Plan a day visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center, located in
a small town called Laie in the North Shore,
explore countless experiences that it has
to offer! Sometimes referred
to as the Disney World experience of
this Oahu attraction will entertain you with shows and fun activities
throughout the day, and continue into the evening with a Grand Hawaiian luau.
end the night watching a fantastic production called Ha “Breath of
Life”…not to be
diving into the experience, it’s nice to know a little about the
history of the Polynesian
Cultural Center. They opened their
doors to the public in October 1962, with 39 structures that were
constructed with material shipped from the South Pacific, and
constructed by over a hundred missionary volunteers on a 13 acre
They even had a
600 seat amphitheater that
filled up on Saturday nights! And although this was just the
of the park grounds, there were visions, creations, and activities that
took place throughout the prior century, including a hukilau and luau
experience for visitors in the 1940’s.
There is so much to see and discover at the Polynesian
that you will need at least a couple of days to explore it all!
And you will be happy to know that your
ticket is now
good for 3 days beyond your first visit, if you wish to return
additional shows and village areas.
park opens up at 12 PM daily (except closed on Sundays), and I’d advise
arriving at opening, or even earlier to explore the new Hukilau
In fact it’s easy to get carried away wandering
through all the shops and delicious eateries before reaching the
entrance to the real entertainment! Maybe plan an early lunch
here before getting started! I’m
a big fan of Ray’s Kiawe
Chicken that recently joined the Marketplace. Book your
Make sure to enter
the park grounds giving a big hang-loose shaka to the
larger than life
size statue of the late Hamana Kalili of Laie, who is famous for
creating the popular Hawaiian shaka greeting. Take a picture
him, and learn the story of how the unique shaka sign came about.
Polynesian Cultural Center features 7 villages, including
regions of Hawaii, Fiji, Samoa, Marquesas, Tonga, Aotearoa (New
Zealand), and Tahiti.
It’s hard to say which of the 7 villages to visit, as they all have special offering and culture worth exploring. But I would like to highlight the Village of Samoa being most popular, followed with the newly renovated Tonga Village.
good example of a village experience would be visiting the
Tonga, where you can explore a replica of the Tongan Summer Palace,
create a dynamic toy from coconut fawns, and take a stab at a popular
Tongan shuffleboard game, or test your accuracy with throwing spears.
Make sure to also watch a Tongan stage performance in an
amphitheater that is
humorous, exciting, and quite entertaining!
If that’s not
go on a guided canoe ride that boards right outside the village and
travels throughout the resort lagoon.
you decide, don’t
miss the Canoe Pageant that takes place 2:30 PM daily
in the main lagoon area. Arrive early to get a good seat, as
there will be a parade of canoes representing the different cultures of
Polynesia with festive costumes and electric dances!
performances are captivating and differ from one another. The
Canoe Pageant is the most anticipated events in the park next to the
Also somewhat newer to the Polynesian Cultural Center is an incredible Immersive Cinematic Experience. Currently showing is the “Hawaiian Journey”. If the cinematography of Hawaii’s beautiful landscape doesn’t move you, maybe feeling the rumble of the volcano, or the ocean spray from a barreling wave, or the feeling yourself going over a 100 foot waterfall might do the trick.
It’s simply amazing to view Hawaii’s raw beauty in a giant IMAX HD experience! The Hawaiian Journey runs about every 30 minutes.
Ukulele Experience Gallery – If you love the magical sounds
ukulele that was originally introduced to Hawaii by the Portuguese back
in 1879, then make sure to stop through the new Ukulele Experience
See tools and machinery used to help make the
instruments, take a free ukulele lesson, and try to resist not
purchasing one of the many different
types of ukuleles on sale, ranging
from $179 to $3000. Kamaka is one of the
original makers on
island, best in sound, and most $$$$...if you are wondering.
you managed to see all that the Polynesian Cultural Center offers, or
looking to kill some time before your luau starts, consider taking a 35
minute open air tram ride tour around Laie and the BYU
Learn more about this special north shore town, and BYU’s involvement
in the operations of this Oahu attraction.
as one of the best luaus on the island, the Polynesian
puts on a memorable experience! From elegant hula
wild fire dances, your eyes will be glued to the
stage with a fun filled evening of entertainment! Book your tickets
early as they tend to sell out...
get a close up view of
the Kalua Pig imu being unveiled, followed with
an ono delicious meal, indulging in many of the island
Don’t load up on too much poi, as you’ll need to save room for some
tasty island dessert!
Not to be missed Broadway-like production! As soon as you think you’ve seen all that the Polynesian Cultural Center has to give, there is a grand night show called Ha “Breath of Life”.
This 90 minute production tells a story of life from beginning to end that weaves through the different Polynesian cultures. The magic of the open air stage, the special effects, and the performances given, is what makes this an award winning production. This show usually sells out, so don’t wait to get your tickets!
Arrive early and plan to spend a whole day at the Polynesian Cultural Center. There is too many great attractions, shows, and things to do! On that note, remember that your purchased ticket is good for 3 day after your visit, in case you would like to take advantage and see more.
Pay a little extra and sign up for the guided tours. Instead of trying to navigate through the 11 acre estate, coordinate show times and avoid missing important attractions, let the trained guides to lead you into a more pleasurable experience, which includes some prime seating in certain packages.
Consider the “Circle Island Packages” when purchasing your tickets, which includes transportation from Waikiki based hotels. Keep in mind that it will be a long ride back to town in the dark…
Special Needs – PCC offers strollers, wheel chairs, and motorized scooters for rent.
Some say that a trip to the North
Shore is not complete until you’ve
had a shave ice, while others say the garlic shrimp trucks are a
must! Save your appetite until you reach Kahuku, where the
farms are located.
You’ll find Fumi’s Kahuku Shrimp, Romy’s
Kahuku Shrimp & Prawns, and Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck out there
waiting for you with lots of garlic shrimp.
the street from the Polynesian Cultural Center is a beautiful gallery
featuring the creative photography of Kim Taylor Reece. Kim
captured the magic and beautiul of Kuhiko (traditional) Hula being
performed on stage and unique settings.
Stop in if you're in
neighborhood and get ready for a special treat that not many visiting
tourist get to see. The
Taylor Reece gallery is
about 20 minutes east of Turtle
Bay Oahu Resort & 5 minutes away from the Polynesian
Another great Oahu attraction
just 15 minutes down the road! The Kualoa Ranch is a
playground filled with lots of fun and adventurous outdoor activities.
These grounds are also most popular for their movie
setting for box office hits like Jurassic Park, and popular TV shows
like Hawaii Five-O.
Today Kualoa Ranch attracts visitors from all over to tour the tropical jungle filming areas, and engage in many of the activities. Check out your options including riding ATV’s, horseback riding, paddling kayaks to a secret island, ziplining across the tropical jungle, and many more adventurous activities!