Despite rising COVID cases in Hawaii, Disney celebrates Aulani’s 10th anniversary

It has already been ten years since Disney’s third stand-alone resort, Aulani Resort & Spa, first opened its doors to Guests seeking a different kind of magic and Disney experience in August 2011.

Credit: Disney

And now, even amidst the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Hawaii, particularly on the island of Oahu, where Aulani is located, Disney is celebrating Aulani’s 10th anniversary and doing so in ways that are unique to the island and to the way of storytelling that has become tradition at Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa.

Credit: Disney

If you’ve ever visited Disney’s paradise property at the Ko’Olina Resort in Kapolei, you know that storytelling is a huge part of the activities and tradition at the resort. There are even storytelling activities for families to enjoy during their visit to Aulani. So it’s only fitting that Aulani’s 10th anniversary would be celebrated with a brand new mele, or song, used to tell a story.

The mele, titled Aulani, Lei Hiwahiwa was written, performed and recorded by two Cast Members at Aulani–Eric Lee and Angela Morales. Lee and Morales play the storytelling roles of Uncle and Aunty during activities at Aulani, and both are award-winning musicians.

Their new mele tells the story of Aulani, her ‘ohana, or family, and how it has grown into the place it is today. Morales says it’s a love song of sorts.

Aulani can be translated as “the place that speaks for the great ones.” Disney’s only property in Hawaii encompasses some 21 acres and is open year-round, though some activities are either modified or still not available as a part of Disney’s ongoing effort to keep Guests safe and lower their exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

Enjoy more of the anniversary celebration at Aulani Resort & Spa as Disney’s paradise experience in Hawaii turns ten years old!


About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!