Need advice RE: Pearl Harbor

Discussion in 'Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa' started by dachsie, Apr 12, 2019 at 12:21 PM.

  1. dachsie

    dachsie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    3,379
    Ok - my coworker and I are going to a conference on the Big Island and then transferring to Aulani. My original plan was to fly to Oahu landing about 10:30am on a Sunday and pick up rental car and then go to Pearl Harbor for tour before checking into Aulani. However, I am reading stuff about not having your stuff visible in car while at Pearl Harbor due to break-ins and I am sure with two large suitcases, one would have to go to the backseat. Now I am not sure what to do.

    1. Do I stay with original plan?
    2. Do we check in Aulani, leave stuff and then maybe go to Dole Plantation and Halewia to shop or Waimea Falls and then head back?
    3. Do we do an afternoon jungle tour at Kualoa Ranch after check in?
    4. Do we just stay at resort and go to pools/beach while waiting for room and try to fit everything in on different days?

    I was hoping to get a full 3 days at resort with two for touring but that was based on Pearl Harbor being on arrival day.

    One tour day was to be Kualoa 8:45 tour then head up Northshore, Waimea Falls, Watch surfing, Turtles, Halewia and then Dole if had time. If not catch Dole one morning when they open and then go to Resort for rest of day.

    The other tour day was Tantalous lookout, Nu'uana Pali lookout, Boots and Kimons breakfast, lanikea beach and maybe Kailua beach then head to Hanuma Bay in afternoon then to Halewia Joes on windward side for early dinner

    Any advice appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    16,937
    You're right that its risky to leave items in the car at Pearl Harbor. In addition to that, you usually need to get there early in the morning for standby tickets for the Arizona tour, unless you can secure an ideal tour time 60 days in advance online. Arriving late morning may be rolling the dice in terms of getting a tour time.

    This is an option, however its best to do Dole Plantation when they open at 9:30. The lines for the attractions grow longer as the day goes on, and parking can also be a challenge at times.

    Another option, just keep in mind that its a minimum hour's drive to Kualoa Ranch from Aulani, with no traffic. We drove there during rush hour traffic and it took us 1 hr 45 mins. With an afternoon tour, you'd be fine going there but would likely run into rush hour traffic on the way home. I would suggest going to Kailua or somewhere for dinner after the tour to kill time and let some of the traffic die down.

    This would be my vote. You can check-in and if your room isn't ready, you can store your bags. Explore the resort, relax, check out the surrounding area. Monkeypod across the street is great for happy hour. You could also drive up to the North Shore for dinner to check out Haleiwa, but as mentioned above, I wouldn't try to do Dole Plantation at the same time. Dole could be done another time, or frankly not at all - it was a one and done for us.
     
    Nagle likes this.
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. dachsie

    dachsie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    3,379
    Ok so how would this work?

    Have breakfast at Ama Ama about 7:30-7:45 then leave to arrive at Dole plantation for 9am to visit. Then head to Pearl Harbor for 2pm tour. I think if we leave Dole by 11 we could go straight to PH and visit the museums and such before the Arizona tour. I did a test run the other day and feel I can secure the tickets in advance pretty easily. Then head back to Aulani and do the luau that evening.
     
  5. kyton

    kyton Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Messages:
    224
    You won’t be a Dole that long - it is more like a comfort stop for most people. The maze took 10-15mins for our young kids to complete, the train ride is pretty small - it really is a glorified gift shop with a restaurant attached.

    Pearl Harbor can take many many hours if you go to all the sites - my 11yo and I were there for close to 8hrs last year. The Arizona and Bowfin are located next to one another whilst the Missouri and Pacific Aviation are located elsewhere. You have to queue and wait for shuttles as well as then actually travel to those places. They run regularly but if the first bus is full, then you have to wait.
     
    keishashadow likes this.
  6. Midoria

    Midoria Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2016
    Messages:
    334
    I'd keep in mind the access to the Arizona remains closed until fall 2019: https://www.nps.gov/valr/uss-arizona-memorial-closure.htm

    According to the site:

    "In lieu of USS Arizona Memorial programs, visitors are taken on a 30-minute narrated harbor tour of Battleship Row and the area around the USS Arizona Memorial. They are able to see the wreck of USS Arizona and take photographs of the memorial. Tickets are still required. Visitors can get walk-in tickets at the visitor center on a first come, first served basis, or reserve tickets online at www.recreation.gov."
     
  7. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    16,937
    Its about a 30 minute commute from Aulani to Dole Plantation. They open at 9:30am, so I would leave Aulani around 8:45 to allow for traffic that time of morning if a weekday. If you get there shortly after 9:30, I think that would be fine too. We arrived right around 9:30, and left around 11:30. We're just two adults, and all we did was the train ride, browse the gift shop, and have a Dole whip. We waited maybe 15 minutes for the next train, and probably another 10 minutes in line for a Dole whip.

    Is Dole a must do? Typically people combine Dole with the North Shore. Personally, I think the North Shore would be better to visit than Dole if you only have time for one.

    Its about another 30 minute drive from Dole to Pearl Harbor. It took us about an hour to see all the museum sections before our Arizona tour. Clearly, the amount of time will vary by party. With a 2pm tour, you may hit some rush hour traffic heading back to Aulani. That may be a good night to visit Waikiki if you're planning that. You'd be going the opposite direction of traffic and by the time you're ready to head back to Aulani, it will have subsided.
     
  8. dachsie

    dachsie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    3,379
    Hmm - would it be better then to book the 1pm tour? We do plan a north shore day on a separate day but in order to do Dole on a morning, this is what I came up with. Otherwise, we have to do Dole on an afternoon which no one is recommending
     
  9. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    16,937
    Gotcha. I would still plan on the 2pm Pearl Harbor tour, just so you're not rushing at Dole. There's no telling how long lines will take at Dole, so I would do the attractions you want to do first in case you have to cut one to make Pearl Harbor. I would rather contend with traffic on the way back to Aulani, because at least you don't need to be anywhere by a certain time.
     
  10. dachsie

    dachsie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    3,379
    Except that is the luau day. Argh! Then again, traffic cant be near as bad as what I drove in today in Houston. If we left PH at 3:15 we would surely get to Aulani in time for the luau at 5.
     
  11. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    16,937
    If your Pearl Harbor tour to the Arizona is at 2pm, that's at least 45 minutes. The tour begins with a 15-20 minute video, 5 minute ride to the memorial, and then I think you have about 15-20 minutes to tour the memorial, and then another 5 minute ride back. Plus the time you'll need to tour the museum area. I would allot at least until 4pm for Pearl Harbor. It took us about two hours, and we are not history buffs. It can take much longer than that for someone who's very interested and wants to see all the exhibits.

    Does the luau start at 5? I'd think you'd want to arrive before that to check-in and get your assigned table. With no traffic its a 30 minute drive from Pearl Harbor to Aulani. You'll be going with the traffic during rush hour, so I'd figure about an hour commute. Could be worse or could be less.

    If it were me, I'd scrap Dole Plantation and do a morning tour at Pearl Harbor. Dole is cute, but it was a one and done for us. A tourist trap. Its fine if you have the time, but I would not make a tight schedule just to accommodate it, and I wouldn't lose sleep over missing it either.
     
  12. keishashadow

    keishashadow Proud Redhead...yes, I have some bananas!

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Messages:
    25,459
    I was strongly warned on other boards that it’s not just ‘visible’ luggage that is at issue. In response to me questioning whether better to do Kuola ranch on way from Waikiki to Aulani or take a day when there to drive up (yes i posted Q here too lol).

    IDK seems odd to me that in a commerical open air lot, during day hours, it would be especially common to break into a car’s trunk.:confused3

    I’m told it gets busy in December, especially on the actual rememberance day. Had no problem getting our tix for upcoming trip but I did go back in a bit later the same day to switch time to later slot and all were spoken for already. There are always walkups & have read often tour operators with extras they didn’t use (ala scalpers but at face value) in the parking lot of all things. Wouldn’t recommend
     
  13. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    16,937
    I've heard of thefts from the trunk as well. Its hard for me to wrap my head around too, but having been there, the parking lots are large and some a good distance away from the gates. I guess its possible for thieves to case the quieter parts of the lot. Either way, I wouldn't want to take my chances. I've also heard the same advice regarding public beaches as well - not to leave items of value in the car, because theft among tourists is rampant.
     
  14. keishashadow

    keishashadow Proud Redhead...yes, I have some bananas!

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Messages:
    25,459
    Apparently, even the large attractions aren’t big on installing security cameras in their lots nor have much in the way of employees devoted to that aspect of tourism.

    Had assumed the garage at Aulani would be ok but, now at the point where I guess we should lug our ‘cruise’ suitcase into our studio.

    most beaches don’t appear to have much in way of a tree or lounger to even chain a kyss bag as we’ve always done in the Caribbean without incident sigh. We will be doing the small waterproof bags in the waters in Hawaii and a waterproof camera that we can attach to our person vs iphones when on the beach.
     
  15. dachsie

    dachsie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    3,379
    I would get all of the museum stuff done before the 2pm tour so we could leave right after it. Do you not think that would work?
     
  16. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    16,937
    You mean between Dole Plantation and the 2pm tour? Its definitely possible to do that, but you wouldn't have a ton of time. As I mentioned before, it took us a little over two hours at Dole to do the train ride, get a Dole Whip, and browse the gift shop. We didn't do the maze or any other activities. We got there around 9:30 and were pulling out of the parking lot around 11:45, if memory serves. You could be at Pearl Harbor by 12:15-12:30, which would give you a little over an hour to browse the museum stuff. That was enough time for us, but admittedly we are not history buffs. I'd also think you'd want to grab a quick lunch in there too. I don't recall what they have at Dole outside of Dole Whips, but there is a very small café at Pearl Harbor where you could grab a quick bite. Its enough time if you don't run into any snags, and assuming you only want to do one or two things at Dole.
     
  17. dachsie

    dachsie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    3,379
    Thank you for your help. It bums me about not being able to do it on Sunday because of the risk of vandalism but we will adapt. Am looking forward to the trip for sure.
     
    nkereina likes this.
  18. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    16,937
    dachsie likes this.

Share This Page