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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, Social Media Content Coordinator


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, Social Media Content Coordinator


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, Social Media Content Coordinator


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, Social Media Content Coordinator


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, Social Media Content Coordinator


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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Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Beginning a Journey at Laniwai Spa

posted on August 1st, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Social Media Content Coordinator


There is nothing like the experience at Laniwai Spa at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, the amount of detail is unlike anywhere else in the world – and that is just the location. The treatments at Laniwai Spa relax and rejuvenate your mind and body. Laniwai means “freshwater heaven,” and this luxurious location spans 18,000 square feet of interior treatment rooms with an additional 5,000 square feet outdoors at the Kula Wai therapy garden – the only outdoor hydrotherapy garden on O`ahu. The “Unforgettable Details of Aulani” series continues today with an inside look at the start of your journey at Laniwai Spa.

Laniwai Spa at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Upon check-in, you first select a wishing stone etched with a word in both Hawaiian and English to focus on during your treatment. A cast member will then escort you past a water wall, through the transformation corridor. Along its curving walls, notice that one side consists of rougher surfaces and the other feels smooth. This attention to detail makes for a balanced and revitalizing experience. You begin to hear the sound of a passing rain shower and above your head hangs a web of `ohi`a logs and branches. This `ohi`a web seems to rise and fall along the pathway to give a sense of leaving the stresses and distractions of the outside world behind.

Lumi Akalani in the Laniwai Spa at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

At the end of the transformation corridor, you will arrive the spa’s focal point – the “room of heavenly reflection”. This beautiful rotunda is known as the Lumi Akalani and features a single crystal raindrop suspended from the center. Smooth pebbles fill the shallow pool below and here is where you will cast your wishing stone. Listen for the single drops of water and gaze upon the shimmering walls all around. You feel a sense of enlightenment as your Laniwai Spa journey is just beginning …

Which wishing stone did you focus on during your treatment at Laniwai Spa? I focused on Hau`oli, “Happiness” – leave your answer in the comments below.

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Dole Whip Swirls Up Excitement at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on July 25th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Social Media Content Coordinator


Great news, Dole Whip fans! I am very pleased to announce that the iconic Disney Parks treat is now available at the Lava Shack at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa!

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You and your ‘ohana can visit the Lava Shack in the Waikolohe Valley from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and order a pineapple, vanilla or swirl Dole Whip. My favorite part – it’s self-serve!

The Lava Shack also offers pool and beach gear, in case you need to pick up any before your daily adventures.

What is your favorite treat to enjoy at Aulani? Leave your answer in the comments below!

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