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Top 5: Fun for Toddlers at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on July 10th, 2013 by Todd Apo, Director, Public Affairs, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa


Aloha from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i! I am Todd Apo, Director of Public Affairs, and am lucky enough to have been involved with Aulani since before it even had its name. I got to be a part of its development from planning, to construction, to opening our doors on August 29, 2011 – when we got to say “E komo mai” (welcome) to our first guests and DVC owners. I am excited about the opportunity to share a bit of aloha here on the Disney Parks Blog, and whether you have visited us yet or not, I hope you will agree that Aulani is a Hawaiian paradise.

As we move into our second summer, we hope youʻve heard about all of the family fun we have waiting for you. So whether you’ve already got your reservations and weʻll be seeing you here soon, or we can help convince you to hele mai (come along) and join us for a magical Hawaiian experience, we thought we would share with you what our guests are loving most about Aulani. Through this series, we are going to share our thoughts on the “Top 5″ things to do for families, adults, teens, kids and toddlers – we’ve got something for everyone. So today, we kick it off with the top activities for toddlers.

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, First Resort in Hawai‘i to Obtain LEED Silver Certification

posted on June 28th, 2013 by Elliot Mills, Vice President and General Manager, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa


At Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, we have a strong focus on our island culture, which includes a responsibility to preserve and respect our `aina (land). That’s why we’re so proud that Aulani recently became the first resort in Hawai‘i to obtain LEED Silver certification through the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for implementing environmentally friendly construction practices and building systems.

According to the USGBC website, LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system that provides independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures. To obtain LEED certification, buildings must pass a rigorous checklist of sustainability points that include water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and awareness and education. LEED certification is also about being stewards of the environment with sensitivity to the impacts on our natural world.

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, First Resort in Hawai‘i to Obtain LEED Silver Certification

Some of the environmental initiatives in place that allowed us to receive this honor include the use of waste heat for hot water needs. For instance, many people don’t realize that we harvest the heat emitted from the resort’s large chillers – which are used to keep the buildings cool – and divert it to heat the whirlpool spas and swimming pools. We also provide 34 electric car charging stations for plug-in vehicles within Aulani’s parking structure.

Even the location of our resort was taken into consideration for LEED certification. Building on an already developed master planned resort location meant that no trees needed to be cleared and no undeveloped lands were disturbed for Aulani.

As we look toward the future, and look forward to completing our enhancements in September, we will always keep the environment in mind and look for ways to be even more respectful of the land. It is our kuleana (responsibility and privilege).

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Disney Parks Quick Hits: Resort Awards, Holiday Tickets and Wild Africa Trek Savings

posted on June 21st, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


We wanted to begin the day with a few quick updates for Disney Parks Blog readers, including some wonderful news for many of our resorts.

More Than 30 Disney Resorts Won the 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award More Than 30 Disney Resorts Won the 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award More Than 30 Disney Resorts Won the 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award

More than 30 resorts recently won the 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award. According to TripAdvisor, the award celebrates hospitality excellence and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on their site. Here are the lists of winners.

Tickets for Magic Kingdom Park Fall Special Events on Sale Now Tickets for Magic Kingdom Park Fall Special Events on Sale Now

Also, a quick reminder that tickets for fall special events taking place at Magic Kingdom Park are on sale, including tickets for this year’s Night of Joy, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties.

Wild Africa Trek at Disney's Animal Kingdom Offers Guests Up-Close Views of Some of the Park's Animals, Including Hippos

And if you’re looking for adventure this weekend, you can now get $50 off the price of Wild Africa Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom when you book an experience for 11:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:30 p.m. or 3:15 p.m., now through October 26, 2013. To book, call 407-WDW-TOUR.

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Hale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on April 29th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Who’s up for a trip to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? I know I am! While I’m sure you could use some rest and relaxation like me, how about I take you on a virtual tour of our newest location, opening today?

Hale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

For those of you familiar with Aulani, you’ve probably visited our current store location, Kalepa’s. Just steps away on the ‘Ewa side of the Maka’ala lobby is Hale Manu, which means House of Birds. This contemporary merchandise boutique offers a variety of high-end products that are as exquisite and unique as the birds the store celebrates. Since I wasn’t able to get there myself, I reached out to Bo Bolanos, Walt Disney Imagineering Principal Concept Designer & Art Director, along with Roger Nakamine, Show Writer and Aulani’s Cultural Advisor, Kahulu De Santos who gave me a ‘bird’s-eye’ view of what you can expect to see.

Hale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Kahulu shared that, in the Hawaiian culture, birds are considered to be beautiful and majestic animals that often possess great wisdom. In many myths and legends of the islands, they are keepers of divine knowledge. “Native Hawaiian bird forms and wooden sculptures gently cascade down from the fifteen-foot ceiling, slowly enveloping the space,” says Bo. “Guests will simply marvel at this magnificent centerpiece.” Bird sculptures can also be found perched around the shop, where their bright and bold colors stand out against Hale Manu’s rich, dark interior.

CHale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa CHale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa CHale Manu Opening Today at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Some of the birds on display in Hale Manu include:

  • The ‘iwa, or frigate bird, whom guests may recognize from the compass rose in the Maka‘ala lobby.
  • The pueo, or short-eared brown owl; viewed as a protector and guardian in Hawaiian culture. Eagle-eyed guests can spot the protector pueo figures located in the Waikolohe Valley and ‘AMA’AMA restaurant.
  • The ‘i’iwi, or scarlet honey creeper, whose striking red and black plumage was much prized by the bird hunters and feather workers of traditional Hawai‘i.
  • The ‘alae ‘ula, or Hawaiian Moorhen; the namesake of Aulani’s nightly storytelling area and a bird well known in Hawaiian legend as the keeper of fire.

These beautiful birds of Hale Manu will feel right at home amidst the hand-painted murals that stretch along the store’s walls, depicting a diverse array of foliage from the plants of the upland forest to seaside vegetation.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see it in person. Who’s with me?

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Take 5: Plan a Vacation With Disney Parks

posted on March 23rd, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


The Waikolohe Valley at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

The magic of Disney exists in every corner of the Earth, and often one day isn’t enough to experience all the happiness. Now that spring and summer are upon us, it’s the perfect time to plan a dream getaway with Disney – be it a trip to one of our theme parks, a family-friendly cruise with Disney Cruise Line, or an exotic guided tour with Adventures by Disney. Read the posts below to find out how you can enjoy a magical vacation with Disney Parks. What does your ideal Disney vacation include?

Take 5: Vacation Planning With Disney Parks

  1. Enjoy Spring at the Disneyland Resort With New Hotel Offer – Just in time for spring, save up to 20% if you book by April 27 with this Disneyland Resort hotel offer.
  2. Warming Up for a Spring Vacation at Aulani? Now Offering Four Nights for the Price of Three, April 7 through May 23 and May 27 Through June 8 – Warming up for a spring vacation at Aulani? This offer will help you spend extra time in the Hawaiian sunshine.
  3. Exploring Costa Rica with Adventures by Disney: Part 3 – Disney Parks Blog author Jason Lasecki shares some of the top experiences from his week-long vacation with Adventures by Disney to Costa Rica.
  4. Disney Cruise Line Prepares for 2013 Summer in Alaska – Beginning in May, the Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for another summer season exploring the grandeur of America’s 49th state.
  5. Moms Panel Monday: There’s Always Something New to See at Disney Parks – Disney Parks Moms Panelist Bernie Edwards shares his ideas for a different twist you can put on your Disney Parks stay.
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Even Island Residents Love an Aulani Vacation

posted on March 18th, 2013 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


So … where do you go on vacation if you already live in Hawai`i?

Many island residents choose the “staycation” route, leaving home to enjoy a few days at one of Hawai`i’s many luxurious resorts. And, according to readers of Honolulu Magazine, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, is the “Best Hotel for a Staycation.”
“Aulani,

It’s a tribute to the family fun and amenities of Aulani: restaurants, Rainbow Reef snorkel lagoon, Laniwai Spa and the many experiences that are included at no additional cost: the pools and slides of Waikolohe Valley, Aunty’s Beach House kids club, and a wide range of live entertainment, including island musical performers and storytellers, visits with Disney characters, and the popular nighttime Starlit Hui.

The “Best” citation appears in the “Best of Honolulu” edition of Honolulu Magazine, designed “to help you live better in Honolulu.” An Aulani vacation – or “staycation” – combines the stories of Hawai`i with the magic of Disney for guests of all ages.

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Warming Up for a Spring Vacation at Aulani? Now Offering Four Nights for the Price of Three, April 7 through May 23 and May 27 Through June 8

posted on February 25th, 2013 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


The Waikolohe Valley at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

If a cold and snowy winter has you thinking about a spring getaway at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i, a new offer will help you spend extra time in the Hawaiian sunshine. For a limited time, you can stay four nights for the price of three when you purchase a minimum three-night stay April 7 through May 23 and May 27 through June 8, 2013.

That means a total of four nights and five days to enjoy all there is to do at Aulani – pools and waterslides, restaurants and lounges, the relaxing beach and cove, entertainment, excursions, Aunty’s Beach House kids club, visits with Disney characters, Laniwai spa and more.

You can book this offer now through April 6, 2013. To book, call toll-free (866) 309-2384, or your travel agent, and mention offer code AVW. You can also find it online at DisneyAulani.com. This offer is available for stays April 7 through May 23, 2013 and May 27 through June 8, 2013.

As you may know, expansion of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is in progress through the summer. You may notice this work during your stay, but there will be even more amazing water activities and dining options coming when the work is completed in late September.

And, as always, here’s some useful supporting information:

4 Nights for the Price of 3 Nights promotion for guests who stay four consecutive nights all between April 7th 2013, through May 23 2013, and May 27th through June 8th, 2013. Book from now through April 6, 2013. The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited and room availability may vary by dates of stay. Excludes Resort fees and taxes. Not valid in combination with any other discounts or offers. Offer excludes suites and 3-Bedroom Grand Villas. Additional per adult charges may apply if more than 2 adults per room. Offer applied once per reservation. Advance reservations required. Subject to additional restrictions and change without notice. Limit 2 rooms per reservation.

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A Great 2012 Draws to a Close at Aulani, More Fun and Excitement Coming in 2013

posted on December 31st, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


There's More Fun and Excitement Coming in 2013 to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Happy New Year from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i! The first full year at Aulani has been an eventful one, with awards for the resort, a great visit from “Live! with Kelly” and, around the time of the resort’s first anniversary in August, the announcement of significant expansion with new water features and food service locations coming to the resort.

We’re all looking forward to seeing those new additions in 2013. It’ll be an exciting new year for us and, I hope, for all of you as well. Here’s a look back at some of our top stories here on the Disney Parks Blog this year.

Celebrating One Year at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Aulani marked its one-year anniversary on August 29 with new details on its expansion and the launch of its official Twitter handle, @DisneyAulani.

Details Announced for Expanded Water Fun and Dining Options at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
This summer, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, announced plans for expansion at the resort, including new water play areas and quick-service dining locations.

Aulani and Laniwai Make the Conde Nast Traveler ‘Hot List’ for 2012
In the May issue of Conde Nast Traveler, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, and Laniwai, a Disney Spa at Aulani, were included on the magazine’s “Hot List” for 2012.

As ‘LIVE!’ Spends the Week at Aulani, Kelly Ripa and Her Family Enjoy the Resort
Early this year, “LIVE! with Kelly” broadcast from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, culminating in the wedding of the winning couple of “LIVE’s Hawaiian Dream Wedding Giveaway.”

Mischievous Menehune Take Over Disney Parks Blog Publishing
Just before April Fool’s Day, we suspected the mischievous Menehune had tricky plans in store for the Disney Parks Blog. We were right – they took over the site for the day on April 1.

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Top 5 Entertainment at Disney Parks in 2012

posted on December 26th, 2012 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


It’s been a big year for our worldwide Creative Entertainment team at Disney Parks! Here are just a few of the new experiences they brought to life in 2012:

Tom Staggs, Mariah Carey, Bob Iger and Mickey Mouse at the Christening Ceremony of the Disney Fantasy

    1. Launch of Disney FantasyDisney Fantasy, the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, was christened in March with a star-studded gala in New York City. Sailing on Disney Fantasy, our guests are treated to an extensive shipboard entertainment program, including children’s and family activities, as well as the new stage showsDisney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” and “Disney’s Wishes.”

“Disney

    1. Disneyland Paris 20th AnniversaryDisneyland Paris celebrated their 20th anniversary in April with the debut of “Disney Magic on Parade” and the incredible new nighttime spectacular “Disney Dreams!”

“Walt

    1. Reopening of Disney California Adventure park – In June, the openings of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park introduced a wealth of new entertainment experiences, from the Red Car Trolley News Boys and Five & Dime to DJ’s Dance & Drive and the Citizens of Buena Vista Street. The Disneyland Resort also welcomed the Mad T Party, Voices of Liberty and “Glow with the Show” Ears, interacting with everything from “World of Color” to “Fantasmic!

New Fantasyland Grand Opening Celebration at Walt Disney World Resort

    1. Opening of New Fantasyland – Dec. 6 marked the grand opening of New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom Park. Whether you’re attending Knight School with the Royal Majesty Makers, sharing “Enchanted Tales with Belle,” swimming down to Ariel’s Grotto to meet the Little Mermaid herself, laughing along with the Storybook Circus Giggle Gang or joining favorite Disney characters on stage at Pete’s Silly Sideshow, New Fantasyland presents immersive entertainment experiences unlike any other. And it’s all topped off with “Celebrate the Magic,” our new nighttime projection show on Cinderella Castle.

Tinker Bell and Her Sister Periwinkle Are Now Greeting Guests at Disney Parks

  1. New Members of the Disney Character Family – Throughout the year, new storytelling environments debuted across Disney Parks, providing the perfect settings for visits from the newest Disney characters. Merida rode in from the Scottish Highlands of “Brave.” Periwinkle joined her sister Tinker Bell for “Secret of the Wings,” and Ralph and Vanellope invited us into the video game world of “Wreck-It Ralph.”

All this, plus the recent expansion at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, which brought all-new guest entertainment and activity programs and a permanent new home for the evening Starlit Hui, and the opening of Grizzly Gulch at Hong Kong Disneyland, a new area of the park where the story comes to life with Disney characters and atmosphere entertainment.

So I guess that’s more than five, but the team isn’t stopping there! They are already hard at work, preparing to bring you even more fantastic entertainment in 2013. Just wait until you see what they have in store for Tokyo Disneyland’s 30th anniversary, Limited Time Magic, Fantasy Faire at Disneyland park and… well, I wouldn’t want to give everything away!

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We Wish You a Mele Kalikimaka from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on December 20th, 2012 by John McClintock, Disney Public Relations


…and a Happy New Year! The cast members of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i, join us in wishing Happy Holidays to our Disney Parks Blog readers and friends throughout the world.

From Hawai`i, warmest wishes (heh) for the season.


Read more about Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in these posts:

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