As you know, “LIVE! with Kelly” is at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, this week. On Monday, host Kelly Ripa took a few minutes to talk with me about the show and her family’s experience at the resort.
How’s the “LIVE! with Kelly” shoot been going at Aulani?
Incredible! Really, really incredible. The hospitality of the Hawaiian people is like no other. You just feel hugged all the time. You really do. It’s just a gorgeous culture and a beautiful, warm people.
Have you had time to enjoy Aulani just as a resort experience?
I have to tell you, Aulani has hit on every mark. It’s one of these places that caters to small children, and grade school children and teens and tweens and adults, individually and as a family. It really is extraordinary because we’re at that teen-tween-child stage ourselves. So we have three kids with three different interests and this is the place that really caters to all of them.
What sorts of things have they been doing?
Well, they’ve fed stingrays. They’ve gone to Aunty’s Beach House. They’ve gone to teen video game and stargazing nights. They literally read that newsletter, the “Daily Iwa” I think it’s called, that’s put in the rooms at night and they choose what they want to do and it’s been spectacular for them. They’ve been on the Waikolohe Stream 17 hours a day. They tumble down those slides I’m terrified to go down. And this is the first trip we’ve taken where they haven’t kind of said, “I’m bored.” I mean, they’re having so much fun, it’s just really great!
Has everyone been looking forward to the upcoming Aulani wedding on “LIVE!”?
They really have. I think the wedding couple (Eileen Bellew and Kevin Houston) has been just blown away by the level of hospitality. They keep saying, “Wow, they just can’t do enough for you here,” and it’s really true. Just today – it was pretty funny, it happened on the air – it was very hot and the sun had come out and I said, “If only these people at Aulani could make the clouds move over,” and as I said it, literally that very moment a cloud moved over. And I said, “They’re very good here.”
That kind of Disney magic does tend to happen at Aulani. Did you know we actually had a rainbow on the Opening Day?
Well, I don’t know if you heard about our wedding couple when they got here. They both lost their previous spouses very tragically. They believe rainbows are sent to them by their former husband and former wife. And when they got here, there was a double rainbow over the property. They really felt like it was a message. This whole thing has been very beautiful, very emotional even for people who don’t know them personally, people who are viewers of the show. We’re all very invested in this couple.
The beautiful beachside wedding of Eileen Bellew and Kevin Houston will take place on “LIVE! with Kelly” this Friday, Feb. 24.