Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park

Aloha from Aulani

posted on July 23rd, 2010 by Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts


Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs at Aulani Construction Site
Aloha from O‘ahu! I’m at the site of one of our most unique, new projects – Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai‘i. The team in Hawai‘i continues to bring this beautiful beachfront property to life, and it’s exciting that in just a little more than a year, on August 29, 2011, we’re scheduled to welcome our first guests here.

Construction is well underway, and as I walked the site yesterday, the great potential for the combination of the location and Disney creativity couldn’t be more clear.

Aulani is something completely new and different for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. It is our first stand-alone Resort, separate from our theme parks that will offer both hotel rooms and villas for Disney Vacation Club members. As we’ve expanded “beyond the berm” with offerings like Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney, our goal has been to bring Disney vacation experiences to our guests. And since Hawai‘i is one of the top family destinations in the world, we always knew that this would be the perfect place for a Disney Resort.

Aulani will be a destination where families can experience the stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and friendship of Hawai‘i—in a setting only Disney could create. Much more than a place to stay, it will be a place to start—a home base from which our guests can explore all that Hawai‘i has to offer.

The culture of Hawai‘i is rooted in layer-upon-layer of meaning, ancestral heritage and a rich storytelling tradition. Obviously, storytelling is something we hold near and dear here at Disney, too. So, together with our Hawaiian advisors, we are collecting stories, legends and symbols, and weaving them into the design of Aulani. Local artists are creating giant murals that surround the resort. For example, the work of one of those artists, Harinane Orme, tells the stories of Maui and Hina, and of the great tradition of star navigation that brought the Hawaiians to this land.

There is so much creativity and passion going into the development of this new Resort. I’m excited to bring my family here and think our guests will be too.

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A Spectacular Opening Night

posted on June 11th, 2010 by Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts


Talk about creating magical memories! The premiere of ‘World of Color‘ last night was one of those great Disney moments that I will remember for a lifetime. It was a thrill to see the look on the faces of our Guests (including my wife and boys) as Paradise Bay was transformed into a rainbow symphony of our best Disney music, animation and stunning water effects. It’s a show unlike any other, and it represents the finest of what makes Disney, Disney.

Tom Staggs at World of Color Premiere

Of course, it takes a whole lot to create a show as big as ‘World of Color.’ This spectacular is the result of a great collaborative effort that has drawn on every part of The Walt Disney Company. Making magic requires teamwork, and I’m honored to be working with such talented teammates.

‘World of Color’ is the quintessential Disney celebration-one that builds on Walt’s legacy of using creativity, technology and innovation to bring our most beloved characters and stories to life in a whole new way. And I think it’s a satisfying first taste of what’s to come at Disney California Adventure and at our parks and resorts around the world. We’ve got a pretty amazing lineup of new experiences opening over the next few years: Our “Little Mermaid” attraction and “Cars Land” at Disney California Adventure park; two new Disney cruise ships; a new stand-alone resort in Hawaii; and major expansions of Hong Kong Disneyland and Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.

We’ll be giving you updates here on the Disney Parks blog as these projects progress, so stay tuned. And enjoy ‘World of Color.’

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort