Looking ahead with Disney’s future plans. Disney plans a Hawaii hotel complex to be completed in 2011 at the Ko Olina resort in West Oahu.
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts' first venture in the islands will add 830 hotel and vacation time-share rooms, a fantasy-laden water play area and an 1,700-square-metre spa to this rapidly expanding resort area. A detailed scale model of the complex was displayed at a news conference with Disney officials and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.
It'll be the first such complex for Disney away from a theme park, combining a 350-room hotel with 480 vacation villas on one of Ko Olina's four man-made lagoons, which already feature a Marriott hotel and timeshares, a luxury condominium project and wedding chapels.
"We plan to offer the opportunity for our guests to vacation in a completely new way, very different than they do at our theme park resorts, when they come here to Hawaii - to be surrounded, to discover Oahu, to discover the Hawaiian Islands," said Disney resorts chairman Jay Rasulo.
The resort is expected to hire 1,000 "cast members," Rasulo said. Many will come from Oahu's relatively low-income Leeward Coast.
Disney has several themed resort hotels near Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida, but has never built a hotel and time-share complex that will stand on its own. Rasulo had said there were no plans to expand the resort into a theme park.
The timeshare units will be part of the 350,000-member family-oriented Disney Vacation Club, which has eight other resorts.