Disney to open Oahu Hawaii Resort

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will open its first family destination resort in Hawaii on its 21-acre oceanfront property, located at the Ko Olina Resort & Marina development on the western side of Oahu. Scheduled to open in 2011, the new family friendly destination will overlook lagoons and beaches and is planned to include 350 hotel rooms and 480 Disney Vacation Club timeshare villas.

    Plans call for the resort to be built to engage every member of the family, from parents to children, teens and grandparents.

    The resort will include an expansive pool and water play area, a 5,500sqm spa, a wedding lawn, an 2,500sqm convention center, a children’s club and dining at two restaurants – one of which will provide a view of the ocean.

    At the resort’s signature water way, family friendly tubes and body slides will weave through volcanic rockwork and an iconic caldera volcano, while a nearby wading pool gives parents with toddlers an alternative to the zero-entry fun pool. In addition, more adventurous family members will find fish species in a saltwater snorkel lagoon.

    Beyond activities, the resort is being designed to reflect the local culture of the Hawaiian islands. During the past year, the Walt Disney Imagineering team has been researching Hawaii and working with local architects and cultural experts as part of the resort’s creative design process.

    The resulting design is a village similar to the Hawaiian customs and traditions. To further incorporate Hawaiian traditions, cultural programming in the areas of environmental education, music, dance, history, and arts and crafts; and a story-driven, technology-enabled adventure game to create a Hawaiian destination.

    There are three planned signature gardens with carefully selected colors, patterns, materials and forms. Wood, thatch, lava stone and coral will be among the materials represented in the resort’s two 15-story guestroom towers, each oriented perpendicular to the ocean to maximize ocean views from the strategically angled guest rooms. Façade murals will add to the look of each tower.

    In the middle of the resort, an open-air lobby building will draw its design inspiration from a traditional Hawaiian canoe house. Window designs, wall graphics and other details will carry through the building before uniting as a single cascade into the center garden below.

    In October, Disney shared design plans for the new resort with Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who is looking forward to the opening of the project in 2011.

    He said: “From my first meeting with Disney executives in California, to subsequent sessions in Honolulu, I continue to be impressed with the effort and the time Disney has put into researching Hawaii. Disney leaders have met with Hawaiian cultural experts to gain an understanding and appreciation of our host culture. The end result will be a resort that local residents will be proud to have on our island, and it will be a family attraction that our residents and visitors will find enjoyable and meaningful.”

    Daniel Fountain / 24.01.2010

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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