Local Connection: Aloha Aulani!

By Rick Blangiardi

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - If there's one company that *isn't* a Mickey Mouse operation, it's Walt Disney company.

It may not have seemed that way recently when three executives were fired. They did the math wrong and set Aulani maintenance fees too low to pay for upkeep. That debacle notwithstanding, Disney has a long reputation of being well-managed.

Business students study Disney's concept of employee-as-cast-member. So it's worth examining Disney's decision to open, here, its first hotel not tied to a theme park.

Disney hasn't revealed all it's inside thinking, but I think I know why.  Hawaii is the theme park.

Hawaii is the attraction - a beautiful place with attractive people - and the theme is aloha.

Once you see that, you see why Disney came here. And you see how every hotel here has the same potential.

Every employee needs to think like a cast member, help the guest experience the theme. It works for Disney, yes, but it can also work for a budget hotel on Kuhio, or a hotel in Lahaina or Hilo.

Share the culture, share the scenery. It's all real, and it's all good.

Epcot's got nothing on us.

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