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A Taste of O’ahu and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, on a Disney Cruise

posted on May 26th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


I hope you’ve been enjoying my suggestions for excursions to take during your Disney cruise in Hawaii. Last but not least, let’s check out what you can experience on the lush island of O’ahu. Not only is O’ahu abounding in natural beauty like the rest of the Hawaiian islands, it is steeped in rich history and home to Honolulu’s thriving modern metropolis, providing Port Adventure options for every interest.

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Honolulu is also your gateway to the world’s newest Disney resort and spa, Aulani, in nearby Ko Olina. I highly recommend booking a stay here before or after your cruise, depending on which of our two Hawaiian voyages you join. What’s more, you can reserve a room just for your Honolulu port day with the Be Our Guest at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina Port Adventure. It’s the perfect opportunity to experience the magic and amenities of this first-class resort!

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Those who want to venture a little farther out will love our Explore And Taste Oahus North Shore Honolulu Port Adventure. We take you on a tour of the coast to see famous places, including the Dole Pineapple Plantation and the picturesque Byodo-In Temple located at the base of 2,000-foot cliffs. You’ll also travel to the surfing mecca of the world, visiting the North Shore’s Sunset Beach and Waimea Valley, before stopping at Haleiwa Beach Park where Green Sea Turtles occasionally rest on the golden sand or swim in the aquamarine water close to shore.

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If you want to see iconic sights, excursions like our Waikiki Beach Break and Diamond Head Crater Summit Adventure take you to the area’s popular spots to enjoy nature. Other options, including the Arizona Memorial & City Tour and the Pearl Harbor VIP Military Base Tour take you back in history and give you the chance to pay your respects at important landmarks.

That concludes my series on Port Adventures in Hawaii. Fantastic options, don’t you agree? If you missed my other posts, take a look back so you can start planning your trip of a lifetime. Aloha!

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A Home Away From Home at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: 2-Bedroom Villa

posted on May 18th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


With temperatures starting to warm up, it’s time to start thinking about your summer vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa! Not too long ago, I wrote an article on the Disney Parks Blog about the benefits of staying in a 1-Bedroom Villa in the first “A Home Away From Home” installment. Today, I’m excited to continue the series with an inside look at the 2-Bedroom Villas at Aulani!

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First and foremost, the 2-Bedroom Villa is the perfect option for larger families to relax, hang out and of course, sleep! I recommend picking up a few grocery items when you arrive from Kālepa’s Store and preparing a meal or two in the kitchen. Also, the cozy living room is the perfect spot to curl up with your ‘ohana and watch a Disney classic film like “The Lion King” rented from the Pau Hana Room.

The spacious Villa offers over 1,100 square feet and comfortably sleeps up to nine guests. At the end of the evening, your family can head to Never Land with these sleeping arrangements: two resting in the master bedroom’s king bed, four sleeping in the second bedroom’s two queen beds and in the living room, three more guests stretching out in the queen sleeper sofa and the sleeper chair!

Like the 1-Bedroom Villa, don’t worry about packing extra clothes because a washer and dryer is available inside the room! Other amenities available in a 2-Bedroom Villa include: a whirlpool tub, 3 flat-panel televisions and DVD players and every kitchen appliance needed to prepare a home-cooked meal!

Are you ready for your Hawaiian getaway?

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Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Makahiki: The Bounty of the Islands

posted on May 13th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


So far, the “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series has shared the magic behind iconic locations at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, like ‘Alohi Point, Menehune Bridge and Pu’u Kilo. Today we continue with an inside look at Makahiki: The Bounty of the Islands and how this delicious restaurant enhances the Aulani story for guests vacationing in Hawai’i.

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Aulani Cultural Advisor Kahulu De Santos shared with me that the traditional Hawaiian Makahiki season is actually during the fall months. “The sunset rising of the beautiful open star cluster Makali‘i (Pleiades), followed by the first visible crescent moon appearing at dusk, heralds the beginning of the Makahiki season,” she explained.

The story of the Makahiki season comes to life inside Aulani’s popular buffet restaurant in a series of artistic executions. A mural by leeward artist Solomon Enos highlights the powerful imagery and ancient protocols associated with the sacred time of the year. The colorful imagery gives Aulani guests a glimpse of the ceremonies and offerings presented to Lono-i-ka-Makahiki, the god of peace, rain and agriculture in order to bring fertility and prosperity to the land.

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There are other notable design elements for guests to discover in the buffet area itself. For example, the curving walls are embedded with tiles made of coconut fiber that lend a natural and organic backdrop for the art. Look up and you’ll also see this Hawaiian treat used in another design element. In fact, the entire ceiling consists of coconut tiles, augmented by a scattering of mirrored glass mosaic tiles. Return to Makahiki in the evening hours – the design is very reminiscent of a starry night.

Let’s not forget about the delicious food offerings, too! Your ‘ohana will enjoy items like sliced island fruits, Asian-inspired entrées and more! Make reservations to say hello to some of your favorite Disney characters at “Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration at Makahiki” or have a delectable dinner in this one-of-a-kind restaurant with lots to discover here.

Do you have a detail at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, you’d love to know more about? Let us know in the comments below!

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Tour Aulani with New Disney Vacation Club Virtual Resort Experience at Disneyland Resort

posted on May 13th, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


Throughout my career I’ve traveled to Disney destinations around the globe. However, I haven’t yet been quite lucky enough to visit Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa or Disney Vacation Club Villas in Hawai’i. I recently got to experience the next best thing – taking a virtual tour of the resort at the new Disney Vacation Club Preview Center at the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort.

This new virtual resort experience allows you to fly over and through Aulani, exploring each area of the resort in detail on large television monitors. It’s almost like being there – you can virtually walk through the Villas, glide along the lazy river and sample a Mai Tai (okay, I might be exaggerating a bit with that one), and more.

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The new Disney Vacation Club Preview Center is located near the AMC Theatres at Disneyland Resort. Come on by and start planning vacations your family will never outgrow.

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Sounds from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Now on Pandora

posted on May 5th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


If music has the power to take you away, then brace yourself for a trip to a Hawaiian paradise with “Disney Aulani Sounds” on Pandora! This new mixtape includes songs by artists featured at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, creating an authentic Hawaiian musical experience.

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While listening to the playlist, you’ll enjoy songs from the “Aulani: Music of the Maka’ala” soundtrack – including my favorite, “Mele Ho‘ala Moku.” As quite the avid fan, I can assure you that taking a moment to close your eyes and listen to these songs transports you away to Aulani.

And to connect listeners to Aulani, Disney and Pandora also included musical artists who regularly perform at Off the Hook and The ‘Olelo Room. If you are vacationing at Aulani, be sure to check out The Daily ‘Iwa to see which local artists are performing – you may recognize their music from the “Disney Aulani Sounds” station!

Lastly, don’t forget that Mother’s Day is just around the corner! Aulani is celebrating moms the whole month of May with an all-new breakfast-in-bed option and a blissful menu of spa treatments at the award-winning Laniwai Spa. Celebrate Mom with aloha and learn more about “Mahalo Momma Month” here.

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QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa?

posted on April 27th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


With the addition of quizzes on the Disney Parks Blog, I’m excited to have a little fun testing your knowledge of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa! Even if you have never visited our beautiful resort in Hawai`i, take a look through some of our past Aulani blog posts to find the answers! Have fun and good luck!
 

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How Well Do You Know Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa?

What does the word “Aulani” mean in Hawaiian?
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What is the name of the only teen spa in Hawai`i, found at Aulani?
Painted-SkyQZ
What are the names of the two water slides found at the Pu’u Kilo in the Waikolohe Valley?
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What is the name of the magical, interactive kids club found at Aulani?
AuntysQZ
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What’s Included on Your Vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on April 20th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Whenever anyone asks about favorite part of visiting Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, my first response is always the incredible amount of activities included with your stay. What kind of activities, you might ask? Well, today I’m happy to share with you some of the complementary experiences – along with some helpful tips – designed for the entire ‘ohana during your Hawaiian vacation.

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  • Aunty’s Beach House - This magical, interactive kids club is designed for keiki ages 3 to 12 and offers a variety of complimentary activities that explore Hawaiian culture, art and music. I always recommend parents and their toddlers visit Aunty’s Beach House during the Open House hours between 8 – 9:30 a.m. daily to explore this amazing activity center together. Be sure to save time and pre-register your little ones online here.

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  • Starlit Hui - Uncle hosts this evening celebration on the Halawai Lawn and leads guests on a journey into Hawaiian culture and traditions — you’ll watch the stories unfold through spirited song and dance. Your entire ‘ohana will not want to miss this Disney-exclusive entertainment experience, so be sure to check The Daily ‘Iwa for the weekly performance schedule, and for even more fun, arrive about 30 minutes prior to show time! There’s all sorts of pre-show fun and activities for everyone.

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  • Pau Hana Room - For families and friends looking to connect over board games, arts and crafts, books or movies, the Pau Hana Room is the place to be! Most of your favorite Disney classic films are available to rent here. Or, embark on the Menehune Adventure Trail, a high-tech scavenger hunt, from the Pau Hana Room! Some of the activities that take place in the Pau Hana Room can be quite popular, so be sure to check in early!

These are just three of the activities that make a vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, an unforgettable experience for everyone. Plus, they are included in the price of your room! To explore more, click here.

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Tastes of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Blue Hawaiian at The `Olelo Room

posted on April 13th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Update: 4/16/2015: The Blue Hawaiian recipe has been updated with a few minor changes

Our “Tastes of Aulani” series returns to The ‘Olelo Room at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, to feature another signature Hawaiian cocktail. If you have mastered the Traditional Mai Tai and Mahi Mahi Tacos, now it’s time to test your skills with another classic: the Blue Hawaiian! Our bartenders at Aulani prepare this beverage at The ‘Olelo Room, Off the Hook and Wailana Pool Bar. However, if you’re at home, let cast member Keola show you how to make this beverage below. What other delicious eats and drinks from Aulani would you like to try at home? Tell us in the comments below!

Blue Hawaiian

  • 1 ounce House-made Sweet & Sour
  • 2 ounces Pineapple Juice
  • 1 ounce Old Lahaina Light Rum
  • 1 ounce Ocean Vodka
  • 1/2 ounce BOLS Blue Curaçao
  • Pineapple wedge and pineapple leaf, for garnish
  1. Pour sweet & sour, pineapple juice, rum and Blue Curaçao in mixing glass; fill with ice and shake for 30 seconds.
  2. Pour into tall glass; garnish with pineapple wedge and pineapple leaf.
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‘Mahalo Mama Month’ Celebrates Moms at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on April 6th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Ko Olina, Hawai`i, will celebrate moms for the whole month of May with an all-new breakfast-in-bed option and a blissful menu of spa treatments at the award-winning Laniwai Spa. The offerings are the Hawaiian resort’s way to say mahalo to moms staying at Aulani.

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Moms can wake up in paradise with a scrumptious breakfast brought right to their bedside. Aulani’s chefs have created a special treat just for them: Strawberries and Cream Stuffed French Toast, topped with warm chocolate syrup. Don’t worry, all guests are welcome to enjoy this delectable treat!

After breakfast, moms can spend the day relaxing at the Laniwai Spa and experiencing one of the many rejuvenating treatments. For example, during the Kapa’i Massage, warmed poultices of muslin-wrapped herbs are steamed and kneaded onto the body, perfect for those seeking muscle tension relief.

For the rest of the ‘ohana, there are also many ways to create one-of-a-kind keepsakes for moms. During arts and crafts at Aunty’s Beach House and the Pau Hana Room, kids can make mementos moms will keep forever. With Disney PhotoPass opportunities located throughout the resort, families can capture their special memories from Aulani on camera. As a special offer, guests will receive 20 percent off family portrait sessions throughout the month of May—perfect for mom’s desktop at home or at the office.

Adding to the great reasons to celebrate moms at Aulani is this special offer: guests can save up to 30 percent on stays during the month of May! For more details about “Mahalo Mama Month,” please visit here.

How will you celebrate Mother’s Day at Aulani? Tell us in the comments below!

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Disney Vacation Account Helps You Plan, Save for Future Disney Vacations

posted on April 6th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’re one of our many readers who can’t wait for their next Disney trip, you’ll want to check out our newest program – Disney Vacation Account. It simplifies saving for your next dream vacation – a little at a time – and includes some great online tools to help you do it.

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Disney Vacation Account was created after hearing your feedback. You let us know that you wanted more tools to help plan a Disney experience and we’ve created a program that’ll let you save for magical vacations at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, or Adventures by Disney.

Disney Vacation Account helps you manage your vacation savings at your own pace, in a way that fits your budget. And it’s easy to get started.

First, our Account Budget Estimator will help you estimate the cost of your vacation based on current prices. Please remember prices change from time to time.

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Next, calculate your savings contribution on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Then sit back and track your savings with a personalized account page and fun emails that help you plan your vacation along the way.

Accounts can be updated at any time—like changing your savings contribution amounts and frequency or stopping your contributions—at no cost.

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When you’re ready to book your dream vacation, you can use your Disney Vacation Account to pay for your vacation. To use your Disney Vacation Account funds toward paying for your vacation, you must book it either directly with Disney or through a participating travel agency booking directly with Disney. Please ask your travel agent whether your booking will be eligible to be paid for with your Disney Vacation Account.

There are no fees to create or maintain a Disney Vacation Account. And all of your contributions are fully refundable.

Also, if you use your Disney Vacation Account to pay for your vacation before December 31, 2017, (date subject to extension) you’ll be eligible for a $20 Disney Gift Card for every $1,000 spent on qualified vacation purchases with your Disney Vacation Account. Certain limitations apply.*

To sign up and get started, visit our Disney Vacation Account site. And let us know how it helped you with your next Disney vacation.

*Maximum of a total of $500 in Disney Gift Card(s) per household. Your Disney Vacation Account must be active for a minimum of 120 days at the time of spending in order to receive this bonus. Request your Disney Gift Card(s) 4-6 weeks in advance of your vacation date to allow time for delivery to your mailing address. Visit DisneyVacationAccount.com\FAQ\Bonus for complete details.

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