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A delightfully themed family pool, a new kids’ splash zone and two new quick-service dining locations will be among the highlights of an enhancement project getting underway in September at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina. Further details of the expansion were announced today, the first anniversary of the opening of Aulani.
Since it opened in August 2011, Aulani has been extremely well received by guests. Among the most popular features of the resort is the Waikolohe Valley. Waikolohe means mischievous water and the valley is home to the recreation and water play areas leading out to the Aulani beachfront. The new pool, splash zone and additional deck space will extend the sun and water fun literally to the very edge of the resort property, with the pool’s “infinity edge” overlooking the adjoining lagoon.
The architecture of Aulani reflects the symbolic harmony of masculine and feminine energy, and the new pool area, on the masculine side of the resort, continues this theme with a design inspired by the demigod Māui . According to Hawaiian legend, Māui brought the islands to the surface with his great fishhook, and aspects of the legend will be reflected in the design of the new family pool and kids’ splash zone, incorporating coral and lava, sea and earth, in the surrounding rockwork.
A highlight of the family pool will be a misty grotto from which relaxing 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.
The nearby kids’ splash zone will be designed to resemble tidal pools with some playful surprises for youngsters, including 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. Additional deck space, chairs, chaises and cabanas will surround these new water features.
Also coming to Aulani will be two new food service locations. One of these, located adjacent to the new water play area and the existing Wailana Pool, will serve continental breakfast and offer a lunch and dinner menu with a selection of sandwiches, salads and snacks that can be enjoyed in the adjoining outdoor patio which provides a beautiful ocean view. A second quick-service eatery will be located beachside, offering grab-and-go snacks and easy access for beachgoers.
Work on these enhancements will begin in September and conclude in mid-2013, coinciding with the final build-out of 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. There will also be additional merchandise space – to provide guests with a greater variety of Aulani products, apparel and memories – and a protective awning over the patio of Makahiki restaurant, home of “Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration” featuring breakfast with Disney characters.
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