Dole Pineapple, Oahu
Ok, I guess I should have read VTers’ tips better. What can I say; this place is a ROYAL waste of time, especially the idiotic train that takes you on a 20 minutes plantation tour. Can you imagine how many pineapples you’ll see in that time?!
There are some good things to say about the place, like the world’s largest maze. This place is kinda fun, children usually enjoy it the most and adults get hooked too running through the place looking for the 9 hidden stations in which they have to stamp a card given to them at the entrance. 4 stamps were enough for me, but some people spend there hours!
There’s a nice garden too, which I actually enjoyed, but all in all, I definitely could spend my precious time better than that.
Oh yeah, and please don’t fool yourself about the prices, you don’t really believe that the pineapples here are cheaper than in supermarkets, right?
Unique Suggestions: You want a train? There’s an old Oahu railroad and museum at the Ewa Beach area, I didn’t make it there myself, but to me it sounds much more interesting as well as educating.
One of the most beautiful sites in Oahu used to be looking over vast pineapple fields as they reach towards the mountains. As late as 2002, the top of the broad central plain was devoted almost entirely to cultivating the fruit long associated with Hawaii. Often, passing rainstorms would leave rainbows to accentuate the rows of spiny leaves in the dark red clay. However, don't think this means that the Dole pineapple plantation is worth your time.
The first time I went, I was tricked into visiting it by a friend who raved about the pineapple ice cream there. I love ice cream. I'll do almost anything for ice cream. But this wasn't good ice cream -- not nearly creamy enough!! And the rest of the plantation disappointed, too. There was more to buy than there was to see. You could take the Pineapple Express train for a short narrated tour that describes how to grow a pineapple and how important the Dole family was to Hawaii. Or you can take the garden tour where you get to plant your own pineapple (yeah! free labor for Dole!). But mostly, you can regret spending time here!
Interestingly, pineapples must be planted and harvested by hand, as no one has yet invented the right equipment. That's why the industry is dying in Hawaii -- cheaper labor costs in the Philippines and Thailand make it difficult for Hawaii's pineapples to compete. Del Monte closed its Hawaii operations in 2007. When Dole goes, this plantation will be even more of a tourist trap!
Unique Suggestions: If you must go here, go here with a sunburn. I don't mean fry your skin just to go here, but that if you have overdone it on the beach and you need to find something to do that shields your red skin from the sun, this might be it, as the Wahiawa area is often cloud-covered and rainy. But then again, there are other alternatives on the island, too.
Unfortunately this was a part of the "circle island" tour that we booked. Even our driver admitted it was a tourist trap.
We went inside the big yellow "house" to the gift store and eatery places. It was teeming with tourists purchasing pineapples for shipment home, others finding their way through the world's largest maze (not the one out doors but the one just to get to the cashier.)
I signaled Kris to hightail it out and meet me. Upon doing so, the air cleared and the sun shone, we could breathe again. We happened to come to a small farmer's market.
Unique Suggestions: So if your tour stops here, skip the Dole Plantation stuff and head right for the farmer's market. Although the girls can be a little snippy they still offer the BEST tasting fruit known to man. The mangoes were delectable.
Leave this ti the last if you have to see it. There are a lot more interesting things to do in Oahu.
The only reason we when there was because we have a free round the island tour and this is one of the stop.
e-gads! what a waste of time... this was nothing more than an oversized gift shop.
I asked a local woman about the maze - she said it was such a waste of money that she would not feel right reccommending it. "Its hot in there, and its boring - the children are often disapointed!"
Unique Suggestions: if you have to do it, then do it... but just remember - I TOLD YOU SO!!!
Fun Alternatives: If you want a small-scale pineapple plantation experience, drop into the little one next door... it closes early, but there is a shop for gifts & a cute little coutyard.
You will feel like you are once again in Hawaii, rather than on Main Street in Disneyland!
Dole Plantation is merely a tourist shop. In the back is a small area with pineapple information and several good places to take pictures. There is a "large shrub maze" off to the right, which is another gimmick. The only "pineapple" thing about the maze is the aerial view in which the maze is shaped like a pineapple. Be prepared to pay high buck for anything in the store. The maze is $5 to enter.
Unique Suggestions: Well, if you find yourself at the Dole plantation, be sure to visit the back of the store where the real pineapples are growing ... there are some pineapple facts out there too ... you'd be surprised how may fruit each plant yields in 2 1/2 years!
Fun Alternatives: There is an interesting pineapple patch down the road. It growns a large variety of different pineapples from different places around the world.