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Celebrating the Holidays at Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland Park

New Details Announced for Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows

posted on December 11th, 2014 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager, Public Affairs


You’ve probably heard about the exciting re-imagining taking place at one of the original Walt Disney World Resort hotels, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and today we have more news to share about Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows.

Check out this just-released rendering of the new Disney Vacation Club Bungalows, the first of their kind on any Disney property. The 20 Bungalows will sleep up to eight guests each in a home-like setting reminiscent of the South Pacific. My favorite feature though has to be the plunge pool overlooking Seven Seas Lagoon, and the view of the fireworks over Magic Kingdom Park.

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Adding to the excitement, we are opening the largest Deluxe Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort. The 360 Deluxe Studios will sleep up to five guests each and have the ability to connect to another Deluxe Studio, the first time we have done this at a Disney Vacation Club Resort. Similar to Disney Cruise Line ships and The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the rooms will each have a bathroom separated into two areas, one with a shower and sink and the other with a sink and tub/shower. Plus, they also will have kitchenettes and enhanced storage space for convenience and comfort.

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Another great part? Like all Disney Vacation Club Resorts, all rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows are available for rent by guests when not in use by Disney Vacation Club Members!

The addition of Disney Vacation Club to this beloved resort is part of an overall renovation. A re-imagined Great Ceremonial House will welcome guests to a tropical destination where Disney magic meets South Seas hospitality. Also included is an enhanced feature pool and new food and beverage offerings, including Pineapple Lanai where Members and guests can get their favorite Dole Whip treats and Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, which will feature exotic cocktails and Polynesian-themed small plates. Earlier this year, the resort opened a brand-new children’s activity center called Lilo’s Playhouse.

New details Announced for Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows New details Announced for Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows

The first phase of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows is scheduled to open in 2015. Stay tuned as we continue to share more news in the coming months!

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‘Tis the Season at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on December 10th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


The merriest time of year has arrived at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai`i! With temperatures averaging 78 degrees, it’s no surprise that Aulani is a favorite destination for families this holiday season. Today, I’m going to share some of the entertainment programs and offerings taking place now through the end of December to help you plan your vacation in a Hawaiian winter wonderland.

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  • Holiday Entertainment on the Halawai Lawn: Your entire ‘ohana won’t want to miss the Holiday Starlit Hui taking place several times a week through the end of the year! This iconic entertainment offering at Aulani has added some seasonal touches that are sure to have everyone in the holiday spirit. Also taking place on the Halawai Lawn, the ‘Ohana Disney Movie Nights will screen holiday films under the twinkling stars every Tuesday and Friday. Check The Daily ‘Iwa for more information on both of these festive favorites.
  • Seasonal Crafts at Aunty’s Beach House & Pau Hana Room: Children ages 3-12 will enjoy holiday-themed coloring sheets and crafting activities in Aunty’s Beach House. If you have tweens and teens in your ‘ohana, be sure they stop by the Pau Hana Room for special seasonal crafts as well!
  • Aulani Christmas Day Dinner: In addition to wishing everyone a Mele Kalikimaka on Christmas Day, your ‘ohana can enjoy a savory buffet feast and live entertainment! Learn more about the menu and book a reservation for the joyous meal here. Your ‘ohana can also enjoy a special 3-course prix fixe menu featuring fresh-caught seafood and prime rib at ‘AMA‘AMA! Update: The Aulani Christmas Day Dinner is now sold out.

And be sure to look out for some of your favorite Disney characters that have decided to don their best holiday Disney Side outfits for the occasion! Look for Mickey and the gang in the Waikolohe Valley or on the Halawai Lawn daily.

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season at Aulani? Tell us in the comments below!

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A Peek Inside The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

posted on December 1st, 2014 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the newest addition to the growing Disney Vacation Club portfolio at Walt Disney World Resort, offers Victorian elegance just a hop, skip and jump (or one short monorail ride, whichever mode of transportation you prefer) away from Magic Kingdom Park.

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If you’ve yet to check out this breathtaking Disney Vacation Club offering let me tell you right now – you are missing out. I could write sonnets about the lobby alone. From the whimsical “Mary Poppins“-themed fountain to the two five-tier custom grand chandeliers, the lobby is truly grand. But, since guests generally tend to sleep in the villa-style accommodations (and not the lobby, although it is certainly cozy enough), I think it’s best to focus on those.

The resort features spacious accommodations that sleep anywhere from five to twelve guests, providing even more flexibility and choices for Disney Vacation Club members and guests. The resort’s Deluxe Studios are the first at Walt Disney World Resort that sleep up to five guests, thanks to what is (arguably, although I stand by it) the coolest feature to date – a hidden pull-down bed! The front of this unassuming television stand pulls down to reveal a secret sleeping spot, complete with special Disney artwork. Ta-da!

A Peek Inside The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa A Peek Inside The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

For those looking for a little more space, 1- and 2-bedroom Villas, and 3-bedroom Grand Villas offer living rooms, full kitchens and separate sleeping areas. They are all magnificent, but the Grand Villa, which sleeps up to 12 people, has some serious “wow” factor. It even has its own media room, complete with a big-screen television and comfy seating for the whole family. Want a peek inside? Check this out.

The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is now nearly 80% sold out. And, while staying just steps away from the top-notch amenities available at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the flagship Walt Disney World Resort experience, is certainly on my “must do” list, the great thing about being a Disney Vacation Club member is the variety of vacation destinations available to you. Whether it’s this sort of Victorian splendor you crave, or watching a giraffe munch on lunch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, or even exploring thousands of other vacation options in destinations around the world, the possibilities of where you can vacation as a member are vast.

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Special Edition Wildlife Wednesday: What Are We Thankful For? You! – Thank You for Contributing to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund!

posted on November 26th, 2014 by Kim Sams, Director, Corporate Citizenship, Conservation Programs, The Walt Disney Company


Recently, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) was thrilled to announce its 2014 grant recipients. With this announcement DWCF surpassed $25 million awarded to nonprofits working to conserve wildlife and connect kids and families with nature. As we enter a season full of thanks and giving for many, we want to take a moment to thank you! Matched by Disney, your contributions to DWCF at Disney Parks and Resorts, Disney Cruise Line and Disney Vacation Club, are directly contributing to protecting animals and their habitats, and helping children all over the world have nature experiences. Not only do we thank you, the grant recipients thank you as well. Here are a few notes from recipients expressing gratitude for the conservation efforts made possible by your contributions.

The Marine Mammal Center: Mahalo!!! This is such wonderful news – especially as we just celebrated the opening and blessing of the new Hawaiian monk seal hospital and were joined by 150 members of the community, government, funders, and volunteers in Kona last week. And as we just sent off the first four young Hawaiian monk seal patients healthy back to the ocean – before our facility was built these four seals would have been left with no hope of survival. It is an exciting time of hope and possibility in the recovery of the Hawaiian monk seal. Thank you so much for your support!

Project: Hawaiian Monk Seal Healthcare Project

The Purple Martin Conservation Association: This is most wonderful news and on behalf of our purple martin conservation team we express our deep thanks for your support of our project. We look forward to working together with Disney to make important progress in the conservation of declining populations of purple martins.

Project: Connecting Songbird Conservation Across Hemispheres

Hawaiian Monk Seals at The Marine Mammal Center Tagged Purple Martin at The Purple Martin Conservation Association

SAVE THE FROGS!: This is amazing news! Thank you so much to you all and to Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund for your support of our amphibian conservation programs in West Africa.

Project: Saving Ghana’s Endangered Squeaker Frog

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The Jane Goodall Institute: Thank you so much for this wonderful news. Having Disney’s support of the Jane Goodall Institute and our Mandrill Reintroduction Project is greatly appreciated. Releasing rehabilitated mandrills back into the wild is so important, not only for the individuals themselves, but also for the surrounding ecosystem. They are important contributors to their local biodiversity and their presence has a positive spillover effect on other threatened wildlife. Again, thank you to everyone at Disney for your support.

Project: Release of Wild Born Mandrills

Sea to Shore Alliance: Thank you so much to all of you at DWCF for this fantastic news! We are extremely honored to be funded for the seventh year in a row, and we know our African manatee collaborators, whose projects benefit so greatly from your grants, are very grateful as well. We look forward to sharing more news and photos with you soon.

Project: African Manatee Research and Conservation

Every $1 in guest donations is matched by The Walt Disney Company and awarded to nonprofits to support conservation projects around the world. By contributing to the DWCF, guests are making a meaningful difference in conserving species all over the world. To see more projects visit Disney.com/conservation and click on the Google Earth application.

Happy Holidays!

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First Look at New Merchandise at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on November 24th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Planning a visit to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, this holiday season? You might want to consider packing light or bringing an extra suitcase, because I have all of the details on new merchandise that I guarantee you are going to want to bring home with you.

From what I’ve heard, the new Aulani-inspired Dooney & Bourke collection has already become a fan favorite. Take a look at the new design on the tote and cross-body styles which are available now at Hale Manu. Tip: Look for the wristlet (shown), available this spring.

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It doesn’t stop there! New collections themed to Shellie May, Duffy the Disney Bear, Aloha Minnie and Mele Kalikimaka are now available at Kalepa’s Store.

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As you can see, this year’s Mele Kalikimaka collection features Santa Mickey and Reindeer Pluto. You’ll find this art on tees, an ornament, a mug and a pin. Tip: Although I wasn’t able to show it, the Santa Mickey Mele Kalikimaka hat should be a must for anyone visiting during the holiday time frame.

New hats, caps, totes, tanks, fashion tees and fleece have been added to the new Aloha Minnie collection. It’s fashionable, fun and a perfect addition to your vacation wear.

Shellie May and Duffy the Disney Bear have made their debut on new items this holiday season as well. Look for t-shirts, hats and more featuring these fan favorites.

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Other seasonal favorites and quick picks include holiday and Frozen dolls and plush, retro holiday merchandise, ornaments, pins and Vinylmation.

Stay tuned for more next month as we dive deeper into the world of merchandise at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

What will you pack in your bags?

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Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: What’s in the Name?

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


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.

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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:

Celebrate Thanksgiving at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on November 3rd, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


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.

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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!

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And the 2014 Orbitz Best in Stay Elite Award Goes to … Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa!

posted on October 24th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


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!

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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!

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‘This is Halloween’ at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on October 17th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


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!

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  • 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!

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Stay Longer, Save More this Winter at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, with Choice of Special Offers

posted on October 9th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


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.

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