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Disney to open reservations a year before resort opening

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Disney plans to begin accepting reservations for its Ko Olina resort hotel in a few weeks.

Disney’s Magical Kingdoms blog reported yesterday that the company will begin accepting reservations for the Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawaii, on Aug. 2.

The notice was the company’s first big news in Hawaii since it announced in January that the newest offering would be given the Hawaiian name Aulani, which means "the place that speaks for the great ones" or "the place that speaks with deep messages."

The resort near the J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa is slated to open in August 2011. It has generated a lot of interest because it will be the first Disney hotel that’s not next to a theme park.

But while the resort will be surrounded by Hawaii’s sun, sand and surf instead of roller coasters and themed rides, Disney imagineers have incorporated play features into its village-style design. In addition to kids clubs, amenities at the 21-acre oceanfront resort will include pools and hot tubs, a saltwater snorkeling lagoon and a river running through a volcano outcropping suitable for tube floating.

The resort, which includes 360 hotel rooms and 481 two-bedroom time-share units, also will have a wedding lawn, two restaurants, an 18,000-square-foot family spa and a 14,545-square-foot conference center.

Disney fans can read Aulani news or sign up for updates at


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