It didn’t take long for me to decide what article I would open the year 2013 with. After surviving another Christmas season, I decided what better way to begin the New Year in the middle of winter than talk about the most magical vacation spot in the tropics! And yes Disney fans, I’m talking about Disney’s Aulani resort and spa located on the Leeward Coast of Oahu, about 18 miles west of Honolulu. This resort is totally different that any Disney resort you might have been to. Disney turned to veteran Imagineer Joe Rhode to help design the new resort, because Joe was raised in Hawaii and has intimate knowledge of its culture, people, traditions and history. Unlike typical Disney resorts, you’ll find few references to the Disney Company, or even few signs sans the gift shops that advertised the Disney moniker. Even Mickey and Minnie and the rest of the characters keep a low profile. The idea was to showcase Hawaii’s culture, its people, the land and its history. And Joe Rhode and company have done an amazing job.
Aulani Aunty’s Beach House Photo Courtesy of Disney
Many DVC member and Disney fans are extremely excited about the opening of the Aulani Resort and Spa in O’ahu, Hawaii. This resort is situated miles away from the hustle and bustle of the Waikiki Beach, while remaining close to the island’s airport. Guests are now able to book their stay by visiting Aulani.com or by calling 866-44-Disney.
The captivating Disney resort Aulani is nestled in the lush Hawaiian Island Oahu. It is worlds apart from “real” life and perfect for a romantic getaway. As with most any Disney resort, you can leave the property, but you in no way have to. I don’t know about you, but I associate “romantic getaways” with good food…may be why I’m fluffy! In any case, restaurants on property are something special if for no other reason than they are located in a picturesque region complete with palm trees and the bluest ocean as a backdrop.
This year’s D23 Expo came to a close Sunday night rather quietly, much like the entire, relatively uneventful weekend.
Friday opened with the Disney Legends Ceremony and big cheers from the Disney fans. A big highlight was the voice of the princesses singing songs from their movies.
Friday afternoon was much less well received as there was no large announcements at the Parks and Resorts presentation as many expected. Among the discussed topics were the Fantasyland Expansion, Aulani, Carsland, Tangled coming to Disneyland’s Fantasyland and the Snow White Mine Train coaster being built in Fantasyland. Fans were furious because they expected big news just as was announced two years ago, but due to the economy and number of projects Disney already has under way, this lack of announcements comes as no surprise for some.
I know many of you are excited to experience the new Disney Vacation Club Resort. There has been a great deal accomplished in the building of the resort. Here is a short video to bring you up to speed, so to speak:
The past few weeks the web has been set a buzz again with the rumors of a Grand Floridian DVC addition. The concept is apparently leaning towards the Animal Kingdom Villas model– convert existing space in order to sell inventory immediately while constructing a new building that will represent the bulk of the DVC inventory at the resort.
The greatly anticipated Aulani Resort is set to open the Fall of next year. The resort is located on the island of O`ahu, about 17 miles from the Honolulu International Airport in Hawai`i. The property lies beachfront on 21 acres of property in the Ko Olina Resort & Marina development.
While this property is being marketed as Disney’s third DVC property outside of a Disney park, everyone is invited to stay with Disney at this resort. Disney has recently opened a website dedicated to Aulani. Through the magic of pixie dust, Disney apparently already has photos on the site of an unfinished resort! The Disney company is so amazing!