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Old 27 Jan 24, 07:29 PM  
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bambikate
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Aulani Waves and Disneyland Days: An Ohana Adventure - Day 2 Aloha Aulani!

Introduction and Index

Day 2 - Aloha Aulani!
Flying to Hawaii, collecting our car, Honolulu Kitchen, checking in to Aulani, shopping at Target and drinks by the pool.

We woke at 5:20am and woke the girls up by playing Hawaiian Roller Coaster ride Our flight was at 9:30am so we started to get ready. We had our stuff mostly packed and just the last few bits to go away and making to sure liquids over 100ml were back in the big cases again.

We could see what we thought might be our plane being prepared from our room - there she is!



Ready!



We left our room at 6:40am and checked out. We took the lift to the air train level and caught it straight away. There were two stops and the journey took 6 minutes to get from checking out to the international terminal. Checking in with Hawaiian Airlines was easy, we did it online (including paying for our bags which isnít included) this gives you electronic boarding passes, which you scan on the machine, click print and it prints all 4 hard copy boarding passes and 4 bag tags. We attached these to our bags then went up to the bag drop. There was only one family in front of us, we had beaten the queue by getting there so early.

After dropping off our checked luggage, we walked through to security, which was very easy. We were airside with about 2.5 hours to spare - probably a bit early but at least we could relax and get some breakfast now.

Speaking of which, the food at SFO airport was pretty pricey! They had a Boudin Bakery, which we were thrilled to bits about!









Immy decided on a cute little turtle bread, which set us back $8.77(!).

Andy then went to Black Point Cafe and bought a burrito, a coffee, 2 drinks for the girls and 3 cookies for him and the girls and this came toÖ $45(!) Nothing had prices on it and when Andy came back and told me the total, I assumed theyíd made a mistake but sadly not - the blue drinks we got the girls were $9 each - outrageous!



Izzy and I dithered a bit more and eventually found ourselves back at Boudin. I bought a breakfast sandwich and Izzy decided on a turtle bread too. Unsurprisingly, given the amounts above, we were overspent having only budgeted $43 for breakfastÖ

We found a nice quiet area to sit down and had our breakfast.

There are the $9 blue drinks in question!



My Boudin breakfast sandwich:



And the stinginess inside:



Andyís burrito:



So happy and excited!



We checked in for the flight about 45 mins before take off. It started off as a very big queue but it moved quickly.



We were flying economy and the seats were very comfy, clean and were in 2 by 2, which we prefer.





We were surprised at the amount of upselling though. Perhaps I just didnít do my research but we were surprised that headphones werenít included and cost $4 each. We had two with us so gave them to the girls and rather than spend another $8 we decided to do without and chatted, planned and made notes instead we also got a bit obsessed with the game 2408 on the headrests - have you played it? Itís so addictive!



They even tried to upsell snacks and drinks, the first thing they brought round was the premium snacks and drinks trolleys, when it first came round I thought there were no complimentary drinks or snacks as they didn't mention there would be complimentary food and drink afterwards.

Luckily, we waited and soon they brought round some food. We had obviously already eaten breakfast but not one to say no to free food we indulged - it was a breakfast croissant with turkey sausage - it was actually so good although we werenít that hungry. Adults could have a complimentary pour of their pre-made rum punch. Wine and beer was extra and we all had some Aloha maid pineapple and orange drink as well as some Diet cokes and water.



First glimpse of Hawaii





Look at this beautiful view! And look - itís Aulani!



The flight was pretty good overall and we arrived in Honolulu airport at 12:50pm.

We collected our bags pretty quickly then got on the shuttle and got the lifts to the car hire centre. We had booked with Avis again, when you first come out of the lifts Dollar was straight ahead and the queue was enormous! Hopefully it moved quickly for those joining it.

The Avis queue didnít extend outside like Dollarís did but it did snake round inside and move incredibly slowly. To get to the front took a whole hour, which was a bit annoying but we were just happy to be there. We were asked if we wanted to upgrade to which we said no.

The procedure was pretty similar to SFO airport: we got told where to collect the car, got the lift up to the garage and found it very quickly. We were given a Mazda CX5 which had loads of space. We packed our bags into the car and got used to the new set up in this car. The car was really comfortable. Sat Nav set up on my phone it was time to start driving!



Before going to our hotel for the week, we needed to get some lunch (two breakfasts just wasnít enough) and there was only one place we wanted to go - Honolulu Kitchen! We saw this on an Ordinary Adventures vlog and knew we had to try it out.



Honolulu Kitchen are famous for their deep fried Manapua as well as steamed Manapua, Bento and Dim Sum! If you donít know already, Manapua are a Hawaiian version of Chinese Bao and are usually steamed or baked but Honolulu Kitchen were the first place to deep fry them!

From the moment we walked in we were made such a fuss of. The owner "Unko" Steve made it the best experience for us. He had so many great stories to tell.

We knew we wanted a box of Manapua and to get as many different flavours to try as we could. They are cooked to order and you have a handwritten menu to choose from which changes every day depending on what they have available and they have specials too.



We chatted for ages with Steve gave us a free pork hash each to try (shumai) whilst we decided. We added 4 pork hash to our order as they were so good and he gave us 6



We ordered 16 Manapua to take with us - a mixture of sweet and savoury and steamed and deep fried. Steve said the steamed ones can be reheated for 30 seconds in the microwave the next day and theyíll be as good as new and the fried ones are better off eaten the day of. He also gave us two extra steamed ones and gave us a little show drawing on them with edible pens. They do amazing custom manapuas with literally anything you want on them - you just have to order ahead - look at their instagram they are absolutely incredible. Here are a few from their Instagram page:









We paid up and gave an extra $10 tip because we had such a great experience.





We then got in the car and drove to Aulani - snacking on some pork hash and manapua on the way!



Our deep fried choices - you can identify whatís inside by the markings on top!



Our steamed options!



Guess which one this is?



The road on the way to Aulani!



There it is!



We pulled up to Aulani and bell services cane up to our car, took our bags and parked the car for us (valet for check in is free) whilst we checked in.

The beautiful lobby



Our room was ready straight away which was great (it was around 3:30pm) We rented DVC Points from DVC rental store and had booked an Ocean View Studio. I put a request in via DVC rental store asking for the Ewa Tower and a high Floor and was pleased to find out these were both granted. We were given room 1272 in the Ewa Tower, which was the 12th floor. I requested this because I wanted a view of Waikolohe Valley and the Ocean beyond. I didnít realise when we booked but we could use our magic bands at Aulani - we had them with us for the Disneyland stay so were able to set these up and it was very convenient when having pool days etc.

The room was gorgeous and everything we had dreamed of. Andy asked the girls to wait in the hallway and let me check it out first - I nearly cried when I saw the view - an absolute dream come true!









Wallpaper!



Bell Services brought our bags to our room shortly after we checked in and after checking out our room and view and pinching ourselves a few times it was time to head out again to get some food and drink from Target!

Valet brought our car round and we drove the 11 minute drive to Target. We spent about 90 minutes browsing, looking for exclusive Hawaiian food and picking up essentials. The girls bought bikinis and cover ups, Andy and I got some Teremana to take home, we also picked up crisps, milk, cereal, bagels, bread, butter, beer, wine, water and laundry detergent.

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Edited at 07:57 PM.
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Old 27 Jan 24, 07:29 PM  
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Hawaiian goodies!





Izzy also bought herself a slushy at the self service machines. We took it all back to the hotel but couldnít carry it all in one trip so left some stuff in the boot of the car. We parked in the hotel garage which was free for DVC guests (or those renting points) and I believe you have to pay per night if you arenít staying in a DVC room.



We had some more manapuas for dinner and unpacked a bit and settled into our room. There was only one place on the girlsí minds - THE POOL!

I mean just look at this sunset!





We bought the refillable mugs which we could use for the length of our stay, exactly like the Disney World Resort mugs, filled these up with some soft drinks and then went to Off The Hook Bar and bought 2 Mai Tais!





We were celebrating Andyís 40th birthday whilst in Aulani (he turned 40 a few weeks after we went but we couldnít go in September due to being limited to school holidays) and he had a birthday pin and was given a free rice krispie treat!



The ambience at Aulani at night is *chefís kiss*







Andy and I relaxed poolside and watched the girls swim.





We headed back to our room at around 9:30pm and then called it a night!
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Old 27 Jan 24, 08:36 PM  
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Fantastic view from your room 👌
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Old 27 Jan 24, 11:16 PM  
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A great flight over, it was a good choice to stay at SFO!
Is it sad to admit Iím really looking forward to finding all the Hawaiian bits in Target 😂
Aulani looks stunning, your view is perfect! Although weíre not staying there, Iíd love to visit for dinner. Can you go there without being a guest for food like in WDW?
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Old 28 Jan 24, 10:30 AM  
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Oh wow, Aluani looks amazing! Simple travel day and just wow!
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Old 28 Jan 24, 11:15 AM  
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What a brilliant first experience of Aulani! It looks absolutely magical!

I love a Target trip, it's always a highlight!
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Old 28 Jan 24, 12:05 PM  
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Absolutely loving this trip report - lots of inspiration! Thank you for posting. xx
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Old 29 Jan 24, 12:18 AM  
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Originally Posted by Pep View Post
Fantastic view from your room 👌
Thank you - we were so happy with it! TFR!

Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
A great flight over, it was a good choice to stay at SFO!
Is it sad to admit Iím really looking forward to finding all the Hawaiian bits in Target 😂
Aulani looks stunning, your view is perfect! Although weíre not staying there, Iíd love to visit for dinner. Can you go there without being a guest for food like in WDW?
No not sad at all - it's super exciting!

Thank you so much - we loved staying there. Yes, you absolutely can! You can explore the resort including the beach (which is public) and go to the restaurants, the only thing that is restricted to guests (by use of the wrist bands) is character greeting (outside of the character breakfast) and the pools and beach chairs / equipment! TFR x

Originally Posted by margyloveswdw View Post
Oh wow, Aluani looks amazing! Simple travel day and just wow!
It was absolutely perfect! Thank you so much TFR x

Originally Posted by Wonder View Post
What a brilliant first experience of Aulani! It looks absolutely magical!

I love a Target trip, it's always a highlight!
Thank you so much - it was perfect! Yeah it's a highlight for us too! haha TFR x

Originally Posted by ccleveley View Post
Absolutely loving this trip report - lots of inspiration! Thank you for posting. xx
Ahh thank you so much, hope you get some inspo! TFR x
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Old 29 Jan 24, 09:08 AM  
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Great detailed report. We are going in summer and so it is interesting to see the detail like the Target. Have a 1 bed ocean view booked on our DVC points, flying in after staying in LA for 4 nights, got the flights to Hawaii on AA for 4, for 50,000 Avios, which is one of the best value Avios uses there is giving you up to £2 a point. Have 7 nights there, then back to SFO for 3 nights.
I will read the rest of your report with interest. Did you go to Monkey Pod or whatever itís called, across the road, looks good?
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Old 30 Jan 24, 08:23 PM  
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Originally Posted by YorkshireT View Post
Great detailed report. We are going in summer and so it is interesting to see the detail like the Target. Have a 1 bed ocean view booked on our DVC points, flying in after staying in LA for 4 nights, got the flights to Hawaii on AA for 4, for 50,000 Avios, which is one of the best value Avios uses there is giving you up to £2 a point. Have 7 nights there, then back to SFO for 3 nights.
I will read the rest of your report with interest. Did you go to Monkey Pod or whatever itís called, across the road, looks good?
Thank you so much! Ooh that sounds incredible! Hope you are able to pick up some helpful tips!

Yes we did on our last night! We loved it! TFR!
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