Disney breaks ground at Ko Olina


POSTED: Thursday, November 20, 2008

In a vote of confidence in the economy as well as Hawaii's potential as a destination, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts broke ground on its planned resort at Ko Olina yesterday morning.






        Developer: Walt Disney Parks & Resorts


Estimated cost: $800 million


Size: 21 acres


Rooms: 350 hotel rooms and 480 time-share villas


Highlights: Expansive pool, waterway with tubes and slides, saltwater snorkel lagoon, spa, wedding lawn, convention space, and kids club


Jobs: 1,000


Projected opening: 2011


Source: Walt Disney Parks & Resorts



Walt Disney Co. of Burbank, Calif., had announced plans for the resort on 21 acres more than a year ago, but only unveiled details last month.

Disney's first resort in Hawaii, estimated at a cost of $800 million, is expected to open in 2011.

For Hawaii officials and the community, the symbolic groundbreaking signified Disney's commitment to the state, which will bring jobs, dollars and visitors.

“;This Disney destination resort will provide a unique way for families to experience Hawaii,”; said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “;By blending Disney's high standard of guest service and creative storytelling, we'll create a place where all family members can discover the wonder of these special islands.”;

Rasulo said Hawaii is a place where he has often brought his own family for vacations.


;[Preview]  Disney Breaks Ground In Ko’Olina

  Despite the economical hardships many are facing, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts breaks ground for its newest resort addition. 


Watch  ]





Hawaii remains one of the top choices internationally for Disney Vacation Club members. All one has to do, he said, is look at the majestic surroundings, the state's rich beauty and natural culture, and it's no wonder that it's a top choice.


“;We have long-term confidence in this location and in our product,”; Rasulo said.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts operates 38 resort hotels with more than 35,000 hotel rooms worldwide. Extensive research is done before breaking ground.

Highlights of the planned resort include a signature waterway featuring tubes and bodyslides through rockwork and an iconic caldera volcano, a wading pool, spa and saltwater snorkel lagoon.

There will also be a kids club, wedding lawn, convention center and two restaurants.

Two 15-story towers will offer 350 hotel rooms and 480 time-share villas for the Disney Vacation Club, while an open-air lobby designed like a canoe house will greet them.

Disney is also expected to bring 1,000 permanent jobs for cast members.

“;You can't ask for a better economic indicator than Disney breaking ground in your neighborhood,”; said Attilio Leonardi, president of the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce. “;We couldn't have asked for a better stamp of approval than Disney making a decision to come here.”;

Walt Disney yesterday also presented $100,000 to be divided among Campbell, Kapolei, Nanakuli and Waianae High School academic programs.