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Old 09-28-2012, 08:03 PM   #30
Iceman93's Avatar
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Redondo Beach, CA
Posts: 451

This is my first foray into the DVC boards, having just become a member two days ago. It was during an absolutely amazing stay at Aulani that was so wonderful we just had to lock in the ability to keep going for the next 50 years. We've looked at DVC before (we are truly the ideal market--nearly all of our vacations are Disney), but didn't take the plunge until Aulani stole our hearts.

That being said, my guess from last week is that 25-40% of the guests are Japanese. The resort definitely caters to them--all menus and signage, for example are bilingual (and the second language isn't Spanish like it is here in SoCal). Breakfast features a "Japanese breakfast" and there is an Asian station at the buffet. There is a chapel next to the resort that featured a steady stream of lavish Japanese weddings.

Having traveled to Japan twice (with stops at TDR, of course), and with a wife who had a college roomate from Japan, I'm at least passingly familiar with Japanese culture and habits. I do know that prices at Aulani (which often get panned online for being high, from the room rates to the food prices) seemed rather reasonable to me and would be seen as a serious bargain to the typical middle-class Japanese tourist. I suspect that they can do a fabulous, over-the-top destination wedding at Aulani for the same price or less than a run-of-the-mill wedding back home.

Also, there was about as much space at the HNL airport allocated to the Asian airlines as to the American ones. We even saw United and Delta flights going to Japan (and to second-tier cities like Kyoto and ***uoka, not just Tokyo), in addition to all the JAL, Asiana, etc.

I guess the bottom line is that, despite what the demographic trends may say about the recent past and forecast into the future, my admittedly limited personal experience is that Disney is smiling all the way to the bank with the money they're getting from the Japanese market at Aulani.
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it.", Alan Kay
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