Travel with Val: Stretch Dollars During A Relaxing Hawaiian Disney Vacation
Disney's brand new Aulani resort in Hawaii is pricey, but there are always ways travelers can save a few bucks. YNN’s Travel reporter Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
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Honoring the native culture of the Hawaiian Islands, Disney held a low key but meaningful celebration to mark the opening of its new time share-hotel hybrid Aulani resort on the west coast of Oahu.
"We can offer a family vacation experience that isn't part of the theme park. We looked around the world for possible destinations and voila, here we are in Hawaii," said Disney CEO Robert Iger.
With an exhausting 10 hour flight from the east coast and room rates averaging $500 a night for an ocean view, it takes a few tricks for a family to make a trip to Aulani seem less like Fantasyland and more of a reality.
For starters, write off the holidays and stick with non-traditional family travel times.
"Booking a package is a great way to go," says Orbitz.com senior editor Jeanenne Tornatore. "For instance, I looked at late October, from New York to Honolulu. A package that includes your airfare, plus five nights staying here at the Aulani resort, comes in at over $2,000 per person."
That totals just under $10,000 for a family of four, without meals. The trick is to forgo optional activities and make the most out of what is included.
"As a value, you don't have to pay for the kid's club. You have a great water park right on property. There are a lot of free things to do here," says Tornatore.
Disney has not publicly disclosed the cost of building this mega-resort, but estimates place it in the $600 million range.
"It's a significant investment. When we make investments, we make them with an eye to creating long-term value and delivering strong returns on our invested capital, and this is what this is all about for us, too," says Iger.
To prevent the family from becoming financially "dopey" about a Disney Aulani vacation, check out further deals at www.mousesavers.com.