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Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade at Magic Kingdom Park

Behind the Scenes at Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration

posted on December 18th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Robin Roberts and Tim Tebow Tape the 2014 Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration TV Special

Christmas Day is still a week away, but today you’re going behind the scenes with some of the stars taking part in “Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration” as they share their holiday wishes and talk about what it means to be a part of this Disney holiday tradition. This year our star-studded annual Christmas Day telecast on ABC originates from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in Southern California and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii.

The “Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration” airs December 25, 2014 on ABC-TV at 10 a.m. EST and 9 a.m. in most other time zones. Be sure to check your local listings and join the conversation online using the hashtag #DisneyParade.

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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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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Unique Holiday Celebrations

posted on December 6th, 2014 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


To many of our guests, holidays are a favorite time of year at Disney Parks. Not only are the halls decked like nowhere else, we’ve also got unique holiday experiences that you’ll find only at Disney Parks and Resorts. This week, we featured three of these celebrations.

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Here at the Disneyland Resort, we cruised into the holiday season at the Disney Parks Blog Christmas in Cars Land Meet-Up.

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At Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Ko Olina, Hawai`i, musical segments were produced for Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration with stars Gavin DeGraw, Sarah Hyland and Laura Marano.

Candlelight Processional Performed in Front of Cinderella Castle in 1980 Candlelight Processional Performed in Front of Main Street Train Station in 1983

And Nate Rasmussen took us back to the 1980s for a look back at the Candlelight Processional, a holiday tradition at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

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First Look: Sarah Hyland, Gavin DeGraw and Laura Marano at Aulani for Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration on ABC

posted on December 4th, 2014 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Earlier this week, the beach at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, was the stage for some musical segments being produced for Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration.

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Gavin DeGraw performed the classic song, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and then delighted the audience with his hit song, “Fire.”

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Actress Sarah Hyland joined us to introduce the performances from Aulani.

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Austin & Ally” star Laura Marano brought some “Frozen” holiday fun to Aulani with her performance of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” – or should we say “Sandman?”

Check back for updates about Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration and don’t forget to tune in to ABC on Thursday, December 25 at 10 a.m. ET, 9 a.m. in all other time zones (check local listings). You can also join the conversation by using the hashtag #DisneyParade.

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Family Volunteer Day – Serving Communities in the Spirit of Thanksgiving

posted on November 26th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


On Saturday, November 22, Disney Friends for Change sponsored Family Volunteer Day, a nation-wide effort that demonstrates the magic created when families volunteer together to support their neighborhoods and communities around the world. The annual event, now in its 22nd year, celebrates the power that families have to make a real difference in their community, while strengthening their relationships and spending quality time together. Here’s a look at how Walt Disney Parks and Resorts teams participated in Family Volunteering Day and other holiday giving projects:

  • At Disneyland Resort, Disney VoluntEARS helped pack food boxes at the Orange County Food Bank in support of Family Volunteer Day. VoluntEARS hosted another event at the Downtown Disney District to make healthy snack-packs that were also donated to the Orange County Food Bank. Additionally, Disneyland cast members participated in a Military Care Package drive and a canned food collection.
  • To support Family Volunteer Day, Disney VoluntEARS and families from Hong Kong Disneyland took part in a coastal cleanup activity at Silvermine Bay. The event gave families the opportunity to spend time together while contributing to the cleanliness of their surrounding shoreline. In December, Hong Kong Disneyland cast members and their families will also visit two local hospitals for festive celebrations to help spread the joy of the holidays amongst patients and their loved ones.
  • Every year, VoluntEARS from Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa partner with their neighbors at Ko Olina Resort for Thanksgiving Outreach, an event that serves meals to 4,000 people across Oahu’s Leeward Coast.
  • In the spirit of Family Volunteer Day, Shanghai Disney Resort partnered with the non-profit organization Right to Play China through “Imagination Playground,” a play outreach program that aims to strengthen family bonds through various creative play activities. More than 100 children of migrant workers and low-income families have participated in family play activities with Shanghai Disney Resort VoluntEARS this holiday season.
  • At Walt Disney World Resort, cast members and their families partnered with the 2013-2014 Walt Disney World Resort Ambassadors to support Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corporation’s (ONIC) Family Fun & Fall Festival. VoluntEARS helped set-up and break down the event, staff the activity and game stations and serve refreshments. Additionally, VoluntEARS from Disney’s Pop Century Resort will serve meals on Thanksgiving at the Coalition for Homeless Center for Women & Children and Men’s Pavilion.

Real magic comes from the efforts of families working together to make lasting and positive change in the world. Thanks to our teams from around the world and to the families who are part of that magic every year.

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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:

Wasabi’s Tuna Poke, Inspired by Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

posted on November 14th, 2014 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Happy Friday, Disney’s “Big Hero 6” fans! I’m excited to share the second recipe in our Disney’s “Big Hero 6” series, Wasabi’s Tuna Poke, inspired by Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa.

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Filled with lean protein, this dish will give you the energy you need to save San Fransokyo. Just try not to spill any of the wasabi sauce on your shirt.

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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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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Announces First-Ever Disney Ambassador

posted on October 30th, 2014 by Todd Apo, Director, Public Affairs, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa


Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is a Hawaiian experience with that touch of Disney magic that makes your island vacation unforgettable. Todayʻs exciting news highlights that touch of Disney magic here in paradise. For the first time in history, Aulani will have a Disney Ambassador to represent our Disney resort and engage our guests, cast and communities. For those of you who may not know the role of a Disney Ambassador, the tradition dates back to 1965 when Walt Disney first selected a cast member to serve as the official spokesperson and representative at Disneyland park.

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Janelle Sanqui, Aulani’s first Disney Ambassador, currently works in Workforce Management at the resort and was born in Hawaii. She lived in California before returning to to the islands nearly 10 years ago. Her previous experience includes two years as a parade performer at the Disneyland Resort, and she was part of our Aulani entertainment team when we opened in 2011.

Our announcement was recently made along with news of the first-ever Disney Ambassador selections for Shanghai Disney Resort. Also earlier this month, new 2015-2016 Disney Ambassadors were named at Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Tokyo Disney Resort, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Disney Ambassador Program.

Please join me in saying hoʻomaikaʻi, congratulations, and giving a warm “e komo mai” to Janelle!

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