Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Aloha Aulani ...

Aulani is a Disney Resort & Spa under development at the Ko Olina Resort & Marina near Kapolei on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Phase 1 is expected to open in August 2011; it will be the third Disney Vacation Club Resort located outside of a Disney theme park property.

Aulani" has more than one meaning. It is "the messenger of a chief", yet it is also "the one who delivers a message from a higher authority." To that end, Aulani tells the epic story of Hawai`i through every brushstroke, beam and sculpture.

So what can visitors expect?

The white sandy beach, tropical gardens, turquoise lagoons and sparkling waterfalls are just a few highlights of this balmy paradise. Inside the Resort, lava rock rises up through the floor of the grand lobby as dual pools of water cross the expanse: one gently flows with flora while the other rushes wildly through.

Check out more renderings of what you can expect in the Aulani Resort gallery.

In this short video clip imagineer (... love that Disney job title!) Joe Rohde, the leader of the creative team on Aulani, talks about the ongoing thrill of discovery and how the design and experience of Aulani are inspired by the stories and culture of Hawai'i itself.

I have to admit to having more than a soft spot for the Enchanted Tiki Room as well as anything produced by SHAG for Disney. If they can manage to weave some of the Disney magic into the local culture and traditions and people of Hawaii then they could be on to a good thing... just please keep the Mouse ears off the Tikis!

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