Disney's Hollywood Studios, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Interior

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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Coming to Aulani This Summer – Have a Bite at Mama’s Snack Stop

posted on March 19th, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Crews are hard at work on a brand-new addition to the food and beverage options at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai‘i.

Mama’s Snack Stop, a quick-service food location premiering this June right next to Pāpālua Shave Ice in the Waikolohe Valley, will serve mouthwatering hot dogs, chicken tenders and more. The menu includes a choice of bread, sauce, and type of sausage, including all-beef hot dog, Hawaiian Winner, or Portuguese sausage. Guests can also choose a buffalo ranch chicken tender dog, chicken tenders, fries, Maui Chips, a macadamia pineapple cupcake and fruit.

Construction on Mama’s Snack Stop may cause a bit of inconvenience, but this new location is a great example of how quickly the Aulani team listens and responds to the needs of guests looking for additional meal options at the resort. Mama’s Snack Stop will add to the magic of a Hawaiian vacation at Aulani.

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As ‘LIVE!’ Spends the Week at Aulani, Kelly Ripa and Her Family Enjoy the Resort

posted on February 21st, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


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.

Kelly Ripa, Host of 'LIVE! with Kelly' Enjoys Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa.

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.

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‘LIVE!’ from Aulani – Greetings from Kelly Ripa

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


“LIVE! with Kelly” is at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa, this week leading up to the wedding of the winning couple of “LIVE’s Hawaiian Dream Wedding Giveaway” on Friday. Daniel Dae Kim from “Hawaii Five-O” co-hosts with Kelly today, and other co-hosts this week will include “Glee” star Matthew Morrison on Tuesday, Honolulu native and “Dancing with the Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba on Wednesday, and Mark Consuelos on Thursday and Friday.

Each “LIVE! With Kelly” broadcast will be set against the backdrop of Aulani’s beautiful beachfront lagoon, and throughout the week “LIVE!” will showcase the best of the island of O‘ahu and highlight all that Aulani has to offer.

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‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ Visits Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa

posted on February 10th, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


“The

The fun of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” met the fun of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, recently when AFV went on location at the Hawai`i resort.

“AFV

AFV host Tom Bergeron took time during the shoot to slide down Tubestone Curl into Waikolohe Stream

“AFV

…and to join the dancers of the “Starlit Hui.”

“AFV

Looks like he had a great time! Aulani will be featured in two upcoming episodes of AFV, airing May 6 and May 13 at 7 p.m./6 p.m. Central.

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Aulani Excursions Showcase Hawai‘i With a Touch of Disney Magic

posted on January 31st, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


Although it’s tempting never to leave the Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, grounds and adjoining beach, the resort offers an appealing lineup of off-property excursions to illuminate the wonders of Hawai‘i for all ages and tastes. Many of the excursions have been specially designed by Adventures by Disney and feature knowledgeable Adventure Guides weaving stories and magic into the experience.

I haven’t had a chance to experience all the excursions on offer – it’s a lineup that includes Hawaiian cooking lessons, hiking to Waimea Falls, horseback riding at Kualoa Ranch … and I’ve heard especially good things about the Hawaiian Fire Surf School conducted by Honolulu City Firefighters.

I did get a chance to go on a catamaran excursion with some visiting travel writers the last time I was at Aulani, and it was great! We spotted a couple of pods of dolphins (or maybe it was just one playful bunch, trying to fake us out) and, after getting a terrific distant view of Aulani from its ocean side, we went snorkeling a bit further up the coast. The waters off the coast of Oahu offer a sensationally colorful array of fish and other sea life and, while we were snorkeling close to the surface, members of the crew dove deeper and brought up sea urchins, sea cucumbers and an unusually chunky starfish for us to look at.

Catamaran Captain Doug also told us that his craft is rated as dolphin-and-whale friendly, consciously keeping a safe distance from these fun and fascinating creatures while still giving us the opportunity to view them. It’s the kind of thing that helps make a Disney Aulani excursion special.

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When Five Nights at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa are Not Enough…A Special Offer

posted on January 24th, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


UPDATE: The deadline for booking this “Sixth Night Free” offer has been extended! You may now book anytime through Saturday, Mar. 31 for travel March 1-17 and April 15 – June 9.

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Visiting Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa on O`ahu, is definitely one of the top benefits of my job. And each time I visit, I’m reminded of how much there is to do at the resort – pools and water slides, restaurants and lounges, entertainment, excursions, Aunty’s Beach House kids club, Laniwai spa, etc., etc.

So how many days do you need to take it all in? If your guess is somewhere in the vicinity of a week, I’ve got news for you. From now through February 29, Aulani is offering a sixth night free, plus daily continental breakfast (in the fun ‘Ōlelo Room lounge), for guests booking a five-consecutive-night stay.

To take advantage of the offer, visit DisneyAulani.com or call toll-free (800) 824-1146 and mention offer code E7D. The offer is available for stays most nights* from March 1 through March 17, 2012, and April 15 through May 31, 2012.

And here, for your enlightenment and enjoyment, is some additional information:
*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Excludes Resort fees and taxes. Not valid in combination with any other discounts or offers. Offer excludes suites and three-bedroom Grand Villas. Additional per adult charges may apply if more than two (2) adults per room. Offer applied once per reservation and not valid for previously booked rooms. Check for offers for other lengths of stay. Limit two (2) rooms per reservation and subject to room occupancy limitations. Advance reservations required. Subject to restrictions and change without notice. Breakfast entitlements expire upon checkout, and are for guests ages 3 and older in the traveling party.

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