Getting Around in Hawaii


Aulani– The resort if very much wheelchair accessible with elevators and paved paths.  There are a couple bridges, however they can be avoided by going the long way.  The paved paths include ramps and stairs that go all the way down to the sand.   The pools are either outfitted with a pool lift, or are zero entry.  For those on crutches, the ground around the pools tend to be very wet, and there is always a concern of slipping in those situations. Since the paths are mainly concrete which always feels a bit safer than tile.  The resort itself is very large, so if like me you have pain when walking, keep in mind that it could be quite a little stroll to the other side of the resort.

Arizona Memorial– If you don’t have a handicap parking pass, or don’t get there early enough to get a good spot, it can be quite a walk to the memorial.  The memorial compound is wheelchair accessible.  There will be some standing, particularly when waiting for your turn to see the movie and go out to the Arizona.  To go to the Arizona, you’ll have to load onto a boat which is all done with ramps, however corners could have tight turns.  Also, the windows are fairly high, so it might be hard to see the sunken ship itself.

Dole Plantation–  There are ramps directly into the Dole Plantation.  Out of the options of a train ride, maze, or garden tour I chose to take the train because it was a chance to see the plantation with minimum walking.  Honestly, the train was not that interesting and is a lot longer than it really needs to be.  I feel that garden tour would have been more interesting, however this was one of the times I had to choose to favor my ankle.  The store can be hard to get around if you’re in wheel chair, as the aisles are not very wide.

 ‘Iolani Palace–  I did not see a ramp into the palace itself, but since then I have read that they have a lift to the main floor.  However, motorized wheelchairs and scooters are not allowed into the palace itself. They do have some regular wheelchairs that they loan out free of charge; these are on a first come, first served basis. Once inside the palace, there is an elevator to take you to the second floor.  If you need a sit break, there are benches on the upper floor.  There are also some chairs around; I believe these are meant for docents, but can be used in a pinch.

Kualoa Ranch– I didn’t explore all of Kualoa Ranch, so I can’t speak for the whole complex.  On this one, I can really only talk about what I saw.  I don’t think it is super wheelchair accessible, the ground is rough and to get to the building from the main parking lot there was a large set of stairs.  Now, it could be that they had another parking lot on the same level as the building, but I didn’t see it.  I chose the ATV ride because I thought it would allow me to see the most, but still be an adventure, and let me rest my ankle.  For the ATV ride, if for some reason you can’t drive the ATV or don’t feel comfortable they do give the option of being the passenger on a multi-rider ATV that the tour guide would drive.  I imagine that option is open to folks that have mobility issues as well.  I would suggest calling them, and having a frank conversation about what they offer.

Polynesian Cultural Center– The PCC is wheelchair accessible, and they offer wheelchairs and power scooters for rent.  If you’re walking, this is a day of a lot of walking; because the villages are on a schedule that requires you to move from location to location, you can crisscross the center several times.  Once in the villages there are plenty of seats.  Additionally, there is not a lot of seating for the canoe pageant, so if you don’t get there early enough to snag a seat you’ll probably be standing throughout.

Categories: Hawaii, Mobility, Uncategorized

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