Disney gets the keys to new resort

Construction is officially complete on Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa in Hawaii. The construction company working on the project handed over the keys recently and final preparation of the resort is underway. As with all things Disney, a celebration was in order and cast members paused for a little magical beach fun.

Disney Cast members will work on honing the guest service, installing the décor, landscape and furnishings that will make Aulani a memorable island vacation experience.

Built on 21 acres adjacent to a blue lagoon and a white-sand beach in Ko Olina, Disney’s Aulani resort will have 359 hotel rooms and 481 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club villas upon its completion. Rooms are housed in two 15-story towers with views of the ocean, mountains and grounds. On-site are two restaurants, an 18,000-square-foot spa, a wedding lawn, a conference center and extensive water activities, including a central swimming pool, 900-foot tube floating watercourse, wading pool, body slides, sunset-facing hot tubs, a quiet adult pool, a snorkel lagoon, and a conservation pool.

Aulani will also include a signature kids’ club, Aunty’s Beach House, where kids can explore Hawaiian culture through fun and games, arts and crafts, and other experiences. Disney also promises to “help guests connect with Hawaiian culture, traditions and hospitality in a profound way through local experts and activities that immerse you in the legends of the land” via Discovery Experiences that immerse guests into topics varying from the Flavors of Life to the Wonders of Nature.

Disney World unveils luxury pet resort

Forget the dog house – soon you’ll find Pluto and his friends living the luxe life at the new Best Friends Pet Resort, a Disney World hotel designed exclusively for pets.

Reports show the resort boasts 50,000 square feet of space (almost half of which is outdoors) and can lodge 270 dogs, 30 cats and various other animals including birds, pigs (yes, pigs) and hamsters. Sorry, no turtles, snakes or lizards allowed.

The room rate starts at $39 for dogs, but that’s just for the basics. If your pet is used to living in style, the Disney Best Friends Pet Resort won’t disappoint. You can upgrade your pets’ stay with playgroups, movie time, private play areas and reading groups (that’s right, reading groups). For the ultimate pet pampering, splurge and reserve the 226-square foot suite with private outdoor play areas.

Best Friends Pet Resort will replace the five kennels existing around the Disney area and plans to open on Aug. 27, according to the Associated Press.

Disneyland hotel workers stage walkout

Seems there’s a little tension the land of make believe…

While guests escape to Neverland, hotel staffers are escaping into the great outdoors in Disneyland.

Nearly 200 workers from the Disneyland Hotel and the Paradise Pier Hotel in Anaheim, Calif., staged a walkout on Friday to protest unfair working conditions. The housekeeping staff claims the room renovations, made earlier this year, made it more difficult to clean the rooms.

The Disneyland Hotel has 969 rooms and the Paradise Pier Hotel has 468 rooms – both hotels are located in the Downtown Disney District and include everything from pools to playgrounds.

But the fun doesn’t stop there…

Last Sunday 75 workers walked out of their jobs claiming unfair workloads forcing other members of Disney staff to fill in. The Sunday walkout ended peacefully with all staffers going back to the jobs.