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Unforgettable Details of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: Traditional Lei

posted on April 11th, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


The unforgettable details woven throughout Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, make the resort a destination unlike any in the world. Let’s begin this new series the same way your Aulani vacation would with a warm welcome, or e komo mai, and a traditional lei.

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Upon my arrival at Aulani, I noticed cast members waiting with lei at their side and large smiles on their faces. One of those cast members greeted me with my own personal lei. Talking with her, I learned that each member of the ‘ohana, or family, receive this symbol of aloha – the gift of a lei. Women receive an orchid and tuberose lei, while the men receive a kukui nut lei. I was then escorted into the breathtaking Maka’ala Lobby where the same cast member told me the significance of receiving a lei. The lei has been an important part of the traditional Hawaiian culture for centuries, as well as the modern local culture of Hawaii today.

I wanted to learn more about this tradition, so I asked Aulani Cultural Advisor, Kahulu De Santos. She shared many stories about lei, such as the beautiful feather lei worn by the aliʻi, the royalty of traditional Hawaii. In addition to being a symbol of aloha, the lei also symbolizes the importance of connections. Just like the flowers or kukui nuts are linked together, the lei embodies the connections to places and relationships we have with those around us.

It is through the spirit and magic of Aulani that you will establish new connections or strengthen existing ones during your stay, and your lei will help you remember those memories when you travel home.

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Once I checked into my room with my lei still around my neck, I could not think of a better way to begin a Hawaiian vacation. The warm greeting, the lei, a personal escort through the Maka‘ala Lobby and the gentle breeze – it made me realize that my magical journey was only just beginning.

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Now on Instagram

posted on April 2nd, 2014 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


Hello, I’m Tyler and I have been a cast member at Disneyland Resort for several years. I am thrilled to now have the opportunity to discover Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, along with you here on the Disney Parks Blog. From Main Street, U.S.A., to the Maka’ala Lobby, it really is amazing to see the magic of Disney come to life in different parts of the world.

And today the magic of Aulani can be shared in a whole new way, through the newly launched @DisneyAulani on Instagram!

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Just like the @WaltDisneyWorld & @Disneyland Instagram feeds, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite fan photos through @DisneyAulani. If selected, you and your ‘ohana can see your Aulani vacation memories shared around the world.

Ready to join in? Be sure to add #Aulani to your photos and you may be featured on our new @DisneyAulani Instagram feed.

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Golden Week and Duffy the Disney Bear Merchandise Makes its Way to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on March 31st, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


I love finding special souvenirs when I go on trips! I’m pretty sure most of you do too. So if you are heading to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa during the month of April or specifically during Golden Week at the end of the month, here are some tips on what I think would make some great souvenirs to add to your collection. For those of you wondering what Golden Week is, it is a collection of national holidays in Japan that often fall within a week’s time period.

First up, is a special limited edition pin celebrating Golden Week. This limited edition 1500 pin will debut on April 10 and features Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse enjoying a sweet moment on their Hawaiian holiday. Where can you find it? Kālepa’s Store, of course! It’s a great find and it’s easy to pack for your trip home.

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Now, I know that many of you take your very own Duffy the Disney Bear with you on vacation, and I can tell you from experience that Duffy is a great traveler! So here are a few more reasons why you’ll have to make some extra room in your luggage!

Our talented teams of artists and developers have been hard at work creating a handful of new costumes that are … Who am I kidding? I just have to say it … “bear”y cute! First let me show you the dated costume and plaid costume which became available at Kālepa’s Store this past week.

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And now … for the sneak peek! Here’s your first look at some additional costumes headed your way in late spring, early summer. As you can see we had some fun dressing up Duffy the Disney Bear!

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Personally, I can’t decide which one is my favorite. Which one is yours?

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Aulani Makes the ‘Muppets Most Wanted’ Vacation Destination

posted on March 21st, 2014 by Todd Apo, Director, Public Affairs, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa


In the Muppets’ new movie now in theaters, “Muppets Most Wanted,” the gang is headed on a world tour visiting amazing destinations, but it’s Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Hawai`i that makes their most-wanted vacation destination. In celebration of the newly released movie, our friends at Walt Disney Studios show us what activities and resort features make the Muppets’ most-wanted list. When planning an Aulani vacation, what makes your most-wanted list?

And don’t forget, we have a great travel offer available to get you started on making your list.

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Exciting News from Aulani for Fans of our Hawaiian Mele: Music of the Makaʻala Available for Download March 18

posted on March 17th, 2014 by Todd Apo, Director, Public Affairs, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa


Makaʻala Grand Lobby at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Mele means music, and it’s a key part of your Aulani arrival. When you get out of your car, you are greeted with an “Aloha,” a lei and the physical beauty of Aulani. But it gets better as you enter the Makaʻala Grand Lobby, where your senses are then filled with mele that is special to Aulani.

We are excited to announce that starting tomorrow, March 18, you can own that part of the Aulani experience. The Music of the Makaʻala will be available for purchase and download at disneymusicstore.com and other online outlets. These five special songs, written by Kealiʻi Reichel and Mark Mancina, help bring the Hawaii storytelling to life at Aulani … And now at your home, car and wherever you take your music with you.

One of the songs, “He Lei No Aulani” talks of the tranquil splendor and affectionate welcome that greets our guests. The lyrics begin, “Iā ʻoe ē keia wehi ē” – this adornment is for you. The song says that our greeting is told through everlasting love – “wear this lei, it is for you, the one who has come.”

E hoʻolohe ana mai – listen. The mele of Aulani is here for you.

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New Merchandise Makes Its Way to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on March 6th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Don’t you always feel like you’re in need of a vacation? Thankfully, from time to time I get to show some of the amazing new merchandise offerings from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, so it’s a little bit of a vacation for me, at least for a moment, in my head.

So what can you expect to find on your next trip? Take a look!

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The new Brights collection, which as you can see is very colorful, features beloved characters and icons on a variety of different items including T-shirts, frames, magnets, tumblers and mugs. My favorite part is that it reads “Aloha from Aulani,” in a throwback to some of the vintage style postcards we have all come to know and love. Look for this new collection to hit store shelves after April 1.

Is there more? You bet! New items are hitting Kālepa’s Store and Hale Manu all the time. Here’s a peek at another collection themed to floral Minnie Mouse that is sure to be a fan favorite of your island princess. The T-shirt’s, tank, dresses and accessories are embellished with a flower giving it a little bit of an extra touch, making them feel as special as they are.

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If it’s not obvious that I love the products we are offering at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, perhaps I should tell you about and show you a few more things. There is a selection of new Nike polo shirts and T-shirts that can easily be added to your travel attire, making it your go-to look for vacation. For our Disney Vacation Club members who frequent the resort, don’t despair! I have some good news for you, too. Here’s a look at the new logo that will appear on an array of new items including ladies and men’s T-shirts, a hat, ornament, window cling and more.

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What’s next, travelers? Look for a post in the coming weeks on some additional releases this spring, including newly themed Duffy the Disney Bear costumes and unique offerings from our Disney Dream jewelry collection.

For any of you visiting Aulani, look for Aunty Lorna May Pacheco (Lau hala Plaiting) and Dalani Tanahy (Kapa Printing) to appear this month as part of our Artisan Showcases.

There’s so much coming your way and so much to share. Until then … Aloha!

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Under the Sea With Supplied-Air Snorkeling in Rainbow Reef at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on March 4th, 2014 by Todd Apo, Director, Public Affairs, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa


One of my favorite activities that the whole ‘ohana can enjoy together at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is snorkeling at Rainbow Reef. In fact, it’s the only private snorkeling lagoon on O’ahu. At Rainbow Reef, you can get up-close to nearly 50 different types of sea life native to Hawai`i. And we recently added an enhanced experience, S.A.S. (Supplied-Air Snorkeling), which is perfect for novice snorkelers. My fellow Disney Parks Blog author, Erin Glover, gave it a try on her last visit to Aulani – go along with her and see it for yourself in the video below.

Have you and your ‘ohana had a chance to snorkel in Rainbow Reef? What kind of fish did you find? Now is the perfect time to visit Aulani with this great offer.

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Disney Vacation Club Introduces Membership Magic

posted on January 30th, 2014 by Ryan March, Editor, Disney Vacation Club’s Disney Files Magazine


If you’re noticing an extra spring in the step of Disney Vacation Club Members, it could be because today marks the launch of Membership Magic, a diverse array of Membership enhancements, exclusive experiences and special perks. (Either that or members just happen to be wearing really springy shoes.)

“With Membership Magic, we are giving families even more to love about Disney Vacation Club,” said Ken Potrock, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Disney Vacation Club. “It’s our special way of thanking our members for being such a valued part of the Disney Vacation Club family.”

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The first wave of Membership Magic offerings (for those who have purchased a vacation ownership in Disney Vacation Club) includes new opportunities to see the world, new Walt Disney World Resort experiences created with Members in mind, new discounts to help stretch vacation dollars, a new online home for exclusive merchandise and more. The lineup also includes the annual Member Cruise voyage’s first summer sailing (August 24-28, 2014 aboard the Disney Dream ship), and two Membership-exclusive Adventures by Disney itineraries (New York City, and San Francisco & Napa).

Complete details about Membership Magic offerings, including availability and continuing access, are available now at DVCMember.com, and with more magic on the horizon (including offerings in California, Hawai`i and even at sea), look for Members’ collective step to get even springier.

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R5 Performs ‘Pass Me By’ at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

posted on December 20th, 2013 by Todd Apo, Director, Public Affairs, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa


I first became acquainted with the music of R5 and their continually growing popularity from my two kids. R5 is made of up Disney Channel star Ross Lynch, his sister Rydell, brothers Riker and Rocky, and their close friend Ratliff. I then had the special privilege to hang out with the Lynch family for a couple of days here at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, as the group took to the beach to perform their song “Pass Me By.” I shared a bit of Hawaiian culture with their ‘ohana, and they returned the favor by playing bit of their mele – music – for all of us. And a special “ALOHA!” to Ryland, the one sibling who doesn’t play in the band, but who certainly kept the fun going for the ‘ohana on the slides, in the pool, on the beach volleyball court, and everywhere throughout the resort. Check out the video of all the great moments they had here at Aulani.

Catch five unplugged versions of R5 songs from their new album, Louder, during Take 5 with R5 Night – tomorrow, December 21, starting at 5 p.m. Eastern – only on Disney Channel.

And don’t let an Aulani vacation opportunity for you and your ʻohana pass you by! Visit DisneyAulani.com to book your warm winter vacation and enjoy a 4th night free along with free breakfasts each morning (for two adults) at Ulu Cafe with a consecutive four-night stay purchase.

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Fodor’s Travel Names Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Best for Families

posted on November 20th, 2013 by Todd Apo, Director, Public Affairs, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa


Aloha! We are pleased to share that Fodor’s Travel has named Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Best for Families in their Top 10 Hawaiian Resorts for 2013 list. Aulani continues to celebrate Hawai’i and its unique culture with a touch of Disney magic. What special memories have you created with your family at Aulani?

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