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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Disney names Ko Olina resort 'Aulani'

By Robbie Dingeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

An aerial view of the construction site at Ko Olina where Disney's newest resort, "Aulani," is being built.

The Walt Disney Co.

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The new Disney resort being built in West Oahu will be named Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawaii, the company announced today.

Plans call for the first phase of the resort to open in fall 2011. The plan is unusual for Disney in that it in not associated with a theme park.
Disney officials said the name reflects “the company’s deep commitment to celebrating the Islands’ rich history and traditions.”
“We want this resort destination to reflect the vibrant culture that surrounds it. The name ‘Aulani’ expresses a connection to tradition and deep story-telling — and its roots are here in this land,” said Joe Rohde, senior vice president, creative for Walt Disney Imagineering.
“We’re so grateful to the local Hawaiians who led us to the discovery of this name, and our goal is to live up to its meaning.”
Rohde said that Aulani translated from Hawaiian to English, means “the place that speaks for the great ones” or “the place that speaks with deep messages.”
Aulani will be located on 21 acres of oceanfront property in the Ko Olina Resort & Marina development. The resort is planned to have 360 hotel rooms and 481 two-bedrooms equivalent to the Disney Vacation Club villas.