Disney Names Resort ‘Aulani’

Sarah Pacheco
Wednesday - January 27, 2010
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An aerial view of construction of Disney’s Ko Olina destination resort, Aulani. Photos/drawings courtesy of The Walt Disney Co.

The Walt Disney Co. announced Jan. 19 the name of its newest resort currently under construction in West Oahu.

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawaii, will be the moniker of the 21-acre oceanfront property located in the Ko Olina Resort & Marina development.

According to company officials, the resort’s name, which in Hawaiian means “the place that speaks for the great ones” or “the place that speaks with deep messages,” was chosen to reflect Disney’s deep commitment to celebrating the Islands’ rich history and traditions.

“We want this resort destination to reflect the vibrant culture that surrounds it,” said Joe Rohde, senior vice president for Walt Disney Imagineering. “The name Aulani expresses a connection to tradition and deep storytelling. 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.”

The first phase of the resort is scheduled to open in fall 2011. Aulani will have 360 hotel rooms and 481 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club villas, an 18,000-square-foot spa, two restaurants, a 14,545-square-foot conference center and 48,685 square feet of outdoor venues, including an adjacent lagoon, wedding lawn and white-sand beach. Design plans also call for amenities including pools and sunset-facing hot tubs, a snorkeling lagoon, a variety of kids’ clubs and other play programs, and a river that will run through a specially created volcanic outcropping.

The company looked to traditional Hawaiian architecture when creating the resort, as shown in the above artist rendering of the hotel’s lobby. Photos/drawings courtesy of The Walt Disney Co.

“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 Hawaii,” said Disney Vacation Club and Resort, Hawaii vice president Djuan Rivers.“We are turning to the Hawaii culture for inspiration in everything we are doing at Aulani, and we hope our guests will not only enjoy the Disney experience, but also will embrace the unique culture of Hawaii and its diverse people.”


Upon revealing the official name of the resort, Disney also announced the launch of a new preview Web site, www.DisneyAulani.com, which will provide updates and background information on the resort. 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.


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