Disney Explains Importance of Native American Culture in Designing New Spa

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Tenaya Stone Spa

Credit: Disney

Disney has just given fans a sneak peek of the Tenaya Stone Spa that is coming soon to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort. This brand-new spa is inspired by the indigenous cultures of California, and Disney Case Members have now explained the Native American influence on the spa’s design.

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Tenaya Stone Spa
Credit: Disney

We recently reported that the grand opening date for the Tenaya Stone Spa will be on September 16, just a few short days away!

Disney Parks Blog caught up with Katrina Mosher and Dawn Jackson, who both worked on the Tenaya Stone Spa. Both Katrina and Dawn gave fans more details about this incredible new spa that is set to open soon.

Dawn Jackson, a member of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, was a cultural advisor throughout the creation of the Tenaya Stone Spa. She gave details on what Tenaya means, and how Disney was able to keep the spa’s experience and design authentic and respectful.

Here is what Dawn specifically shared:

“Tenaya (pronounced ten-eye-uh) can be interpreted ‘to dream’ in the indigenous culture of the Yosemite Valley. […]

The story development for Tenaya Stone Spa was an amazing journey. We considered the story of the hotel, and in thinking about California, the indigenous people. […]

 As a cultural advisor, I was able to connect with tribal elders to look at California heritage. Who were the ancestors? What materials did they use? What stones were important? What tools?

We met with elders and took this journey together. It had to be authentic. I am a Saginaw Chippewa tribal member from Michigan, and wanted to increase my knowledge of specific tribal cultures of Yosemite. I met with different tribes and then focused on the Southern Sierra Miwok. I also thought about my own tribal teachings of what it means to live a well and balanced life.  This combination of cultural knowledge comes together in Tenaya Stone Spa…”

Tenaya Stone Spa
Credit: Disney

It is clear that Disney took no shortcuts on this new incredibly detailed spa. Even the meaning of Tenaya, “to dream,” will be a reminder to relax and let go when you are enjoying a day at the Tenaya Stone Spa when it opens.

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Check out this video of the Tenaya Stone Spa for a more detailed look inside before it opens!

We cannot wait to visit the Tenaya Stone Spa in person for some rest and relaxation after a busy weekend at Disneyland. You can read more about the spa here.

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Will you be booking a treatment at the Tenaya Stone Spa when it opens on September 16 at Disney’s Grand Californian? Let us know in the comments!

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