Disney’s first ever resort not to feature a theme park has opened in Ko Olina, Hawaii. The 21-acre Aulani resort & spa provides an activity-packed family vacation experience on a beautiful lagoon along the coast of O`ahu.
“We are thrilled to open our doors and invite guests from around the world to experience Aulani,” reports Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “This resort is a unique and exciting project that combines the magic and storytelling of Disney with the rich culture and beautiful scenery of Hawaii. It is the ultimate family paradise with a touch of Disney magic.”
Guests at the complex, where rooms sell for upwards of $ per night, can play in the pools, enjoy waterpark attractions including a lazy river, relax on the beach, or take an excursion. Hidden throughout the resort are statues of Menehune, the legendary island little people.
“We want this resort destination to reflect the vibrant culture that surrounds it,” says Hawaiian born Joe Rohde, senior vice-president and creative executive for Walt Disney Imagineering. “The name ‘Aulani’ expresses a connection to tradition and deep storytelling – and its roots are in this land right here.”
When all phases are complete, Aulani will include 359 traditional hotel rooms and 481 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club villas in two towers, each featuring rooms that offer views of the ocean, mountains and the magnificent, lush surroundings. Ko Olina is 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and approximately 30 minutes from Waikiki.