Here are just a list of things I thought I would share with others that may be traveling to Hawaii and staying at Aulani:
1. Leave the resort. Don't fly all the way to Hawaii to sit at a resort. You could have saved yourself a lot of money, and just gone to one of the other Disney resorts. There is so much to see and do around Oahu.
2. Rent a car. If you don't want it for the whole time you are there, then at least for a couple of days. So you can go and see the rest of the island.
3. Don't waste your time in Honolulu or Waikiki. We didn't go, and were told by locals to avoid it. We don't feel like we missed out on anything. Unless you have a lot of money to burn at the expensive shops...
4. When you get a shave ice, just get one to share. They are huge, and melt fast. Buy one, share it, and if you still want more, get another one. I saw so many melted shave ice cups laying around the pool, because they are too big for kids to eat.
5. Go to McDonald's and get their Haupia pie! YUMMY!! (It's a coconut pie.)
6. The resort is huge, and spread out. Be prepared to walk! And if you have small children, bring a stroller. I was almost wishing we had brought one for Michael, and he is almost 4!
7. Make time to stay at the resort. I know I said to leave the resort in number 1, but you also need to at least stay at the resort one day to see what all they offer. We did an every other day approach and that worked really well for us. That way we didn't get so exhausted from going all day, every day.
8. Don't buy milk at the ABC store. It was twice as much as it was at walmart. Drive to the Walmart 2 miles away. It will save you $$$
9. Do buy your souvenirs from the ABC store, they are cheap! Walmart also has cheap souvenirs.
10. Drive on the H3 - the most beautiful views of the mountains!
11. Talk to the cast members at the resort about what to go do and see.
12. Use photopass. I wish we had used it more, and we ended up with over a hundred pictures. They are everywhere, you just have to look for them. On the Beach and in the pools too.
13. Don't expect a beautiful sunset every night. I went expecting that, and was so disappointed when we only had one! If you get more than one, then it will be a pleasant surprise. I'm not sure if it was the time of year, or just the weather we were having, but it seems like every night, there were clouds blocking the sunset.
14. The ground by the pools gets very hot! I don't think you need water shoes, but you will definitely need shoes if you are going to be walking any further than just to the pool from your chair.
15. We didn't do this, but we saw a lot of people doing it. Make lunch in your room, and bring it down to the pool to eat. This will save you lots of $$$.
16. Another $$$ saving tip, eat at local restaurants. They are not as expensive as you might think. We ate at a few different places and never experienced sticker shock when we got the bill. We did, however, think the prices at Monkey Pod were high. Zippy's was really good, and wanted to go back, but never got a chance to.
17. We rented our car through carrentalhawaii.com. We got a midsize for 8 days for $228. Saved a lot of money.
I think that is all for now. If I think of anything else, I will add it. These are just my opinions, based on my experience, so if you had a different experience with any of these, please leave a comment.
Thanks for reading along. Hope you enjoyed it!