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Hawaii Disney resort - Aulani

Been to Hawaii recently and stayed in Disney resort, and no there is NO Disneyland theme park. But the resort is all disney themed. There are Disney characters on properties and the whole resort is cater for kids (especially young kids). I highly recommend this resort for family vacation.

Good thing about this resort:
Kid size life jacket, beach toys all included.
Life guard everywhere
Few pools and a lazy river that one can sit on a big floating tube (provided) to float along.
Some waterslide structure for kids.
The beach is quite enclosed not much wave. Feel pretty safe for kids.
There is a snorkeling lagoon (a.k.a a big fish tank) inside the resort. Snorkeling is $20/day or $40 for length of stay. Life jacket and mask are provided. (but I suggest to bring your own mask).
There is a "day care" center which basically you can leave your kids there. Staff are nice and lots of activities/classes. My kid had fun there. Can even play dress up there are some disney costume.
Also there are some family activities in the community room (e.g. ukulele class; mini canoe making class and then to "race" that canoe in beach).
There is a lounge for check-out guests to use, including shower facility. We don't shower there as we already packed everything, but good to have a place to hang out after check out but before flight time.
There is character dining (aka breakfast with disney characters) buffet.
In general the resort is in good shape (only 5 years old) and keep very clean. The staff are friendly.

*tip* - sign up for the "disney resort club" presentation (a.k.a time share program) and get $50 resort credit. That person is not pushy at all so it's ok for me to spend an hour to earn $50.

My meal is included so I didn't really get to try all the restaurant there. But Four Season is just next door, for people like to have fine dining there can just walk there.

A small plaza with ABC grocery store is just across the street.

Easy to find Japanese food as there are many Japanese local or tourists there.


Now the not so good part:
Aulani is not in wakiki area (40 mins drive) so it's like in the middle of no where. If you want to explore other places, you can rent a car but parking is $37/night which is ridiculously expensive (free for disney resort club member). We rent a car for one day (to avoid parking) with Alamo as they have on site office. We can just drop off to the valet parking at the end of the day and the staff will take care of the rental car return. But car rental there (I guess anywhere not from airport is kinda expensive) is $80/day for regular size car. To me that's really expensive. But I can't find anything cheaper... >_<

The resort can get crowded and it's hard to find a beach chair.

Hawaii is tropical area even the resort is clean I do see HK style cockroach and mini lizard on the street...  >_<

Other places that we went: Pearl Harbour, Dole Plantation, Costco, Wakiki area (just to have dinner there).
We wanna go but no time: Polynesian Cultural Center.

Nice write up. Thx for sharing.

Never been to Hawaii before.

Q.

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