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“Disney in Hawaii”

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Kapolei
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 March 2012

Stayed at the Aulani during a conference in February. The hotel itself is absolutely beautiful. The room was on the smaller side but clean. The bathroom was spacious. Dining options are limited...only 2 restaurants at the resort. We dined at the buffett which was overpriced for the quality of the food. You would benefit from having a car to travel to nearby areas to dine but they charge $35/day for parking. We did not spend much time at the pool area as it is geared more towards children and families. The beach area had lounge chairs. The beach is situated on a lagoon so no waves. The beach area was quiet and relaxing. Overall the hotel was good but I think they will need to make changes to the dining options which are not quite up to the standards Disney has at other locations.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank Jennifer C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,256 - 4,260 of 5,305 reviews

Reviewed 3 March 2012

You're reading this review for two reasons. You're wondering "Should I stay here?" and "Why is it so expensive compared to other similar properties?"

I'm gonna make similar comments to what I said after taking a Disney cruise a few years ago. I hated it. But gave it five out of five stars. Why? My family had a great time, but I'm definitely not a "Disney Dad."

If you've got kids, they've probably seen the ads on Disney channel and have been bugging you to stay here. Why else would you be traveling all that way to stay at a hotel where you know you're going to see kids everywhere?

Property is excellent. Beach is perfect. Pools are wonderful and the lazy river is a delight. Toss in a couple of fun tube rides and a mini water park for the little ones and you've got a great experience.

That said, it's an extremely pricey experience. We paid just over $1100 for two nights. That's a lot of money. Add to that parking ($35 a day, if I recall) and meals ($120 for a dinner buffet for a family of 3.)

We found ourselves walking next door to the Marriott for breakfast where there were less expensive dining options (but still expensive.)

There's a very small shopping area just across the street from the Aulani resort that features the ubiquitous ABC shops. Those stores provide everything a tourist would want. Think of it as an upscale 7-11 combined with a classy T-shirt/souvenir shop. Prices were exceedingly reasonable. I was able to pick up a bottle of beer for about $2.00 which would have cost at least $7.50 at Aulani.

The rooms were excellent. The property was amazing, full of Disney surprises and detail. My kid loved the electronic scavenger hunt and did it several times over the 2 days we were there. We had a garden/mountain view room that also had a view of the ocean.

I was also pleasantly surprised at how un-Disney the experience was. Yes, they had Disney characters out for photos. And yes they had ESPN and other Disney-owned networks on the TV. And yes they had Disney movies outside under the stars. But they didn't have Supercalifragelisticexpalidious playing in the hallways along with other Disney tunes, nor did they have every Disney souvenir for sale like they do in Orlando and Anaheim. This is a resort, not a theme park!

I'm not a Disney fan but find it impossible to give these guys negative marks on anything, apart from the cost. One added bonus for Dads is that you'll see plenty of hot, young moms running around.

We could only afford 2 nights there and did four nights at the Hilton Waikiki Village which was okay. Maybe next time we'll stay at the Marriott next door and do a few more nights at Aulini.

My wife and 9-year-old loved the place and can't wait to return. We all had a great time making Disney hard to resist.

One tip. If you're renting a car through Thrifty just make sure they don't ding you for a $12 additional driver charge for your spouse, a complete ripoff. They said they had to charge me that because I'd gotten such a great rate on the reservation. Just make sure you're not hit for an additional driver charge when you reserve your car ahead of time.

Enjoy your visit to Aulani and I hope you have as much fun as we did.

Room Tip: We got a mountain view room which ironically did have a nice view of the ocean. Frankly I suggest g...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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11  Thank Frqflier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2012

A nice melding of Disney and Hawaiian culture.
As a Disney Vacation Member, it's a shame that there aren't more perks and discounts offered as at the other resorts since you've bought into the Disney experience.
Otherwise, it's a lovely place to visit and the staff is exceedingly friendly. The water recreation area is fun although they could use a deeper pool for adults as they limit them all to 4 feet or less.

Room Tip: Our room was on the third floor (lobby) in the Waianae tower just by the kids area. A lot of water i...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank David N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2012

My family and I just got back from a week's stay. The property is large and the kids go nuts there, they love it. The pool area is a kids dream come true and my daughter said 'it was the best day of her life'.A little pool for snorkeling, you can sign up to feed the manta rays, great slides. Really, that is why we went. One of the greatest features and I tip my cap to the place: Pool Safety. OMG! There was a life guard every 6 feet along the the perimeter of the entire pool area ready to jump in. Which I saw them do for the slightest things. Outstanding!!!!
The place was only half open, an entire tower of rooms were not open yet, and the place still felt way too crowded. There was an annoying need for reservations at their restaurants every night, you could NOT just walk in, hated that. the food was mediocre. But, I will say, we did the character breakfast and the buffet was a surprise. Nothing like the other resorts. It was HUGE and and very good. There are characters out all the time, and every night something to do like a 'luau' style show (big production), movie on the lawn by ocean (really nice), songs by camp fire. It really is so fabulous for kids. I did at times feel trapped in a manufactured polynesian ride, especially because they have this 'signature' song playing in their lobby CONSTANTLY (really beyond annoying by the third day, fifth you want to throw yourself over the lobby railing), but the lagoon and beach area with the gorgeous swaying palm trees helped save me. Look, it's Disney, but the kids love it and there really truly is a ton for them to do.
The rooms were very brown and lacked brightness, but were clean and all had balcony's.
Hint: go to the JW Marriot for breakfast buffet, killer! Especially when Aulani's room service time is an hour and a half, and the breakfast restaurant requires reservations months in advance: beyond belief.
Honestly not a great trip if you don't have kids. Why Why Why would you ever think of going there if you were not entertaining kids?

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank lcc66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2012

Just got back from a great stay at Aulani. It made every other hotel we stayed at look shabby compared to Aulani's wonderful resort. While there are little areas to tweak, it was wonderful. See my full review at: http://toattravel.blogspot.com/

Room Tip: Higher floors lead to better vistas
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ToaTTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Address: 92-1185 Ali'inui Drive, Kapolei, Oahu, HI 96707-4434
Region: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Kapolei
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Kapolei
Price Range: ₹ 28,149 - ₹ 53,040 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 819
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Also Known As:
Aulani, a Disney Resort And Spa In Hawai`i
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa In Hawai`i Hotel Kapolei
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Oahu, Hawaii - Kapolei

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