Maybe Switching from Cruise


Earning My Ears
May 14, 2020
My wife and I are supposed to go on a cruise with Disney 8/31 and we have never cruised so we don't want to have to switch but we may be forced and or concerned with restrictions placed. What would be the best option to book through (the website or a DVC member)? I assume food is pay as you go but how expensive is eating there? Any special tips and or things we should look at for Aulani?


DIS Veteran
Apr 12, 2009
Eating in Hawaii is the most expensive part of the trip. Food everywhere is expensive, food at Aulani is very very expensive. Personally I would normally book through DVC rental but with all the pain in the butt if they end up cancelling I would likely suggest just booking through Aulani. I have the feeling they will have some discounts once they open up again


DIS Veteran
Jul 29, 2012
I just posted the information below in another Aulani thread, but you may find it helpful as you plan. Here are several questions to ask yourself as you plan:

1) What type of vacation do you want? Do you plan to only stay at Aulani or will you tour Oahu?

2) Do you plan to rent a car to get around or will you do so by booking tours?

3) Will you book a regular hotel room or a room that has a kitchen or kitchenette (studio/villa)?

...Depending on the traffic, its location in Ko Olina is about 30-45 minutes from Waikiki. While Aulani has tours that leave from the resort, they only leave on certain days of the week. It is possible to stay at Aulani without renting a car, but means you have to plan more carefully. Aulani has an Alamo Car Rental on property, but it is highly recommended that you book in advance as they do sell out.

I only visit Aulani during high peak times (summer/holiday). Because Aulani has become more popular since it opened, it tends to be very busy. This means that you often need to make table service reservations well in advance of your stay. It can also be challenging to find pool chairs at the main pool if you are a late sleeper, but there are normally chairs available at the beach.

Below are some tips to help you plan your stay:

1) If you haven’t already, check the TripAdvisor reviews and pictures for the resort. There is a lot to do at Aulani and a daily schedule of events (Daily ‘Iwa) is available each day.

2) Guests who plan ahead make the most of their stay. Reservations for certain services and activities can be made as early as 180 days ahead. If you’re not into that level of planning, realize that you may not be able to experience everything on your list.

3) The ABC Store across the street is where you can get food, souvenirs, etc. There are also other shops and restaurants there so you can eat within any budget. Things in Hawaii are more expensive. Don’t expect to find the prices you have at home. Aulani has a small store in the lobby, but you will pay for the convenience.

4) Check-in is 3 or 4pm, depending on the type of accommodation booked. While you can arrive at anytime, don’t expect your room to be ready before then. You can still enjoy the resort and pool while you wait...
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