For those of you who think Disney is just Theme Parks and rides and characters, think again! Disney is MUCH more, and one of their more recent expansions is their Disney’s Aulani Resort on the island of O’ahu in beautiful Hawaii. It’s an amazing place, and well worth the cost. So what can you expect on your trip to Aulani? Read on to find out!
Accommodations – These rooms are among the nicest I have ever seen, featuring 2 queen beds or 1 king bed, a TV/DVD player, refrigerator, deep soaking tub, and a private porch/balcony. Different views are available, as are fancier suites (for a higer price, of course). The one downside might be that for those of us who are used to Walt Disney World Value Resorts, the room prices might be somewhat of a shock, with standard rooms starting around the $300 range and going up from there (depending on the time of year you are traveling). However, with the rooms and amenities being so nice, it might just be worth the cost!
There are many people out there who think of Walt Disney World as a place for kids and families, and it is true that they do cater largely to that crowd. BUT, that isn’t all they do – they work hard to make WDW a place where those of all ages can go to have fun. Personally, I love WDW even more as an adult than I did as a kid, and in case you are on the fence, here are my top 5 reasons why you should give WDW a try for your next adult vacation:
1. It’s Truly a “World” of it’s own – It’s a place where you can forget your stress and cares, and enjoy the rides, sites and characters that are around every corner at WDW. It will make you feel like a kid, and it’s truly one of the best places to have fun and enjoy yourselves!
2. The FOOD – At a lot of other theme parks, the food options range from deep fried chicken fingers and fries to ice cream and hamburgers, without a lot of variety or healthy options readily available. Disney takes Park cuisine to a whole new level – they really do have it all. There are plenty of counter service restaurants around the Parks, where you will find the standard burgers/fries/chicken, but where they also have more unique items like BBQ ribs, salads, sandwiches, soups, paninis, and delicious desserts. If you’re in the mood to relax and enjoy a sit down meal, then there are tons of sit down restaurants that range from casual to fancy with dress codes, and offer fresh seafood, delicious steaks, and plenty of other options. And if you’re more into the “all you can eat” type of cuisine, Disney has some really delicious buffets, some of which are character meals, where you can enjoy a buffet and get the chance to meet and greet your favorite characters all at the same time! We like using Disney Dining for all of our Food News & Reviews!
One of the best things about vacationing at Walt Disney World is souvenir shopping – they have so many stores with so many different items that it can be hard to pick just a select few to bring home with you. So if you aren’t sure what kind of souvenirs you should buy, then here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
Will you actually use it at home? Many things seem cool when at the Parks, but be practical – think hard and be realistic about if it will be useful once you get home
Is it too big? size is a factor when purchasing souvenirs, and while those giant stuffed animals or balloons are fun, they may not fit too well into your suitcase. Size is especially important to consider when flying, as you may have to pay a fee for an extra bag or overweight luggage
Is it worth the cost? This kind of goes along with “will you use it at home”, an item is ‘worth it’ if it’s useful, practical, or even if you just love it. Some of the items sold at WDW can be pretty pricey, and if you are like me, you set a souvenir budget, so if one item is going to blow your whole budget, you will definitely want to consider if it’s worth it to you, cost wise
Walt Disney World offers a huge variety of dining options, from snack stands to full 5 course meals with wine pairings and everything in between! Figuring out where to eat can be a difficult decision, and there are a lot of factors to consider. Disney’s Contemporary Resort offers many delicious dining choices, and it’s just a short monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom, making it the perfect place to go for a meal and a chance to relax and unwind after a long day of rides and fun at MK.
The Contemporary Resort is one of WDW’s Deluxe Resorts, which means it can be pricy to stay at, but it also means that it has more to offer it’s guests, especially when it comes to food!
If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, you can can head over to Contempo Cafe, the Resort’s Counter Service eatery offering the standard omelettes/breakfast platters for breakfast, an assortment of cold and hot sandwiches and salads for lunch, and flatbreads and pastas for dinner. They also offer a variety of ‘grab n’go’ items as well as assorted beverages and a kid’s menu.
If you’re a Walt Disney World lover like me, then it probably doesn’t take much to get you pumped about a trip to WDW. To get myself even more excited, there are some things I like to do to prepare me for my reunion with Mickey and all his friends:
Research – The trick with this one is not overdoing it! Once you book your trip, there are some definite musts for research. Click the Planning button at the top of the page to learn more. Also check out what Deals and Offers are available. I know if you sign up for a Disney Rewards Visa you have 6 months to pay off your trip from when you get home and they also have some great rewards as well!
Weather-check and see what that time of year is typically like in Orlando and plan to pack accordingly (noting of course that the weather can be different than the average, but at least it gives you a place to start!)
Dining options – if you’re a foodie like me you will love this one, and if you don’t know where to start check out Walt Disney World’s official dining website for information The great thing is, most of this can be done online. For restaurant info check out Guide to Walt Disney World Section.
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