KO OLINA, Hawai'i, April 21, 2011 – Today, in a ceremony on the lagoon fronting the site of Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai'i, local crew members from Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company, Inc., joined with Disney cast members (employees) to celebrate the completion of major structural work on the Disney resort and the beginning of Disney’s “time to add the magic.”
The event was a symbolic representation of the shared efforts of Disney and Hawaiian Dredging in building the new resort, which will welcome its first guests on Aug. 29, 2011. The construction crew and Aulani Disney team met on the beach to exchange gifts – lei from the construction workers to the Disney cast, and Mickey Mouse ears from the Disney cast to the construction workers. As part of the milestone moment, Hawaiian Dredging “handed over the keys” to the people who will add final detailing, theming, landscaping and all the other magical touches guests expect to find at a Disney resort.
Djuan Rivers, vice president of Disney Vacation Club and Resort, Hawai'i, joined with Eric Hashizume, vice president of Hawaiian Dredging and Elliot Mills, managing director of Aulani, to bring the construction workers and Disney team members together to begin “adding the magic” to Aulani. They gathered on the sand to form the image of the trademark Aulani arch and then transformed it into the familiar silhouette of Mickey Mouse. Mickey, Minnie and their Disney character pals joined in the celebration.
As Walt Disney Imagineers continue adding the magic to Aulani, they are weaving Hawaiian stories into the buildings, interiors, art and gardens of the resort with the help of local architects, artisans and historians. The celebrated Disney magic, storytelling and service will create wonderful family vacation memories at the resort, drawing on the beauty, fun, enchantment and traditions of the islands.