We really enjoyed the Aulani back in February except that the "Live with Kelly" show was there and did intrude on where, what and when guests had full access to the resort. The Starlite Hui show was canceled because that area was where the stage was being constructed. One night the better part of Ama Ama restaurant was taken over for a dinner for staff, cast, etc. of the "Live with Kelly" show. Areas here and there would be closed for periods of time for promos and what not. At least the people going during construction will have a warning as to what is going on and know about certain closures. We didn't. The "Kelly" show also took over the whole tower of 3 bedroom grand villas for about a week. We were fortunate enough to be able to get one of those 3 bedroom grand villas, but had to move down to a 2 bedroom and a studio for our last 3 nights because they took over that whole tower.
Anyway, even with all that, we still had a fabulous time. We had a great 3 generation family vacation. They do need more walk up counter food availabilities, and more variety of choices especially for the kids. I hear mixed reviews of Ama Ama all the time. We ate there twice. The first time both the food and service was exceptional. The second time the food was still great, but the service not so good. If we hadn't eaten there before, and known that the service could be exceptional, we probably wouldn't have thought the food was that great for the price. I think it is a combination of exceptional service and good to great food that justifies the price.The Makahiki restaurant is the one we don't have a desire to go back to except if our grandson wants to do the breakfast with Mickey again. Although, I hear that there are changes in store for that one too. So, maybe. Also heard that Mama's Snack Shop has opened up this summer and has more kid friendly choices. We would have welcomed that during our vacation.
I'll be sad to see the rays go, but our condo overlooked the preserve and while there were people taking in the experience, it was never really busy. While it was cool to have them there right there on site, the space probably could be better utilized.
I never really saw outsiders using the pool area. You do need wrist bands to enter pools and get towels. We did see some people who had eaten at one of the restaurants walking around checking the place out. The beaches, as said before in Hawaii are all public, but we never encountered any over crowding in our cove area even with sharing it with the Marriott next door. But we did wonder what the crowds at the pool were going to be once the whole resort was up and going. It is true that there are some lounges with towels on them all day and no one ever comes and lays on them. We are guilty of getting lounges in the morning because of my DH walking limitations (we try to get them as close to where we go in and out of the hotel as we can) but then we do use them and we weren't taking up the prime front row areas. We did find that there were still lounges available later in the day, but maybe not exactly where you wanted to be.
The lazy river is relaxing. Our 6 year old grandson thought it was great fun not to use the rafts and just swim along with us. He would swim with the current and thought he really was a speed swimmer.
We feel that the quiet pool should be an adults only pool. It is pretty small and when kids get going in it, it gets pretty noise and splashy. My one daughter and her husband would go over there to read and get peace and quiet from the main pools and it would ruin their peace time when kids would invade that small out of the way pool.
All of us girls had massages and spent the afternoon at the spa one day. We had a glorious time hanging out there together.
We have been to Oahu several times so we didn't feel the need to go off exploring much. Just took the grandson up to North Shore to see the big waves and drive around the island. Otherwise, we spent the rest of our 11 days hanging out at the resort and never got tired of it.
We are planning on going back in 2014 or 15. We are looking forward to seeing the changes. It will be interesting to see what all they will have done by then. My feeling is that it can only get better. But, it is good now.
Thread: More info on Aulani expansion
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This expansion of the pool area and dining options is a very positive development.
Aulani became my favorite resort anywhere (Disney or otherwise) on our trip last month.
But I did have a few concerns about overcrowding once the new villas come on line.
It sounds like they're addressing those concerns before they become a problem.
I'm sure it's disapointing to those visiting during the construction.
But as long as that amazing lazy river is open, trust me, it's all good!!!*JEFF*
UPCOMING DISNEY TRIPS
DLR - June 2013 GRAND CAL
WDW - July 2013 SSR, BWV & BLT
HAWAII- September 2013 AULANI
07-30-2012,05:01 PMHaving fun with the Journey.