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When Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa celebrated its fifth anniversary this August, it announced two new guest experiences designed to keep clients coming back. Starting this month, the 21-acre property is launching a luau and adding a new Disney star to its on-site cast of characters.
The luau, called Ka Waa (“the canoe”), kicked off on Nov. 2 at the leeward Oahu resort. It begins with family entertainment, hands-on activities, an island buffet with local favorites and traditional Hawaiian music and dance. As the evening continues, guests witness a live show about the voyaging canoes that brought ancient islanders to the region where the hotel now stands.
“Ka Waa tells a story that is unique to Hawaii and distinctly Disney,” said Kimberly Agas, general manager of Aulani. “Through this and other experiences throughout the resort, we are sharing the beauty of our culture in hopes that guests make Aulani and Hawaii a part of their own family memories."
According to a resort spokesman, Aulani’s team understands that travel agents are always seeking authentic experiences for their clients who are traveling to Hawaii. The new luau is a great opportunity for agents to provide clients with one of those authentic experiences, he says, noting that no other Hawaiian luau focuses on the story of the waa.
Meanwhile, the new on-property character, Moana, is based on the star of an animated movie of the same name. The feature film, which will be released this month, follows an adventurous teen who sails in an ocean canoe to prove herself and save her people. Starting in mid-November, clients can meet Moana along with the other personalities who interact with Aulani guests and recount tales of adventure.