Planning a visit to Hawaii? Disney opens Aulani on Oahu
Published: August 31, 2011 at 12:27 PM
If you are, and you're a Disney fan, you've probably looked into Aulani, the new Disney resort that opened this week on Oahu.
Aulani is a Disney Vacation Club resort, joining Vero Beach and Hilton Head as DVC locations outside Disney's theme park resorts. If the prospect of a Hawaiian vacation is tipping the scales to get you to finally join DVC, hold on. You can't buy into Aulani right now, as Disney stopped selling into the resort while it sorts out the mess allegedly made by its former DVC management team. (But if you already are a DVC member, I understand that you still can use your points to get into Aulani.)
You don't need to be a DVC member to book a stay at Aulani - it's a regular hotel, too. (Though a pricey one - rooms start at $400 a night.) Here's a look at the resort's pool and one of its typical hotel rooms, in photos provided by Disney. (As you might have guessed, I haven't been. The ol' Theme Park Insider travel budget ain't that big yet.)
Given that Disney isn't selling the resort while it's getting the publicity the opening will generate (the official ceremony is next month), I wonder how Disney will try to grab attention when sales open up again. Perhaps we can expect a "very special episode" of some Disney Channel or ABC sitcom, where the characters just happen to decide to take a trip to Aulani?
Site unseen, what's your verdict? Planning a trip to Aulani? Thinking about a trip? Would rather stay elsewhere if you ever visit Hawaii? Personally, I remain partial to Ka'anapali Beach on Maui, where Laurie and I stayed when we visited a couple years back. (Aulani's located in Ko Olina, on the western shore of Oahu.) But I'd love to hear any island experts' take on Aulani's site.