More Disney Vacation Club Stories

It Isn’t Just About Shopping – The Kālepa Story at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Many guests at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa will naturally want to take home souvenirs of their visit. They’ll also want to know where they can get sunscreen, cold drinks and snacks.

So Aulani has shops but not ordinary hotel/resort-type shops. Like the rest of Aulani, inspired by the traditions of Hawai`i, the shops at Aulani have their own stories to tell.

Yes, there are lots of Aulani-exclusive items available at Kālepa’s Store just off the Aulani lobby, and The Lava Shack at poolside, but you might want to look in just to see how they take their inspiration from the old stores that still dot the island of O`ahu.

Kālepa is the Hawaiian word for “merchant” or “peddler.” It literally translates as “to strike the flag” because in traditional times, salesmen hoisted a small flag to show they were ready to sell. In the story of Aulani, the Kālepa of Kālepa’s Store might be Aunty’s father-in-law, said to have had a store in Ko Olina long before Aulani was built.

Like the traditional Kālepa stores on O`ahu, Kālepa’s Store and The Lava Shack have some whimsical “found object” décor touches such as old license plates and vintage black and white photographs. A Grand Opening cast member at Aulani actually recognized her mother as a child in one of the photos.

See the posts below for more from Aulani:


  • Maika’i!

  • I love the Lava Shack! This really looks like an authentic old-time Hawaii store. All of the special touches are right on target. There are so few of these types of stores around any more and I’m so glad Aulani included this one.

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