Say Aloha to Merchandise from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Steven Miller

by , Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Walt Disney World Resort


I love saying the word “aloha,” as it brings a smile to my face. I’ve been fascinated with Hawaiian culture for years. I first visited the islands of Oahu and Maui in May 2007, and I’ve longed to return every day since. I have a great reason to return now that Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, is open. I recently caught up with Disney Design Group artist Bob Holden, who has been designing the Aulani merchandise for more than two years. He shared some insight into the merchandise found at the resort.

“I first visited Aulani in 2010 when the resort only had five floors and lots of concrete,” said Bob. “We wanted to immerse ourselves in the environment before beginning development. Upon returning to Florida, we created mood boards which provided inspiration and direction for development. The boards were based on conversations with Walt Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde, who was the executive designer for the resort, and our own experiences.”

Different Merchandise Styles at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

There are a few distinct styles found at the resort – “family art” (or should I say “ohana”?), which has Disney characters enjoying the resort; a “retro” program inspired by Hawai`i in the 1930s; and “resort logo,” which features the Aulani resort logo. Product developer Lindsay Voigt also mentioned that locally made Hawaiian items are featured.

Handcrafted Hawaiian Merchandise from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

“We wanted to infuse many aspects of Hawaiian culture in our merchandise,” explained Lindsay. “Kalepa’s Store, the merchandise location at Aulani, features beautiful handcrafted items made by local Hawaiian artisans. This mix of merchandise helps us tell Aulani’s story as a place that celebrates Hawaiian culture, history and traditions.”

Some of the Most Popular Merchandise at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Lindsay told me that some of the most popular items since the resort opened have been specially designed Dooney & Bourke handbags (a new one was recently released), Duffy the Disney Bear, and apparel from Tori Richard, a well known aloha shirt company. I have about 40 aloha shirts in my closet and the Tori Richard shirt is great! Bob worked closely with their design team to infuse color (originally it was very brown) and icons from the resort, like the Menehune.

I’m most excited about some new shave ice shirts coming later this year. I’ll never forget the first shave ice I had after snorkeling in Hanauma Bay in 2007. Now I must go back to the island! Aloha!


  • I just got back last night, and loved every bit of the resort. My requests for merchandise would be a Menehune statue or figurine (the Chip & Dale one is adorable, but I just couldn’t get it due to the weight and inability to get it back to the mainland — too bad I can’t buy it now that I’m home – or can I?). Just something small and simple to put on my dresser or desk. Wood, rock or plastic (and not vinylmation, I saw those, and sorry, I find them kinda creepy).

    I would also love to get my hands on a soundtrack as well. The Keali‘i Reichel music is wonderful.

    For those of us scrapbookers out there, a 12×12 scrapbook would also be nice; as well as some stickers.

    And last but not least, and it would also be nice to have clothing in larger sizes. I saw some cute stuff, but when the XL looks like it would barely fit a teenager, there’s not a chance for those of us who are larger.

    Thanks/Mahalo! 🙂

    p.s. That hairclip is super cute, but I never saw anything like that.
    p.p.s. The idea of the Dooney & Burke is awesome; it would be really cool if there were something a little less expensive.

  • Hello,
    I really enojoy Chip and Dale figure. And I enjoy Dooney and Bourke Aulani collection too. BUT my favorite one is DUFFY !
    I’ve bought it and he is really cute !
    I recently came to the Walt Disney World and I saw a plush / pillow collection (Mickey, Minnie, Stitch, Tigger, Eeyore, Simba…). I bought Stitch one. And I recently saw a new one : Cheshire (cute too). What about DUFFY ?
    Do you think a DUFFY plush / pillow could be created ?
    THANK YOU for your answers.
    stephanie from Disneyland Paris

  • Are any of the pictured items available to order by phone?

  • I’d love to see a release of the resort music with selections from the Starlit Hui. The Keali’i Reichel songs are awesome! It’s great to watch them via you tube and hear them at The Polynesian, but I’d love to have them in my own collection! Please, please, please!

    • @Andrea – I spoke with Lindsay who said she is working on one that will probably debut next year.

      @Pamela – Mahalo for the feedback. I shared your thoughts with Lindsay who said she is considering an antenna topper.

      @Jennifer – Yes! I would love that too! I haven’t heard of any plans at this time. Keali’i Reichel is one of my favorite Hawai’ian artists.

  • Key chains, magnets, cups, and caps – great items but where are the Mickey Ears and the antenna toppers? We need an Aloha Minnie topper or Shaved Ice Mickey topper.

  • WHAT?!?! NO ear hats!!

Comments are closed.