Mad Tea Party at Disneyland Resort

Disney Parks Quick Hits: Resort Awards, Holiday Tickets and Wild Africa Trek Savings

posted on June 21st, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We wanted to begin the day with a few quick updates for Disney Parks Blog readers, including some wonderful news for many of our resorts.

More Than 30 Disney Resorts Won the 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award More Than 30 Disney Resorts Won the 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award More Than 30 Disney Resorts Won the 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award

More than 30 resorts recently won the 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award. According to TripAdvisor, the award celebrates hospitality excellence and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on their site. Here are the lists of winners.

Tickets for Magic Kingdom Park Fall Special Events on Sale Now Tickets for Magic Kingdom Park Fall Special Events on Sale Now

Also, a quick reminder that tickets for fall special events taking place at Magic Kingdom Park are on sale, including tickets for this year’s Night of Joy, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties.

Wild Africa Trek at Disney's Animal Kingdom Offers Guests Up-Close Views of Some of the Park's Animals, Including Hippos

And if you’re looking for adventure this weekend, you can now get $50 off the price of Wild Africa Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom when you book an experience for 11:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:30 p.m. or 3:15 p.m., now through October 26, 2013. To book, call 407-WDW-TOUR.

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Hale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on April 29th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Who’s up for a trip to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? I know I am! While I’m sure you could use some rest and relaxation like me, how about I take you on a virtual tour of our newest location, opening today?

Hale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

For those of you familiar with Aulani, you’ve probably visited our current store location, Kalepa’s. Just steps away on the ‘Ewa side of the Maka’ala lobby is Hale Manu, which means House of Birds. This contemporary merchandise boutique offers a variety of high-end products that are as exquisite and unique as the birds the store celebrates. Since I wasn’t able to get there myself, I reached out to Bo Bolanos, Walt Disney Imagineering Principal Concept Designer & Art Director, along with Roger Nakamine, Show Writer and Aulani’s Cultural Advisor, Kahulu De Santos who gave me a ‘bird’s-eye’ view of what you can expect to see.

Hale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Kahulu shared that, in the Hawaiian culture, birds are considered to be beautiful and majestic animals that often possess great wisdom. In many myths and legends of the islands, they are keepers of divine knowledge. “Native Hawaiian bird forms and wooden sculptures gently cascade down from the fifteen-foot ceiling, slowly enveloping the space,” says Bo. “Guests will simply marvel at this magnificent centerpiece.” Bird sculptures can also be found perched around the shop, where their bright and bold colors stand out against Hale Manu’s rich, dark interior.

CHale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa CHale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa CHale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Some of the birds on display in Hale Manu include:

  • The ‘iwa, or frigate bird, whom guests may recognize from the compass rose in the Maka‘ala lobby.
  • The pueo, or short-eared brown owl; viewed as a protector and guardian in Hawaiian culture. Eagle-eyed guests can spot the protector pueo figures located in the Waikolohe Valley and ‘AMA’AMA restaurant.
  • The ‘i’iwi, or scarlet honey creeper, whose striking red and black plumage was much prized by the bird hunters and feather workers of traditional Hawai‘i.
  • The ‘alae ‘ula, or Hawaiian Moorhen; the namesake of Aulani’s nightly storytelling area and a bird well known in Hawaiian legend as the keeper of fire.

These beautiful birds of Hale Manu will feel right at home amidst the hand-painted murals that stretch along the store’s walls, depicting a diverse array of foliage from the plants of the upland forest to seaside vegetation.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see it in person. Who’s with me?

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Even Island Residents Love an Aulani Vacation

posted on March 18th, 2013 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


So … where do you go on vacation if you already live in Hawai`i?

Many island residents choose the “staycation” route, leaving home to enjoy a few days at one of Hawai`i’s many luxurious resorts. And, according to readers of Honolulu Magazine, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, is the “Best Hotel for a Staycation.”
“Aulani,

It’s a tribute to the family fun and amenities of Aulani: restaurants, Rainbow Reef snorkel lagoon, Laniwai Spa and the many experiences that are included at no additional cost: the pools and slides of Waikolohe Valley, Aunty’s Beach House kids club, and a wide range of live entertainment, including island musical performers and storytellers, visits with Disney characters, and the popular nighttime Starlit Hui.

The “Best” citation appears in the “Best of Honolulu” edition of Honolulu Magazine, designed “to help you live better in Honolulu.” An Aulani vacation – or “staycation” – combines the stories of Hawai`i with the magic of Disney for guests of all ages.

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Warming Up for a Spring Vacation at Aulani? Now Offering Four Nights for the Price of Three, April 7 through May 23 and May 27 Through June 8

posted on February 25th, 2013 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


The Waikolohe Valley at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

If a cold and snowy winter has you thinking about a spring getaway at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i, a new offer will help you spend extra time in the Hawaiian sunshine. For a limited time, you can stay four nights for the price of three when you purchase a minimum three-night stay April 7 through May 23 and May 27 through June 8, 2013.

That means a total of four nights and five days to enjoy all there is to do at Aulani – pools and waterslides, restaurants and lounges, the relaxing beach and cove, entertainment, excursions, Aunty’s Beach House kids club, visits with Disney characters, Laniwai spa and more.

You can book this offer now through April 6, 2013. To book, call toll-free (866) 309-2384, or your travel agent, and mention offer code AVW. You can also find it online at DisneyAulani.com. This offer is available for stays April 7 through May 23, 2013 and May 27 through June 8, 2013.

As you may know, expansion of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is in progress through the summer. You may notice this work during your stay, but there will be even more amazing water activities and dining options coming when the work is completed in late September.

And, as always, here’s some useful supporting information:

4 Nights for the Price of 3 Nights promotion for guests who stay four consecutive nights all between April 7th 2013, through May 23 2013, and May 27th through June 8th, 2013. Book from now through April 6, 2013. The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited and room availability may vary by dates of stay. Excludes Resort fees and taxes. Not valid in combination with any other discounts or offers. Offer excludes suites and 3-Bedroom Grand Villas. Additional per adult charges may apply if more than 2 adults per room. Offer applied once per reservation. Advance reservations required. Subject to additional restrictions and change without notice. Limit 2 rooms per reservation.

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A Great 2012 Draws to a Close at Aulani, More Fun and Excitement Coming in 2013

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


There's More Fun and Excitement Coming in 2013 to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Happy New Year from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i! The first full year at Aulani has been an eventful one, with awards for the resort, a great visit from “Live! with Kelly” and, around the time of the resort’s first anniversary in August, the announcement of significant expansion with new water features and food service locations coming to the resort.

We’re all looking forward to seeing those new additions in 2013. It’ll be an exciting new year for us and, I hope, for all of you as well. Here’s a look back at some of our top stories here on the Disney Parks Blog this year.

Celebrating One Year at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Aulani marked its one-year anniversary on August 29 with new details on its expansion and the launch of its official Twitter handle, @DisneyAulani.

Details Announced for Expanded Water Fun and Dining Options at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
This summer, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, announced plans for expansion at the resort, including new water play areas and quick-service dining locations.

Aulani and Laniwai Make the Conde Nast Traveler ‘Hot List’ for 2012
In the May issue of Conde Nast Traveler, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, and Laniwai, a Disney Spa at Aulani, were included on the magazine’s “Hot List” for 2012.

As ‘LIVE!’ Spends the Week at Aulani, Kelly Ripa and Her Family Enjoy the Resort
Early this year, “LIVE! with Kelly” broadcast from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, culminating in the wedding of the winning couple of “LIVE’s Hawaiian Dream Wedding Giveaway.”

Mischievous Menehune Take Over Disney Parks Blog Publishing
Just before April Fool’s Day, we suspected the mischievous Menehune had tricky plans in store for the Disney Parks Blog. We were right – they took over the site for the day on April 1.

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We Wish You a Mele Kalikimaka from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

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


…and a Happy New Year! The cast members of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i, join us in wishing Happy Holidays to our Disney Parks Blog readers and friends throughout the world.

From Hawai`i, warmest wishes (heh) for the season.


Read more about Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in these posts:

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Aulani Vacationers Can Enjoy Six Nights for the Price of Five Plus $150 One-Time Resort Credit, January 8 through March 10, 2013

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


Visit Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai'i

If you plan to visit Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i, this winter, there’s an extra-special travel offer that will give you all the time you need to enjoy everything in and around Aulani. For a limited time, you can stay six nights for the price of five and receive a $150 one-time resort credit to spend as you like.

That means a total of six days to enjoy all there is to do at Aulani – pools and waterslides, restaurants and lounges, entertainment, excursions, Aunty’s Beach House kids club, Laniwai spa and more. There’s something to delight every member of the family in a one-of-a-kind resort that celebrates not only vacations but the people, culture and stories of Hawai`i.

You can book this offer now through January 15, 2012. To book, call toll-free (866) 309-2384 and mention offer code S8O. This offer is available for stays January 8 through March 10, 2013, except February 16-18. As you probably have heard, Aulani has become so popular with guests of all ages that expansion work is underway as the resort enters its second year of operation.

And, as always, here’s some useful supporting information:

6 Nights for the Price 5 Nights with $150 One Time Resort Credit promotion for guests who stay five consecutive nights all between January 08, 2013 through March 10, 2013. Blackout Dates: February 16th, 2013 – February 18th, 2013. Book from November 20, 2012 – January 15, 2013. The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited and room availability may vary by dates of stay. Excludes Resort fees and taxes. Not valid in combination with any other discounts or offers. Offer excludes suites and 3-Bedroom Grand Villas. Additional per adult charges may apply if more than 2 adults per room. Offer applied once per reservation. Check for offers for other lengths of stay. Advance reservations required. Subject to restrictions and change without notice. Limit 2 rooms per reservation.

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Season’s Aloha! Holiday Fun for All Ages Coming to Aulani

posted on November 16th, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


The holiday season arrives at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i, on Thanksgiving Day, with appropriate island holiday enhancements throughout the resort.

“Holiday

Beginning Thursday, November 22, Aunty, Uncle and all the welcoming cast members at Aulani will be celebrating the holidays with songs and stories. Aunty will perform “Santa’s Hula” as part of her Breakfast Celebration at Makahiki. The Aulani Starlit Hui band will add island holiday tunes “Mele Kalikimaka” and “Christmas Luau” to their repertoire. And Uncle will tell stories that celebrate the Makahiki season around The Circle of `Alae `Ula Fire Pit. Movie Nights will include titles like “The Santa Clause,” “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Prep and Landing,” as well as a holiday-inspired `ohana trivia game with a special gift for the winning family.

And if everyone has been nice – not naughty – this year, Santa will make a special visit to Aulani on Christmas Eve morning.

Mele Kalikimaka to all!

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more updates on the holiday season at Disney Parks, and join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #disneyholidays.

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Cars Land, Radiator Springs Racers, Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge, and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i, Receive Honors

posted on November 13th, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park Receives Honor From TEA

Today, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) announced the winners of the 19th Thea Awards, recognizing excellence in the creation of extraordinary visitor experiences, attractions, exhibits and places. It’s been a big year for Disneyland Resort and Aulani in Ko Olina, Hawai`i, and we’re happy to report that the following projects were all honored:

  • Cars Land received the award for New Theme Park Land, with the citation noting, among many other details, “…the overwhelming scale of the rockwork panorama…”
  • Radiator Springs Racers was honored in the Attraction category for “…true excellence in design, technical innovation and execution.”
  • Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge received the citation for Theme Park Restaurant, noting, “…high quality service, distinctive setting and cuisine…”
  • Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i, received the award for Themed Hotel Resort – “The Aulani resort experience is one-of-a-kind.”

In addition, Frank Stanek, former Corporate Vice President of Research and Planning for the Walt Disney Company, will receive The Buzz Price Award – Recognizing a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements. During his years with Disney, Stanek provided background and analysis in the original development of Walt Disney World Resort and the expansion of Disneyland Resort, as well as Epcot, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. His wide-ranging professional career also includes developments for the City of Osaka and Universal.

Each of the winning projects will be recognized at the Thea Awards ceremony, a black-tie gala to be held April 6, 2013, at the Disneyland Hotel.

Congratulations to all of our Thea Award winners!

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Halloween in Hawai`i! Aulani Offers Spooky Fun for All Ages

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


Even people on a Hawaiian vacation like to get dressed up and go trick-or-treating for Halloween. The Halloween season arrives at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i, this weekend, with special activities for guests of all ages through the end of the month.

Halloween in Hawai`i! Aulani Offers Spooky Fun for All Ages

Between now and Friday, November 2, Aulani will offer “Happy Halloween Hawaiian Style!” featuring Disney characters in costume, Halloween arts and crafts and, on select days, trick-or-treating around the resort, Halloween parties for the kids in Aunty’s Beach House, spooky family film nights and, for older kids, “Hallow Teen” events on the beach and in the Painted Sky teen spa.

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