Disney's Aulani Resort & Spa, Ko Olina Hawaii

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

January 19, 2010


Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is scheduled to open the first phase of its first family destination resort in Hawai'i in August 2011. Located at the picturesque Ko Olina Resort & Marina on the western side of O'ahu, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai'i, will include hotel rooms and Disney Vacation Club timeshare villas.

The 21-acre oceanfront property overlooks white sand beaches and crystal blue lagoons and is destined to become a perfect place for families to discover the wonders of Hawai'i.


Disney's Aulani Resort has been designed to honor the local culture of the Hawaiian islands. During the past year, the Walt Disney Imagineering team has worked with local architects and cultural experts on O'ahu and throughout the state as part of the creative process for the resort. The resulting design is a village celebrating the Hawaiian customs and traditions that lead to a life filled with joy and in harmony with the natural world.


"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."


Planned Amenities

Upon completion, the resort will include 360 hotel rooms and 481 Disney Vacation Club two-bedroom equivalent timeshare villas along with an 18,000-square-foot spa, a 14,545-square-foot conference center and 48,685 square feet of outdoor venues.

Two on-site restaurants will feature foods unique to Hawai'i. One of the restaurants will offer views of the spectacular sunsets for which the Leeward Coast is famous. And for couples dreaming of a perfect beginning, plans call for a wedding lawn with a serene view of the Pacific's endless horizons. A signature Disney kids' club with custom-planned activities and adventures is also in development.

As part of the signature water way at the pool, family friendly tube and body slides will weave through volcanic rockwork and engage a volcanic outcropping, while a nearby wading pool gives parents with toddlers a welcoming alternative to the sprawling fun pool. In addition, more adventurous family members will swim with vibrant fish in a saltwater snorkel lagoon. Located nearby are the existing Ko Olina Marina and a Ted Robinson-designed, 18-hole Championship Golf course.

Disney Vacation Club
Part of Aulani will be dedicated to Disney Vacation Club, a vacation-ownership program that helps families enjoy flexibility and savings on vacations for decades to come. By purchasing a real estate interest in a Disney Vacation Club resort, families enjoy flexible vacations at Disney destinations worldwide as well as hundreds of other popular Member Getaways vacation locations around the globe.

Disney Vacation Club accommodations blend Disney's famed attention to story- telling detail with all the comforts of home. From well-appointed studios equipped with convenient kitchenettes to sprawling, multi- room villas complete with full-size kitchens, washers and dryers, whirlpool tubs and other homelike amenities, Disney Vacation Club resorts create flexible options to meet the needs of thousands of families from around the world.


Here's a quickie tour with Joe Rhode just 2 weeks before opening:


Activities and more:

With age specific programming planned for ages 3 –10, tweens, teens, adults, and the entire family, there will be something for everybody. From pool parties with Disney characters to excursions into the rainforest and surf to learning how to prepare Hawaiian cuisine with local chefs, days and nights will be filled with the magic of Disney in the beautiful setting of Hawaii.


The resort, built adjacent to a crystal blue lagoon and a white-sand beach, features 359 hotel rooms and 481 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club villas. Rooms are housed in two 15-story towers with commanding views of the ocean, mountains and magnificent grounds. On-site are two restaurants, a wedding lawn, conference center, spa center and extensive water activities, including a feature pool, tube floating watercourse, wading pool, body slides, sunset-facing hot tubs, quiet adult pool, snorkel lagoon and conservation pool (with animal interaction).


Aulani will also include a signature kids' club – Aunty's Beach House – where kids can explore Hawaiian culture through fun and games (including interactive touch table games) and arts and crafts. They can also enjoy the enchanted fireplace, "make it rain" in order to start movie time and have many other experiences created just for them.


Aulani is located on the western side of Oahu, upon 21-acres of oceanfront property in the Ko Olina Resort & Marina development. The resort is located 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and features convenient access to a Ted Robinson designed 18-hole championship golf course.


Disney Resorts
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts operates 38 resort hotels with more than 35,000 hotel rooms worldwide.

Disney Vacation Club existing properties include the following 10 deluxe resorts:
• Disney's Old Key West Resort

• Disney's BoardWalk Villas

• The Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

• Disney’s Beach Club Villas

• Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

• Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas

• Disney's Vero Beach Resort

• Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort

• Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort

• The Villas at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa


Fun Facts About Disney and Hawai'i:
• Disney's fascination with Hawai'i began in the company's infancy, with founder Walt Disney. From the 1937 Mickey Mouse animated short “Hawaiian Holiday” to the Hawaiian setting of Disneyland's groundbreaking Enchanted Tiki Room attraction, which debuted in 1963, to the inclusion of Disney's Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World Resort, Walt often pulled inspiration from the islands.

• The Walt Disney Company does extensive film work in Hawai'i, including on-location production for the hit ABC series “Lost.” The Walt Disney Studios feature film “Pearl Harbor” also was shot on location in O'ahu.

• Ko Olina means “place of joy.”

Quick Facts


Scheduled Opening:
Phase One — August 29, 2011


Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai'i will be located on the island of O'ahu's western side in the picturesque Ko Olina Resort & Marina


21 acres


Planned Number of Units:
359 hotel rooms 481 two-bedroom equivalent vacation villas for Disney Vacation Club


**The chic `AMA`AMA is a full-service restaurant. Guests enter `AMA`AMA through an abstraction of a traditional Hawaiian fishing trap.

**Mornings at Makahiki restaurant feature a buffet-style breakfast with Disney characters and beautiful murals painted by famous Hawaiian artist Al Lagunero. By night, the restaurant is illuminated by a stunning ceiling lighting sculpture.


Planned Conference Space:

14,545-square-foot conference center and 48,685 square feet of outdoor venues


Planned Spa:
Full-service spa, 18,000 square feet with 15 treatment rooms and private garden.


Approximately 1,000 Cast Members anticipated

Click to Enlarge Photos:

Main Entrance:



View From Oceanside:

Gorgeous Views:

Kids Activities::

Sunset Wedding:

Fun Childrens’ Activities:

Site Plan:

Lush Landscaping:

Pool & Lazy River:

Kids’ Interactive Pool:

Snorkel Lagoon:

Beach House Grill:

Architectural Waterfall:

Ama Ama Restaurant:

Interactive Window:

Aunty Nettie’s Kids’ Club:

Interactive Sand Pit:

Makahik Restaurant, Night:

The Spa!

DVC Room:

DVC Living/Dining:

Makahik Restaurant, Day:

DVC Room:



3/22/2011 Construction Update Video

In this video, Disney shows off the progress at the outdoor central area of the resort called "Waikolohe Vally". This area features "Menehune Bridge", a 2,200 sqare foot children's water play area and the "Rainbow Reef" snorkeling experience where as Disney states: "guests can have close-up experiences with an array of live marine life". There are also 2 water slides under construction and the "Waikolohe Stream" lazy river.


February 2011:
Our friend Joel Tomyl was kind enough to share with us the latest construction photos showing off the progress that has been made. You can see finishing touches being installed on the exterior of the buildings along with some serious landscaping and rock work going on. You can also check out more of his photos from around the world

February 2011:
Another nice aerial photo from Disney. You can clearly see the Lazy River and feature pools starting to take shape.

January 2011:
Fellow DizFanatic Donna has shared some photos of the great progress at the resort. Thanks Donna!! (Click for larger photo)

November 2010:
Here's a new construction photos from Disney. It's really starting to take shape!

July 2010:
Here's some new construction photos Submitted by Mike Westby of TimeStream Software, the developer of the "Walt Disney World Guide" Notescast (
http://itunes.com/apps/WaltDisneyWorldGuideNotescast) for the iPhone and iPod touch. You can see more great images on their www.Notescasts.com web site at... http://tinyurl.com/28zjlu8.

Some official Disney construction photos:

Thanks to Donna G. for the following photos:

April 2010

Thanks to Donna G. for the following photos:

January 2010:

On-Site Lazy River:

Water Play Area:

120x60 Disney Store