Vacation, Aulani-style

September 22nd, 2011

Nadine Kam photos
A visitor is photographed with a laidback Donald Duck at the newly open Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa at Ko Olina.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, celebrated its grand opening Sept. 21, but a group of us from the newsroom had the opportunity to tour the property Sept. 13 to see how this magic kingdom came together.

True to the company’s storytelling dynamic, they embraced the legends, culture and art of Hawaii, blending them to create a living storybook environment for visitors in search of escape.

A general store on property offers leisure apparel, as well as these Aulani Disney collaborative crossbody bags with Dooney Bourke, below. I already saw people walking around the resort carrying them.

For a look at the restaurants, visit

Aina Kam welcomes visitors with a cool drink of water at the entry to the property. There are other coolers sitting at other corners of the property. Perfect for Hawaii’s perpetual sunny days. I must have had four cups of water in two hours of touring the property.

Walking into the property, built in a U-shape looking out toward the ocean, with two towers on either side.

The resort is divided into two wings, and this is the entry to the female half.

The shallow end of the pool is made to look like ocean waves lapping sand.

Of course any place with the Disney name on it is going to be a fantasy land, and for those afraid to go into the ocean, you can snorkel within the Rainbow Reef, a partially glass-walled, manmade ocean eco-pool to view yellow tangs, angelfish and butterfly fish. If you don’t want to swim with the fish, you can simply watch them eat at 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily.

Waikolohe Stream winds its way through Waikolohe Valley, the play area between the two Aulani towers. You can swim through it, or spend a lazy afternoon afloat in an inner tube.

There is also an interactive sting ray experience at 9 and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily at the Makai Preserve. Reservations required.

Inside one of the Disney Vacation Club suite bedrooms.

The living room with lanai that opens to the view below:

The suite’s kitchen and dining area.

Another familiar character.

The resort lighted at night.

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One Response to “Vacation, Aulani-style”

  1. Vacation, Aulani … – Fashion Tribe – Hawaii News – | Hawaiian History:

    [...] in search of escape. A general store on property offers … … Read the original here: Vacation, Aulani … – Fashion Tribe – Hawaii News – ← Daughters of Hawai'i – Misshawaii's [...]

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