, we thought we were smart and went down to the pool at 6:45am to stake out some great pool chairs.
We set out some of our items on those chairs and then went for a walk along the beach!
Upon our return, we found that our belongings were missing and another family had taken our chairs.
You see, we hadnt read the signs that explained this policy: any items left unoccupied on chairs before 8am will be taken by the staff and those chairs will be freed up.
Fortunately, a friendly cast member patiently explained the policy and was able to easily retrieve our stuff for us. We were only out our perfect spot for the day. Lesson learned!
Make Dining Reservations As Early As Possible
Aulani has two sit-down restaurants on property, AMAAMA and Makahiki.
If you want to dine at these locations I suggest making reservations before arriving since they tend to book up.
AMAAMA is Aulanis finest dining establishment with a gorgeous view of the lagoon and ocean while Makahiki is their buffet that also offers character dining.
If you know Disney, you know character dining is very popular.
At Aulani, they have a character breakfast as well as a character dinner.
Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration is offered every morning while “Menehune Mischief” Character Dinner are on Sunday, Monday and Thursday.
Keep in mind that you can book these and you dont have to pay until you dine there – even the character meals – so if you book and change your mind, no worries.
Just cancel at least 24 hours prior to your reservation time.
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Complete Guide: Disney Gift Cards
I receive a lot of questions about Disney Gift Cards and how you can use them. Im here to help provide some answers!
As a frequent visitor to Walt Disney World, I absolutely love having Disney Gift Cards on hand. It reduces the need for me to carry cash at the parks and resorts. They also make great gifts for anyone visiting WDW!
Disney Gift Cards come in hundreds of designs, have no fee, no expiration date, and can be used almost anywhere!
In this Article:
Make Dining Reservations In Advance
Aulani Resort dining reservations can be made online up to approximately six months in advance. Be sure to secure your spot at one of the two main table service restaurants:
- AMAAMA Contemporary Island Cooking, an open-air restaurant where you can enjoy fresh, island flavors while taking in views of Ko Olina Beach
- Makahiki The Bounty of the Islands, a buffet-style restaurant that serves local foods, international flavors, and breakfast with some of your favorite Disney characters!
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Here’s When To Start Lining Up For Meet & Greets
I suggest lining up for character meet and greets about 15 minutes before they arrive.
While the lines aren’t terrible for meet and greets, there have been instances where we lined up too late and they had to cut us off.
So, if you’re going to have to have a slight wait, might as well get to the greeting a little early and be toward the front of the line.
The good news is the “handlers” that manage the photos and greetings with characters keep the lines moving pretty fast.
Discount Disney Gift Cards
- Discount Disney Gift Cards
If youre looking to purchase discount Disney gift cards youre in luck! Weve got the best places and ways to buy discount Disney gift cards listed right here. Disney gift cards are great when youre looking to use for a Disney vacation or just a gift for someone. Theres so much you can do with them!
Using Disney Gift Cards
You can use Disney gift cards almost anywhere Disney! Disney Cruise Line, Aulani, Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and any Disney Store including the online one. With so many uses available theyre great to have on hand, especially if you can get a deal on them.
If you have a Disney gift card and youre wondering what part of your vacation you should use it on listen up.
Because you can get discount Disneyland tickets and Disneyland packages here and save big over gate price, theres not reason to use your gift card on them . Its better to save on your tickets and package than to pay full price just to use a gift card. There are plenty of other ways to use it.
Once youve arrived at Disneyland you can use your gift card for purchasing food in the parks, merchandize in the stores, or even pay any incidentals on your hotel room bill if youre staying on property at any of the 3 Disneyland Hotels. If you decided to upgrade your tickets to add a day or upgrade to an annual pass you could use your gift card for that too.
Walt Disney World Resort
Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa
Disney Cruise Line
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Disney Gift Card Details
Stay 2 to 4 nights and receive a $185 Disney Gift Card
Stay 5 nights and receive a $205 Disney Gift Card
Stay 6 nights and receive a $225 Disney Gift Card
Stay 7 nights or more and receive a $245 Disney Gift Card
The Costco Star Rating assigned to each hotel is only intended as a guideline. The rating is based on information that has been compiled by Costco Travel buyers and might differ from other references.
Property offers the ultimate in elegance and sophistication, with highly personalized service and hospitality.
Property offers upscale design and decor, superior dining venues, manicured grounds, and a high level of service and hospitality.
Property offers above-average accommodations, service, comfort, facilities and grounds.
Property offers basic accommodations, decor, facilities and grounds.
New Disney Gift Cards Now Available For The Holidays
Have you started shopping for the holidays yet? Disney gift cards are the perfect gift for any Disney fans on your list who you arent quite sure what to get them. They come in a variety of designs with illustrations celebrating everything from their favorite Star Wars or Marvel characters to classic Disney characters like Mickey and Minnie, to the holidays and more. The Disney Parks Blog just shared even more exciting designs and incentives for gifting them this holiday season Here is the scoop:
New designs specific to the holiday season have been added to the lineup of over 60 Disney Gift Card designs already available on shopDisney. This new design comes with an illustration of Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto loading up their sleigh with presents and it even comes with a matching envelope and space for personalization. If you order on shopDisney, the card can even be sent directly to the recipients home address!
If you are hoping to save on the paper Disney offers eGift Disney Gift Cards, too. These are quick and convenient options with multiple designs that can be sent right to an email address. From there, they are redeemable from a smartphone, on shopDisney.com, and with Apple Pay or Google Pay.
Disney Gift Cards are redeemable at nearly all Disney locations, including most shops and restaurants at Disney theme parks, on shopDisney.com, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani, and more. You can even book your next Disney vacation using a gift card! Happy shopping!
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Specialty Discounts: Annual Pass Military And More
While not available to everyone, many guests may find a specialty discount for their family at Aulani. If you happen to be an annual pass holder at any Disney park around the world, for example, discounts of up to 35% may be available to you during certain times of the year.
Members of the military can also regularly take advantage of discounts at Aulani, some of which have historically been as high as 40%, depending on the season.
Finally, if youre lucky enough to call Hawaii home, Aulani offers Kamaaina rates to state residents who want to take their staycations at Aulani.
Always check out the Aulani special-offers page before you book to investigate some of these more niche discounts.
Maximize The Many Free Activities
Unlike at Disney World and Disneyland, where park tickets are a major part of the budget equation, most of the activities and entertainment at Aulani are free er, included. Once youve paid for a room there, you can enjoy the many pools, lazy river, waterslides, splash pads, character meet-and-greets, drawing classes and more for no extra fee. Aulani also has free sand toys and boogie boards on the beach to borrow, all included with no resort fee.
My favorite freebie hands down is Aulanis kids club, Auntys Beach House. This drop-off center is usually available from 9:30am to 9pm daily for kids ages 3 to 12, and is included in the cost of your room. Our kids had so much fun that they begged us daily to be dropped off, allowing my husband and me to enjoy kid-free pool time and date nights on our trips.
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Aloha Disney Gift Cards Available At Aulani A Disney Resort & Spa
by Virginia Scanlon, Manager Alliance Management, Disney Gift Card Services
In honor of the opening of Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa, two new Disney Gift Cards are now available exclusively at the resort! Treat yourself with these fun new cards that showcase Aulanis Disney roots and Hawaiian style.
The first design, Mickey & Friends Aloha, captures the beautiful scenery of Hawaii and architectural details of the resort. The card features a festively dressed Mickey enjoying a casual luau with pals Minnie, Goofy and Donald.
The second design, Aulani Laniwai Spa, is a uniquely designed card found at Laniwai Spa. The serene blue waves on the card reflect the calming nature of the Spa while staying true to its name, Laniwai, which means freshwater heaven. This special Disney Gift Card also features a completely transparent top!
Get these two Disney Gift Cards today at Aulani!