Aloha from Aulani, the new Disney resort that recently opened at Ko Olina, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu.
It's been a long day, so this is going to be shorter than I had intended it to be. Disney arranged for some of us to go on a sunset catamaran cruise tonight, so between that and traveling much of the day I haven't had a chance to do much more than wander around the resort for about an hour this afternoon. So this is going to be some photos and a few first impressions.
The resort, or what I've seen of it so far, is beautiful. Everything you've heard about how breathtaking the lobby is - it's all true.
This was the first photo I took after we arrived - this is one side of the Ewa Tower and part of the porte cochere.
From the inside of the lobby looking up.
Same windows, different time of day:
The lobby hallway.
The Ewa Tower - the other tower is the Waianae Tower.
Looking down on Waikohole Valley from the lobby lanai.
I have a standard hotel room, rather than a DVC Studio. Two queen beds (I'll let you know how comfortable the bed is tomorrow), free wireless internet, a refrigerator, safe, in-room coffeemaker (and supplies to make coffee or tea). One interesting thing - the sliding glass door actually has a screen door on it - not something that I usually see in hotel rooms. Makes a lot of sense here, though, when you want to have the door open but don't want to let the bugs in!
The catamaran trip I took this evening was run by the same contractor that is running the Adventures by Disney catamaran/snorkel trip that Disney is offering. Because of our timing, ours was a sunset trip instead of the usual day trip (1:00-4:00) There was no snorkeling with ours, either, but they do that on the regular trip. I talked to the captain about the usual excursion and will have more details on that when I have a little more time to write about it. I'll say this - it was a VERY smooth trip, with much calmer water than I expected. The captain said it's like that, and that if you can handle an airline flight to Hawaii without getting motion sick, you can handle the trip on his catamaran. (Quite honestly I'd say even normal bumpiness on an airplane was a lot worse than the catamaran!)
Our ship was a 53' catamaran - once we got out of the harbor they put up the sails.
We sailed along the coast past Aulani, and had a different view of it from the boat.
There was a nice sunset - no green flash, though.
More tomorrow - if you have specific photos you'd like to see, you can post a comment to this blog - just remember to put the word "blog" in the box provided.
Disclosure: As an invited media guest, AllEars' travel expenses to the Aulani Grand Opening event were paid by the Disney company.
The previous post in this blog was Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2.
The next post in this blog is Aulani Grand Opening - Day 2.