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The Polynesian Cultural Center is a theme park dedicated to the preservation of the cultures of Polynesia. It is on the northern shore of Oahu, and is owned by The Church of Latter-day Saints
We spent the day at this park…it’s like EPCOT (the world showcase part) for Polynesian nations. Our reservations included transportation from our Waikiki hotel, access to each of the villages, an afternoon floating pageant in the central lagoon, a luau with entertainment and an evening theatrical performance. It was a full day, but lots of fun!
The park is organized into six villages, each representing a different Polynesian culture, on the banks of a central lagoon. Most of the center’s performers are from the areas represented and receive scholarships to the Church of LDS’ Brigham Young University – Hawaii.
We took a canoe ride to Tahiti, watched a man make poi out of taro root in Hawai’i, attended a Maori warrior dance performance in Aotearoa (New Zealand), and laughed at a Tongan drum performance involving volunteers from the audience.
In Fiji, we kept the rhythm by pounding bamboo sticks in time to the music. In Samoa, we were treated to a fire dancing performance, a coconut husking demonstration and then two young men scaled palm trees in their bare feet to retrieve some more coconuts!
In the afternoon, there was a performance in the lagoon on canoes, featuring the dances of all six regions.
We cooled off for a few minutes in the IMAX theater with aerial photography of Hawaii. Then it was time for the luau!
At the luau, the roasted pig was unearthed from its fire pit with much fanfare and then there were more performances while we ate. (And yes, we did try the poi, and while we didn’t care for that, the dinner rolls made with taro were quite delicious.)
Afterwards, we headed over to the Pacific Theater for the theatrical production of Hā–Breath of Life. This was the only place were weren’t allowed to take photos. It is a cross between a Broadway play and Medieval Times performance, telling a story of ancient Polynesian traditions and history, interwoven with song and dance in arena-like setting.
- Kahanamoku Beach
- Fort DeRussy Beach Park
- Green World Coffee Farm
- The Dole Plantation
- Anahulu River
- Waimea Falls
- Hau’ula Beach Park
- Tropical Macadamia Farm
- Byodo-In Temple
- Polynesian Cultural Center
- Aloha Tower (coming soon)
- Diamond Head (coming soon)
- Iolani Palace (coming soon)
- King Kamehameha Statue (coming soon)
- Aliʻiōlani Hale (coming soon)
- Pearl Harbor (coming soon)
Location: 55-370 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie, HI 96762
Designation: Cultural Theme Park
Date established/designated: 10/12/1963
Date of my visit: April 12, 2019