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In July 4 post for The Timeshare Authority, we talked about Disney’s new Hawaii timeshare resort, Aulani, a mixed-use property that offers both hotel and timeshare accommodations.

Disney is already selling timeshares at the Aulani, and as of last week, already taking reservations. But it is interesting to look at what Disney’s venture into Hawaii timeshare really means to the Disney brand and the Hawaii tourist market.

Typically, Disney builds resort properties at or near its parks. But as Michael Corty, a Morningstar Inc. stock analyst who specializes in the Walt Disney Co., told the Orlando Sentinel, “It’ll be a test to see if their brand can extend … outside of their traditional business.”

All of the current Disney Vacation Club timeshare properties are located at a major Disney theme park except Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort located in South Carolina and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, which is roughly an hour’s drive from the Disney Orlando parks. Both of these resorts benefit from their beachside locations, with the Vero Beach Resort timeshare also being portside where the Disney cruise lines docks. Yet neither of these popular timeshare resorts are as grand scale (or as costly) as is Disney’s undertaking in Hawaii, the Aulani.

The Aulani Resort will include water slides, a salt water lagoon for snorkeling, a lazy river, two restaurants and a spa. In building this Disney timeshare and resort, the company is looking for a strong market of guests and timeshare owners from Japan. It will also need enthusiasm from timeshare buyers (noting that Hawaii is one of the most requested timeshare exchange locations by current Disney timeshare owners) and support from the market of vacationers at large, most of whom only plan theme park vacations approximately once every 5 to 8 years.

Source: The Daily Disney

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