Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

creative direction, user interface, design systems, social media marketing


1. Problem

Located in Waikiki, Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa is steeped in beauty and history. Disney was looking for an immersive marketing tool targeting parents and their children. They wanted a way to capture the spirit of aloha while staying respectful of the native culture, all while upholding their high bar for storytelling and art.

2. Process

First we worked with Disney to establish their business goals and expectations. As the ACD, I then turned these ideas into a creative brief and then led my team in researching the market, brainstorming, conceptualizing ideas. Finally, we created a cohesive and inspiring pitch deck which I presented to Disney.

Excited about the work, Disney chose to go with an interactive storybook. Starting with moodboards, sketches and low fidelity wireframes we collaborated with Disney’s cultural experts to make sure the story and art we were telling was accurate and respectful of Polynesian heritage. Our retelling of the legend of the Menehune would also feature feature 4 simple mini-games: a Hawaiian name selector, a music maker, a picture frame maker, and a lei maker. All games would provide the audience with shareable assets.


As the ACD, I led the creative team in developing the user experience, designing the user interface, and hiring a team of contractors including a children’s book author, an illustrator, voice over artist, and a musician. My team collaborated with engineers to create the production of assets and launch of the final microsite.

3. Result

The result was an experience that brought to life the story of the Menhune, mythical wooden creatures who build the Aulani resort under the glowing Hawaiian moon. Users are guided through the moving storybook by the voice of a friendly owl named Pueo. As the storybook unfolds the user travels down from the starry night sky into a lush Hawaiian rain forest where the Menehune are busily constructing Aulani.

The project succeeded in driving traffic to the Aulani social channels, with over 26,000 likes on Facebook alone.