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Disney's Aulani helps elevate Ko Olina as a destination
Disney's Aulani helps elevate Ko Olina as a destination

KO OLINA, Hawaii — Hang around the fire-pit fire long enough, watching Uncle Ito breathe life into Hawaiian legend, and those rascally little menehune inevitably clamber into the conversation. Uncle Ito, one of the resident storytellers at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is blessed with an abundant sense of humor. In a recitation of the menehune people's favorite foods (banana, sweet potato, fish, poi), he's been known to insinuate a Disney reference to Mickey ice cream bars. Similarly, the story of a new tourism boom on Oahu, Hawaii's most visited island, can't be told without bringing up Disney. Since opening in August 2011, Aulani has helped fuel...

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