In Hawaiian culture, names are very important. So today, our “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series continues with a look at the meaning of the name ‘Aulani,’ and how Hawaiian culture and Disney storytelling came together to create a Hawaiian experience like no other at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.
Aulani has a full time Cultural Advisor on staff, Kahulu De Santos. She explained to me that when Disney started this Hawai’i project, Walt Disney Imagineering established a Hawaiian Cultural Committee which worked side by side with Imagineers to create the experiences at Aulani. Their discussions surrounded the art work, architecture and themes that would be built into the resort.
“As the story is told, one morning, while the committee was working on coming up with a name for the resort, one of the members shared that he had a dream about the name ‘Aulani,’” explained Kahulu. “Aulani means ‘messenger of a chief’ or ‘messenger of a greater authority.’ So the committee quickly determined that this would be the name it would present to Disney as the name for this new resort.”
The important significance of Aulani is that the resort serves as a location that shares the messages and stories of the Hawaiian culture, its chiefs and its people, while recognizing and honoring traditional and contemporary Hawaiian practices, she explained.
Aulani celebrates Hawai‘i’s rich legacy of storytelling combined with the magic of Disney. The name Aulani invites guests to ponder and listen to the many-layered stories or “messages” found at this beautiful resort on O’ahu.
One of my favorite examples of these unique stories at Aulani involves the significance of the kapa design in the cast member nametags. Have you seen these? What’s your favorite story found at Aulani? Tell us in the comments below.
For more from the “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series, visit the posts below:
Family and food are two of the best things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season, and what better way to celebrate than on a vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? In fact, Sunset Magazine recently voted Aulani as one of the “top ten warm-weather Thanksgiving getaways.” So envision your ‘ohana spending November 27 floating down the Waikolohe Stream or exploring the Menehune Adventure Trail and then enjoying a delicious array of food and fun at the Aulani Thanksgiving Feast.
The Kaiona Ballroom will be transformed into a celebratory feast full of Hawaiian holiday traditions sprinkled with Disney magic. You’ll enjoy familiar Thanksgiving favorites … but with an island twist. For example, start with the heirloom tomato salad with Maui onion and micro basil and then follow that scrumptious starter with the longboard-braised boneless beef short ribs. Of course, no Thanksgiving meal is complete without turkey or ham – so be sure not to miss the guava- and pineapple-glazed ham and roasted turkey with sage stuffing, giblet gravy, and fresh cranberry-orange chutney. Also, live music from local entertainers will be featured, as well as a special Disney character greeting experiences exclusively for Aulani Thanksgiving Feast guests!
This “pumpkin pie” perfect feast will have two seatings: the first seating is from 4-6 p.m. and the second seating is from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The Aulani Thanksgiving Feast costs $84.99 for guests ages 10 and up; $42.99 for keiki ages 3 to 9. Please keep in mind that this event has limited seating, so be sure to call (808) 674-6200 to book your reservation today. Find more information and more menu details here.
What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving? Tell us in the comments below!
The magic of a vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is at the top of any must-do list for families looking for a once-in-a-lifetime getaway. With included amenities designed for every age like Aunty’s Beach House, Painted Sky and the Aulani Starlit Hui, it’s no surprise that Orbitz recently recognized this beautiful Hawaiian resort with the 2014 Orbitz Best in Stay Elite Award!
The 2014 Best in Stay Awards recognize up to five properties in each category, and Aulani earned the Elite Award for being the highest-rated hotel in the Family category. Each of the winners were selected based on hotel reviews submitted by Orbitz customers and travel experts, spanning 75 of the most popular destinations in the world.
If your bags aren’t packed yet, there is still time to book a consecutive four-night stay at this award-winning resort and receive the fourth night free! This offer is available to book through October 30, 2014, for most vacations to Aulani through December 22, 2014. Don’t forget – you can also upgrade to a one- or two-bedroom villa and receive a $100 per night resort credit, in addition to your free night. Learn more about this limited-time offer here!
What does your family love most about a vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? Tell us in the comments below!
Disney Parks Blog authors have recently shared details about the Halloween tricks and treats taking place this year at Disney Parks & Resorts around the world. Today, I’m excited to “carry the banner” and pass along details about the festivities materializing at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawai`i! And the best part? Like most activities during a vacation to Aulani, these special Halloween events are included with your stay!
- Keiki Halloween Party – On October 17, 24 and 31, the Halawai Lawn transforms into a frightfully fun party perfect for the entire family. Adults and keiki staying at Aulani are encouraged to dress up for craft activities, game stations and face painting. Be sure to bring your cameras and autograph books as well because some of your favorite Disney characters are making special appearances!
- Hallow “Teen” – Teens ages 13-17 celebrate the Halloween season on October 24, 26 and 28 with their own exclusive party. They’ll meet up at Makiki Joe’s Beach Rental and then head to the beach for a pumpkin sand sculpting contest and other surprises.
- Trick or Treat – If you are vacationing at Aulani on Halloween, don’t miss the chance to go trick-or-treating! A special map showcases all the treat locations and you can show your “Disney Side” by wearing a Halloween costume.
Be sure to check The Daily ‘Iwa upon your arrival for any more spooky surprises taking place during your vacation this October!
Winter is just around the corner and what better way to escape the cold weather than with a tropical vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Ko Olina, Hawai`i? If that is not tempting enough, the longer you stay and enjoy snorkeling at Rainbow Reef or relaxing at the infinity pool in Ka Maka Landing this winter, the more you’ll save! Take a look at the video below and you’ll see why Aulani has become a favorite destination for families around the world.
Starting today, book a 4-night stay at Aulani and enjoy the 4th night free with a complimentary breakfast at the Ulu Cafe! Click here to learn more. Or if you’re thinking your keiki will need more time at Aunty’s Beach House, our signature complimentary kids club, or you’ll need an extra day at Laniwai Spa, enjoy 30% off a 5-night or more stay – plus complimentary breakfast at Ulu Cafe. Click here to learn more.
You can book either of these special offers October 9, 2014, through February 23, 2015, for most nights January 4, 2015, through March 23, 2015. Visit www.DisneyAulani.com or call 866-443-4763 for more information.
*Stay 4 nights and get the fourth night free with daily breakfast offer for stays of four consecutive nights. Save 30% with daily breakfast offer for stays of five or more consecutive nights. All stays must be booked between 10/9/14 and 2/23/15 inclusive, with all nights between 1/4/15 and 3/23/15. 30% savings based on the non-discounted price of the same room. Number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited, and room availability may vary by dates of stay. Package includes daily breakfast for all Guests booked per room per night of your package stay. Breakfast is only redeemable at Ulu Cafe during normal breakfast operating hours, and includes one entree and one coffee or fresh rotating juice. Breakfast entitlements may not be redeemed for cash in whole or in part, sold separately, transferred or refunded and will expire at midnight on package departure date. Excludes Resort fees and taxes. Not valid in combination with any other discounts or offers. Offers exclude suites and 3-bedroom Grand Villas. Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room. Limit two rooms per reservation and subject to room occupancy limitations. Advance reservations required. Subject to additional restrictions and changes without notice.
If your little ones love water, the Menehune Bridge will be a favorite destination at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. This 2,200 square foot interactive water play zone designed for keiki under 48 inches features two junior-sized water slides, spinning gourds and a climbing wall! As with most water activities in the resort’s Waikolohe Valley, it is free to guests.
During a visit to Aulani, Cultural Advisor Kahulu De Santos shared with me the Menehune legend that provides the inspiration for this aquatic play structure. I’m excited to pass the story along as part of our “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series.
According to Hawaiian legend, a boy named Laka went searching for his chief-father after his mysterious disappearance. His grandmother told him to “go to the mountains and look for the tree that has leaves shaped like the Hilo moon – such is the tree for a canoe.” He took his grandmother’s advice and found and fell the tree just before sunset. When he woke the next day to work on his new canoe, the tree he cut down was mysteriously gone! This trickery happened to Laka several times, until he decided to dig a small trench and hide alongside the tree trunk.
While hiding, he found the culprits taking his trees – a pair of Menehune! Once caught, they pleaded forgiveness for their mischievous actions and promised to build Laka a canoe. That evening, a multitude of Menehune carried the canoe down the mountain to Laka’s beachside home. Upon their arrival, a marvelous feast ensued and the mischievous Menehune were forgiven.
Menehune Bridge celebrates the legend of Laka’s canoe but also encourages aquatic mayhem – inspired by the Menehune, of course. If you want to get a fun view of Laka’s canoe, stand beneath it as it fills with water. Be patient – you’ll be in for a surprise!
What are your keiki looking forward to most during your vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? Tell us in the comments below!
For more from the “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series, visit the posts below:
“This is Halloween, everybody make a scene!”
With fall settling in and the Mickey Pumpkin welcoming guests to Disneyland park, Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort is in full swing! Between Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy (my favorite seasonal attraction overlay) and all the delicious seasonal food offerings, fall is providing some fair competition to my favorite time of year, Holidays at the Disneyland Resort. The first Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland park is just days away and today I wanted to share some tips for planning your visit to the special ticketed event. As always, I love reading your tips in the comments below!
Show your Disney Side with your Halloween costume: Everyone attending Mickey’s Halloween Party is encouraged to dress up in their favorite Halloween costume! Your costume should be child-friendly, with no sharp objects. It also should not be obstructive, offensive or violent. Keep in mind you’ll be walking around at night, so be mindful of a costume that may drag along the ground. In addition, masks must not obstruct your vision or cover your eyes.
Mickey’s Hide and Go Treat Trails: It wouldn’t be a Halloween party without the opportunity to trick-or-treat! Be sure to pick up a trick-or-treat map at the Main Entrance to Disneyland park to guide you to the numerous Halloween treat stops! You especially won’t want to miss Phineas and Ferb’s Rockin’ Treat Trail at Innoventions in Tomorrowland and the Piratepalooza Treats in Frontierland!
Exclusive Mickey’s Halloween Party Entertainment: My favorite part of Mickey’s Halloween Party is the exclusive entertainment offerings. Don’t miss the Cadaver Dans floating along the fog-filled Rivers of America! Also, if you’re a Disney Villains fan, stop by Main Street, U.S.A., to see these wicked tricksters conjure up some spooky surprises. You can also celebrate Halloween with some of your favorite Disney characters during Mickey’s Costume Party Cavalcade. For me, the highlight of Mickey’s Halloween Party experience is always “Halloween Screams” fireworks spectacular, hosted by none other than Jack Skellington, taking place at 9:30 p.m. Keep in mind that all entertainment offerings are subject to change without notice.
Still need to grab tickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party? Purchase them here and get ready for a screaming good time!
Planning a vacation usually includes the following questions: Where are we going to eat? How much clothing do we need to pack? Who is going to sleep where? Well, I’m happy to report that a vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, has an easy solution to all three with its spacious villas. The 1-Bedroom Villa, 2-Bedroom Villa and 3-Bedroom Grand Villa are all designed to comfortably accommodate larger groups and offer just-like-home amenities. This new series will spotlight these beautiful villas, beginning with a look at what is included with a stay in a 1-Bedroom Villa.
With more than 750 square feet of living space, a 1-Bedroom Villa is perfect for up to five guests. When trying to decide where everyone is going to sleep, remember that the 1-bedroom villa has a separate bedroom and living room. So if you have little ones that need to go to sleep earlier, the family fun can still continue in the living room! Also, don’t worry about packing extra clothes because a washer and dryer is available inside the room.
One of the best tips to maximize the villa’s amenities is to pick up select food offerings at Kalepa’s Store and prepare them in the kitchen in your room. Dinnerware, glassware, pots and pans – everything you need to prepare a delicious meal – is already in your room! Have leftovers? A 1-Bedroom Villa features a full-size refrigerator as well. My fellow Disney Parks Blog author, George Savvas, recently vacationed in a 1-Bedroom Villa at Aulani, and told me that complimentary dishwasher soap and laundry detergent are included with your stay – so no need to worry about packing those necessities!
Ready to book your villa at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? Reserve a consecutive four-night or more stay, now through October 30, 2014, for travel between August 15 and December 22 (excluding November 26-29), and receive the fourth night free! Learn more about this great vacation offer here.
See the posts below for more about Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa:
To celebrate Broadway Week in New York City, the Genie and the cast of Disney’s “Aladdin” granted the magical wish of visiting Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, to two unsuspecting audience members! Couple Leo Chan and Alicia Mara were selected at random for what they thought was a special backstage tour of the Broadway show. Little did they know – and in true Genie fashion – their wish to visit Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa would be granted on stage! Watch the story unfold below:
If the Genie could grant you a wish to visit any Walt Disney Parks & Resorts destination, which would you choose? Tell us in the comments below!
Continuing the Disney Parks tradition of world-class family entertainment, a vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, has something for everyone. The kids will spend countless hours in Aunty’s Beach House while you are relaxing at the Laniwai Spa. If you have teenagers in your family, don’t fret – daily activities are planned exclusively for them!
- Painted Sky - As the only teen spa in Hawai’i, Painted Sky offers a wide variety of fun and rejuvenating spa activities specifically designed for guests ages 13 to 17.
- Teen North Shore Beach Zone - Inspired by Oahu’s famous North Shore, this activity welcomes teens to an afternoon of fun beachside games at Aulani’s beautiful lagoon. Teens are encouraged to show their Disney Side in surf gear … or maybe even become a Pineapple Princess!
- Teen Island Treasure Photo Hunt - During this interactive activity, teens are sent on a scavenger hunt to video details hidden throughout Aulani. Once they have completed the challenge, they will return to Pau Hana Room to receive a key that unlocks a treasure chest of prizes!
What is your teen looking forward to most during a vacation to Aulani? Leave your answers in the comments below!
Be sure to check The Daily ‘Iwa to see what fun activities are in store for everyone during your Aulani vacation.