On August 29, 2011, Disney extended their magical offerings by opening Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa on the coast of O’ahu, Hawaii. Working hand in hand with locals, Walt Disney Imagineers integrated some Disney magic with the rich traditions of the Hawaiian Islands to bring families a relaxing Disney experience away from the crowded theme parks and humid Florida weather. Aulani is a true tropical getaway and is simply enchanting. However, just like most Disney resorts, the experience doesn’t come cheap. Be sure to check out these tips to make the most out of your vacation.
Visit during the off-peak seasons
Aulani sounds like the perfect place to visit over the summer. However, that is exactly what everyone else is thinking. Therefore, the resort is packed during the hot summer months and the prices reflect the demand. If you’re flexible on your dates, try to visit Aulani during the fall months. Between September to November, the temperature is still nice and you can find promotions and deals on hotel rooms and flights. In general, the rooms at Aulani are about 30 percent cheaper during off-peak months.
Rent from Disney Vacation Club owners
The best-kept secret about Aulani is the Disney Vacation Club or DVC. DVC members can rent their unused points to non-members. Therefore, if you search online on Disney forums you may be able to find someone looking to sell their points. This will generally score you a bigger family room and give you a lower rate than what the resort is charging on their website.
Take advantage of the all-inclusive activities
The cost of the room doesn’t only come with a place to stay, but it also includes many different activities to help you relax and have fun on the island. Join other families at the Ohana Disney Movie Nights where you can sit under the stars and watch classic Disney hits at the resort’s outdoor theater. If you love to dance, hit up the luau at Starlit Hui or join a pool party with Mickey and his friends. The resort also offers free fitness classes to help tone your body and an interactive scavenger hunt on the Menehune Adventure Trail. If you want to opt for some of the paid, premium experiences, be sure to sit down with your family before you arrive and plan out exactly how you will budget your money.
Enroll in Aunty’s Beach House
Aunty’s Beach House is a complimentary kids club for children between the ages of 3 and 12. Here, toddlers can play Disney dress-up or do arts and crafts with “Aunty” or head to “Uncle’s side” for interactive game tables, board games, and crafts geared towards older kids. There is also an outdoor area with playsets and hula hoops that will keep your children entertained for hours.
Buy the refillable mug and eat shaved ice
Depending on how long you plan on staying at Aulani, you may want to invest in the refillable mug. For $18.99 or about £14.50 you can get a souvenir Disney mug that is refillable at any of the on-site restaurants. Therefore, you won’t have to pay for a drink at every meal. Also, if your kids get hungry throughout the day, order them some shaved ice at the Papalua Shave Ice Shack. At only $3.75 each, or £2.85, they are the cheapest snack at the resort and can keep your kiddo’s stomach full until supper.
A little bit of Disney magic always comes with a price tag. However, you can enjoy some great family time at Aulani Resort with a little bit of preparation. Plan ahead and have fun on your magical adventure.
Disclaimer: This is a guest post provided by Rebecca Robinson. All words and opinions are writers own. Please do not reproduce.