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Tradition and Magic at the Grand Opening of Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa

Last night, in a ceremony filled with Hawaiian tradition and Disney magic, Bob Iger and I had the privilege of officially opening Aulani, our new resort and spa on Oahu. We shared the stage with dozens of Hawaiian performers, scores of Aulani cast members and of course, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, to celebrate another milestone in the incredible story of Aulani.

Tradition and Magic at the Grand Opening of Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa

With invited guests, local Hawaiian officials and members of the media in the audience, the Grand Opening Ceremony took place on the beach of Aulani’s lagoon with the resort itself serving as the backdrop. It opened with an “oli pale,” a Hawaiian blessing, which was followed by a powerful performance by drummers, dancers and singers, including Keali’i Reichel, one of Hawai`i’s most popular artists who wrote a beautiful chant specifically for Aulani.

Then came time for the official dedication of the resort so Mickey and Minnie joined Bob and me onstage to do the honors. To symbolize the joining of the Hawaiian culture and the magic of Disney, we placed some sand from our beach into an ‘umeke, a ceremonial wooden bowl, and mixed it with – what else – some pixie dust.
Tradition and Magic at the Grand Opening of Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa
From the very beginning we have committed ourselves to ensuring that Aulani embraces and celebrates the unique Hawaiian culture and traditions. We are grateful for the warm welcome we have received from the local community and I’d like to thank the Imagineers, cast members, construction teams, local artists and everyone who had a hand in bringing Aulani to life. Their passion, commitment and talent can be seen in every detail of this spectacular resort and I can’t wait for our guests from around the world to experience it themselves.


  • Sounds like a fun ceremony. Congratulations on the new resort!

  • So, when is the first runDisney event going to be held there so we can have the “coast-to-coast-to-island” medal?

  • Our family makes our first visit to Aulani in January. Can’t wait. Oh, and today is our 22nd wedding anniversary!

  • Wow! I would’ve LOVED to hear Keali’i Reichel’s chant! Can’t wait to see this resort!

  • WOW!! Sounds AWESOME!!! I wish I could afford to visit!

  • New resort looks like sooo much fun. I can’t wait to bring the family over for a visit!!

  • Love Disney and all the resorts. Have been to those at WDW many times (just at AKL in August). Can’t wait to visit this new one in Hawaii!!

  • Simply amazing and first class, as usual. Thanks for the updates. Was the opening earlier this month a soft opening?

  • Could you put James Cameron’s Avatar here instead of Animal Kingdom?

  • We can’t wait to celebrate our 30th anniversary at Aulani in January.

  • Looking forward to checking out Aulani during Thanksgiving vacation. Can’t wait to see it.

  • Looking forward to seeing Aulani during Thanksgiving vacation in November. Looks like a wonderful place. Top notch Disney as usual.

  • We attended the opening of Aulani as we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary here in Hawaii…it was magical! Quite a surprise, since the opening was a very well-kept secret!!!

  • Wow! I alsowould’ve LOVED to hear Keali’i Reichel’s chant! Can’t wait to see this resort!I’vr danced to his songs& chznts befor I had my stroke, Hop I;ll be able to make the long planr rode yo get bacj to thr west coasrt of oahu and visiy Aulani!Congtaulstions on the openingWish we could hsve been there!Alo

  • I can not wait to visit, the jewel in Disney’s Crown

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