Aulani Disney Resort in Hawaii: 40 Things to Know Before You Go!

– Hey everybody we are at
Disney’s Aulani Resort. This is where we decided to
go for Christmas this year instead of presents, something we started
doing a long time ago. But I thought it would be a good idea to film over here and show you guys the things that you should know before you come on a trip here. All the ways we saved. All the ways we saved and ways that you guys can
save too when you guys come to Disney Aulani or if you guys
wanna plan a trip here so. Let’s get started and
I’ll share all the things you should know before you go to Disney’s Aulani. (upbeat music) Okay before you arrive to Aulani, I would highly recommend that you check-in online
in order to save some time. Disney staff will greet you outside the main lobby entrance if you did. – Hey, did you folks do online
check-in, by any chance? – Yes, we did. – What’s your last name? – Johnson. – And during check-in, kids
will get a Menehune necklace. Women will get a flower lei. And men will get a cacahuete net necklace. Now this wouldn’t be a
complete Aulani tips video if I didn’t show you what
our room looked like. This is the one bedroom villa. And you’ll notice that
it has a full kitchen. Even the standard rooms
have a refrigerator. So keep that in mind. But if you can I would recommend that you compare the prices of getting one of the villa options because they have a kitchen
or small kitchenette instead. And then you can save money on food which is actually pretty
expensive at Aulani which I’ll talk about
later on in the video. You’ll also notice that villa rooms have a washer and a dryer. One thing we did find out, before we went on our Aulani trip, is to register online
for=Aunty’s Beach House before you go. You want to do that so you
don’t have to just stand in line waiting to register
your children once you’re there. The line did get pretty long so it will save you time for sure. Just register your kids online, print out the forms and sign
them and bring them with you. This is a very important detail, Aunty’s Beach House will give each child a GPS tracking device
that does not come off. They’re supposed to wear it the entire time they are at Aulani. They actually look a lot like the magic bands at Disney
World, if you have been there. They will temporarily
authorize your account for 12.95 plus tax for each band. If it gets lost, if it falls
off, if isn’t returned, Aulani will permanently
charge you for that band. However if you do return your band at the very end of your trip, before you leave, they will refund your account that of 12.95 plus tax
that they pre-authorized. Disney Aulani has a weird pool policy. Basically there’s not enough pool chairs for everyone which is huge problem. And just so you guys know between August 19th, 2019,
and December 17th, 2019 they are doing a huge pool renovation. So I’m really hoping that
they’re gonna fix this problem. Because it was a huge
issue while we were there. If you noticed it’s about
8:45 in the morning. And all of these chairs are saved. You’ll wanna get outta here before 9 am if you want your chairs. If you’ve left your
chairs longer than an hour without anyone there, Disney staff will actually
remove your belongings and towels and give your chair to someone else. So make sure you check-in to your chair every 30 to 45 mins or
your spot will be gone. Each morning at the pool you will have to show your key cards for each person in your family to get a colored wrist
band and pool towels. The colors change each day so only people staying at the
resort can use the pool area. Life jackets are free to rent
anytime during your stay. So you don’t need to bring those with you unless you wanna bring a puddle jumper style
life jacket from home. Another huge tip I would give you if you are heading to Aulani is to make dining reservations
as early as you can online. Especially if you are there over a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas because reservations go fast. Alright, we’re gonna get
straight upon honest right now. Food at Aulani was expensive. I’m typically okay paying
for food on vacation. Especially if it’s really
good and yummy food. But honestly, Aulani’s
food wasn’t that amazing. Yes, they have amazing super fun Disney themed snacks and treats. So those are super cool
to grab and check out. To give you an idea
what I am talking about. The cheapest meal you’ll can
find for kids is around $10 and that was for a peanut
butter and jelly sandwich. In our opinion the best food at the resort is at the ‘Ama ‘Ama. Which is the most expensive
restaurant on property. Go figure! However, the kids meals
aren’t that expensive because they are around $10 as well. And their breakfast were some of our family’s absolute favorites. – Mommy these chocolate chips are so good. – They are so good? – They’re melted. – They’re melted! We’re eating here for breakfast at 7 am, there’s no one here. So we got like, a really,
really good table. Right, guys? Right by the ocean. So, and since we’ve
been up for three hours, that’s perfect, right? – [Man] So perfect. We just had the kids eat some pop tarts. And since they woke up
for three hours ago. So they won’t be starving, and now we’re having real breakfast. I don’t think I’d eat here every day, ’cause the menu is kinda expensive, but we’re hoping the food is really good. Not to mention that the view was amazing and since my kids were up
at four A.M. and five A.M. we got the very first
reservation for seven A.M. right when it opened and
had an amazing table too. So the ‘Ama ‘Ama does
have a dress code as well. Which is a little bit more strict for dinner dining versus breakfast or lunch. Tons of you messaged me on Instagram, and told us we had to
walk across the street to go to the place called the Monkeypod. Alright, we just ate at
that Monkeypod restaurant. Brady, what did you think? – It was good. – Better than the food at Disney? – A lot better. – Crazy right? Better than the food
we’ve had a Disney so far. We love this so much we actually
went and ate there twice. So we would highly recommend eating there. In the same area you’re
gonna find a place called Island Country Market it’s an ABC store. And you’ll be able to save money on everything from groceries to sunscreen to cheaper souvenir options. There’s a lot there to choose from and some other shops over
in that area as well. There is a Costco about
four miles away from Aulani. So if you do have access to a car you could easily head there to save money on your groceries as well. Or, you guys can use instacart, and have groceries delivered to Aulani from either Costco or grocery
stores nearby like Safeway. If you guys don’t know
how to use Instacart, or never have before, I will give you guys a link below in the youtube description. So, you guys will have access to that and can possibly use it on your trip. Aulani does have a character breakfast. However, it was $41 for
adults and $21 for kids. We were kinda disappointed
actually because there were only three characters the entire time we were there. We took a picture with Mickey
before our meal started, and only had Goofy and
Pluto come to our table. We actually even asked if
there were more characters and we were told that there were few more characters like Stich if you’re willing to pay for their dinner character meal
called Mauni Huni Mischief, and that cost $54 for
adults and $27 for kids. One of the coolest tips though, that I wanna share with
you guys right now is if you don’t wanna pay to
stay at Aulani the whole time, you could come and just pay
to have character breakfast where you can meet a
handful of characters, and eat their buffet, so
that’s like an option, if you wanted to come here
for breakfast one morning. Disney also has their own Luau. It’s not cheap just being straight up. It’s not cheap. But it is different than
all the other typical luaus that we have done through out the years in different countries
and different resorts. They do have really
fun pre-show activities that you can do with your family, like Fake tattoos, Ukulele lessons, Poi making, making flower lei bracelets. There’s tons to do. They also have a VIP luau. If you want to pay extra
money to get those perks. They basically get you in
earlier to the event to have more time to do all the fun
activities with your kids and also get you a closer VIP seating to the front of the stage. There is a lot of authentic Hawaiian food. So authentic that my
kids would not eat it. But that’s where Disney did excel because they had an entire
tiny little kids table full of food that they would eat. Like chicken fingers
and macaroni and cheese. Also one thing to know about the Luau is that drinks are not included. They do give you like a little
welcome drink when you enter. That’s part of the experience
during the activity section. But as far as actually having a drink with your meal if you
want soda or alcohol. You do have to pay for that. And I saw a lot of people
bringing in their refillable mugs. Which I will talk about in just a second and it is something we
did in order to save money on our trip too. Okay so we heard that the there
are turtles at Paradise Bay. – Woohoo baby too. – Yeah so we’re gonna go on exploring for the turtles right now. – Before we eat breakfast. – Before we eat breakfast
because it’s like seven A.M. Okay if you’re gonna come and try to find the turtles at Paradise Cove, this is the cute little walk way you find and go down yup we’re going down that. Looks like that and like this. C’mon Bud. Everyday there’s something
called the daily Iwa. It’s basically a run down of everything that’s happening that day. The free activities
available, food activities. It’s available the night before around seven P.M. at the concierge desk and at Aunty’s Beach House. (phone rings) If you want to meet and
greet Disney characters you do have to call a special number from your hotel room phone. To know which characters
are around that day, what time they’ll be there
and where to find them. This honestly was a little
bit frustrating because the only character we even
saw out and about was Moana. But the other characters were
hidden throughout the resort and you honestly would have
no idea they were even there if you didn’t call the
number in the morning. So again that’s another thing
you have to remember to do if seeing the characters is a
big deal to you or your kids. Okay now is the time to talk
about the refillable mugs. You guys have probably
heard about this tip. You pay 19.95 per mug, and you can refill it
up as much as you want during your stay at
different drink stations located across the resort. If you are a soda
drinker or coffee drinker this will save you a lot of money versus paying for drinks
every time you want them and it also acts as a souvenir because you can take the mugs home. I would highly recommend that you do the Menehune Adventure Trail. Honestly, when I heard about this online and read about it, it
sounded pretty stupid. But it is the most magical
thing that Aulani has done. Let me show you what I mean. – This board’s gonna come to life! – What! – What! – That’s cool. – What! – It’s magic. – It is magic. – Oh my gosh how cool. If I would’ve known that Aulani was literally steps away from
the Four Seasons, right here. I would’ve booked reservations at the restaurants over here too. I just didn’t realize it was so close. But like we literally share the same bay. So that’s kinda like a
good tip to know too. Also remember that you can
check out boogie boards and beach and sand toys
for completely free. And if you plan to snorkel at Rainbow Reef pay attention to the prices because you can pay $20 or $15
per day or $39 or $29 to snorkel as much as you
want during your stay. There’s another sneaky charge
you may not know about. So I wanna make sure that I mention it. It is $37 per day to
self park at the resort or to have valet take care of your car. The only way it’s free is if you’re a Disney vacation card member. So that definitely adds up. Our Uber cost cost us
about $45 to $50 each way. And renting a car would’ve
cost us a lot more money. If you guys have never
used Uber or Lyft before, feel free to use my referral code if you want a discount
on your very first trip. I will give details below
in the YouTube description and a link for you guys to get that setup. Some of you might be a
little bit nervous to use Uber or Lyft on your
vacation with your kids. But we actually use
Uber and Lyft regularly on all of our vacations and
have never had an issue. Another thing you might wanna think about before you trip is the
Aulani PhotoPass service while you are there. It’s just like the PhotoPass
at the Disney parks. It does cost 99 dollars, But if you go into your
vacation planning on getting it You will take advantage
of all the photographers throughout the resort at the Luau, with the characters and all over. Keep your PhotoPass
cards and the wristbands from your kids time at Aunty’s Beach House Because they can scan your kids wristband if they take pictures of
them while they are there. And that was something I
didn’t know beforehand. Which is great because you
might even see discounts available on different
PhotoPass options online, that they did not have at Aulani. One thing we completely loved
at Aulani was their spa. It’s honestly one of the
best that we have been to. And we always make it
a point to use the spa at every resort we travel to. They even give you a free
coconut or mango body scrub with your service to say mahalo. And if you’re vacation club members, they also give free
upgrades with your services. Obviously spa services are not cheap. It is something to definitely
do while you are there. One genius thing that Aulani has done is create the Luana Lounge. It’s basically a place to go, take a shower and to get ready if your flight leaves
later than checkout time. So if your flight leaves at night but you have to checkout by 11 you have a place to go and
get ready before your flight. And now it’s time to talk about ways to save money when
booking your trip with Aulani. We did purchase a DVC membership last year because we do so many Disney trips. And after doing the math, it end up making our room so much cheaper than what they would have been at high season which is when we went. Because we went over Christmas. So if you wanna go, I would suggest looking
at the Aulani calendar. If you don’t know how to get there. I will link you guys to it below in my You Tube description of this video. It will actually show you
when rooms are the cheapest. When’s low season, when’s regular season, when high season is. And the cheapest times are typically when kids are
supposed to be in school. So keep that in mind. You’ll also find regular promotions and discounts on the
promotions page for Aulani. So I am gonna link you
guy to that below as well. So just head to my YouTube description if you wanna check out those links and figure out when
you wanna go to Aulani. Disney staff told us the busiest time, even busier than any of
their holidays is summer time because kids are outta school. You might wanna consider going at a different time of the year. And it will be cheaper anyway
because summer is high season. I know you may not want to do any sort of times or presentation
but I wanted to make sure you guys knew this. If you go through the
Disney vacation Club tour, you can get up to two
adult tickets to their Luau which are worth $258 for you guys to go and checkout Disney Vacation
Club while you’re there. If you don’t wanna do it, no big deal. But I did wanna make
sure that I mention it. Alright guys I hope
these Disney Aulani tips helped you guys, But I’m curious though, is there any other family destination or somewhere on your bucket list that you would want me to do
another video like this one. Full of all the things you
should know before you go. If so, will you guys comment below and tell me where you
guys are dying to go. We’ve done similar video like this one for Beaches Turks and Caicos, for Tahiti, for Disneyland for Atlantis in the Bahamas, and we have more travel planned
for the rest of this year. So majority rules on this one. So the more comments we have
for a specific bucket list destination the more
likely we’ll be able to head to that resort. Alright guys thank you
so much for watching. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel. So you guys don’t miss future videos And like this video if
it helped you at all and don’t forget to follow
me over on Instagram if you want more hacks,
tips, travel tips and more over at The Melea Show. Alright, thanks guys Bye. ( upbeat music and kids chatter) – [Man] You gotta get packed. (kids continue to chatter)


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