Hawaii Mom Blog: How to Stay at the Disney Aulani for Less




March 18, 2015

How to Stay at the Disney Aulani for Less

Everyone is on a budget these days so I wanted to share with our Hawaii Mom Blog readers a way I've been saving money to stay at the Disney Aulani Resort & Spa.  I am a fan of all things Disney and a big admirer of the resort life so I was especially excited when Disney combined the two and brought to Hawaii, the Aulani Resort & Spa in 2011.  Yet, I wasn't ready to fork over $400 a night for a staycation plus $35 a night for parking.  The need to get the best deal available drove me to research how I could cut my costs.  While perusing mousesavers.com, I discovered David's Vacation Club Rentals, which allows you to rent Disney Vacation Club (DVC) points.

Like most hotels in Hawaii, Aulani offers a kama'aina rate to Hawaii residents, but they usually exclude weekends from the discount.  You can also get a decent group rate if you book 10 or more rooms.  Currently, the Aulani's rooms start at $474 for regular season and that's before 14% in taxes and parking charges.  Through David's Vacation Club Rentals, depending on the season, I can rent an Island View Studio for two nights for 44 points ($616 inclusive), which is the minimum point rental.  $14.00 per point is the current rate for reservations booked up to seven months in advance.  Due to high demand, reservations for the Aulani booked from 7 to 11 months in advance may be subject to an additional premium rate of $2.00 per point.  For all stays at Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas, the State of Hawaii imposes a daily transient accommodations tax.  For a studio, the tax is minimal; about $5 a night for our stay.  One of the perks of Disney Vacation Club Members staying on a points reservation is that they receive self-parking at no daily charge for up to 2 vehicles. 

How it works is DVC members own timeshare "points" that they can use for stays at DVC resorts, but there are times when they are unable to use the points before they expire.  David's Vacation Club Rentals is a reliable points broker that is accredited by the Better Business Bureau.  Your rental transaction is 100% guaranteed if you use David's Vacation Club Rentals.  The biggest risk you take is that DVC point rentals cannot be changed or cancelled.  After you sign the rental agreement, you will not be able to cancel and get your money back.  You also don't get daily maid service, but you can opt to pay extra for the cleaning service.  
The other catch is that your reservation is not automatic.  It will depend on the availability of the room and also the availability of points for rent.  At times, there could be more points needed than points being rented out.  When you are ready to request a reservation, a $98.00 partial payment is taken by credit card, which is returned to you if your reservation cannot be secured.  The company operates in Canada so be sure to use a credit card that does not charge you a foreign transaction fee.  Payment is due in full when you receive your confirmation number.

I've used this process for three stays and have not experienced a problem.  I hope it will work for you and save you some money so you can use it to treat the family to a character breakfast or for some Mickey Mouse ice cream!

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