Aulani Resort – Disney's Hawaiian Experience
The idea of a Hawaiian Disney Resort may have at one time only been just a dream. Imagine the fun and excitement of a Disney Resort with an added portal into Hawaiian life and culture. This one time dream, has now become a reality. The Hawaiian Disney Resort and Spa was officially announced in October of 2007, and now Phase 1 is set to launch in August 2011. It wasn’t until January of 2010 when the name of this Resort and Spa was announced. “AULANI”. The name “Aulani” has more than one meaning. Translated, it means “ the messenger of a chief” and also “the one who delivers a message from a higher authority”. This overall message encapsulated the vision that the creators had for this project. Therefore, Aulani, was born.
Aulani Resort concept
Located at the Ko Olina Resort & Marina near Kapolei on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, the Aulani Resort includes townhouses, villas and single family homes. There are also four different room designs that range from spacious grand villas to studios. The Aulani Resort experience continues into each and every room. Visitors will experience their Hawaiian home away from home. Each room features Hawaiian artwork that stays very true to the Hawaiian way of life and culture. Featured throughout these rooms are Hawaiian inspired pieces of furniture that come in many different shapes and sizes that bring the beauty of Hawaii right into your room. An 18,000 square foot Spa and 15,000 square foot conference center is also in the works.
The Island of Oahu has always been very popular for its white sandy beaches, incredible snorkelling and fishing adventures, as well as recreational boating. Whether your relaxing on the beach or diving into the crystal blue depths of the ocean, there will always be something new to discover and enjoy. Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa will only add to the already popular island of Oahu. Recruited to design the Aulani Resort golf course was Ted Robinson, or “The King of Waterscapes”, has designed over 160 golf courses over his career. He has designed courses in the United States, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and most importantly Hawaii. If past examples prove true than this will be a sight to see.
Disney’s estimated cost of creating the Aulani Resort is around $800 million. The project has created approximately 1,000 jobs for the people of Hawaii. The overall vision of the Aulani Resort was simple yet very important, to create an environment, laid out in all the colors and architecture that honour the nature and humanity of the Hawaiian people. Featured heavily throughout the Resort and Spa are the islands` “little people” called The Menehune. The legend says that these little people were the first people of the island that, when the current islanders came to the island, took to the forests. These little people have returned to the main land here at Aulani. They hide, play, and create mischief throughout the entire resort.
Aulani Resort culture
Walt Disney recruited and worked intimately with the locals to bring Hawaiian artwork, culture, and history to the forefront of this state of the art Resort and Spa. The locals played a significant role in making sure Aulani will leave an everlasting image of Hawaii in the minds of those who visit there. The culture and history of Hawaii is highlighted in every artist’s brushstroke, every beam and sculpture.
What the artists have created for this project is quite amazing. Disney themselves allowed total freedom for these artists. What they have done is create visual and spiritual works of art. Not only will visitors have the feeling of being in a Hawaiian paradise, but also feel as if they are taking a walk through time within this Disney Resort and Spa. All examples of art are featured here, from modern abstract art, to traditional Hawaiian paintings and sculptures. You will be so overcome by all the visual stimulation that you will feel the Hawaiian way of life flowing through your body. The art that has been created for Aulani speaks to the visitors overall sense of why they came in the first place. They want to get away from it all and experience all there is to experience at this destination. What they are set to discover is nothing less than the Hawaiian culture at it’s best. The artists involved were encouraged to express their feelings and pull inspiration from the depths of their hearts to help create that discovery for each and every visitor. One of the most honest and real representations of the art work shown at the resort, is a collage of pictures and imagery created by the local children of the Island. The background features the colours of the rainbow, and within that rainbow are all the pictures taken by these Hawaiian children. This beautiful collage will be featured behind the large check-in desk at the Resort and Spa. The rainbows` colours are important to this piece, as it represents the many colours of Hawaii through the eyes of a child. Being that this is a Disney Resort, who better to create the colours of Hawaii than the children who live there.
At the edge of the property are large volcanic stones that rises out of the landscape and create a wondrous image that could only be created in nature. The only difference is that nature did not create this volcanic masterpiece. This is just another, of many, creations masterminded by Disney. This particular landscape features magnificent waterfalls, caves, and slides. The really fun feature about this volcanic work of art is that it truly does feel that it was made by mother nature. It feels like it belongs there. Featured and carved into the actual stone are mostly animals. Animals that are culturally important to Hawaiian myth and legend. All these animals aren’t always visible to the naked eye. Some are only seen at certain times of day, Whether the sun is rising or setting over the beautiful horizon, there is always something new to explore and discover. Just another feature to this Resort and Spa that will have your senses going wild.
Disney’s overall goal with the Aulani Resort is for each and every visitor to create their own story. All the visual layers created here will shed some light onto the history and culture of the island, and by experiencing these visual wonders, the visitor will take just a piece of that story home with them. It’s that story that will keep them coming back time and time again. Visit the Aulani Resort today.