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  1. #1

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    October 3, 2008: What to Expect from Disney at Ko Olina

    One year ago today, on October 3, 2007, Disney announced plans build an 800-unit resort on a prime 21-acre oceanfront site in Hawaii, with the opening scheduled for 2011.

    Here's what I think you should expect.


    Please discuss it here.
    Werner Weiss
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  2. #2

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    Re: October 3, 2008: What to Expect from Disney at Ko Olina

    We were at Ko Olina two years ago. It is beautiful! If anyone wants to see them, I posted pics awhile back of the area on my Inisghts blog: www.insightsandsounds.blogspot.com
    Mark

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  3. #3

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    Re: October 3, 2008: What to Expect from Disney at Ko Olina

    A Hawaiian themed destination in Hawaii...

    I hate to be a nay sayer poo pooing this... But don't you think it's par for the course considering? I know I know - the DVC needs more properties in the Western States in order to expand their market west... I understand that...

    But a part of me think this is a little un-Disney and a little more Eisner...

    Disney is supposed to be about bringing fresh new imersive experiances of exotic locations closer to you...

    Why not a Hawaiian themed destionation anywhere else beside Hawaii?

  4. #4

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    Re: October 3, 2008: What to Expect from Disney at Ko Olina

    /\ I agree. I lived on Oahu for years (and have family on the west side) and go back often to visit. I have stayed at the Ihilani Resort and love the lagoons there, but bringing in a Hawaiian theme from someone's imagination years ago is a horrible idea! If they want kitschy tiki decor, the Paradise Cove Luau is only steps away! That is about as kitschy as you can get!!!

    Great update though, I appreciate the info!

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  5. #5

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    Re: October 3, 2008: What to Expect from Disney at Ko Olina

    While I agree with Cellarhound that a Hawaiian resort a little closer to home would be nice, I think the current incarnation is a stroke of genius. Disney's going to give the people what they want and a whole lot more. The location is one of the most beautiful on Oahu, with long stretches of greenery, rediculously clear blue waters, sea turtles and dolphins swimming along the shoreline... It's a picture postcard come to life. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back right this instant. I, for one, can't wait for it to open.
    HEADKAES
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  6. #6

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    Re: October 3, 2008: What to Expect from Disney at Ko Olina

    Quote Originally Posted by headkaes View Post
    While I agree with Cellarhound that a Hawaiian resort a little closer to home would be nice, I think the current incarnation is a stroke of genius.
    I agree that Ko Olina is a great location for the Hawaiian Disney resort complex.

    My original outline for the article included why Oahu is a great destination for families and why being in a master-planned resort development is preferable to tearing down an older property at an ordinary beachfront site that's not part of a master-planned development. But the article was becoming too long, so I left out these topics and the supporting points for them.

    Disney didn't have a lot of choice. Ko Olina is the only master-planned beachfront resort development in Hawaii with undeveloped resort sites.

    For example, on Maui, the resort areas of Kaanapali, Wailea, and Kapalua for fully built out. Starwood recently demolished the beautiful Renaissance resort at Wailea to build a super-high-end Baccarat resort, but the economics of that project will only work because the pricing for the Baccarat resort is astronomical.
    Last edited by Werner Weiss; 11-16-2008 at 11:49 AM.
    Werner Weiss
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  7. #7

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    Re: October 3, 2008: What to Expect from Disney at Ko Olina

    The term Disney has become to mean "family friendly." In building a resort, planners should be looking to add fantasy elements to appeal to kids (and I believe adults too). I believe they are on the right track, but somehow, I feel like they could do even better. I love the location. And the choice of theme seems natural and appropriate. I somehow would like them to take the Hawaiian resort concept to a new level that could only be said to be purely Disney.
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    Re: October 3, 2008: What to Expect from Disney at Ko Olina

    Hmmm. This is not going to be a popular opinion, but I'm not too crazy about this, personally. Yes, I love Disney, but can also see it for what it is; fake, sanitized, homogeneous, intrusive. This is all fine in moderation and in places no one was particularly fond of before anyway (Las Vegas' desert location, Walt Disney World's swamp spot, Castaway Cay's drug runner pit stop island), creating whimsical little postmodern mirages in places where neither culture nor nature was present enough to be very offensive, but Hawaii? Was Hawaii not nice enough authentically?

    I suppose it's no less intrusive than the Marriotts and the Ramadas and the Hiltons, but the whole faux, oversized Hawaiian theme — on Hawaii — seems a bit of an insult.

    Don’t expect a Disneyfied Hawaii like the Enchanted Tiki Room. At Ko Olina, Disney will be respectful of Hawaiian history and culture. On the day that Disney announced the project, Honolulu’s KGMB Channel 9 included the following as part of their news segment:
    “Disney officials said they want to provide guests with an authentic Hawaiian experience. The company plans to work with cultural consultants and community leaders. When Disney’s Lilo & Stitch movie came out, some Native Hawaiian groups were upset with a song they said was taken from two chants for Hawaiian royalty.”
    Actually, it would be great if Disney could have one restaurant that captures the cartoony mid-20th-century interpretation of Hawaii, as exemplified by the Enchanted Tiki Room. The hard part would be making sure that everyone understands what it is—a fun (and inoffensive) look at the Hawaii craze that swept the nation around the time of Hawaii’s 1959 statehood—not an assault on those who are seriously committed to preserving Hawaii’s rich but fragile culture.
    You see, how exactly are they going to accomplish this when they are going to build a "Greene & Greene Craftsman bungalow on steroids." With fiberglass and cartoon characters.


    Also... Once upon a time you had to come to Disney to experience the world in a Disney sort of way. If this continues, you'll be able to travel the globe and never leave the safe Disney environment. You'll just get off the Disney Cruise line, check into a Disney hotel, have a swim in the fake Disney lagoon and head off for the next continent — where Disney's Australian Resort is waiting for you to experience the land Down Under without the shady outback characters or any sign of indigenous Australians. It's just not a good direction they're headed in. I keep wanting to make a Starbucks analogy, with the whole supersaturation/homogeneous thing they have in common, but all they build are coffee houses...

  9. #9

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    Re: October 3, 2008: What to Expect from Disney at Ko Olina

    a
    Last edited by OhMickey; 10-11-2008 at 09:10 PM.

  10. #10

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    Re: October 3, 2008: What to Expect from Disney at Ko Olina

    Quote Originally Posted by OhMickey View Post
    Understand I'm not criticising the site just mentioning something that is both good and bad (relative isolation). It is towards the end of a long dead end road, about where the word Makaha is on this map:
    First, welcome to MiceChat!

    Ko Olina is not out "where the word Makaha is on this map."

    There are two yellow suns immediately to the left (west) of the word "Pearl" on your map. Ko Olina is located about where the yellow sun that more to the left (of the two) is located.

    The "long dead-end road" beyond Ko Olina up to Makaha goes through towns with reputations for poverty and crime. It is not a tourist area.

    Ko Olina and the city of Kaploei immediately inland from Ko Olina are both good areas.
    Werner Weiss
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