I (May aka Mom) usually write the blog posts but Elizabeth being the biggest Marvel fan of the bunch wanted to take on Ragnarok. I will tell you we ALL loved the movie and are glad we saw it in theaters. It’s worthy! Here is what Elizabeth has to say – all spoiler free.
When we first heard that Disney’s Aulani was opening we thought… nah. Not for us. We were wrong – and now in addition to this being our home DVC resort we are preparing for our FOURTH visit. To say we’re obsessed would be an understatement!
Aulani is a Disney resort tucked away on a quiet shore of Oahu, in a little community with everything you’ll need for a quiet and relaxing Hawaiian vacation. It is also our absolute favorite resort destination and in this post we’ll be explaining why. In future posts we’ll share our best tips, suggestions, and planning guide. We are lucky to go back in a few months – and after we do we’ll be sure to share a LOT of trip reports, favorites, photos, and more!
Ok so why is it our favorite? First my “planner mom” logistical reasons:
- Easy to get cab/shuttle from airport, and no need to rent a car
- Groceries available across street
- Variety of food from ready to eat groceries to fine dining within walking
- Kids club (no extra fee!!) with wristbands for kids that is very secure
- Entire resort amazing so you can just sit back, relax, and go nowhere else!
Let’s also talk about the on-site fun:
- multiple restaurants from quick service to fine dining
- snorkeling in ocean or their own stocked special area
- boat, paddle board, other ocean fun on site
- multiple pools and slides
- little kid areas (water play)
- kids club
- teen club
- walking distance to awesome Luau (Paradise Cove), and many more restaurants and services
- evening entertainment
- daily activities and character meet & greets
I spoke of the extra fees – many Hawaiian resorts charge for every little thing kids club to beach chairs to umbrellas – Aulani does a great job of including a LOT for your room fee. They have complimentary beach toys (and chairs & umbrellas), kids club as I mentioned before, ice water all over the place, exercise classes, family activities, and more. Yes, some things are an extra charge but it will be things like spa services, snorkeling, etc.
We love that you can get Dole Whip, awesome shaved ice, and a lot of other tasty treats too. My daughters have their own opinions on what is the best at Aulani and made this video on YouTube :
The rooms form a “U” around the majority of the resort with a wide variety of pools, slides, a lazy river, and areas for the tiny kiddies to enjoy splashing and playing with other little ones. This makes it easy to stake out a spot (depending on your family preferences) and relax! It also means even the most active folks can find tons to do.
They have (free!) fun activities such as the video game where you walk around with a borrowed tablet and solve mysteries as the resort comes to life and interacts with you. This can be borrowed from the rec room – another great place!
Aulani is also beautifully landscaped with pathways and details from the flowers to the architecture. You’ll find so many interesting things to look at, see, and do. There is no bad room at Aulani – even if your room faces the parking area it won’t matter. You’re steps away from tons of seating areas and relaxing tropical fun.
While this is a Disney resort and characters do show up, it is first and foremost a Hawaiian resort. The theming, colors, and feel is that of paradise – a paradise Mickey, Minnie, and their pals happen to be visiting too.
We will go over best tips for booking, suggestions for activities, food, and more in future posts. This is a DVC resort so if you are a member you can use points, or rent points if you aren’t. You can also watch for good discount deals, free breakfast, and other offers from Aulani directly if you are flexible with your dates.
If you want a resort to relax at with enough to keep everyone happy – for a truly relaxing just sit down and enjoy vacation – it doesn’t get better than Aulani. When we visit we tend to simply stay put. There are walking paths, golf, restaurants, and so much more to keep us relaxing, unwinding, and happy to simply stay at Aulani all day long.
Around here it’s Disneyland Paris planning time! Next year we will take our very first trip to Europe and to this park. Everything is wildly new and overwhelming and I had to finally step way back and remind myself that I know how to do this! I just need a good plan in place to plan the trip! (yes, a plan for planning)
This is a subject we will cover a lot here on our blog, but to start we thought we would share the very beginning steps that we take when planning a Disney vacation. The steps we follow are:
- If this is your first visit: log onto the Disney Parks website, watch a few promo videos, look over the map, and get a sense of what you’re dealing with. Depending on which location and what your experience level is with Disney Parks this will give you a glimpse at what you’ll be looking at.
- Punch in the dates you think you’ll visit and get a quote. Be prepared for sticker shock – this is just to gauge where pricing is vs your budget and get a baseline started.
Think of this as the background research. Disney puts so much detail into their resorts, and so spending some time doing your own research will ensure you have a great trip, don’t miss out on any special happenings, and book the best trip for your needs! One of the key components to our blog here is to help share all of the knowledge gained planning (and taking!) fabulous Disney trips.
Once you’ve got a baseline of knowledge (how many parks, resort options, staying Disney vs elsewhere, etc) you can start imagining a trip in general. How many days you can spend or that you think are optimal, where a good place to stay will be, and transportation are the big three that I begin with.
I could spend months on these just debating pros and cons, struggling with indecision, but the bottom line is this:
Once you have a timeline, budget, and other basic parameters laid out for the trip THEN the real planning fun begins!
Oh, sure it’d be ideal in my mind to have three weeks in a suite at Disney World… but I have neither the time nor money to make that happen. Every trip has constraints – so once you know when you’re going, how long you’ll be there, and where you are staying then you can get to the fun part. The planning of where to eat, what to see, how to prioritize, and what are your “must do” items.
The real key is to break down the process so that you can plan effectively – and have a magical trip! We have years of experience and will be sharing our best tips and tricks and try our best to save you time and help you plan your very best trips. Stay tuned for MUCH more!
This is post #1 of many – exciting! My name is May (aka mom). I am the main editor/writer/producer of the content here, however my two sidekicks Elizabeth and Rebecca (aka my daughters) star in videos, write their own ideas, posts, and scripts, and come up with a LOT of content for this blog and for our trips in general. Heck – that’s how we came up with this crazy idea for a blog! I hope you’ll stay tuned and enjoy – we have a lot to share…