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Below is an official Press Release

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai?i, Fact Sheet

The Resort

  • The full resort name is Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai‛i.
  • The resort’s name is pronounced ow-lah-nee.
  • “Aulani” traditionally means “a messenger of a chief – one who delivers messages from a higher authority.” The name is fitting as the resort serves as a messenger of the “higher authority” that is Hawaii, its spirit and its culture.
  • Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa opened to the first guests August 29, 2011.
  • The resort is located on 21 oceanfront acres in the Ko Olina Resort Community & Marina
  • Upon completion, the two towers of Aulani will feature 359 hotel rooms, including 16 suites, and 481 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club (DVC) villas. Completion is scheduled for 2013.
  • Aulani is the 11th Disney Vacation Club resort.
  • Rooms are angled and views include ocean and partial ocean, poolside garden, island garden and standard.
  • Laniwai, a Disney Spa, features 15 treatment rooms, with a family treatment room and a fitness center in18,000 square feet of space. Painted Sky, a space at the spa just for teens, features a yogurt bar, a mixology station and a menu of treatments.
  • The design of Laniwai explores the cultural and spiritual significance of rainbows. Treatment rooms are named after rainbows, including luahoano, a rainbow around the sun or moon.
  • Aulani is the ideal place for events. Upon completion, the conference center will include 14,545 square feet of space with a main ballroom, four breakout rooms and generous pre-function space. Meetings and conventions will also enjoy three distinct event lawns, along with private patios and terraces.
  • Aulani offers wedding planning through the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings program.

Recreation and Entertainment

  • Sharp-eyed guests may spot Menehune, the legendary “little people” of Hawaii, hidden in locations throughout the resort. Many of these are concealed at a level where only the smallest guests can easily find them.
  • Guests will discover more fun surprises when they tour the Menehune Adventure Trail.
  • In addition to the adjoining beach, Aulani guests will enjoy the resort’s water playground, featuring pools, water slides, the Waikolohe Stream waterway, and a fun play area known as the Menehune bridge. Poolside cabanas are available for rental.
  • Rainbow Reef is a 3,800 square-foot snorkel lagoon where guests will get up close and personal with fish that inhabit the waters in and around Hawaii.
  • A full program of fun for younger children (ages 3-12) is available in the Aunty’s Beach House kids’ club. Teen and tween programs also are available at the resort.
  • Aunty’s Beach House offers children activities and games that explore the mysteries of Hawaii, along with special surprises at Uncle’s workshop and Aunty’s magical fireplace.
  • Aulani offers a lineup of excursion adventures with the aid of local experts. Excursions include horseback riding in the Kualoa Valley, kayaking, a catamaran excursion with on-board musical entertainment, a surf school, Hawaiian cooking classes and more, all specially designed for Aulani guests by Adventures by Disney and hosted by friendly Adventure Guides.
  • The resort features convenient access to a 330-slip Marina and a Ted Robinson-designed 18-hole Championship golf course.

Dining and Lounges

  • Two onsite restaurants feature foods unique to Hawaii with ingredients from local farmers and fisherman: the chic, full-service ‛AMA ‛AMA and the buffet-style Makahiki.
  • The beachside ‛AMA ‛AMA restaurant, named after a traditional Hawaiian fish, features  ocean-colored walls, a reflecting pond centerpiece and both indoor and outdoor seating areas.
  • The buffet-style Makahiki restaurant is named after the Hawaiian harvest festival season. Décor highlights include murals painted by Hawaiian artist Al Lagunero and a stunning lighting sculpture that hangs from the ceiling.
  • Disney character dining is available on selected days at Makahiki restaurant, and guests will enjoy a different ambience from day to night as the light transforms from a warm rose-amber glow to nighttime indigo hues.
  • Among the lounges and bars is the ‛Ōlelo Room, celebrating the Hawaiian language. (`Ōlelo means “word.”)  Guests will find the Hawaiian names for objects in several places, including150 shadow boxes with wood carvings.
  • Bartenders at the `Olelo room speak fluent Hawaiian and will help guests with proper pronunciation of words.
  • The `Olelo Room offers tropical cocktails, Hawaiian beers, lemonade, iced tea and more.

Aulani Grounds

  • The heart of the Aulani resort is a lush and vibrant oasis called the Waikolohe Valley, named for its “mischievous waters.”
  • Lava formations play a starring role in the valley, which is home to the Aulani pools, waterways and spas.
  • The stunning grounds of Aulani include three unique gardens, each with its own personality.
    • The center garden, between the two towers, is designed to simulate Oahu’s overall landscape: dense and wet in the center; sandy and palmy on the outskirts.
    • The quiet pool garden includes a swimming pool and spa with access to the oceanfront lawn, an ideal location for private parties, movie nights and spectacular romantic weddings.
    • The third garden, soon to be complete, will serve as an outdoor recreation area for Aunty’s Beach House kids’ club, and will double as a multifunction space for special events and entertainment.
    • Waikolohe Stream is a 321,000-gallon mischievous waterway, covering 900 linear feet that guests will explore on two tubing adventures – one serene and one with tube slides.
    • Menehune Bridge is a 2,200 square-foot interactive water play area for children with three slides, interactive water elements and a climbing play structure.
    • Aulani features two pools, Waikolohe and Wailana; a snorkel lagoon: Rainbow Reef; and four whirlpool spas – Sunset Upper, Sunset Lower, Waikolohe and the Caldera.
    • Makai Preserve is a unique conservation lagoon that encourages visitors to respect sea life.  The reservation-only experience currently is home to a family of brown stingrays, in a lagoon with an innovative Mickey-shaped design.
    • A portion of the proceeds from the Makai Preserve will support conservation and research efforts in Hawaii through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.
    • Each night, guests will gather around the Mo’olelo Storytelling fire pit to hear Uncle, the Hawaiian Elder, share stories and legends of Hawaii under the tropical stars.

Aulani Art & Architecture

  • Aulani has one of the world’s largest collections of contemporary Hawaiian art.
  • The resort’s interior design features lustrous wood and bright, geometric patterns inspired by Hawaiian kappa cloth (textiles made from tree bark).
  • At the Aulani lobby (Maka’ala), guests will see an ancient lava rock outcropping and they may catch the scent of ginger, pikake and plumeria wafting on the cooling kaiaulu breeze from the water garden.
  • Artist Martin Charlot conceived and painted the Aulani Lobby mural, a 200-foot long tribute to Hawaiian history ad culture with layers, multiple stories and meanings. In the late 1930s, Martin Charlot’s father, muralist Jean Charlot, wrote one of the first serious critical essays about animation as an art form, claiming that animation was a continuation of the great mural traditions of Europe and that Disney animators were the masters of this art form.
  • The center of the lobby features a 12×12-foot compass rose embedded in the floor. The four points of the compass do not point to the traditional North, South, East or West. Instead they correspond to directions the ancient Hawaiians relied upon – up is toward the sea; down points to the mountainside, the left arrow corresponds to the feminine side of the resort (made of lava with a smooth finish) and the right to the masculine side (made of lava with a rough finish).
  • Guest rooms feature many details of Hawaiian legend, from carpet patterns to lighting.
    • The taro plant, a staple food and spiritual symbol of the Hawaiian people, is depicted in the carpet.
    • Tribute is paid to the importance of the outrigger canoe to Hawaiian history and culture in the design of the ceiling fan blades which resemble paddles. Also, light fixtures in the bathroom resemble outrigger canoe sails.
    • Butterfly joints are carved into the headboards and side tables, evoking the ancient Hawaiians’ method for artfully repairing their prized calabash bowls.


Ko Olina Resort Community & Marina

  • Ko Olina is part of the Leeward Coast region of Oahu (western side of the island,) which is famous for its breathtaking sunsets.
  • Ko Olina is 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and approximately 30-45 minutes from Waikiki Beach.
  • It takes approximately 20 minutes to drive from Ko Olina to smaller surf towns and the North Shore.