Disney To Add New Features At Aulani Resort

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the opening of Aulani, the Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii. Never standing still for long, Disney announced details about enhancements coming to Aulani, including new water features and two new quick-service restaurants.

New water features will include a themed family pool, extending to the edge of the resort property, highlighted by a misty grotto from which 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 new family pool will be a kids splash zone, resembling tidal pools with 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.Also coming to Aulani will be two new food service locations, one adjacent to the new water play area, and another located beachside, offering grab-and-go snacks and easy access for beachgoers.

Work on these enhancements will begin this month 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 shown here.

[Photo by Disney]

Hawaii destinations close for repairs, new resorts prepare to open

Kona Village Resort, one of the iconic vacation destinations and resorts of Hawaii, announced this week that it will close for an extended period of time due to the significant structural and property damage it sustained during the recent earthquake-generated tsunami. But while some Hawaii destinations have closed for repairs, other new resorts prepare to open.

“We are very sad to close Kona Village Resort for an extended period of time, but the damage to the property from this natural disaster is severe enough to render it inoperable,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hualalai Resort/Kona Village Resort. “We are fortunate that our guests and employees were evacuated safely. Our hearts are heavy with this decision’s impact on employees and loyal guests who have visited us over the years. Our thoughts also are with the people of Japan during this difficult time.”

The 45-year old Hawaii resort sustained significant structural damage from the storm surge including damaged buildings and attractions at the 82-acre property.

The Four Seasons Resort at Hualalai, the first and only AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Five-Star resort on the Big Island also closed for repairs but reopened this week.

Meanwhile, construction proceeds full speed ahead at Disney’s massive new Aulani Resort and Spa scheduled to open August 29, 2011.