During a recent trip to Costco, a pair of little girls in Hawaii were delighted a man they were sure was actually one of their favorite Disney characters. Rella Rivera of Oahu was approaching the cash registers at the store in Kapolei with her daughters Ryley, eight, and Rylyn, five, when the girls suddenly yell excitedly: ‘That’s Maui!’ Their sudden outburst was prompted by the sight of the worker manning the register, who the girls were positive was the Dwayne Johnson-voiced demigod from Disney Pixar’s Moana.
Cashier William Va’ana does indeed bear a striking resemblance to the character, right down to his long hair and armfuls of tattoos. And it quickly became clear that this wasn’t the first time William has had the young ones worked up over his appearance, as he seemed happy to play along. Radio host Rella, 42, managed to whip out her phone in time to catch the girls’ excitement. ‘Who’s that?’ she asked the bouncing girls, who emphatically responded with ‘that’s Maui!’
William then invites them around to his side of the register to join him for a big shout of ‘chee-hoo!’ – Maui’s catchphrase. ‘It brought so much joy to my face to see how excited the girls were. Before I could get my phone out to video, he had already let out a loud “chee-hoo.” And the girls lit up even more,’ Rella told People. Now, Rella reveals, the kids look forward to their trips to Costco so they can visit their friend, who always is sure to great them with a big ‘chee-hoo!’
When the mom shared the video online, she soon learned that her girls were far from the only ones around town to notice William and his resemblance to Maui. ‘There were pictures posted in the comments of other kids who have pointed him out in Costco and he was nice enough to take pictures with them as well,’ she said. Rella’s video of the sweet moment has already been seen more than 75,000 times on YouTube – and has led to calls for William to be given a raise for his kindness.
Since the video went viral, William has revealed that he even previously dressed up as the character, sharing a number of photos online showing him in the character’s leafy skirt and a tank top bearing his tattoos. It’s unclear if the photos were taken before or after William gained viral fame, but they show him going so far as to tote around a massive fish hook and wearing a necklace made of teeth.
This is how people reacted to this post:
Mike Goatbe – My room mate is Santa, so I can relate to ‘Maui’s’ situation.
Thomas does Santa at Christmas through the Vancouver My room mate is Santa, so I can relate to ‘Maui’s’ situation. Thomas does Santa at Christmas through the Vancouver P-olice Department, and donates the proceeds to children’s charities, even though he’s just scraping by. He gets into the roll anytime of year. He has his own beard and belly, but it’s the attitude to make people feel good that drives him. Gotta love him. Just a great guy.
Hailey Poutiatine – When I was four years old, I was at the reception for my dad’s friend’s wedding. One of the guests was this beautiful lady with long, dark hair whom I thought looked like my favorite Disney princess, Jasmine. She let me call her Jasmine and I followed her around for the rest of the night. She even mailed me a note later signed ‘Jasmine’. I don’t think I thought she was the real deal but it still brings a smile to my face thinking about how some adults like this guy are cool enough to play along just to delight Disney-loving kids.
Michael McCue – This is BS this guy calls himself Maui and even had the hook made so mistake my (Ash) figured I would sensor for the younger crowd
Anna H. Thompson – My co worker’s tire was flat so we went to a local gas station.
But somehow it wasn’t getting any air and we saw this Samoan guy. Big guy with the Polynesian tattoos with long hair just like Maui. We asked him to check it out. The guy was pumping it sweating and he was such a gentle giant with a cute smile. Seems to me they all look similar
This Article Was First Published on dailymail.co.uk