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Disney opening a resort and spa in Hawaii

February 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Disney has had great success with family vacation planning. Now, Disney is getting ready to open a resort and spa in Hawaii.

Aulani Resort is being built on the island of Oahu, which is a 17 mile drive from the Honolulu airport. It's a new way to experience Hawaii.

"We are here to provide the very best service," said Djuan Rivers, Vice President of Disney Vacation Club Hawaii. "But do it in a Disney way. A family way."

The Aulani resort is still being built on Oahu's western shore and there's a lot of construction going on. It is 21 acres in all. Seven acres represents the courtyard, and it's got a great name, it means "mischievous water." And that means a lot of kids will be having a lot of fun all outdoors, waterslides and all.

Each of the resort's 800 plus rooms is designed to feel like home, but with ocean views unlike most backyards.

"We're going to treat you like you're coming home," said Rivers. "And we want you to be part of our 'ohana,' our family."

When the resort opens, Aulani stands to have the largest collection of Hawaiian contemporary art in the country. You'll also find touches of Disney magic sprinkled throughout.

But the hotel's architecture takes its inspiration from the island's rich history.

"It's a dedication to maritime society in Hawaii," said Rivers. "Voyagers who crossed the Pacific to find their way to Hawaii. If you look closely, you'll see the lashings, tight ropes that kept those canoes together, provided means for early Hawaiians to arrive at this place."

Adults will be able to indulge at the 18,000 square foot spa, there's also a kids club in the works, and a saltwater snorkel lagoon where families can get up close with the sea life.

"We're blessed with being on the side of the island where there's always plenty of sunshine," said Rivers. "You get the trade winds, incredible warm water. It's fantastic, so this is the norm."

Guests will be able to rake a hike, explore a hidden waterfall, or just kick it on the beach and leave your stress at home.

"Take care, we got sunset jacuzzis overlooking the lagoon," said Rivers. "Food from around the world, Hawaiian flavors, right here. All you need to do is relax, bring your bags and enjoy."

The resort's grand opening is set for Aug. 29.

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