Disney Hits the Beach

The Disney organization is stepping a little outside of its comfort zone for its next development project: an 800-unit oceanfront resort on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The project, which will be part of the existing Ko Olina Resort, will be Disney's first mixed-use resort not part of one of its theme parks.

The 21-acre resort opens in 2011 and will have both hotel rooms and Disney Vacation Club villas. The timeshare component was a major driver of the project, as Hawaii is one of the most-requested exchange locations by club members.

Disney is busy on other development fronts:

  • The company is planning a major expansion of its Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. The 2.5-acre expansion will add more than 200 hotels rooms (giving the property a total of 945) and 50 two-bedroom Disney Vacation Club villas, marking the company's first timeshare offering on the West Coast.

    Other features of the project include a rooftop deck for viewing fireworks, a new swimming pool and 300 underground parking spots.

  • Also as part of its Anaheim resort complex, the company plans to upgrade its underperforming California Adventure theme park. The park, which annually attracts less than half of Disneyland's 21 million visitors, will receive a number of new attractions, restaurants, retail outlets, entertainment venues and landscaping. According to media reports, Disney will spend $1.1 billion over five years on the project.

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