Disney Timeshare in Hawaii, But Where’s Space Mountain?

Yesterday, the Timeshare Owners Blog told you about Disney’s expansion plans in Hawaii. The planned Oahu resort will occupy 21 acres of prime oceanfront property and will be Disney’s first hotel and timeshare resort that is not part of a theme park. While other sources list the property as yet unnamed, the Honolulu Star Bulletin calls it the: Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Ko Olina Family Resort.

Walt Disney timeshare and resort planned for Hawaii

From a business perspective, there are several ways to view Disney’s move to expand in Hawaii going there without the benefit of thrill rides and mouse ears as a draw for tourists. Even Disney Vacation Club timeshares currently only offer two locations that are not at a theme park destination: Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort.

In some regards, Disney is a relative newcomer to the hotel and resort industry. The Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, which opened in 1955, was the first Disney-branded hotel, but it was not owned and operated by the Walt Disney company until 1988.

Still, nearly 19 years in the hotel business, is long enough for you to learn some of the ups and downs. And long enough to establish that not everything Disney touches thrives, despite magic pixie dust to help it along.

In the 1990’s Disney planned a project in Newport Coast, California, which was subsequently cancelled, and the land later sold to Marriott, who built the very successful Marriott Newport Coast Villas on the site.

Disney also planned hotels for Beaver Creek, Colorado, and in New York’s Times Square, but neither ever came to fruition. There’s a reason that Disney has shied away from the hotel business in areas that don’t have theme parks and maybe it’s been a good one.

Without Magic Mountain and twirling teacups, a Disney hotel is, well, just another great hotel, and perhaps not even as great as some of their competition. The developers of the property at Ko Olina were also in negotiations with Four Seasons, Trump Entertainment, and Ritz-Carlton for the land Disney has acquired. Recognizing that the Hawaii hotel and resort market is not one of the easiest—after all it’s not a drive-to destination for anyone—you have to wonder if Disney beat out the competition, or if the other hoteliers were wisely more conservative.

As with most things, time will tell. But if you are a member of the Disney Vacation Club, then maybe you’re in luck, and in the near future, a Disney Hawaii timeshare vacation will be in your plans.

Until then, here are only a few of the other excellent options for your Hawaii timeshare vacation: