Sunday, September 25, 2011

Disney's Aulani Resort and Spa Grand Opening

It has been a magical week experiencing Aulani, Disney's newest resort and spa nested in Ko'Olina Hawaii.  The night sky was lit up with a rainbow of colors while Kumu Hula Keali'i Reichel wowed the crowd with songs and beautiful hula dancers graced the stage.  Of course, Mickey and Minnie were on hand as well as some magic pixy dust to officially start the celebration.

Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger started out by saying, "This is the first time I've opened one of our properties without shoes on."  

I had the opportunity to experience this resort and also sit and talk with executives, imagineers, as well as CEO Robert Iger and Chairman Thomas Staggs this week.  Both fathers themselves, it was pretty neat to hear about their commitment to the community and for fostering a love for this land.

(Read more about my experiences at the Aulani Resort and what I liked best.)

What impressed me:
I am thrilled and proud of what Disney has accomplished.  They have humbled themselves to learn about Hawaii along with the community to share Hawaiian culture and tradition that come to life in such an interactive way.  

I was able to witness countless employees talking story with guests about everything from menehune to sharing with them Hawaiian words and traditions.  

I was also impressed with the level of safety at Aulani.  There are lifeguards everywhere and staff is consistently present and attentive to every need.
Everyone from the valet, waitresses, and the Hawaiian speaking bartenders were courteous, friendly, and helpful (I musty admit that I didn't expect anything less from a Disney Hotel).

Aunty's Beach House is a cut above any kids club I have ever seen.  My daughter made amazing crafts such as a kukui braided bracelet, a frame, and she had a ball playing interactive Hawaiian learning games.  As a teacher, I really appreciated the attention to detail.  There is no baby sitting going on here.  These are real learning experiences that children were loving. Guess what?  It's included in the price of your stay and it's open into the evening! Now that is a great deal!

They also have amazing entertainment, including performances, movies nights, and a character breakfast daily.

So much to explore:
There is really a lot that is included in your daily rate.  Three days wasn't enough for us to get to everything.  We never even visited the Pau Hana room, where they have so many exciting activities for kids like feather and te leaf skirt making, and other Hawaiian crafts. There really was so many rich and wonderful experiences around every corner. 

Aulani has also been consistently adding new jobs into the workforce here in Hawaii and they are already creating a buzz world wide with this project.  

If you were not able to be there for the opening event then check out this video from Aulani.  It's fantastic and you will even see a quick shot of my daughter watching the show. 

Dear Disney, It's better than I expected.  You knocked it out of the park!

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