Family In Aulani lobby; back facing
  • On Jan 6, 2024
    Kelly from NY Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    My family is very excited for our first trip to Hawaii. We’re not DVC, but booked a 1-BR at Aulani. We’re arriving on a redeye at 6 am in Honolulu and dreading the wait for 4 pm check in. Would love tips on how to spend that arrival day! Thank you!

    Aloha, Kelly--thanks for visiting our happy 'Ohana here at planDisney! I'm looking forward to helping you with your question today. 

    I am so excited for your upcoming trip to Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa! Aulani is a tropical paradise that is deeply rooted in Hawaiian traditions, legends, and art--with some uniquely Disney touches that make it a vacation destination unlike any other. Our family visited Aulani for our very first Disney Vacation Club trip as Members and it holds a special place in our hearts!

    Upon landing in Honolulu, you may decide to explore the island of Oahu a bit before heading west to Ko Olina, where Aulani is located. The Activities section of the Aulani website lists many great options--our family made time on our vacation to visit the iconic beaches of Waikiki, take surfing lessons on the North Shore, and visit the DOLE pineapple plantation! I would recommend not booking any official tours or excursions for your arrival day in case you have flight delays, but there is plenty to see and do (and EAT) all around the island that doesn't require much advance planning. 

    If you're looking for a more relaxed arrival day, I'm happy to report that you and your family will be able to enjoy the resort beginning at 6:00 AM on your check-in day--you don't have to wait for your room to be ready. Complete Online Check-In to make your arrival a (tropical) breeze, store your luggage at the Bell Services desk, and dive right into all of the beauty that Aulani has to offer!  I can't think of a better way to spend the day than floating in the lazy river in the Waikolohe Valley Pool (my girls say it is their all-time favorite!), saying Aloha to our favorite Disney Characters, and taking a stroll along Ko Olina Beach. There are also plenty of dining options available for your family to have a casual poolside lunch before check-in. 

    During your time at Aulani, I highly recommend reserving a private photography session. Your family will have a 20-minute session along the beach, and the photographers are amazing at capturing a variety of different shots. We came away with beautiful family photos and also some fun shots, like my youngest standing in the ocean posing like Moana. All of the images are available for digital downloads, as well.

    Kelly, I know that you will love Aulani--if you want to learn more about Disney Vacation Club membership during your stay, you can visit the Disney Vacation Club office just down the hall from the resort front desk for more information on current specials and the newest DVC offerings coming in 2024. 

    Wishing you a wonderful family vacation where the sky meets the sea! Please visit us again at planDisney anytime if we can help with any other tips. 


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Meet the Panelist: Susan, Michigan

Hi there! I'm Susan, a pixie-dusted pediatric nurse and Disney Vacation Club specialist. I'm married to my own Mr. Incredible and we have two fantastic teenage daughters. Our family has been making Disney memories for four generations, and I'm so excited to help you plan your own magical adventures as part of the planDisney panel. Welcome home! Learn More About Susan

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