Hau‘oli la Ho‘omana‘o! Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Celebrates its 5th Anniversary

Today marks five years of proudly sharing Hawaii’s stories and culture through the rich details at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. Aulani welcomed its first guests on August 29, 2011, and since that time, our cast members have enjoyed sharing their own stories of living in Hawaii with all of our guests from around the world.

In honor of the anniversary, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek joined Aulani cast members and Oahu community leaders to celebrate five unforgettable years of making magic and memories in the awe-inspiring setting of Hawaii.

Happy Anniversary! Hokulea Debut

Bob announced a $25,000 contribution on behalf of Aulani to The Friends of Hōkūle‘a and Hawai‘iloa, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the perpetuation of canoe building and preservation of this unique Hawaiian tradition.

“Aulani celebrates Hawaii’s beauty and heritage while also sharing the aloha spirit by giving back to the community,“ said Bob. “In honor of Aulani Resort’s fifth anniversary, we’re proud to support The Friends of Hōkūle‘a and Hawai‘iloa’s efforts to give children and families the opportunity to learn about this important part of Hawaiian culture.”

Hau‘oli la Ho‘omana‘o! Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Celebrates its 5th Anniversary

As we celebrate Aulani’s journey over the past five years, we welcome another wonderful addition to continue telling Hawaii’s story. Today, a one-sixth scale model of the Hōkūle‘a, the Polynesian voyaging canoe made it’s debut in Nā Haku Pavilion just off of the Maka‘ala Lobby. It’s an impressive sight – the mast and rigging stand eight feet tall!

The Hōkūle‘a model serves as a wonderful visual reminder of Aulani’s ties to the full-scale version of the iconic vessel. During Aulani’s design phase, Disney Imagineers sailed aboard the Hōkūle‘a and talked with master navigators, gaining inspiration from the canoe’s design. Guests may notice many design elements incorporated throughout the resort. One of my favorites is a paddle embedded in the tower façade.

Aulani means “messenger of a chief” and the cast members at Aulani have a kuleana, a responsibility, to continually share the traditions of Hawaii with you, our guests, and the local community. We hope you will visit soon, so we can share the stories of Hawaii with you!

So Happy Anniversary Aulani, or as we say in Hawaii… Hau‘oli la Ho‘omana‘o!


  • My Wife & I stayed at the Aulani last year for our Honeymoon for a week. We never left the property it was that great of a vacation. We especially miss the lazy river!

  • We are staying at Aulani right now! We’ve been here since 8-17 and have enjoyed every minute, except for when we’re trying to get around and it’s as crowded as a theme park! But thankfully, it hasn’t happened very often!

    We talked to a CM last night, who was very excited about all of the goings on today. Last night, they had QUITE a private party!

    We love finding out all the details that went into this place and REALLY enjoy doing the Menehuene Challenge! Lots to learn and fun things that can happen if you’re at the right place, at the right time, with your small ipad-like tablets!

    We’d been waiting for there to be a good reason to come and that was the D23 Club’s Vacation in Paradise Event, which happened all last week! They gave us a good rate to be able to stay a few days before and a few days after the 5th Birthday celebrations! Present would appear in our rooms, while we were out doing event things!

    We can’t wait to come back and visit our “friends”again, with special thanks going to CM’s Michelle who led great tours and Reyn who taught us how to make orchid leis, headbands and bead bracelets, in addition to being helpful and friendly whenever we saw both of them!

  • Hau‘oli la Ho‘omana‘o Alanis! You share the same anniversary as my wife and I!!

  • This is still more than I ever dreamed. When I do decide on where to visit, weather it be Costa Rica or Orlando Florida Disney will be my charter and my destination.

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