Lahaina, HI — In the shadow of the 2023 Lahaina fire, Flight of Aloha emerges as a symbol of resilience and hopeful cultural preservation. Established by Native Hawaiian Ola Shaw, this unique venture redefines amusement, offering a profound journey into Hawaiian culture and traditions.
The story of Flight of Aloha began with a family trip to Disneyland in 2013, where Soar’n Over California impacted Shaw and his family. This experience, coupled with a pivotal moment in 2019 marked by his father’s cancer diagnosis, reignited Shaw’s vision. This new inspiration came during a visit to Alaska, where “Wings Over Washington ” provoked Shaw’s parents to again push the Idea to create a similar venture steeped in Hawaiian culture.
Flight of Aloha is more than an entertainment platform; it’s also a conduit for Hawaiian cultural storytelling and consciousness. Shaw’s commitment to important Hawaiian issues such as water rights, land ownership, and cultural advancement stems from the impact of the historical Great Mahele.
“Naupaka,” the venture’s inaugural film, has received acclaim for its authentic depiction of Hawaiian heritage, an exhilarating feeling of flight, and giving the rider a sense of Hawaii even though it is playing at a flying theater 5000 miles away from home. This resonates with Shaw’s dedication to genuine cultural representation.The fire destroyed Shaw’s hometown and put a pause on the restaurant, bar, and cultural entertainment center that was due to open in September 2023 off Front Street in Lahaina. With portions of the restaurant, Topgolf, and flying ride building burnt, Fight of Aloha is turning its sights toward community while working toward expanding to the outer islands.
In the wake of the Lahaina fire, Shaw is advocating for a community-driven reconstruction effort, integrating the diverse voices of Lahaina. His guiding principle, “As Ambassadors, we make them feel Aloha,” underscores a profound commitment to community welfare and cultural preservation.
Recognizing the community’s urgent needs, Flight of Aloha initiated a GoFundMe campaign to help support the restoration of Lahaina while considering its cultural fabric. This campaign aims to bolster local schools, housing initiatives, and cultural preservation efforts, showcasing Flight of Aloha’s dedication to Lahaina’s enduring legacy and future.
Donors contributing $100 or more are honored with a “Maui Strong” Aloha Ambassador T-shirt and sticker as a token of their solidarity with Lahaina’s journey toward healing.
Shaw’s vision positions Flight of Aloha as a key player in Lahaina’s path to recovery, not merely as a business but as a community pillar upholding its cultural and historical roots.
About Flight of Aloha
Founded by Ola Shaw, Flight of Aloha transcends the conventional amusement ride, offering a journey into Hawaiian culture. With authenticity and community connection at its core, the venture provides an immersive experience that celebrates Hawaii’s heritage and traditions.
Ola Shaw, Founder
Flight of Aloha