The Official Ticket Center Inc. ~ KO OLINA, Hawaii – Beginning in fall 2011, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawaii will draw on the celebrated Disney magic, storytelling and service to create wonderful family vacation memories drawing on the beauty, fun, enchantment and traditions of the islands.
“Aulani celebrates the best of Hawaii and represents a new way to enjoy a family vacation with Disney,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We believe the tremendous beauty of Ko Olina provides the perfect opportunity to create a uniquely Disney experience for our guests in a way that is true to Hawaii.”
Aulani draws its inspiration from the traditions and heritage of the people of Hawaii. Walt Disney Imagineers, with the help of local architects, artisans and historians, are weaving Hawaiian stories into the buildings, interiors, art and gardens of the resort.
“There are so many wonderful stories to tell in Hawaii,” Staggs said, “and with the help of local experts we’re excited to bring them to life for guests in our new resort.”
Each day of their stay, Aulani guests will be able to customize their experience – relaxing on the beach, playing in the pools, discovering the island on a specially planned excursion, gathering at the fire pit for storytelling, or spotting the statues of Menehune, the legendary island little people, hidden throughout the resort.
“We want this resort destination to reflect the vibrant culture that surrounds it. The name ‘Aulani’ expresses a connection to tradition and deep storytelling – and its roots are in this land right here,” said Joe Rohde, senior vice president, Creative for Walt Disney Imagineering.
Aulani traditionally means “a messenger of a chief – one who delivers a message from a higher authority.” The name Aulani was chosen to position the resort as a messenger of the “higher authority” that is Hawaii, its spirit and its culture. “As the history and heritage of Hawaii are the inspiration for Aulani, we are committed to using our skills in design to put guests into these stories,” says Rohde.
Aulani is being built on 21 acres of oceanfront property in Ko Olina, adjacent to a crystal-blue lagoon and a white-sand beach. Ko Olina is 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and approximately 30 minutes from Waikiki.
Upon its completion, Aulani will include 359 traditional hotel rooms and 481 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club villas in two towers, each featuring angled rooms offering thrilling views of the ocean, mountains and the magnificent grounds that Disney is creating. Family-friendly resort amenities will include an 18,000-square-foot spa, two restaurants, a kids’ club (Aunty’s Beach House), a wedding lawn, a conference center, and a spectacularly themed pool area complete with swimming pool, wading pool, tube slides, sunset-facing hot tubs and a snorkel lagoon.
When Aulani opens its doors next year, it also will offer adventures that invite families to discover the island. Guests can enjoy one-of-a-kind excursions that blend the wonders and excitement of Hawaii with the Disney tradition of storytelling.
Disney’s first resort in Hawaii, Aulani has been under construction since its blessing and groundbreaking ceremony in November 2008. In April, the resort celebrated a major milestone: the end of its vertical construction.