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Discover With Me: Pau Hana Room at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on March 30th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Just in time for spring break, the “Discover with Me” series continues with the Pau Hana Room at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa! I enjoy this series because it allows Disney Parks Blog readers to meet cast members from around the resort who will answer guests’ most frequently asked questions. It also provides an insider’s perspective on how to make the most of your vacation to Aulani. Today, meet Tori in the video below and learn what makes the Pau Hana Room a must-see visit during your vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

How will your ‘ohana spend your spring break at Aulani? Tell us in the comments below!

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Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: ‘Alohi Point

posted on March 23rd, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


As an adult vacationing at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, I recommend watching at least one Hawaiian sunset at the spas at ‘Alohi Point. These two oceanfront, infinity-edge whirlpool spas are the most romantic and idyllic spots in the resort as they appear to cascade into the Pacific Ocean. Today, the “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series continues on the Disney Parks Blog with a look at this peaceful paradise at Aulani.

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According to Aulani Cultural Advisor Kahulu De Santos, ‘alohi means “to sparkle and shimmer.” As the sun sets each day, the surface of the whirlpool spas shimmer with gold. If you are a guest looking up at these two pools from beachside, you’ll see the walls of water sparkling and shimmering, thanks to the elegant glass tiles of sea greens and blues.

As always with this series, Aulani guests are encouraged to look for a few hidden details around the resort. See if you can spot a fish embedded in the rockwork near the railing wall at ‘Alohi Point, and an octopus stretching it’s long tentacles across the outer perimeter of the upper level whirlpool spa!

Where are you looking forward to watching the sun set while visiting Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? Tell us in the comments below!

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Add Some Local Flavor to Your Stay at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on March 18th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


If you are looking for tasty confections to delight your taste buds while on vacation at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, or you wish to treat yourself or your friends and family back home, I know exactly what you’ve been looking for. The packaging for some of you, might be instantly recognizable, for others, I’m talking about Big Island Candies! That pretty much says it all but for those of you who have never tried one of these delectable creations, here’s a little bit of history.

Big Island Candies has created mouthwatering treats at their chocolate factory and headquarters in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawai’i, since 1977. There are three words that come to mind whenever I think about them: innovative, distinctive and – did I mention? – delicious! One of their most renowned cookies is the Macadamia Nut Shortbread; however, when you visit Aulani, you’ll find more than just that.

Big Island Candies actually created a special formulation in a very unique shape that can only be found and are only available at Aulani. Fan favorites include Classic Shortbread (no nuts), the ever-popular Chocolate Dipped Shortbread, Macadamia Nut, Chocolate Macadamia Nut (not dipped) and even Guava Macadamia Nut. Take a look!

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Something else that’s great to keep in mind, especially if you are traveling or off to see the sites for the day, are the grab-and-go boxes. These specially created smaller round cookies are the perfect snack size and come in Macadamia Nut Shortbread, Classic Shortbread (no nuts), Guava Macadamia Nut Shortbread and Chocolate Macadamia Nut Shortbread (not dipped).

I couldn’t stop there. So I asked my dear friends at Aulani what else our guests could expect to find. Here’s what they had to say.

“The newest addition to the line,” said Eldon Delos Santos, “is the Macadamia Honey Chocolates, exclusively in milk and dark chocolate.” What makes it so special? “The honey used in this particular confection comes from the honey bees that pollinate the macadamia nut tree fields on the Big Island during the winter blooming season. The result is a slightly nutty flavored amber honey that adds a sweet and distinct aroma and flavor to the overall concoction.”

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I don’t know about you, but I’m hungry and definitely craving these tantalizing treats. So the next time you visit Aulani, make a beeline for Kalepa’s Store and be sure to pick up a box, or two, or maybe more. I guarantee you’ll be hooked!

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Tastes of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos at ‘AMA‘AMA

posted on March 9th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


We recently started the new “Tastes of Aulani” series on the Disney Parks Blog so you can take home some of the delicious Hawaiian flavors of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Today, our series continues with Chef Kevin from ‘AMA‘AMA – Contemporary Island Cooking, preparing the delicious Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos available during lunch. Enjoy the video and recipe below and then give these tasty tacos a try in your kitchen!

Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos
Makes 8 (6-inch) tacos

Island Slaw

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1/4 cup diced pineapple
  • 1/4 tablespoons finely sliced red onions
  • 1/4 tablespoons shredded carrots
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons salad oil
  • Sea salt, freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Salsa

  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons diced white onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeds and white membrane removed, minced
  • Sea salt, freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Chipotle Sauce

  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced chipotle in adobo sauce, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
  • Sea salt, freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Grilled Mahi Mahi

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound mahi mahi
  • Sea salt, freshly ground white pepper, to taste

For Serving

  • 8 (6-inch) whole-wheat tortillas
  • Island Slaw
  • Salsa
  • Chipotle sauce
  • Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish

For island slaw:

  1. Toss together cabbage, pineapple, onions, and carrots in a mixing bowl.
  2. TStir in rice vinegar and oil; season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For salsa:

  1. Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, and jalapeños in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
    Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For chipotle sauce:

  1. Mix sour cream, chipotle, and garlic together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For grilled mahi mahi:

  1. Season grill pan with oil and heat over medium heat.
  2. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, then turn and cook until just opaque, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Keep warm until ready to serve.

To serve:

  1. Grill tortillas until warm on non-stick pan over medium heat.
  2. Evenly divide island slaw on each tortilla, then top with mahi mahi, salsa, and chipotle sauce. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
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This Spring, Explore O‘ahu While on Vacation at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on March 2nd, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


I’m a huge fan of Disney Animation’s blockbuster hit “Frozen” and especially the ice queen, Elsa. However, we disagree on this: the cold does bother me. Anyway, with average temperatures of 78 degrees in Hawai‘i, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is the perfect place to thaw out this spring. While vacationing in a tropical paradise, be sure to explore the 112 miles of shoreline along O‘ahu. This beautiful island features world-class shopping, dining, sightseeing and cultural activities. One of my favorite days during my first trip to Aulani was driving along the North Shore and then hiking to the spectacular Waimea Falls! Learn more about the amazing O’ahu adventures you can do with your family while vacation at Aulani here.

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And to ensure you have plenty of time to explore everything O‘ahu has to offer, the longer you stay in paradise on most nights from April 6 through June 15, 2015, the more you and your ‘ohana will save!

  • Save 10% on 3 consecutive nights
  • Save 20% on 4 consecutive nights
  • Save 30% on 5 or more consecutive nights

What are you most excited to do on your next Hawaiian vacation?

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Disney Sea & Shore Week on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

posted on March 2nd, 2015 by Tony Shepherd, Producer, Broadcast Marketing


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There are many partners that we work with at Disney – but it’s no secret that “Wheel of Fortune” is one of our favorites, and we’re always thinking about new ways that we can work together.

Disney Cruise Line has been featured on the show before. But, this week, two more exciting vacation destinations join for the very first time: Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa and Adventures by Disney! And with all three together, it’s Disney Sea & Shore Week on “Wheel”!

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I always tell you that I have the best job at Disney… and working on this production may have been the most fun of all. Along with some other very talented (and lucky) cast members, we played host to our friends Pat Sajak and Vanna White as they sailed aboard the Disney Cruise Line, got a taste of Hollywood on one of our spectacular Adventures by Disney trips, and experienced the true magic of Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa in Hawaii.

Pat and Vanna, along with the entire crew from “Wheel of Fortune” made memories that will last a lifetime, as we all traveled from the Atlantic to the Pacific. From an extraordinary dinner at Palo aboard the beautiful Disney Dream, to storytelling by the fire at Aulani, to a stroll along world famous Hollywood Boulevard on a unique Adventures by Disney excursion, I don’t think any of us will soon forget these special moments.

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Good news is, you’ll get to see many of these experiences throughout the week of shows, beginning tonight, along with some clever Disney-themed puzzles, a dazzling set, special contestants who love these destinations just as much as we all do. There’s plenty of inspiration, too, for your next Disney vacation as you venture outside the theme parks. And, another exciting treat – five lucky viewers will win their very own dream vacation to Aulani, just for watching! More details, here.

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So, don’t miss Disney Sea & Shore Week, beginning tonight! Check your local listings for time and channel.

(One last thing. I would never dream of giving anything away. But, just between us, don’t be surprised to see even more Disney fun ahead this season on “Wheel.” No one will know I told you, right?)

Buy a vowel!

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Takes Over Popular YouTube Channel What’s Up Moms for Vacation Week

posted on February 25th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Not too long ago, YouTube sensations What’s Up Moms visited Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, for a family vacation. While at the Travel + Leisure Number 1 Top Family Hotel in the United States, the moms decided to have a little fun by shooting a parody video, featuring a new spin on a familiar hit song. This one takes a humorous look at some of the funny challenges parents can face when trying to capture a “perfect family photo” to share with friends and family. Enjoy the video below, and if you find yourself laughing at some of same familiar themes, then leave us a comment below about the time you might have tried “Livin’ for the Share.”

This week is Vacation Week on the What’s Up Moms YouTube channel! Be sure to visit their page to enjoy videos that include tips for traveling with little ones – from travel snacks for on-the go, to packing tips and even a DIY scrapbook tutorial to preserve all those special Hawaiian vacation memories made during your vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.

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Window Shopping at Disney Parks Around the World: See What’s in Store!

posted on February 11th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Who doesn’t enjoy a little retail therapy? This particular ‘window’ shopping trip shouldn’t cost you a thing – unless, of course, you are planning a visit to one of our many parks or resorts around the world. Take a look at some of the exciting new offerings and what our resident experts had to share.

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Traveling to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? Keep an eye out for the Dated 2015 collection at Kalepa’s Store. This year’s playful art featuring signature characters and icons lends itself to an array of items including adult and kid’s tees, souvenirs, mugs and ornaments that are easy to pack. Travelers Tip: If your trip is booked for later this spring, keep watching the Disney Parks Blog. I will be releasing details on several new collections set to debut this April which are guaranteed to make a splash! Now, off to Hong Kong Disneyland!

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“We invite you to spread cheer and happiness this year,” said Fion Lai, “and celebrate Chinese New Year with us at Hong Kong Disneyland.” You’ll find special themed merchandise including apparel, plush (Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Duffy the Disney Bear and ShellieMay), festive candy boxes and biscuits as well as Disney-themed Lai See red packets and Fai Chun. Let’s keep traveling – next stop: Tokyo Disney Resort!

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Our family and friends at Tokyo Disney Resort have cooked up something special as they celebrate a Sweet Duffy event through March 20, 2015. “This unique celebration is a recipe for success, says Director of Merchandise,” Gary LaTouche. “Our Disney fans love Duffy the Disney Bear, ShellieMay and Gelatoni, we have found that they can ‘bear’ly contain their excitement for some of the new offerings including plush, accessories, cooking essentials and sweet treats.” Where to next? How about Disneyland Paris?

Disneyland Paris Product Developer Regis Alart shared details with us about several new collections that have been added to Art on Demand at Disneyland Paris. “Some of my favorites include the Theatrical Mickey Mouse posters, reminiscent of the Fantasyland attraction, Meet Mickey Mouse,” Regis explains, “as well as the Circus inspired pieces designed for the Disney & Co. boutique on Main Street, U.S.A.; ‘Frozen’ and Disneyland Paris character art, designed by members of our merchandise art department.”

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How does Art on Demand work? It’s easy! Simply find a kiosk (available at select art/collectible locations) and peruse the selections until you find what you’re looking for. Categories include characters, attractions, concept drawings and pieces by various Disney and Disney-inspired artists. Next, select the size and medium (canvas or paper), make your payment and within two to three weeks it will be delivered straight to your home.

Art on Demand is currently available at Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort. Tip: Fans of Marc Davis and “Frozen,” you’ll be glad to know … selections from Snow Queens – Art of Ice exhibit (currently on display in The Disney Gallery) are now available at the Disneyland Resort!

Where would you travel to?

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Discover With Me: Kula Wai at the Laniwai Spa at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on February 10th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


This Valentine’s Day, treat your special someone to a blissful day at Laniwai Spa at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Walt Disney Imagineering designed this “freshwater heaven” to pamper guests in ways that enhance connections to nature and encourage personal enlightenment.

Today, the “Discover with Me” series continues with a tour of the Kula Wai – the only outdoor hydrotherapy garden on O‘ahu! Every guest that books one of the nearly 150 treatments at the Laniwai Spa receives complimentary access to this 5,000-square-foot garden. Paul, a Laniwai Spa cast member, shows what spa guests can discover at this tropical oasis in the video below!

Learn more about the treatments available–including therapies specially designed for couples–available at the Laniwai Spa here.

How will you celebrate your loved one this Valentine’s Day at Aulani? Leave your answer in the comments below!

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Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Pu‘u Kilo

posted on February 4th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


One of my favorite locations at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is the Maka‘ala Lanai, just outside the Maka‘ala lobby. Here guests take in a panoramic view of the beautiful Waikolohe Valley, including the Pu‘u Kilo – a large volcanic remnant that serves as the valley’s visual centerpiece. Today, the “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series continues on the Disney Parks Blog with a review of the significance of this massive geological element and how it enhances the Aulani story for guests visiting this beautiful resort in Hawai`i!

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The goal of Walt Disney Imagineering was to make the resort’s landscape look as if it was already there. With this in mind, it was vital to the Aulani story for this lava outcropping to have a starring role.

Aulani Cultural Advisor Kahulu De Santos shared with me that “pu‘u” means “hill” and “kilo” means “seer” or “observe” and that the name of the centerpiece is a reference to the many hidden images embedded within the hill’s surface. These images reveal themselves to guests who are “seers,” or those who watch closely. As the sunlight shifts throughout the day, keep an eye out for an owl, an eel, a whale, a shark, and even a sea turtle on the jagged-edged surfaces of the Pu‘u Kilo!

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For guests at Aulani, the Pu‘u Kilo is also largely a place of recreation. Two of the major highlights are the water slides: Volcanic Vertical and Tubestone Curl. If you’re feeling adventurous, I would definitely recommend the Volcanic Vertical – a body slide that immediately plunges riders into total darkness through the center of the Pu‘u Kilo. Tubestone Curl, on the other hand, is designed as a one- or two-person slide that carries riders past the uppermost ridges of Pu‘u Kilo before splashing into the Waikolohe Stream.

Are you more tempted to splash down Volcanic Vertical or Tubestone Curl while at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? Let us know in the comments below.

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