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Disney Aulani Resort Hawaii: We take the first "hard hat" tour


The new Disney Aulani Resort & Spa Hawaii is up. Not finished, it's still a busy construction site. But the cement has been poured, the main buildings are up, and Disney just hosted its first "hard hat" tour of the Ko Olina, Oahu, property.

HAWAII Magazine was there to bring you this first look.Aulani_Disney_Resort_Hawaii_Hard_Hat_Tour

The first thing we asked the property's general manager, Disney Resorts Hawaii vice president Djuan Rivers (pictured, right), was when it would be finished. "We're going to finish it a third at a time," he said.

Here's the schedule:

• August 29, 2011: 200 hotel rooms and 73 Disney Vacation Club 2-bedroom units will open.  Disney is already taking reservations.

• End of year, 2011: Another 130 rooms and 134 Vacation Club units will open.

• Some time in 2013: The remaining 274 Vacation Club units open.

Disney took this hard hat tour seriously. A number of major Disney executives flew in to address the group, including Tom Staggs, chairman of of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and Jim Lewis, president of Disney Vacation Club.

(Disney Vacation Club is Disney's version of time-share, which sells memberships instead of individual units.)

The most compelling speaker—and the man who lead the tour of the property—was Joe Rohde, a senior member of Disney's "Imaginarium." It was Rohde who helped create, and was there to explain, the vision behind the resort.

Just how is Disney going to fit into Hawaii? Read on.

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Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
Disney ready to book reservations for Hawaii Aulani Resort, Aug. 2
Disney gives its new Hawaii resort a name: "Aulani." New photos and video.
Disney Cruise Line set for first-ever Hawaiian Islands sail in April 2012

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