Helpful Tips That Will Save You Money at Aulani, Disney Resort

Have you been dreaming about going to Aulani but figure you would never be able to afford it? Well it may be more affordable than you think, if you continue reading. Here are some tips that will help you plan your dream vacation on a budget! These tips helped us save thousands of dollars! We have traveled to Aulani twice and learned a lot along the way.


3/6/20235 min read


Those big first steps... actually booking the trip. I did A LOT of research on ways to save money on booking the flight and hotel, the key is preparation and planning ahead! We got our flight for free, yes FREE! How you may ask??? Credit card points!

I did some digging on the best perks for credit cards, and the best one I found at the time was the Chase Saphire Preserve. They offered 80,000 points for signing up, as long as you spend so much in the first 3 months. You can find more info here.

Well I booked my vacation with that card and used it to pay for everything I would have bought already, so the points added up fast. 80,000 points is about the same as $900. By the time I was ready to book my flights from California to Hawaii, the cost was about $1,200 total. I was able to book the flights entirely with points!

Also do your research on the best time to book flights- you can usually get the best deal 1-3 months before your trip.

For booking your actual Hotel stay at Aulani, there are 2 ways that can save you money.

  • #1. Using a travel agent. They are free for you, and can help find you the best deals. I love using Get Away Today .They offer great deals and specialize in Disney Vacations.

Davids Vacation Club Rentals

I used the DVC rental store and had no issues at all! You can even purchase travel insurance if you are worried about any possibility of your trip getting canceled.

I cannot remember the exact amount I saved by booking here compared to the Aulani website, but it was more than $1,000!

The other amazing benefit is you get the Deluxe Studio rooms with a kitchenette and free parking when you book with DVC points!

  • #2. Disney Vacation Club (DVC) rental points. People that buy into DVC and may not use all their points for the year can "rent" them out. There are 2 legit websites I know of where you can book:

Using the BBQ at Aulani to save money on food

Kitchenette in Deluxe Studio Room

If you have a busy day on the beach and too tired to cook (we had those days!) you can still save money by ordering pizza and having it delivered. Or you can walk across the street and get food at MonkeyPod or the ABC Store. MonkeyPod has happy hour every day from 3:30 to 5:00 with special discounts on food.

If you are staying for more than one night, I would highly recommend purchasing the refillable drink cup! This will save a lot of money. You can get unlimited refills at the soda fountain, also in the morning there is a great coffee bar and teas.

Juice and hot cocoa are also available, but you have to ask for these at the register (some of the bars will provide juice). The Mugs make great souvenirs too!


Although Aulani has sooo many amazing things included in the stay, the food is NOT included. It is also very pricey to buy food on the resort. We stayed for 7 days, and we estimated that for 4 of us, each BASIC meal would cost around $80 (way more if eating at the nicer places or getting alcoholic drinks) that's $240 per day, and $1,680 for the week!

Everything adds up fast if you are not careful. So we ordered food from Target (there is also a Costco if you have bigger families) and had it delivered to the hotel using Instacart. The Hotel is used to people doing this and has a whole system down if you need food delivery.

Our kitchenette had a small fridge and freezer, microwave, toaster, and coffee pot. Make sure you don't buy more than what will fit in the fridge if you have this type of room. We bought cold grab and go type foods, meals that can be warmed in the microwave (chicken nuggets for the kids), and best of all food to barbeque!

Yes, Aulani has a BBQ area that you can use for free. They do not advertise this and it is kind of hidden. You can even check out the BBQ tools from "Aunty's Beach House".


Aulani has several options for paid activities and excursions, but we did not do any of these and still kept busy and had a blast! Take advantage of the free activities that Aulani offers, a lot can be found in Aunty's Beach house. You do want to pre plan and sign up because classes are first come first served.

Do not miss the free Ukulele lessons! This was such a cool experience. Other free activities include hula dancing, live music, fireside stories, and character meet and greets all around the resort! They used to have lei making, but did not this past trip, they may change things up so always ask when you get there.

Another thing that we did not see advertised is a free craft and coloring pages every day at Aunty's Beach House. Just ask the person at the desk for the free craft of the day and they will get one for you.

If you have kids, you MUST try the Menehune Adventure Trail. It is a "high-tech scavenger hunt". You can rent a tablet at Aunty's Beach house and follow the clues around the resort to see magical interactions.

Movie nights on the lawn on select nights is another fun free activity! We ordered pizza and brought some beach towels and enjoyed watching Star Wars. The surround sound was amazing! It sounded like the spaceships were flying around us.

One last free tip! When you get to the beach, you can rent boogie boards for free. There is a hut by the beach where you simply fill out a form, and get to use them for the day!

Whether you are just planning your first trip, or your tenth, I hoped you learned a few new tips about saving money at Aulani!