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Visiting Hawaii is always a special vacation, but taking it a step further and spending your Hawaiian time at Disney’s Aulani is a magical treat for the entire family. From the time you are greeted at the resort entrance with your lei your luxury vacation as begun. This is truly a vacation that can be as relaxing or as active as you like. With spa services to exciting excursions, there is something for everyone.

Activities/Pool

There are plenty of activities to keep every member of your family busy. Excursions include Pearl Harbor, horseback riding, surfing lessons and shopping.  The Daily ‘Iwa will list the daily activities, which is broken down by age group and family focused, including character appearances.

There are pools and whirlpools scattered throughout the pool deck catered to both children and adults. The highlight for many is the lazy river, which runs throughout the pool deck.  By spreading out the multiple pools into separate areas, you don’t get a sense for the number of people and makes it feel less crowded.

Another popular pool area is Rainbow Reef, a snorkeling pool. Watch your snorkeler and take advantage of a great photo opportunity at the underwater viewing window.

The lagoon is a wonderful alternative to the pool. Since it is an enclosed area, you do not need to be concerned with waves or large sea life. It is perfect for paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling and swimming.

Character Interactions

It wouldn’t be Disney without a character meeting. There are plenty of opportunities to visit with Mickey, Minnie, Lilo and Stitch and more.  You can have a photo opportunity with your favorite characters at the Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration buffet.  You may even catch Goofy getting his paws wet in the zero entry pool.  But also check the Daily ‘Iwa for a listing of Disney Friends Meet and Greets.

Rooms

There is a room accommodation to fit almost any family size.

Rooms & Suites

Standard Room – Sleeps 4

1 Bedroom Suite – Sleeps 5

1 Bedroom Suite Deluxe – Sleeps 5

2 Bedroom Suite – Sleeps 6

 

Villas – 1, 2 and 3 Bedroom Suites include a full kitchen

Deluxe Studio – Sleeps 4

1 Bedroom Villa – Sleeps 5

2 Bedroom Villa – Sleeps 9

3 Bedroom Grand Villa – Sleeps 12

 

Dining Options

There are countless dining options onsite as well as nearby the resort.  Onsite there are quick service options by the pool and beach that are open from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Otherwise, sit down options include Makahiki Buffet for breakfast and dinner and ‘Ama’Ama for beachside dining. Reservations are recommended for both.

Off property options include Monkey Pod and Just Taco restaurants that are located across the street from the resort.  Monkey Pod has a Happy Hour from 3-5 with ½ off appetizers and $9.00 pizzas.

If you opt for a villa, the 1, 2 & 3 bedrooms also include a full kitchen. There is an ABC Store across the street as well as a Target and Costco a few miles away if you would like to grab groceries and have a few home cooked meals in your room.

Transportation

To get to and from the airport, you can rent a car, use a shuttle service or take a taxi.  If you plan on doing activities off the resort property during your stay, a rental car may be the most economical option. Using a www.DiscountHawaiiCarRental.com will help you find the lowest rates available.  Keep in mind, Aulani does charge $35/day to park, but is free for DVC members.

Rental cars are also available at the resort through Alamo if you would like to explore the island. Disney recommends www.speedishuttle.com and www.charleystaxi.com as other options to getting to/from the airport and getting around the island.

Weddings

I can’t think of a better setting for a wedding than Hawaii. For those looking for a destination wedding, there are 2 small wedding chapels located next to the property with the backdrop being the lagoon.

My family recently visited Aulani and I would be happy to help you plan your Aulani vacation as well as share some cost saving ideas.

Janene Jaroscak

Travel Specialist

 

DMM Atlanta 005 (1)What do bowling and sushi have in common?  If you guessed Splitsville Luxury Lanes in Downtown Disney, than you got a strike.  Disney opened Splitsville in the west side of Downtown Disney in December of 2012.  Disney describes this unique venue as a retro-style bowling alley with a fresh spin on music, dining and entertainment

 My family and I wanted to try something different on our yearly trip to Disney.  We had heard the food was amazing at Splitsville, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to use a table service credit on bowling alley food.  Wow was I surprised to find sushi, steak fajita bowls and Mahi Mahi.  They have a menu that will please just about any palate.  Having a large dining party, allowed us to try many different dishes.  We devoured the grilled salmon, Mahi Mahi, steak fajita bowl, alley nachos, and BBQ chicken pizza then ended the meal with brownie a la modes, root beer floats, and a giant size piece of carrot cake.  It was a fabulous meal in a fun environment. 

After our meal, we toured Splitsville to see all of the fun things that they had to offer.   When you first arrive you will find bowling lanes grouped throughout the lower level with a walk-up Sushi Bar.  Splitsville offers a variety of colorful bowling balls and they even have ones that have Mickey’s and Minnie’s engraved on them. 

  There are retro style booths arranged throughout the lower level and even outside seating.  The second floor boasts more of an adult atmosphere with pool tables, multiple bars, small dance floor and a large veranda with outside seating. 

 We found Splitsville to be a “perfect game” for our family.  There is space for everyone to kick back and relax, and plenty of opportunity for a little friendly competition.  If you are on the dining plan, you can use your table service credits to dine here.  Be sure to get a reservation, Splitsville is a popular spot any night of the week.  

Roxanne Genovese

Travel Specialist

Fantasmic Mickey compressed

One of the most popular shows at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland is Fantasmic! During the busiest seasons, guests will start waiting up to 2 hours before the show to watch this 25 minute spectacle. But waiting for a long period of time is not the only way you can see this amazing show. For those guests headed to Walt Disney World, there is another option to ensure your seat in this show – Disney’s Fantasmic! Dining Package.

Disney’s Fantasmic! Dining Package is a limited package. Those guests with this package will dine at their reservation and at the end of their meal they will receive tickets allowing entry into a designated seating section for the Fantasmic! show held that night. With park admission and your meal, there is no additional cost to have the show option added, however the meal itself will be at a fixed price. But is the package worth it? That answer depends on your family and the time of year that you are visiting Hollywood Studios, the theme park where this show is held.

Fantasmic! dining is limited in the restaurants that offer this package. Guests can choose to dine at Hollywood & Vine, Mama Melrose Ristorante Italinano, or Hollywood Brown Derby (this option costs 2 dining credits) for dinner. Dinner times start as early as 3:30 pm with the last seating at 6 pm. Your VIP show tickets will be handed to your dining party at the end of the meal. The package can be used with plus dining and deluxe dining plans. On nights that Disney offers 2 Fantasmic! showings, your tickets will be for the first performance. You will still need to head to your seats at least 30 minutes before the show begins to guarantee they will be saved. If, for any reason, Fantasmic! is cancelled that night, your tickets will not be reissued.

If your heart is to eat at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater or 50’s Prime Time Café during your stay at Walt Disney World or if you will be at Hollywood Studios during a non-peak time, enjoy your preferred meal and head to the Fantasmic! show early. Alternatively, if there are two showings of Fantasmic! on your night at the park, the second performance will be less busy, easier to find seats, and a great option for families that are willing to stay a few extra hours.

For families where watching Fantasmic! is a high priority attraction, consider talking to your travel agent about booking the dining package. With reserved seats in addition to a delicious meal, you’re in for a great treat at Hollywood Studios!

Michelle Browne 

Travel Specialist

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There are many perks for guests staying at a Walt Disney World resorts, including Disney Dining plans that include a Rapid Refill Mug.   The Dining Plan makes a lot of sense and can easily save you money while dining at the parks, resorts and Downtown Disney.   To learn more details about the Dining plan options, be sure to check out our blog Dining Plan vs No Dining Plan. http://www.meandthemouse.com/dining-plan-or-no-dining-plan

Resort Refillable mugs, now called Rapid Refills, are included in the 2014 Dining Plan packages or can be purchased separately if you are not on the dining plan.  Rapid Refill mugs are used only at the resorts.  There are no drink stations within the parks for your mugs.  With these souvenir mugs, you can enjoy unlimited fountain drinks, tea and coffee for the duration of your stay.  

What do I need to know?  Everyone on the dining plan (ages 3+) will get their own mug.  You can pick up these mugs in the food service area of your resort.  Rapid Refill Mugs come in a variety of colors, so everyone can choose their favorite.  Rapid Fill drink mugs have an RFID chip(radio frequency identification) in them and the mug must be activated before you can use it at the Rapid Refill drink stations.  You must wait 2-3 minutes before getting your next beverage refill.  The Rapid Fill Screen will let you know how long till your next refill is available.  

If you don’t have a Disney Dining Plan, you will need to decide how many days you would like to activate your drink mug for.

$8.99    1 day

$11.99   2 days

$14.99   3 days

$17.99   Length of Stay

Regular Paper Cups are still available and these are also “programmed” with RFID chips. With the paper cup option,  you are currently allowed 3 refills within an hour. Once you have enjoyed either 3 refills or one hour has passed,  your paper cup is no longer available for beverages.  If you have stayed at a Disney resort prior to August of 2013, you will not be able to use your previous resort mugs.

For those guests who are on a Dining Plan and using a counter service credit for their meal at the resort, you will still get a bottled drink with your meal.  Our advice:  Grab a bottle of water to take with you to the park later in the day or take an orange juice/milk to have with a quick grab-n-go breakfast the next morning.  This will allow you to save those snack credits for a Mickey ice cream bar or a Dole Whip later in your trip!

Whether you like starting your day off with a cup of coffee or enjoying a fountain drink poolside, the Rapid Refill Mug is a “must” for a stay at a Disney Resort, but is a fantastic PERK of being on the Disney Dining Plan!

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

Egg Stravaganza 2016

Visiting the Disney Parks is a memorable experience every time, but this spring season guests at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World have the chance for a little more “pixie” dust in their vacation.

Disney’s Egg Stravaganza 2016 is back!!!  From March 2- March 27, 2016 you’ll be able to search for hidden “eggs” themed to Disney characters at Epcot, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure park.
 
How does it work?
 
Your family can add to the fun by exploring and hunting the parks for “eggs” that portray Disney characters!  You can purchase a map and stickers for $5.95, plus tax at select locations within the parks.  As your discover the hidden eggs, record your discoveries by placing the corresponding sticker on the specialty themed Egg-stravaganza map that represents the location the egg was found.
 

When you’ve completed your hunt, return your map to the redemption location to pick up your surprise! 

Spring time at the parks is a magical time.  Enjoy making and collecting memories with your family.
 

Tressa Krippel 

Travel Specialist