The highly anticipated Disney destination resort currently under construction on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu now has an official name and a dynamic new Web site offering an inside look at the project. The resort’s name — Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai’i — reflects the company’s deep commitment to celebrating the islands’ rich history and traditions. Plans call for the first phase of the resort to open in fall 2011.
“We want this resort destination to reflect the vibrant culture that surrounds it. The name ‘Aulani’ expresses a connection to tradition and deep story-telling ? and its roots are here in this land,” said Joe Rohde, Senior Vice President, Creative for Walt Disney Imagineering. “We’re so grateful to the local Hawaiians who led us to the discovery of this name, and our goal is to live up to its meaning.”
Rohde noted that Aulani translated from the Hawaiian language to English, means “the place that speaks for the great ones” or “the place that speaks with deep messages.”
Nearby to historical sites on the western side of O’ahu, Aulani will be located on 21 acres of oceanfront property in the Ko Olina Resort & Marina development. The Resort is planned to have 360 hotel rooms and 481 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club villas.
Design plans call for amenities to engage every member of the family, a hallmark of a Disney vacation. Among the recreational highlights planned for the resort are pools and sunset facing hot tubs, a snorkeling lagoon, a variety of kids’ club and other play programs for children, and a river, suitable for tube floating, running through a specially created volcanic outcropping.
The resort will also include an 18,000-square-foot spa designed with families in mind. The resort, built adjacent to a crystal blue lagoon and a white-sand beach, is planned to also have two restaurants, a 14,545-square-foot conference center and 48,685 square feet of outdoor venues. Located nearby are the existing Ko Olina Marina and a Ted Robinson-designed, 18-hole Championship Golf course.
Disney has launched a new preview Web site, www.DisneyAulani.com, to provide updates and background information on the resort now under construction. The site also details some of the adventures and amenities under development, and includes conceptual art, descriptions of resort highlights, regularly updated resort information and photos of Aulani as it nears completion.
“We are looking forward to welcoming guests to Aulani to share the fun, immersive family vacation experiences Disney is known for combined with the beauty and culture of Hawai’i,” said Djuan Rivers, Vice President, Disney Vacation Club and Resort, Hawai’i. “We are turning to the Hawaiian culture for inspiration in everything we are doing at Aulani, and we hope our guests will not only enjoy the Disney experience, but will also embrace the unique culture of Hawai’i and its diverse people.”[Gallery not found]