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Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Celebrates Grand Opening

23 September 2011 No Comment

Disney’s newest resort, Aulani, celebrated its grand opening last night with a ceremony celebrating both Hawaiian traditions and Disney magic. While the resort opened to the public a few weeks ago, Aulani made its grand debut yesterday, with Disney CEO Bob Iger and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts president Tom Staggs on hand to lead the proceedings.

Also making an appearance at the grand opening celebrations were Hawaiian performers, Aulani cast members, and of course, Mickey and Minnie themselves. The ceremony took place on the beach of Aulani’s lagoon, performed for an audience of invited guests, Hawaiian officials, and members of the media.

Much like Aulani itself, the ceremony drew from Hawaiian traditions, but with a Disney flair. The celebration opened with an “oli pale,” a traditional Hawaiian blessing. Then, guests were treated to a performance by Hawaiian drummers, dancers, and singers, including Keali’i Reichel, one of Hawaii’s most popular artists, who performed a chant written especially for Aulani. As part of the resort’s official dedication during the ceremony, Iger, Staggs, Mickey, and Minnie used an ‘umeke, a ceremonial wooden bowl, to symbolize the blend of Hawaiian culture and Disney by mixing sand from the resort’s beach with pixie dust.

We’re so excited by what we’ve seen of this gorgeous new resort, and we’re so glad to see Aulani finally celebrate its grand opening. Interested in traveling to Hawaii and discovering this blend of Disney magic and Hawaiian culture for yourself? Head over to the resort’s official website to book your vacation and learn more.

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Photos copyright Disney

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