Direct from the East Coast To Oahu
Now that all you East Coast Walt Disney World lovers have a reason to visit the Hawaiian Islands with the opening of Disney’s Aulani Resort you have one less excuse to not make it out there. Hawaiian Airlines is now offering a direct fight from JFK International to Honolulu. Starting June 4, 2012 there will be a 4 day promotion selling direct flights from JFK to HNL for $212 one way ($424 round trip). That is about $200 less that it cost us to travel from the west coast. Tickets at this price are available from June 4 through June 30, and can be purchased online.
I know many East Coasters like their Bahamas or Caribbean but there really is nothing like the Hawaiian Islands and the blend of cultures from all over the Pacific. Now I am the first to admit that Oahu is not the best representation of the Hawaiian culture and flying into Honolulu does not really have that “smack you in the face with the true Hawaii” feel as it does when you land in Kona or Lihue but you can definitely find that local feel if you get out of the city. Even if you decide to dine at the great restaurants at the resorts you have to at some point go to a local place or even a road side truck on the North Shore. Also try and support the local economy. For too long corporations that come in from the mainland and Asia have purchased all the big establishments and the money all leaves the island instead of going back into the locals. You will get better stuff from some guy hand making things on the sidewalk than you will getting a bag of Asian crap from an ABC store.
Now if you do venture off, get a little advice before you go from someone who knows the island. There are some local areas where us haole (none native) are not that welcome. Can’t blame them for how all these cultures came in and took their islands and told them they will be part of us now…oh and get rid of your kings and queens. Just be aware of where you go just like when you visit anywhere. Especially if you visit Aulani, the adjacent area is not the most tourist friendly. Continuing up 93 on the west coast of Oahu is not recommended. Head back over to the H1 to 99 to get to the Dole Plantation and onto the North Shore.
I guess the point is, if you are going to travel that far make sure to really experience the culture and not just what the Hotel Executives want you to experience.
News around the resort
So what’s going on at the Polynesian? Well for the better part of this decade...lots! For right now it looks like some normal maintenance at the GCH to replace some exterior wood. Thanks to a FYI email from John Cardone (thanks John) he sent me a photo posted on Travis Munson’s Twitter showing some work being done and thanks to Donna Kiel for finding out what was going on. Enjoy your visit Donna. Replacing exterior wood is a normal thing for the Polynesian. It is not structural, just decorative, hiding the inner steal frame. This also has nothing to do with the major Great Ceremonial House work that will be coming…well who knows when. Could be 2013 or could be 2018. Leave it to Disney to not give any good dates but then again we probably are not supposed to know they are going to gut the GCH.
In other news of things to come, as I reported back in February, 4 test rooms were being worked on and Michele (President of Magical Vacations Travel) sent me photos inside the hallway of the test building of some of the test carpet, lighting and doors. Have not seen inside the rooms yet but I will let you know if I get the chance too. This is just like they did in Aotearoa back in 2004 with the end of the first floor having two test rooms and test carpet. Now back then they had tried a few different patterns and wall treatments before they got the one they liked so it will be interesting to see if new patterns show up. If the timing is like it was in the past I would expect to see these new designs going into the longhouses next year and taking a few years to get through all the longhouses. Just in time to start the DVC expansion (yes it is not a rumor). I believe the first major change we will see will be the hot tub addition starting later this year.
Get your news
Get the latest news as soon as I get it on my Facebook page along with great photos from my stash and other guests. Also share your photos and comments while you are at the resort with us on my Facebook page. Its always nice to hear from people while they are there. More of my stories on the http://www.thewdwdads.com/ The Man Cave of Disney site.
Soon to come, some big changes for my site and for the resort