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Tag Archives: Aulani Hawaii

Learn about Kalo at Disney’s Aulani Resort

Kalo, also known as taro, holds cultural importance for the Hawaiian people. It not only feeds the people of Hawai‘i, but provides a family connection between the people and the ‘āina (or land). At Aulani, guests can learn more about taro and even sample it in some of Aulani’s dishes like the ‘Ōlelo Room’s kālua pork nachos featuring taro chips.

Kalo - Disney's Aulani Resort

Disney Wedding Cake: Celebrating Aulani’s 1st Birthday

In honor of Aulani’s one year anniversary, Disney served up a big slice of Hawaiian cake! Inspired by the ocean (and complete with sugar coral), this week’s Wedding Cake Wednesday captures the essence of Oahu in a fun, lighthearted dessert.

Disney Wedding Cake: Celebrating Aulani's 1st Birthday

Disney Wedding Cake: Celebrating Aulani's 1st Birthday

Cheers to many more years of memories!

Details Announced for Expanded Water Fun and Dining Options at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

I told you a few weeks ago about the enhancements coming to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai`i. This morning, some additional details about the new water features and two new quick-service restaurants were unveiled by Joe Rohde, Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Vice President, who led the design work on Aulani.

enhancements coming to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

New water features will include a themed family pool, extending literally to the very edge of the resort property and highlighted by a misty grotto from which relaxing swimmers may view the sunset. After dark, a magical starscape of glimmering lights will appear on the grotto ceiling and the floor of the pool.

Near the family pool will be a new kids’ splash zone, designed to resemble tidal pools with some playful surprises for youngsters, including rainbow water jets, images of tidal pool creatures on the pool floors, and hidden Menehune – the legendary little people of the islands – who may be spotted through chinks in the rocks. Additional deck space, chairs, chaises and cabanas will surround these new water features.

Also coming to Aulani will be two new food service locations. One of these, located adjacent to the new water play area, will serve continental breakfast and offer a lunch and dinner menu with a selection of sandwiches, salads and snacks that can be enjoyed in the adjoining outdoor patio, which provides a beautiful ocean view. A second quick-service eatery will be located beachside, offering grab-and-go snacks and easy access for beachgoers.

Work on these enhancements will begin in September and conclude in mid-2013, coinciding with the final build-out of the resort. Along with the water play and dining additions, the expansion will provide a new, larger lawn location for events, weddings and the guest-favorite nighttime Starlit Hui show. There will also be additional merchandise space – to provide guests with a greater variety of Aulani products, apparel and memories – and a protective awning over the patio of  Makahiki restaurant, home of “Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration,” featuring breakfast with Disney characters.

As Aulani Expands, Vacationers Can Enjoy a Five-Night Stay for the Price of Three Nights

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been almost a year since Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, welcomed its first guests. Over the course of that year, the resort has proven so popular that plans are already underway for expansion, beginning in September.

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

For those who stay at Aulani this fall during the expansion work, there’s an extra-special travel offer: five nights for the price of three. With this offer, guests can extend their stay for five consecutive nights and get two of those nights for free. That means two extra days to enjoy all there is to do at Aulani – pools and water slides, restaurants and lounges, entertainment, excursions, Aunty’s Beach House kids club, Laniwai Spa, etc., etc.

To take advantage of the offer, visit KingdomMagic.com or call toll-free (866) 972-6244 and mention offer code O8V. This offer will be available for stays most nights September 10, 2012, through December 18, 2012.

Here’s some exciting, additional information:

5 Nights for the Price of 3 Nights promotion for guests who stay five consecutive nights all between September 10, 2012, and December 22, 2012. Book from July 25, 2012, through November 10, 2012. The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Excludes Resort fees and taxes. Not valid in combination with any other discounts or offers. Offer excludes suites and 3-Bedroom Grand Villas. Additional per adult charges may apply if more than 2 adults per room. Offer applied once per reservation. Check for offers for other lengths of stay. Advanced reservations required. Subject to restrictions and change without notice. Limit 2 rooms per reservation.

 

More Water Fun, Dining Options Coming in Aulani Resort Expansion

If you’ve had the opportunity to visit Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – or even if you’ve just been reading about it – you know how much fun it is and how popular it’s been with families visiting Hawai`i.

Aulani a Disney Resort and Spa

As a result of all the excitement about Aulani and its amenities, we’re already planning an expansion of the resort. New water features will be added to the Waikolohe Valley pool area, along with additional deck space for sunbathing and relaxing. Two new quick-service food locations also will be part of the enhancements, and the popular “Starlit Hui” show will move to a larger lawn so that even more guests can enjoy the performance.

Work on all this is scheduled to begin in September. Keep an eye on the Kingdom Magic Blog for regular updates on plans and progress.

Escape With Signature Treatments at Laniwai Spa at Disney’s Aulani Hawaii

LANIWAI, A DISNEY SPA

From a rainwater suite to a special spa retreat just for teens, “the gift of water” plays a starring role at Laniwai, a Disney Spa at Aulani.

The Hawaiian word laniwai (lah-nee-vai) means “freshwater heaven,” and the spa lives up to its name with more than 150 treatments, including the only outdoor hydrotherapy garden on the island of Oahu. Also exclusive to Aulani is the Painted Sky youth spa, featuring relaxing treatments created especially for teens.

“Laniwai is a place where everyone will feel special,” says Lucia Rodriguez, spa director. “Teens will enjoy an experience created just for them, and there is a suite just for families. Guests will have many wonderful ways to enjoy Laniwai.”

With 18,000 square feet indoors and 5,000 square feet outdoors, the area includes a 2,000 square-foot Lift Fitness Cardiovascular Center, 15 treatment rooms and a full-service salon for hair, makeup and nail services.

“Laniwai celebrates the Hawaiian connection to nature,” explains Rodriguez. “The design embraces the cultural and even the spiritual significance of anuenue, or rainbows, by combining elegantly reflected light, brilliant color and healing water features.”

Inside Lanwai

  • 15 treatment rooms including a couples room and a flex room for treatments for two-plus guests, including families.
  • Treatments include body polish, vitality baths, massage, body treatments, facials, outdoor treatments.
  • Signature therapies include Lomilomi massage incorporating lomilomi “pressure point” sticks and warm river stones; and Kilikili, including exfoliation and massage with coconut oil under streaming jets of warm waters.
  • Signature exfoliations, body cocoons.
  • Dressing rooms for men and women include eucalyptus-infused steam, dry sauna and relaxation room.  Also a separate space for co-ed relaxation.

Kula Wai Hydrotherapy Garden

  • The only outdoor hydrotherapy garden in O’ahu features herbal pools, reflexology path, six rain showers, cold and hot whirlpools. Blend your own body polish.
  • Signature treatment Kilikili (meaning “fine gentle rain”), offered in Lilinoe rainwater suite. Includes a body polish followed by Lomilomi massage with coconut oil under warm, gentle rain.
  • “Nature’s Soaks,” 25-minute vitality baths infused with flowers, fruits, herbs and oils.

 

Mikimiki Fitness Center

  • Open 24 hours. No charge for resort guests 14 and older.
  • Life Fitness cardiovascular and strength training equipment.
  • Kinesis machine, free weights.
  • Classes including yoga, beach workouts, aquatic exercise, meditation, tai chi.

Painted Sky Teen Spa

  • 1,500-square-foot spa for ages 13 and older.
  • Includes a yogurt bar, relaxation area, computer station, D.I.Y Iliahi mixology bar (do it yourself) to blend personalized Hawaiian body polishes, perfume and face masques.
  • Daily programs and a special teen treatment room for manicures, pedicures, facials and massages.

 

Full-Service Salon

  • Four manicure, four pedicure, two hair stations.
  • Make-up for all ages.
  • Treatments for youth.

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Disney Presents a Taste of the Islands on the Menus at Aulani Resort

Aulani Character Meal

Hawaii is a melting pot of cuisines – tastes of home brought to the islands by immigrants from China, Portugal, Germany, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan. Mix all of those sunny tastes and you get Hawaii’s multicultural fare.

“At Aulani, we’re showcasing the abundant produce, the fresh seafood, the classic tastes of Hawaii,” said Executive Chef Patrick Callarac. “From simple plate lunches that are a typical part of the cuisine to local whole salt-crusted fish for two cracked open tableside, dining is a big part of the Aulani story.”

‘AMA’AMA – Contemporary Island Cooking

Inspired by a beachside house, ‘AMA’AMA—Contemporary Island Cooking is a stylish open-air restaurant just steps from the ocean.

The entryway is framed with a design inspired by the ancient fish traps still used by local fishermen, opening into the spacious dining room with a thatched roof, walls of mosaic, rough stone, or painted in cool shades of blue remindful of the waves of the ocean. A concrete fountain and reflecting pool are the restaurant’s fishing-themed focal point.

“‘AMA’AMA is a fish abundant in these waters, a local favorite,” said Callarac. “This restaurant, open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, is right on the ocean, an attraction in itself.”

For breakfast, you can go for simple bacon and eggs or waffles, but the menu takes you to the Pacific Rim with dishes such as seared island fish, tamago, miso soup, steamed rice, fried seaweed and pickled vegetables; sweet potato and Portuguese sausage hash with poached eggs and marinated hearts of palm; or the traditional “Loco Moco” breakfast with a sunny-side-up fried egg, white rice and hamburger patty topped with gravy. The signature breakfast dish is chocolate milk-dipped haupia (how-pee-YAH) bread French toast stuffed with bananas and peanut butter. (Haupia is a traditional coconut-milk based sweet pudding.) And 100 percent Kona press pot coffee is the favorite morning beverage.

Lunch features American favorites with a twist: an Angus chuck burger with avocado, shaved radish, and Maui onion-tomato jam; K?lua roasted pulled pork sandwich in steamed rice buns; crab and lobster rolls with wasabi mayo and cucumber; and sustainable catch fish tacos with slaw and salsa.

At dinner, sustainable fish roasted in the wood-burning oven is a signature entrée, as well as whole, salt-crusted catch for two, cracked open tableside. “The salt seals in moisture and flavors, and the fish steams without drying – and makes a dramatic presentation,” said Callarac.

Signature starter is a bigeye tuna and sea asparagus poke “martini,” also finished tableside. Other small bites include steamed manilla clams with smoked pork belly, lemongrass and espelette pepper; Hamakua mushroom tart with baby arugula, coriander crème fraiche and Parmesan; grilled jumbo shrimp with hearts of palm; and an apple banana and Maui onion soup au gratin.

Main dishes range from a seafood stew with lotus root, vadouvan (French curry), herb aioli and croutons to a grilled New York strip with creamed Swiss chard, soufflé potatoes and poivrade sauce. Of course, grilled lobster (from a farm on the Big Island) is on the menu, served with vanilla sauce and a Korean pancake. For vegetarians, there’s goat cheese ravioli with local baby vegetable stew.

A daily, four-course, prix fixe showcases cuisines from around the globe, such as the “Japanese Influence” with Peking duck salad with scallion pancake, miso-glazed shutome (swordfish) with jasmine rice and mochi ice cream with green tea cookies. Other prix fixe menus include Polynesian, Korean, Portuguese, Latin, traditional and new influences.

AMA’AMA’ features more than a dozen cocktails, including the KonaRed Lemon Drop with Ketel One Citroen Vodka, fresh lemon juice, organic agave nectar and KonaRed superfruit antioxidant juice, and a classic Tropical Mai Tai with Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, amaretto and tropical juices topped with a float of Myers’s Original Dark Rum. There also are wines by the glass and bottle.

Sweet endings are classics with flair, such as a Floating Island with guava, strawberry and lychee sorbet; coconut panna cotta with chilled passion fruit broth and green tea tuile; and pineapple tarte tartin with caramel cream.

Breakfast costs $7-$21; lunch, $8-$24; dinner entrées $31-$53.

MAKAHIKI BUFFET RESTAURANT Aulani

Makahiki – The Bounty of the Islands

While ‘AMA’AMA has the natural beauty of the ocean just steps away, the interior of Makahiki, showcases beautiful works by local artists, from paintings to glass art. In the entry, artists Butch Helemano and James Rumford collaborated to convey the story of the Makahiki season of peace, play and renewal. (The Makahiki season is the traditional Hawaiian celebration of the harvest.) Rumford sketched the designs and wrote texts for Helemano’s wood carvings that illustrate the sights and events of the Makahiki season. Also in the restaurant, artists Al Lagunero and Solomon Enos collaborated on a mural that depicts feasting and gaming. As day turns to night, the restaurant lighting gradually turns from rose to indigo with the setting of the sun.

With a buffet that’s open daily for breakfast and dinner, the spirit of the Makahiki is celebrated in the fresh and flavorful cuisine.

Starting with breakfast, the spread includes everything from a simple Continental offering to a Western breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, potatoes, pancakes, waffles, French toast – even baked beans with barbecued ham. The Chinese/Japanese buffet has soy milk, dim sum, crispy dough, wok-fried noodles, seared island fish, tamago, greens, miso soup, steamed rice, dried seaweed and pickled vegetables.

For youngsters, the “Keiki Corner” features fruit, yogurt, granola, waffles, pancakes, baked chicken strips, scrambled eggs, sausage, turkey bacon, frittatas, breakfast pastries and chocolate milk-dipped Haupia bread French Toast stuffed with bananas and peanut butter.

Favorite Disney characters celebrate with diners at “Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration at the Makahiki” on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays.

Breakfast is served from 7-11 a.m. Cost is $32, $18 ages 9 and under.

The casual dinner buffet features line-caught sustainable seafood, fresh salads with local greens, rotating carving stations, Asian-inspired entrees and house-made desserts.

“Our goal is to get as much as we can from the local farmers,” said Callarac.

A melting pot of cultures, the expansive buffet features starters from a Nicoise salad to cheeses, lobster bisque and cioppino. On ice, shrimp, marinated squid, scallops, mussels, lobster and tiger prawns showcase the abundance of seafood.

Entrees might include sustainable catch in banana leaves, seafood paella, grille poke, roast duck with plum sauce and chicken wrapped in seaweed. For Asian flavors, there’s sushi and sashimi, Chinese pork buns, fried noodles, dim sum and wok-fried seasonal vegetables.

The grill heats up with chicken wings, pork chops, Asian-spiced lamb chops, sausages and assorted satay, while live-action stations feature pastas with vegetables, meatballs, clam stew, Portuguese sausage, and carved meats or fish.

“Keiki Corner” for youngsters offers macaroni and bay shrimp salad, chicken and sweet corn salad, finger sandwiches, chicken noodle soup, crudités, pasta Lai, hot dogs, mini burgers, grilled mini steak, fish dog, pizza on a stick, Asian chicken strips, grilled chicken breast, spaghetti pizza, carved ham, macaroni & cheese with fresh peas, seasonal local fare such as poin fritters.

And there are plenty of sweets, such as chocolate brownies, no-sugar-added mango cheesecake, guava cupcakes, pineapple-coconut cobbler, molten chocolate cake, banana cream puffs and coconut bars.

Hours are from 5-10 p.m. daily. Cost is $43; $21 ages 9 and under.

LANAI OF `AMA`AMA BEACH RESTAURANT

Off the Hook

Next door to ‘AMA’AMA near the ocean is Off the Hook, inspired by a fisherman’s seaside shack, decorated with makau, or fish hooks, cowry-shell lures, shark-tooth knives and specially carved fish-shaped stones.

Open daily from 11 a.m. for tropical drinks and small bites, Off the Hook’s signature is the Feast of the Sea platter, a build-your-own taste of the islands with oysters, prawns, clams, Keahole lobster and Kona abalone. Also on the menu are hamachi and ahi sashimi, prawns satay on sugar cane skewers, Kobe beef sliders, Peking duck flatbread, cheeses and a dessert sampler.

A colorful school of fish swims above the bar, which serves creative cocktails including a Wild Hibiscus Royale Sparkling wine cocktail, Island Red Sangria, a Pineapple Papaya Cosmo and Big Island Iced Tea. Non-alcoholic drinks range from a passion colada to a pineapple ginger splash. There’s beer on draft – Big Wave Golden Ale, Fire Rock Pale Ale, Longboard Island Lager, or the seasonal Aloha Series. And every day there’s an ‘ike mua, or “discovery drink of the day.”

Other Dining

Also near ‘AMA’AMA , One Paddle, Two Paddle offers quick-service sandwiches and wraps, and housemade desserts. Lava Shack, across from the Rainbow Reef snorkel lagoon, serves a traditional an “plate lunch” of cold fried chicken, meats and cheese or chilled miso-glazed salmon. P?p?lua Shave Ice is on the pool deck, and Rip Curl Yogurt Bar at the Laniwai Spa offers yogurt with fresh fruit and other toppings.

At opening, private dining is available 6 a.m.-midnight, later expanding to 24 hours. The menu features Hawaii-inspired specialties for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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Aulani Resort & Spa Is a Family Paradise with a Touch of Disney Magic in Hawaii

Aulani Hawaii

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, combines the beauty and spirit of the Hawaiian islands with the magic of Disney storytelling and guest service, creating an unforgettable family vacation experience.

Set on a beautiful lagoon along the coast of Oahu, Aulani welcomed its first guests on Aug. 29, 2011.

Aulani serves as a gateway to the fun and enchantment of the islands, noted Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.

“We are thrilled to welcome guests from around the world to experience Aulani,” Staggs said. “This resort is a unique and exciting project that combines the magic and storytelling of Disney with the rich culture and beautiful scenery of Hawaii. It is the ultimate family paradise with a touch of Disney magic.”

Hawaiian heritage and Disney magic

Each day of their stay, Aulani guests can customize their experience – relaxing on the beach or in Laniwai, a Disney Spa, playing in the pools or discovering the island on a specially planned excursion. Among the unique experiences at Aulani are gathering at the fireside Mo’olelo for storytelling (mo’olelo is the Hawaiian word for story) and spotting statues of Menehune, the legendary island little people, hidden throughout the resort.

Aulani traditionally means “a messenger of a chief – one who delivers a message from a higher authority.” The name Aulani is fitting, as the resort serves as a messenger of the Hawaiian spirit, people and culture.

“The name ‘Aulani’ expresses a connection to tradition and deep storytelling – and its roots are in this land right here,” said Joe Rohde, senior vice president and creative executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, who led the design of the resort.

“We want this resort destination to reflect the vibrant culture that surrounds it. We believe in artistry, in excellence, and in the beauty of a well-done thing. Our commitment to excellence mirrors the cultural values one sees in the arts of Hawaii.”

Aulani occupies 21 acres of oceanfront property in Ko Olina, adjacent to a nine-acre, crystal-blue lagoon and white-sand beach. Ko Olina is 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and less than an hour from Waikiki Beach.

When all phases are complete, Aulani will include 359 traditional hotel rooms and 481 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club villas in two towers, each featuring rooms that offer thrilling views of the ocean, mountains and the magnificent, lush surroundings.

Aulani Hawaii Night

Something for everyone

Family-friendly resort amenities include the 18,000-square-foot Laniwai, a Disney Spa, with 15 treatment rooms and a fitness center. Many spa treatments draw upon Hawaiian healing traditions.

Aulani also features two signature restaurants – the full-service ‘AMA’AMA and the buffet-style Makahiki – offering foods unique to Hawaii.

  • At the chic, beachside ‘AMA’AMA, ocean breezes soothe the spirit as chefs use fresh local ingredients and island flavors to create distinctive dishes at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu includes vegetarian options and classic cocktails with new twists, plus desserts house-made daily.
  • The buffet-style Makahiki offers guests breakfast among Disney characters or, in a magical midday transformation, dinner in artful surroundings, including a stunning ceiling light sculpture and beautiful wall murals hand-painted by local artists.

Young guests have their very own kids’ club, Aunty’s Beach House. Here children can explore Hawaiian culture through supervised entertainment, including interactive touch tables, wildlife and nature programs, arts and crafts, Disney movies and traditional Hawaiian games.

Children of all ages will delight in Waikolohe Valley, Aulani’s seven-acre water play area. The overall landscape mimics the flow of a watershed as it moves from the mountain to the ocean, complete with the Waikolohe Stream, the resort’s mysterious (yet fun) tube-floating watercourse. Here guests encounter bubbling water, a cloaking mist and several hundred feet of additional surprises.

Adventure, conventions and weddings, too

For those who love waterslides, Tubestone Curl, the resort’s tube slide, and Volcanic Vertical, Aulani’s tunnel slide, provide thrills galore. Guests will also interact with native Hawaiian fish, including angelfish, butterfly fish and tangs, in the 3,800-square-foot Rainbow Reef snorkel lagoon, the only one of its kind on Oahu.

The Makai Preserve conservation pool offers an interactive experience that allows guests to stroke the velvety backs of gentle stingrays (available by reservation only). A portion of the proceeds from this activity will support research and conservation efforts in Hawaii through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. Water activities at Aulani also include a quiet adult pool, wading pool and, for the ultimate relaxation, sunset-facing whirlpool spas.

Looking beyond its own magical grounds, Aulani offers a menu of discovery excursions with the aid of local experts. These include exploring tropical forests, hiking local mountains, sailing aboard catamarans, swimming with dolphins, cooking with local chefs, following a ghost tour and more. The excursions are specially designed for Aulani guests by Adventures by Disney and feature a knowledgeable, friendly Adventure Guide.

Aulani is the ideal place for events. When all phases are complete, groups will find nearly 50,000-square-feet of meeting space, including a 14,545-square-foot conference center, the main ballroom (which is divisible by six), four breakout rooms and generous pre-function space.

Since outdoor events are so popular in Hawaii, Disney also has created three distinct event lawns, including an oceanfront wedding lawn for Disney Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons.

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