The Moana effect: searching for authenticity in Hawaii
Friday, March 23, 2018
Posted by: Jennifer Olivares
(CNN) — A surefire way to get some odd looks from your friends is to tell them you're heading to a Disney resort to learn about authentic Hawaiian culture.
But at Aulani, Disney's resort on Oahu's western shore, between breakfast with Minnie Mouse, Instagram-worthy shave ice topped with Mickey ears, and selfies with Moana, guests will find themselves immersed in unexpected details that paint a picture of what it means to be Hawaiian.
"We have this measure of creativity where we're always, like Walt Disney, looking for the next storytelling opportunity and how we might bring a different facet of the story to life, to shine that light on a perspective of Hawaiian culture that has been unexplored by the grander audience of the world," says Kahulu De Santos, Aulani's cultural advisor. "The story that we have is a rich one. But it's not Disney's story — the culture is held by the Hawaiian people."