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Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Menehune Bridge

posted on September 30th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


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.

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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.

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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:

A Home Away From Home at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: 1-Bedroom Villa

posted on September 23rd, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


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.

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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:

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Fodor’s Travel Names Aulani a Top Hotel

posted on September 19th, 2014 by Todd Apo, Director, Public Affairs, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa


“An enchanting resort complete with Disney character experiences and a touch of local culture in everything …”

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That’s what reviewers at Fodor’s Travel, one of the largest and most respected publishers of travel and tourism information, are saying about Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, which is being recognized as a 2014 Fodor’s 100 Hotel Award winner, and one of the top 12 “Beach Getaway” hotels worldwide. Aulani was the only resort in all of Hawai‘i to be included in this distinguished category.

Fodor’s evaluated more than 5,000 properties around the globe, so cracking the top 100 – and being called out as one of the world’s greatest beach resorts – is a wonderful achievement.

What do you love most about your “Beach Getaway” to Aulani?


To read more about Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, visit the posts below:

Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ on Broadway Grants Wish to Visit Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

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


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!

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Teens Can Hang Loose at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

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


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!

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  • 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.

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Celebrates Three Years of Paradise with a Touch of Magic

posted on August 29th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Today marks the third anniversary of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa! Let’s celebrate with a look back at three major milestones this beautiful resort has seen through the past three years.

Tradition and Magic at the Grand Opening of Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa

Tradition and Magic at the Grand Opening of Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa

With the help of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Hawaiian performers and Aulani cast members, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger, led the Grand Opening Ceremony. One of our favorite moments during the ceremony was the joining of Hawaiian culture and the magic of Disney – symbolized by the mixing of sand from the beach with pixie dust in an ‘umeke, a ceremonial wooden bowl.

Ka Maka Landing Officially Opens at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

New Ka Maka Landing Officially Opens Tomorrow at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Ka Maka Landing opened in October 2013, completing the Waikolohe Valley expansion. Your ‘ohana can now spend the day in the spectacular infinity-edge pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and children can splash and play in the new Keiki Cove. Be sure to take a break and enjoy a poolside meal at Ulu Cafe before diving back for more Hawaiian fun.

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Travel + Leisure Readers Recognize Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa and Disney Cruise Line for Excellence

Last month, Travel + Leisure announced its World’s Best Awards 2014, and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, was named the Top Hotel for Families in the United States. Cast members were positively thrilled to receive this honor on behalf of our Hawaiian resort, and look forward to continuing the tradition of providing extraordinary guest service.

Please join me in wishing Aulani a hau`oli la ho’omana’o, or happy anniversary! If you’d like to visit and celebrate the anniversary too, take advantage of a special travel package this fall: book 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.

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Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Menehune Adventure Trail

posted on August 19th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


The legendary Menehune are mischievous little people with magical powers ​who live in the forest and only come out at night. Menehune statues are hidden throughout Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Look for them along the Waikolohe stream, along walking paths, in phone booths, elevators … pretty much anywhere! In fact, so many are hidden in the Waikolohe Valley that Aunty has enlisted Aulani guests to help find them on the Menehune Adventure Trail. Using interactive handsets, your ‘ohana can set out on ​30 challenges that immerse you in the mysteries, legends and lore of Hawai‘i. The Menehune supply plenty of enchantment along the way! The “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series continues today with ​an inside look at some of the secrets you will discover on the Menehune Adventure Trail.

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  • Lava Tube: Deep inside the Pu’u Kilo in the Waikolohe Valley, you might stumble upon a lava tube filled with magma. Watch out – it just may explode! You’ll need the help of the Menehune to divert the magma, avoiding trouble. During this mission to save the island, guests can sense the impressive sights and sounds of a lava flow.
  • Hula Drums: One of Aunty’s friends, Kani, is a master hula teacher who just uncovered an old video of her mother dancing the hula. However, the video has a minor technical difficulty – it doesn’t have any sound! Aunty turns to you and the Menehune to find the right rhythm for the chant using magical instruments along the trail.
  • Kapa: A traditional Hawaiian barkcloth, Kapa is the focal point of one of my favorite missions along the Menehune Adventure Trail. Aunty informs you that a young woman is about to be married, but her mother’s wedding gift, a kapa cloth, remains unfinished. With the help of the Menehune, you can help calm the mother-of-the-bride and complete the magically illuminated pattern.

Now is the best time to explore the Menehune Adventure Trail and more on a vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa! Book 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.


For more from the “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series, visit the posts below:

Quick Merchandise Tips for August at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on August 15th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Whether you are going to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa for the first time or making a return trip this August, here are a few key things you might want to keep an eye out for.

Up first are a couple of pins you could say are filled with ‘character.’ Chip n’ Dale Paddling and the Aulani ~ Mickey Mouse logo pin will release in mid-September. Tip: Pins make great souvenirs if you are looking for something to commemorate your stay at Aulani. They also make the perfect gift for a loved one back home.

Aulani ~ Mickey Mouse Logo Pin Chip n’ Dale Paddling Pin

Debuting later this summer is our Aulani-inspired Alex and Ani bangle in Rafaelian Gold finish. Those of you who have seen my recent posts on Alex and Ani bangles know that I’m already jealous since this particular bangle will only be available at Aulani.

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Look for these wonderful treasures and more at Kālepa’s Store. What souvenir will you take home to represent your Aulani vacation?

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Three Fun Ways to Stay Fit at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on August 6th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


A vacation can mean a variety of things for different people, and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, has something for everyone. For guests looking to staying in shape during their visit, the Mikimiki Fitness Center is a state-of-the-art health club that offers a wide variety of weights and cardio equipment. In addition, Aulani offers energizing classes daily for all fitness needs – some even outdoors on the beach – as well as Certified Personal Trainers to help you continue your personal training programs. Here are a few of the activities currently at the resort:

1. Group Spinning – If you enjoy spin classes at home, then you’ll love Group Spinning at Aulani. Not only is this fitness class a great workout for experts, it’s a perfect introduction for beginners! No matter your experience level, I promise you’ll feel the burn after this class.

2. Paddle Fitness – One of the newest fitness classes offered at Laniwai Spa, Paddle Fitness is a unique and fun way to workout! Paddle boards are set up indoors, so no need for swimwear, but be ready to increase your strength, balance, coordination and conditioning.

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3. Sunrise Yoga – Start your day watching the beautiful Hawaiian sunrise and improving your health, mental awareness and balance. Sunrise Yoga is one of the most popular fitness programs at Aulani, and it is one of my personal favorites! Even if you are a newcomer to yoga, like myself, this is the perfect way to energize for the day. If you are familiar with yoga, Hatha and Vinyasa are the two styles practiced in this specific class.

After your workout, relax in the whirlpool spas at ‘Alohi Point while savoring the gentle ocean breeze. One last tip: check The Daily ‘Iwa for beach workout and bootcamp schedules, and to see which fitness classes require a reservation before you plan your day!

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ShellieMay Merchandise Arriving at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, This Month

posted on August 4th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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My fellow author Michelle Harker recently gave you a look at Gelatoni, the newest friend for Duffy the Disney Bear at Tokyo Disney Resort. This cool cat joins another friend named ShellieMay who was introduced in Japan a few years ago. During my time as a Disney Parks Blog author, I’ve received a number of requests for ShellieMay merchandise. Today, I’m happy to share that specially designed ShellieMay products will be released at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Ko Olina, Hawai‘i, this month.

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For those unfamiliar with ShellieMay’s story, Minnie Mouse created her as a special friend for Duffy. Ever since August 2011, Mickey Mouse, Duffy and a few of their friends have been spending their vacation time at Aulani, learning more and more about Hawai‘i and Hawaiian culture. Nestled between the mountains and the sparkling ocean waters, Aulani provided Mickey and Duffy the opportunity to forgo their sailor uniforms in favor of aloha shirts and fun surf apparel. With the feeling of ‘ohana abound, Duffy wished his best friend ShellieMay could also experience this Hawaiian paradise … playing on the beautiful white sand beaches, snorkeling in Rainbow Reef, and relaxing in the crystal clear waters of the Waikolohe Stream and pools. In helping make Duffyʻs wish come true, we are excited to introduce this new product line.

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New products coming to Kalepa’s Store in the resort include a 17-inch plush, a costume and a 12-inch dressed plush. Disney artist Susan Foy designed ShellieMay’s new outfits; I love how these new items give a nod to the Aloha Spirit including having a flower behind her right ear.

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Additional items are planned to arrive September through November, including a pillow plush, apparel, a magnet, pins and more. The three-dimensional ornament is due to arrive in time for the holidays (there will be a similar ornament featuring Duffy the Disney Bear).

At this time, the only place to find these specially designed products will be at Aulani. There are no immediate plans to carry ShellieMay merchandise at Disneyland or Walt Disney World Resorts. Unfortunately, these items will not be available via the Disney Parks online store or Merchandise Guest Services.

I hope you will join me in saying “Aloha” to ShellieMay!

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