Friday, December 21, 2012

Aulani Disney resort in Hawaii named for top award by Themed Entertainment Association

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
Ko Olina, Oahu, Hawaii
Named for a 2013 Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement, by the Themed Entertainment Association
Category: Themed Hotel Resort
Thea Awards Gala: April 6 at Disneyland Resort, Anaheim USA
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is a unique resort destination that celebrates Hawaiian culture, history and traditions. From the State’s largest collection of contemporary Hawaiian art to the 7-acre Waikolohe Valley water recreation facility, to the 5,200 square foot Aunty’s Beach House Kids Club, Aulani is an exceptionally cohesive, immersive and entertaining resort experience. Interlaced throughout the entire resort are many layers and references to native Hawaiian culture, both traditional and contemporary, including murals and music commissioned for the resort that successfully unites families in a shared experience of pure Hawaii. Mickey himself is seen on site as only another of many tourists enjoying the educational and entertaining offerings at Aulani.

Some of the many entertaining features of Aulani include: Aunty’s Beach House, a kids club unlike any other in which local Hawaiian culture and activities share equal billing with Disney characters; Waikolohe Valley, a 7-acre water utopia featuring a lazy river, snorkeling lagoon, Menehune-themed play structure, and a variety of pools, waterfalls, and waterslides; The Menehune Adventure Trail, an interactive adventure game where kids can experience first-hand the mischievousness of the mythical Menehune; native Hawaiian craftsmaking and storytelling; and Disney character breakfasts at Makahiki restaurant.

The Aulani represents a major departure from traditional Disney resorts in that, rather than providing lodging in support of a theme park, the resort itself is the destination. Imagineers collaborated closely with local and native Hawaiian cultural consultants and experts to create an experience that is truly reflective of real Hawaiian culture… not just traditional and historical, but contemporary, as well.

The native Hawaiian aspect of the experience is presented in countless layers, enabling guests to indulge in as little, or as much, of native Hawaiian culture, traditions and entertainment as they like. With only few exceptions for activities centered around young children, Disney stories and characters are noticeably absent. However, in many ways - attention to detail, storytelling, guest service - Aulani is truly Disney. The Aulani resort experience is one-of-a-kind.
Twelve beacons of excellence in the design of compelling places and experiences
"The annual Thea Awards, presented by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), recognize and honor excellence and breakthrough innovation within our industry, wherever it is to be found,” says TEA president Christine Kerr of BaAM Productions. “From Harry Potter to Cars Land, from Transformers to Canadian sports, from the brief run of a world expo to the sustained success of a classic theme park, this year's Thea Awards are helping define the next generation of Experience Design while staying firmly rooted in the core tradition of storytelling."

The awards will be formally presented on 6 April 2013 at the 19th Annual Thea Awards Gala, a ticketed, black-tie dinner affair, open to the public, at the Disneyland Resort, Anaheim USA. Title sponsor of the 19th Thea Awards Gala is AECOM. The Gala producer is Patrick Roberge Productions. TEA events producer is Kathy Oliver. Tickets on sale now at the TEA Box Office. More information and photo gallery at this link.