This is a unique open air cultural museum and performing arts center. It features 7 mock villages representing 7 unique island cultures. Every hour each of these villages has a dance, music or craft demonstrations. Also at the center is an IMAX movie theatre and a nightly cultural show.
Polynesian Cultural Center is actually a theme park focusing on the polynesian culture. The park belongs to the Mormon Church and it is open Monday to Saturday from noon till 21.00. The ticket fee varies depending on what you want to see. The General Admission costs $45 but if you want to watch the nightshow and the free dinner you have to pay $60 while there are even more expensive tickets that give premium seatings in the night show etc Booking online from their site will save you some dollars.
The first thing you must do is check the map and orient yourself. There are seven different replicas villages from Samoa, Hawaii, Fiji, Tahiti, New Jealand, Tonga and Marquesas. They are not very big, just some huts and houses typical in each island. The distances are small from one to the other, actually you won’t need much time to walk from the one to the other but you have to check the shows and the times in each island so not to miss anything. If you go to Tahiti for exable and there is no show it will be a waste of time because there will be nothing there for you :)
see my video from our visit here:video
The staff everywhere was very friendly, smiley and they wear the traditional native clothes of the islands. They are the ones that give the shows, dance or play games with the visitors. We though it will be boring after a while but the hours pasted really quick and we became familiar with some customs we didn’t know much like instrument presentations (pic 1), cooking coconut bread, coconut opening (pic 2) or fire making, war dance, tongan spear throwing, fireknife baton practice, etc The drums of Tonga was a very funny moment too with participation of some of the visitors (pic 3)
Between 15.00-18.40 you can use the Laie Tram for a tour inside the park or you can take the free boats that run through the lagoon. At 14.30 we grap a good spot in the river and we watched the Canoe Pageant with people from the seven island parade in front of us, showing on the rafts their native dances (pic 4) etc There is also an IMAX theatre with high quality screen where we watched an ocean-theme documentary.
We were there before noon when the crowds were normal but in the evening the park was packed. There are many gift stores inside with some nice items.
Hours from Waikiki, on the Windward Coast of Oahu is the Polynesian Cultural Center. Similar to the Epcot Center in purpose, the Polynesian Cultural Center provides visitors with an introductory glimpse at several Pacific cultures through performances and demonstrations. The areas featured at the Center include Hawaii, Fiji, Marquesas, New Zealand, Tahiti, Tonga, and Samoa. If you’re crunched for time and can only visit a few of the villages, I suggest seeing Samoa, New Zealand, and Tonga, and don’t miss out on the canoe pageant. Oh, and just so that you know, BYU owns the Center so it’s BYU students that you see working and performing. Ladies, definitely a lot of Hawaiian eye candy here. ;)
Note: Tip originally written for Jan. 2003 visit to Oahu.
If you want to meet with the people of Hawaii, Samoa, Maori, Fiji, Tahiti, the Marquesas and Tonga in forty-two acres of villages and to see the world's largest Polynesian show, then you have to visit Hawaii’s Polynesian Cultural Center — located in Laie, on the north shore of Oahu. Going from village to village learning about the different Islands is a great fun.
The evening luau show is a “must see” , the music and dancing roams from Hawaii to Tahiti to Samoa, with numerous costume changes, thunderous drums and of course the obligatory fire dance.
Here you can taste a lot of authentic Hawaiian food at the All-you-can-eat buffet. The buffet tables hold such traditional items as Kalua pig, slow-cooked whole with spinach-like taro leaves in an imu (underground oven) for many hours.
There is also Lau lau steamed salt butterfish, beef, pork wrapped in taro and ti leaves; the famous Chicken Lu`au cooked with taro leaves and coconut milk; the marinated, grilled Teriyaki steak and last but not least, the Hawaiian favorite, sauteed Mahimahi fish filets. Among the salads you can find such as Hawaiian octopus and Lomi salmon.
Oh -- and do not forget the side dish, the Poi made from pounding taro roots.
The 42 acre Polynesian Culture Center welcomes you to experience exotic villages and island customs.
Familiarize yourselves with the center by taking the canoe ride along a meandering waterway which flows passed the Polynesian villages. Once you disembark, make a point to visit each of the cultures represented. Examples of living quarters, dance demonstrations and other entertainment will make your visit quite informative.
pic #2 A canoe ride
pic #3 Learning to hula
We purchased tickets ahead on line and reserved transportation to and from a hotel located next door to ours. We were part of a 'small group guided tour', which led us to the highlights of each village and particular events there.
It was a full day tour including a delicious dinner buffet (we chose the Ambassador Package Plan), concluding with what was described as 'premium seating' at the Horizons evening presentation--see my nightlife tip.
A mid-day Canoe Pageant represented the various cultures, their native dress, music and dance.
Check the website below for the different package plans and all that they include. Once again, we found this attraction to be pricey but worth the money spent.
The Polynesian Culture Center has created seven South Pacific villages in which you might witness a war dance, see training in fireknife practices, sample poi or coconut bread and even throw a Tongan spear or two.
Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Tonga, Tahiti, Marquesas, Fiji, New Zealand (Aotearoa) and Samoa plus Hawaii, comprise the villages (pics #2-3). Your ticket will allow your return for up to three days from your initial visit. Although we didn't plan to see the Imax film presentation, it's part of the ticket package, as well.
For the adventurous, you can attend an authentic Hawaiian Luau--we chose another dining plan because we were traveling with our grandson who enjoys very basic foods. If you chose this route, you'll receive a lovely lei which will scent your steps everywhere you wander for the rest of the evening.
Gates open at 12:00 noon. Several gift shops carrying souvenirs to finer items are available at the center. The Polynesian Culture Center is a venture of Brigham Young University. Many of the students work here in order to attend the university.
Here you can experience not only a Luau, but also many of the elements of Polynesian culture, including; Tongan spear throwing, New Zealand Haka war dance, Samoan fireknife baton practises and even preparing Tahitian coconut bread. It is a total experience.
Polynesians are some beautiful sexy people, so the eye-candy is quite nice too!!
This is actually a unique place to visit as you can tour the Pacific in one day. PCC offers a peek into seven islands of Polenesia and thier cultural diffrences. These are Samoa, island greeting Talofa. Aotearoa (New Zealand), island greeting Kia-Ora. Fiji, island greeting Bula Vinaka. Hawaii, island gretting Aloha. Marquesas, island greeting Kaoha. Tahiti, island greeting Ia Orana. Tonga, island greeting Malo e Lelei. You can visit replicas of villages for each of these islands and participate in many hands on activities. There are demonstrations in each village of diffrent cultural things that are unique to the region. I enjoyed seeing the drums of the Tonga and the Samoan demonstartions for fire making and coconut opening. There is a canoe pageant " Rainbows of Paradise" at 2:30 each day where you can see representatives of each village doing thier native dances on the water. There is an I max movie that is included with admission and is realy very good. Depending on the package you purchase you will also get to return for free within 3 days (refer to website for information). Another thing that is included in your admission is the "Tropical Canoe tour" where you can float along the laggon and see the villages fron the water. This was a bit annoying as our two BYU students had no idea how to answer anyones questions. I have heard that some of the guides are very knowledgable. The PCC is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many of the workers are students at BYU-Hawaii. We had tickets for the "Ali'i Luau" which was an interesting experience and a way to try some native foods. To end the evening we also had tickets to the night show "Horizons" which was really very nicely done. Over all it was a fun experience and worth it to me even though it is a bit cheesy in some areas. Oh yes and they have a nice little exhibit of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) that is informative.
The Polynesian Cultural Center is a must see for everyone. Yes it is a big tourist location, but you do learn a lot about the cultures. The night show was outstanding, stay until the end and you will see the fire guy, he was spectaular. Also, make sure you see a demonstration of the Tonga Drummers, great. All of the demonstrations are very good and the MC's are generally funny and keep your attention. Do the ambassador package and get the Luau and evening show.
Experience the traditional lifestyles of Fiji, Hawaii, Maori, New Zealand, the Marquesas, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga at the POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER
Our tour only included a stop and lunch here. They wanted to show us this place in case we wanted to visit it at a later time. We had lunch here. The buffet $9.00 US included soup, sandwiches, dessert and refreshments.
The night ends with a fantastic show highlighting the dance and music of the islands. The Mormons run the place so be advised that all Polysnesiona women in this show are dressed from head to foot. But its a great show none the less.
The Polynesian Cultural Center is one of the most popular attractions on Oahu and a good place to visit while you're on the island, especially if you're traveling with children.
The PCC is spread over 42 acres in the northeastern section of Oahu. It's an easy drive or bus ride from Waikiki. At the PCC, you'll find replicas of 7 native villages of South Pacific islands. The cultures of Tahiti, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand, the Marquesas and Hawaii are all represented.
In each village, BYU Hawaii students dressed as natives demonstrate crafts and skills of that particular culture. We particularly enjoyed the dancing demonstration at the Tahiti village and the coconut tree climbing at the Samoan village. Everything is interactive, so you have a chance to participate. It's fun for everyone, but especially for kids.
The PCC also shows IMAX films (we enjoyed "Dolphins" and "The Living Sea" very much) and hosts a canoe pageant in mid-afternoon. Be sure to see the pageant! You can also stay for "Horizons" a Polynesian-themed show that is presented at night or the PCC's own luau. There are tons of things to do at the PCC. You could easily spend all day here.
Prices for admission vary. Check the PCC's website for the package that suits you best. You can also call the PCC to arrange for a bus (or even a limo) to bring you there.
Polynesian Cultural Center
Hawaii's favorite visitor attraction. Featuring 7 Pacific Island villages on 42 acres. Hawaii's most authentic luau, and "Horizons," Hawaii's largest evening show. Hawaii's only canoe pageant. Two heralded IMAX films.
Many Polynesian tribes are represented at the center by people who are working their way through college. Many are locals who do a very realist presentation. Their costumes, tools, and dwellings are very impressive. One thing that is very interesting is how a local climbs way up into the top of a coconut tree to harvest the nuts.
If you have never seen Samoan men, cook, make fire or climb coconut trees, you better spare one whole day at the cultural center. I have seen similar cultural aspects of the Polynesians growing up in the Philippines, but it is a different experience to sit with an audience who ooohs and aaahs to the nature of human survival! I was awed (in a positive sense) at how much they appreciated and applauded this because they have never seen this before.
You'll be happy to know, that all proceeds of the park goes to the education of the young men and women who work there. Working in the entertainment industry, i see so much frustrations and bitterness because of the job and workload we have to face each day. These students and alumnus however, appreciate your visit and make sure you enjoy it because they want to guarantee you get the most of your visit!
My biggest advice, don't drive there. Take the tour bus and you'll appreciate the humor and fun of Oahu.