The Walt Disney Co. plans to build a family resort in Hawaii, but it won’t be an island Disneyland. The 21 acres of oceanfront property on the western side of Oahu will house 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.
“It will give our guests another way to visit a place that they’ve loved for many years,” Rasulo said. “As the crossroads of Asia, it is your diverse culture that makes this place so special.”
Disney spent $144 million to buy the land at the Ko Olina development, near the existing J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa.
Disney has several themed resort hotels near Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida, but it has never built a hotel resort that will stand on its own. Hawaii has no full-scale amusement park.
Rasulo said there were no plans to expand the resort into a theme park.
“This decision and project really enhances our state’s reputation as a family destination,” said Gov. Linda Lingle. “That’s what we are, and the Disney name brings that to everyone’s mind, front and center.”
The hotel complex is expected to create 1,000 jobs along the island’s Leeward coast, an area known as much for its homelessness as for its breezy beaches.
“When our families go home, they will know much more about Hawaii,” Rasulo said. “To call it a hotel would be a vast understatement of what we’re trying to achieve.”
For more pictures check out Disney Dean’s blog.
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