Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park

More Water Fun, Dining Options Coming in Aulani Resort Expansion

posted on July 26th, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


If you’ve had the opportunity to visit Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – or even if you’ve just been reading about it – you know how much fun it is and how popular it’s been with families visiting Hawai`i.
Waikolohe Stream at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawai`i

As a result of all the excitement about Aulani and its amenities, we’re already planning an expansion of the resort. New water features will be added to the Waikolohe Valley pool area, along with additional deck space for sunbathing and relaxing. Two new quick-service food locations also will be part of the enhancements, and the popular “Starlit Hui” show will move to a larger lawn so that even more guests can enjoy the performance.

Work on all this is scheduled to begin in September. Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for regular updates on plans and progress.

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Families Practice Healthy Living Over ‘The Weekend’ at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on June 5th, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


If concentrating on fitness is your goal, you might as well do it in a place where getting outdoors and focusing on recreation come easily. Need I add, a top choice would be Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Ko Olina, Hawai`i.

This past weekend at Aulani, seven lucky families participated in “The Weekend,” an annual event presented by Disney Magic of Healthy Living, the Disney program that encourages kids and families to try new foods, fun moves and simple ways to be the best they can be.

The participating families were the national grand-prize winners of the TRYit! Photo Contest from Disney Magic of Healthy Living. Families were encouraged to send photos and explain in the caption the ways their families TRY to stay healthy and active.

Families Practice Healthy Living Over ‘The Weekend’ at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

The families spent the weekend soaking up the Hawaiian sun – trying new cuisines, experiencing some of the resort’s exciting excursions, and participating in Disney’s TRYathalon. Disney XD stars Kelly Berglund (“Lab Rats”), Kelsey Chow (“Pair of Kings”), Jason Earles (“Kickin’ It,” “Hannah Montana”), and Adam Irigoyen (“Shake It Up”) were on hand to cheer them on and compete in some of the challenges.

Families Practice Healthy Living Over ‘The Weekend’ at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

TRYathalon challenges included snorkeling, sailing and hiking. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse were on hand to participate, and a highlight of “The Weekend” was a special ceremony recognizing the families’ efforts to lead healthier lifestyles.

To learn how you and your family can be a part of Disney Magic of Healthy Living and about fun, upcoming opportunities like “The Weekend,” you can visit www.Disney.com/TRYit.

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Aulani and Laniwai Make the Conde Nast Traveler ‘Hot List’ for 2012

posted on May 18th, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


If you picked up the May issue of Conde Nast Traveler, you may already know that Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i, is one of 12 U.S. hotels included on the “Hot List” for 2012. Also on the list, in the spa category, is Laniwai, a Disney Spa at Aulani.

Conde Nast Traveler’s annual May Hot List is the ultimate insider’s guide to the hottest new hotels, spas and restaurants of the year. Editors traveled to 49 countries and evaluated 172 new hotels to discover the best in the world, and Aulani was included among the best.

Aulani and Laniwai Make the Conde Nast Traveler ‘Hot List’ for 2012

In their evaluation, Conde Nast editors particularly cited “the resort’s main attraction…the pool area” (aka Waikolohe Valley) and noted, “Apart from meet-and-greets with Mickey and Minnie and themed activities like ‘Surf’s Up’ time with Chip and Dale, the property feels more like a five-star family-focused resort than a Disney showcase. And it lives up to its promise to educate kids about Hawaiian culture…”

The Waikolohe Valley at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa

The “Hot Spas” citation noted the six outdoor rain showers and the “tranquil, wood-paneled” interior, and observed “excellent technicians choose just the right massage pressure and products.” Of course the Aulani and Laniwai teams always strive to provide Disney levels of quality and service, so it’s nice to be recognized by veteran travelers.

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New Aulani Offers Available Today: Kids Eat Free and So Much More, Plus 25% Off Fares from Hawaiian Airlines

posted on May 11th, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


Mickey Mouse and Goofy with Guests at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai'i

If you’re planning a family vacation, we’ve got two more reasons for you to visit Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai`i. In addition to the delicious food, fun-filled water play areas and activities for all ages, guests visiting Aulani can enjoy these new offers, when booking travel today through July 14:

Kids Eat Free and So Much More at Aulani*
Kids (ages 3-9) eat free from the Kids Menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner and receive a Length of Stay Rainbow Reef Pass with a five-night minimum stay, for travel between August 29 through November 3, when booked before July 14.

You can choose from the following table-service or quick-service restaurants for all three of your meals:

  • ‘AMA’AMA includes: 1 appetizer (lunch and dinner only), 1 entrée and one dessert (lunch and dinner only); 1 single-serving, non-alcoholic beverage
  • Makahiki Buffet includes: 1 full buffet (breakfast and dinner only)
  • ‘Olelo Room includes: 1 continental breakfast (breakfast only)
  • One Paddle, Two Paddle, Mama’s Snack Stop or Lava Shack quick-service meal includes: 1 entrée or 1 complete combo meal; 1 dessert (lunch and dinner only); 1 single-serving, non-alcoholic beverage

Save 25% on Hawaiian Airlines Fares**
Fly Hawaiian Airlines to Aulani as part of your vacation package and save 25% on round-trip airfare when you travel August 29 through November 3, when booked before July 14. Offer is available for flights out of John F Kennedy International Airport, Oakland International Airport, San Jose International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport only.

Visit DisneyAulani.com for more information!

* The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Not valid in combination with any other discounts or offers. Additional per adult charges may apply if more than 2 adults per room. Dining entitlements and Rainbow Reef pass are for registered guests only, expire upon check out and are non-transferable. Advance reservations required. Subject to restrictions and change without notice.

**Reservation must include a minimum one-night stay at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa. Limited supplies are available and discount may be applied over all travel dates (8/29/2012 – 11/03/12). Fares on some dates may be higher. Not valid on K & L fares. Maximum of 6 passengers per reservation. Travel must originate from one of the following Designated Airports: John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Oakland International Airport (OAK), San Jose International Airport (SJC), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), or Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Fare is subject to seat availability. Child/infant or other discounts do not apply. If ticket changes are made, the value of the original round-trip discount may not be applied and is subject to availability. Date and routing changes may be made with applicable penalties, and fare differential may apply. Cancellation penalties will apply. Discount will be applied to the published base fare at the time of booking, based on a round-trip itinerary originating from a Designated Airport to Honolulu, Hawaii and includes Base Fare, Fuel Surcharge, and U.S. taxes. Fare shown includes taxes and fees including a $3.80 ZP tax per segment (defined as one takeoff and one landing), a $2.50 per enplanement September 11th Security Fee (not to exceed $10) and PFC surcharge of $4.50 (not to exceed $18 round-trip) where applicable will be applied. For complete listings of fees and baggage charges, visit http://www.hawaiianair.com/moreinfo.

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Tickets on Sale Now for the Hawai`i Food & Wine Festival, Featuring Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

posted on April 25th, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


“The

Now in its second year, the four-day Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival features more than 50 internationally renowned master chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirit producers. The festival starts September 6, 2012, and will culminate on Sunday, Sept. 9, with “Cuisines of the Stars: A Magical Journey of Food & Culture” at Ko Olina Resort, featuring Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, and JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa.

During this special event, a team of world-renowned chefs will create a culinary tour of ethnic foods from around the world using local produce and products. The featured chefs will include Andrew Sutton of Napa Rose in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, and Patrick Callarec of Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa.

Tickets are now available here, so don’t miss your chance to celebrate Hawaiian food and culture with Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

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All the Fun at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Comes Together in Waikolohe Valley

posted on April 20th, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


I know I’ve already told you a lot about the Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa experience, but I wanted to share this great video that underlines how much fun everyone in the family can have at the resort.

The video also demonstrates – just in case you had any doubt – that no Aulani vacation can be fully enjoyed if you don’t get really, really wet.

Slide into the darkness of the Volcanic Vertical and, after you land in the pool at the bottom, wait in a corner so you can hear the screams of the next person to slide down (I love the point-of-view shots in this video). Sail down Tubestone Curl and into the drifting Waikolohe Stream, where you can spot Menehune-in-hiding without too much trouble. Recently I even stood under the Menehune Bridge (although I was clearly the oldest guy on the playground) just long enough for the magically refilling bowl to turn over and drench me.

Speaking of the Menehune, another family fun highlight shown in the video is the Menehune Adventure Trail, a high-tech scavenger hunt that leads you through Waikolohe Valley as you solve riddles, search for hidden statues and discover surprises left by the Menehune, with special effects involving fire, water, light and animation…all part of the magic of Aulani.

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In Search of … the Menehune at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on April 1st, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


Residents of Hawai‘i and most visitors know the tales of the mysterious Menehune, but how many have actually seen one?

Not too long ago, Disney Parks Blog author Gary Buchanan went on his own personal safari to find the Menehune concealed around Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai‘i.

How’d he do? You be the judge.

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Imagineer Joe Rohde Shares a Story of the Menehune at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on April 1st, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


Sometimes I think Imagineer Joe Rohde is a bit like the Menehune – I sense his influence peeking out of countless nooks and crannies around Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

Joe oversaw the creative design and content of the resort, and he was a strong advocate for the celebration of Hawaiian culture that can be found throughout Aulani. I’m sure the project kept him plenty busy, and yet he somehow found time to illustrate “The Untold Tales of the Menehune,” a storybook in verse by Scott Ritchey that touches the very heart of the resort and the legends of Hawai’i. Here’s Joe, reading a passage from the book.

So, for those uninitiated in the ways of the Menehune, that was a little introduction read by Joe himself. “The Untold Tales of the Menehune” is available for purchase at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

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High Alert! Be on the Lookout for Menehune This Weekend

posted on March 30th, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


Be On the Lookout for Menehune on the Disney Parks Blog

We’ve blogged in the past about the Menehune, the mysterious and industrious island “little people” who seem to work mostly by night, leaving half-finished evidence of their labor at various locations around Hawai`i, including at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Visitors to Aulani may have caught sight of Menehune hiding in various corners of the resort.

Now rumor has it that this weekend the Menehune may be planning to take a hand in the Disney Parks Blog itself. Watch this space for possible Menehune mischief!

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Confirmed: The Pleasures of Laniwai, a Disney Spa at Aulani

posted on March 27th, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


Laniwai, a Disney Spa at Aulani

A few months ago, I shared a video about Laniwai, a Disney Spa at Aulani, along with a confession that I’m not someone who usually takes advantage of spa opportunities, no matter how attractive.

Well… last time I was at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, on O‘ahu, Lucia Rodriguez, the spa manager who has contributed so much to the wonders of Laniwai, convinced me that – if only for the sake of putting some firsthand Laniwai experience into the Disney Parks Blog – I should have a spa treatment. I was still hesitant, but we narrowed it down to a facial and (once Lucia convinced me that none of the Laniwai cast members would be too horrified by my feet) a pedicure.

Wishing Stones at Laniwai, a Disney Spa at Aulani

After selecting a “wishing stone” and traveling through the “transformation corridor,” I – like most Laniwai guests – had time to enjoy Kula Wai, the outdoor hydrotherapy garden (the only one on O‘ahu). This truly is a memorable, relaxing experience in a beautifully landscaped garden with two herbal pools, a jetted hot tub, a circuit of six different showers and a cold plunge (I didn’t “plunge” exactly, but I did cautiously submerge).

Laniwai, a Disney Spa at Aulani

Finally, of course, were the treatments themselves, which left me feeling very pampered, not to mention grateful for the restraint of the cast member who worked such wonders on my nasty feet.

I’m still not sure I can ever become the kind of guy who’d do this on a regular basis… and yet, it’s something I think everyone should experience at least once. If you’re going to have a “first spa” experience, you couldn’t ask for better than Laniwai, a Disney Spa.

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