One of Hawaii's top visitor attractions, this tropical 42-acre site showcases seven Polynesian regions: Fiji, ... More
Polynesian Cultural Center
One of Hawaii's top visitor attractions, this tropical 42-acre site showcases seven Polynesian regions: Fiji, Hawai'i, the Marquesas, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga. Visitors enjoy frequent crafts demonstrations, musical performances, games and more. The famous Canoe Pageant reenacts the myths and legends of Polynesia through song and dance, all atop floating canoes. A spectacular show is presented nightly, along with a lavish luau feast. There's also an IMAX theater.
We recently visited the Cultural Center. It was a great experience and neat to see and learn about the different cultures of the pacific. We really enjoyed our visit to this truly unique destination. The luau was good and the show was excellent!
Just visited and it was great. We went back a second day for free to see the villages we missed. We had the ambassador package and I recommend it. U get a guide and best seats at luau and show. The food was great nd the show was fabulous. Everything we expected My family loved it We learned so much about the Polynesian culture Definitely worth the money
We took three of our Grandchildren with us, they had fun. I been there several times before. They liked the Samoan and Tongan show. We had the prime dinner which was very good. We also liked the evening show. We did not care for the picture taking before every event. We had lots of fun.
The Samoa part was the best
The food at the luau was horrid. Not what it was but the very poor quality.
I f Iever go again I would opt out of the Luau , Ou table included seceral folks from Canada and Austrailia and the agreed that the food was not edible
The package price was rather high so I had high expectations. Prior to arrival, the host stationed on the bus advised the passengers that for an extra $25 per person (on top of already $120+) we could have lunch and he would be our tour guide to ensure we saw all the park had to offer. The lunch was an unremarkable buffet and the tour guide was just that, a guide from one station to the next. It was hardly worth the $25 per person. Then you had the special treat of photographers at every point taking a setup photo to be sold to you at the end for $15 each. On top of that, at every station just before the show, a couple of people would parade around selling a cup of icecream for $5. After a couple of hours being paraded through the "islands" of polynesia, we were wisked off for the luau. My vision of a luau is a pig roast on the beach. This one was a mass buffet under a tin roof and concrete floor with no beach in sight. Cheesey! Shortly after the "luau", we were herded through the gauntlet of souveneer shops loaded with cheep crap made in China to the ampitheater for the big show. The show was a veiled attempt at pushing Christian beliefs under the guise of polynesian culture. The dancing was good and the fire show was exciting, but the show as a whole was a turn-off. Oh, and again they pushed the $5 icecream. The constant attempt to squeeze more money out of you and the subtle evangelist displays really killed the experience for me. I will give credit for two things. First, the gardening was excellant. Second, the man hosting the show at the Samoan station was very entertaining.
OK, I realize that the morman tabernacle is sponsoring the university (local branch of BYU) and education of polynesian island students through this commerical venture and that is a decent thing. That is the only reason that I am not totally sour on the experience. But I would have rather given a donation for the education of island students and gone to a better luau and show.
Unfortunately, the experience began on a sour note. The driver was obnoxious and offensive. He asked me why I was alone. I explained my boyfriend was stationed in Kuwait and won't be back until August. He told me, "what happens in Hawaii, stays in Hawaii" (wink, nudge). If I was a violent person, I would've given him both barrels right in the crotch. Everyday, I pray for my boyfriend's safe return. I didn't even want to go on this vacation without him, but the trip was paid for long before we met. The journey itself did not get any better. It was 1 1/4 hour drive. The bus had NO air conditioning which made the ride awful. It felt like a hairdryer was blowing on my head. For goodness sake, even the city buses have air conditioning. The driver was non stop loud bantering using toilet humor and sexual innuendo in a pathetic attempt to keep us entertained. The silence on the bus was deafening. On occasion, someone let out a half hearted sympathy chuckle. I was able to visit 2 of the islands, and enjoyed watching a performer. The cast at the villages are enthusiastic and engaging. Dinner began at 5pm. I paid the the top tier feast because the website clearly states attendees would enjoy a traditional Hawaiian feast. I was surprised to find a buffet line that consisted of common food items such as sushi, turkey, eggplant parmesan, and spaghetti. Now, I don't claim to be a cultural expert, but I'm pretty sure spaghetti and meatballs is not authentic Polynesian cuisine. I thought there would be a pig roast, and asked a waiter about this. He told me that was being served at the Luau feast on the other side of the center. Granted, most of the food in the buffet was of decent quality, and there were a few items that seemed to be authentic Polynesian cuisine. But they were the exception. I expected it to be the other way around, mostly traditional cuisine with a few common food items. This made my dining experience disappointing. The show itself does not begin until 7:30pm. I don't know anyone who takes 2 1/2 hours to eat dinner. This wouldn't be an issue except the villages begin shutting down by 5pm, with the last attraction closing at 5:30pm. Interestingly enough, all the stores managed to stay open. The message I got from how this event is structured is the emphasis is more on getting you to buy their overpriced stuff, rather than entertain you. The show is why this review gets 2 stars instead of my finger. The story was very entertaining and the dancers mesmerizing. During intermission, I chatted with a fellow sitting next to me. He told me he paid for the Luau feast, (the same one the waiter told me the pig roast was at), and how disappointed he was with the meal. He told me there was no pig roast. It was common food, and not very good quality. It was an enlightening conversation. During intermission, people who paid for the higher level package could redeem their voucher for something called, "pineapple delight". Don't waste your money, people. It's cheap ice cream with canned fruitcocktail and food coloring dumped on it. I took a few bites then threw it away. The second half of the show was better than the first. The firedancers were the highlight of the entire experience. By the time the show ended at 9pm, everyone was loaded back on the bus by 9:30pm. I reached my hotel shortly before 11pm, completely exhausted and not very happy. My recommendation for those interested in the Polynesian Cultural Center, is to go see it, if you happen to be vacationing in the area. It's not worth the long painful drive in an unairconditioned bus. Don't do the Twilight package because you won't have time to thoroughly experience all the islands. Definitely do NOT sign up to do any of their feasts. It's a waste of money. You could pack some snacks to nibble while you're visiting the villages, then take your family out for a nice dinner for a fraction of the cost and get the exact same food.
We loved every moment! We arrived hungry and lunch (we paid for) was delicious. We had an awesome and very knowledgeable guide, David. We learned so much about the Polynesian culture. From 12:00 noon 'til 9:30pm you are doing something or viewing the entertainment. There's a canoe ride so take your camera. There are Polynesian entertainers that kept me laughing so hard even tears rolled down my face, If you're hot you can purchase a bowl of ice cream for $5 or wait as I did and was pleasantly surprised to get some free at the evening's performance during intermission(with your ticket).You'll view beautiful Polynesian dancers so take your camcorder. Dinner was good. I wish I had gotten a pineapple drink. I also missed the coconut cake dessert. You'll have a short while to buy souvenirs which are so nice! Lastly you'll attend the grand show which is breathtaking (cameras not allowed). Here is where you can get your delicious ice cream free with ticket during intermission. The show was educational and inspirational; it is what I've told everyone about. Be sure to stay until the grand finale--awesome! Have your pictures taken when you first arrive as they are great to show family back home. You won't regret the money you spent to attend.Whenever we are fortunate to return to Oahu we will most certainly return to the Polynesian Culture Center, again. We recommend this place to everyone. All were very polite, helpful, and friendly.
We went to the PCC and bought the extra good seats to the show and luau. Spent over 100 each. We went on a extra large canoe ride through all the villages with about 50 other people on the boat, driven by a boy from the midwest. He tried to be funny and mispronounced most of the polynesian words and joked that he was from midwest and couldn't help it. Then we went to the Luau with thousands of others. The food was very tasteless and we were so stuffed into this small area my husband couldn't even get out to get his food. I had to get it for him. They did have some nice entertainment during dinner but I could barely see it, since we were seated way over to the left. The luau ended and there was an hour and a half to walk around to buy souvineirs. ( REALLY???) Everyone was standing around bored out of their minds. They had so many things to buy. We were done looking around and waited around for another hour to see the show and it was more like a las vegas production. I kept watching the kid from the midwest trying to do the hula (NOT) The show began and as another reviewer said it was a true LION KING KNOCKOFF. It really ruined it for me. Not even remotely a polynesian show. They had a break in the middle of the show to give you ice cream. My husband went up to get ice cream and they said he didn't get any with his ticket and that would be 5.00 for a tiny bowl of ice cream. He got water instead 3.00. As we walked out the people in the show were yelling at people to come take a picture with the18.00. TOURIST RIP-OFF Show less
I have been to the Polynesian Cultural Center many times in the 10 years I lived in Hawaii. It was always a great place to spend the day with family and friends that come to visit the islands to share in the culture of the islands represented at PCC. I have since moved to Arizona and make it a point to go back to Hawaii every year. I was in Honolulu again in September for my honeymoon and I made sure that I set aside one day to share the experience with my husband who has never been to Hawaii before. He loved every minute of the day there. I was sorry that we didn't arrive right when they opened this time as we got there at 1pm and didn't have the opportunity to see all of the shows that day. However, I knew which were my favorites and we didn't miss those. I definitely recommend getting there right when they open for anyone who doesn't want to miss anything. I have taken advantage of the buffet dinner and nighttime show in the past, but thought I'd try the luau this time. I wasn't impressed with the entertainment and the food is exactly the same as you get at the buffet, which costs less than the luau. In either case, it's a great way to sample the cultural foods. Surpisingly, my husband enjoyed the poi. I love the chicken longrice and kalua pork. The Ha, Breath of Life show at the end was delightful. It helped to know the storyline beforehand so we could understand the meaning behind it all. It made it much more enjoyable. The guide on the boat ride shared the insight with us along with a lot of humor. That's what I love about the PCC, is the humor they add to all the shows, along with understanding about each culture represented there. It is well worth a day of your vacation even if it is a costly experience. I would recommend PCC to anyone who has never been.
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