Posted Thursday, October 4, 2007 9:21 AM | Contributed by Jeff
The Walt Disney Co. plans to build a family resort in Hawaii, but it won't be an island Disneyland. Walt Disney Parks & Resorts announced Wednesday it has bought 21 acres of oceanfront property on the western side of Oahu that it will use to build an 800-room hotel complex. The resort, Disney's first without a nearby theme park, will emphasize family-centered vacations while respecting Hawaii's culture, said Disney Parks & Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo.
Well I'm glad they're doing it on Oahu, which is frankly the island that interests me the least. I've only been to Hawaii once, but the only time I spent on Oahu was on the way to other islands. Kauai in particular is so unspoiled, and I hope they keep it that way.
I'll never understand the people who go to Hawaii to stay at resorts and hotels that could just as easily be on the Florida coast.
I went to Kauai, Oahu and Maui when I was about 14 and I agree that Kauai back then was far and away my favorite. I understand it took a devastating blow from a hurricane back in the late 80s/early 90s? In any event, the costs are what drove me to Cancun. (Since we had family in Florida that we regularly visited we didn't really want to honeymoon there.)
That's the other dirty little secret that, aside from airfare, Kauai hotels give you a lot more bang for the buck, and it's where the true tropical experience is. Plus Waimea Canyon, Na'pali coast, the coffee, the sailing trips, Poipu Beach and a generally rural feel. I've been dying to go back since the day I left.
Kauai is beautiful beyond words... unspoiled is definitely the appropriate description. We went there and it was great to unwind for a few days before moving onto Maui, which is also really nice (especially Lahaina). Waimea Canyon, Poipu Beach, Spouting Horn, it's all good. Oahu isn't bad but it's definitely the closest to what you go to Hawaii to escape from- traffic, busy city environments, massive amounts of people, etc. Our first and last days were spent in Waikiki (made sense because of the flights) and while we had a good time, I wouldn't mind not returning there anytime soon. Not like I have to worry about that because the money isn't there for another trip of that expense right now.
Anyway, this is pretty interesting, if only because it's strange to think of Disney having an interest in a Hawaiian island. Not sure why that is, though.
Jeff said: I'll never understand the people who go to Hawaii to stay at resorts and hotels that could just as easily be on the Florida coast.
The same reason people go to Red Lobster in New York City or Chick-Fil-A at Cedar Point. They don't like to experience the local culture because it's "unknown". They want the safety of what they know. So, they'd much rather stay in a "chain". I'm sure that's why the Disney resort will do fabulously in HI - because of the name.
wahoo skipper said: Tim...it is going to be a mixed resort including DVC and hotel, much like Vero Beach from what I can tell (in operation, not design).
I'm just surprised it's not being built by Disney's Vacation Club. The press release was from Disney Parks and Resorts. That's a different entity from DVC. I don't dispute that it could be operated like a DVC, but it's definitely a different company. That's what surprised me. It's almost as if they're trying to break into a new market for them. The DVC properties are "owned" by members (but can be rented out like a hotel), while this resort appears to be owned and operated by Disney - just like any of their on-property resorts. Maybe they thought this would be a better idea since purchasing a "home property" in HI might not be too easy to sell. It will be interesting to follow though.
^^ Heh, go figure. I knew we'd find common ground eventually.
We stayed at two places (outside of Waikiki)- the Sheraton Poipu Beach Resort on Kauai and the Ka'anapali Beach Resort on Maui. It was amazing how different they were. The Sheraton was very classy and elegant- almost too perfect- while the Ka'anapali Beach Resort (not affiliated with a chain) had a more laid-back vibe but a selection of guest rooms that were hardly created equal- we really had to work for a room of the quality we paid for. There are pros and cons for going with both chains and independents.
As much as I love Disney, I think I'd steer clear of this one in favor of something with a more authentic Haiwaiian feel. Then again, I'd like to check out the other two major islands next time we go back... whenever that may be.
Well that explains quite a bit. I too stayed at the Sheraton Kauai, ocean front room. I've never looked forward to spending time at a hotel on any other vacation, but that place was amazing. Amazing service, great restaurant and room service and one of the best beaches in Hawaii (or so they say). Totally amazing.
Did you dive...? Until you dive Kauai and/or Maui...you've not really seen the best of what Hawaii has to offer! Ditto on the Oahu commentary...I only went for a few hours to see Pearl Harbor...then I hopped to the good islands!