Polynesian Cultural Center

Phone (808) 293-3333
5 stars from 55 reviews
Address 55-370 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie, HI 96762
Offers shows, exhibits, activities, and a luau for an authentic look at Polynesian culture. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Hawaii. Located on Oahu's North Shore.

Features
• General: Classes & Workshops • General: Cost: Paid
• General: Discount: Kama'aina • General: Educational
• General: Good For Rainy Days • General: Has Gift Shop
• General: Kid Activities • General: Movies / Plays / Theater
• General: Performing Arts • General: Photo Opportunity
• General: Restrooms • Tours: Full Day
• Tours: Guided • Tours: Self Guided
• Cultural & Historical: Museum / Art Center • Water Activities: Kayaking / Canoe

About Polynesian Cultural Center
The Polynesian Cultural Center is a unique treasure created to preserve, perpetuate and share with the world all the beauty, enchantment & love found here in these isles of the South Pacific. It's ALL the SPIRIT of the islands -- ALL in one place!
Matt Anderson's Take
The Polynesian Cultural Center is a massive place and one of Oahu's most popular attractions. If you have any desire to learn more about the Polynesian people, and you really should, then this is a must try experience. They really have plenty to see and do for all ages.

What Is It?


I've seen many asking if this is Hawaii's Disneyland and it is nothing of the sort as it's not a theme park at all. But it's also nothing like a "look but don't touch" museum either. It's something in between and very unique.

Within the Polynesian Cultural Center, or PCC as it's often called, you'll find several different experiences in terms of dining, education, activities, and entertainment. The main area of the PCC is called the Village Experience and what this article will cover. Other entertainment options at the PCC include the Ali'i Luau Buffet and Ha: Breath Of Life show so you can click those links to learn more about each.

Village Experience


It's easy to see why some make the Disney comparison here, because the Village Experience is sort of a park with multiple themed "lands" within it. Specifically, the lands here are the Polynesian Islands which include Aotearoa, Fiji, Hawaii, Marquesas, Samoa, Tahiti, and Tonga.


Each of these island "lands" will showcase the people and culture from that island. For example, enter Samoa and you'll be treated to a demonstration (by actual Samoans) that covers all of the uses of the coconut (food, drink, oil, and so much more) as well as how to harvest them and crack them open.


Then they'll show you how to start a fire with two sticks. Yes, you even get to try it yourself. And yes, the islanders will make it look infinitely easier than it actually is.


Kids will love making headbands or decorative fish out of palm fronds. There's something for everyone.


In the middle of the day you'll see a sort of canoe parade where each island is represented, comes out on their canoes, and sings and dances. Once that is over you'll even have a chance to hop on a canoe and cruise around the river, a favorite for most kids.

Dining Options


You'll find plenty of snack shops and restaurants within the PCC property. Within the main Village Experience area, there are several counter service snack and meal options to be had. Many will offer something safe and standard like a hot dog along with something that matches a native island food.

If you're looking for buffet style dining then check out the Island Buffet or Prime Dining Buffet which are located in the same building but the Prime Dining Buffet will offer a slightly higher end dining experience.

The Hukilau Marketplace, located right outside the entrance gates and just steps away, offers several quick serve food options along with Pounders which is a table service restaurant.

Planning & Preparation


Planning a trip might seem confusing but I find it's easiest to understand when broken down into the main four things that make up the PCC.

Village Experience
The island lands, which is what this article covers and really the heart of the PCC experience.

Ha: Breath Of Life
An all ages evening show that tells a classic story of love and life.

Dining
Choose to eat with luau entertainment at the Ali'i Luau Buffet, eat without the luau at the Prime Dining Buffet or Island Buffet, grab quick serve items in the Village Experience, or dine at Pounders or one of the quick serve places at the Hukilau Marketplace.

Hukilau Marketplace
This is the PCC's marketplace with many shops and food offerings to choose from. Disney fans would compare this to a tiny Downtown Disney type of experience. The marketplace is free for all to explore, no tickets required.

Now that you understand your options, you'll basically select a ticket package that offers the Village Experience along with the dining and entertainment options of your choosing.

Preparation


When preparing for a visit to the PCC understand that this is really a full day event. If you're driving up from Waikiki (see Waikiki Guide) or even the Ko Olina Resort then plan on it taking a good 1.5 hours (possibly more if traffic is bad) each way. If you're seeing the Ha: Breath Of Life show (and you really should) note that it ends at 9:00 pm which means kids are going to be tired by the time you get back to your hotel.

You cannot bring food into the PCC, though you can bring water in so pack in a bottle for everyone so you have some to get you started and drink throughout the day (cold water and drinks are sold throughout the property).

It gets hot in Hawaii and while there are plenty of shaded areas in the PCC, there are also many hot and sunny areas. Bring a hat, sunglasses, and wear comfortable clothing. You'll also want to bring sunscreen to help Protect Yourself From Sunburn & Skin Cancer and be sure to reapply often. Wear comfortable shoes because there is a lot of walking.

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Matt Anderson
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Michael A
Joined: Aug 2016
Reviews: 15
Likes Received: 0
This is best cultural experience I have been too. The luau is spectacular.
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Angel p
Joined: May 2017
Reviews: 4
Likes Received: 0
A Place full of heart and song best experience I've had yet. I cannot wait until our next trip, I would love to visit the Polynesian Center again.
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Dawn G
Joined: Mar 2016
Reviews: 26
Likes Received: 0
Our sons were 10 and 8 when we spent the day at the Polynesian Cultural Center and it was perfect. We did the special kids program that allowed them to interact with other kids and really see and learn all there is to see and learn about the Polynesian culture. We also attended the luau there. We have been to other luaus on the islands and this was on par with the best. If you have teens that are a little cynical they may not appreciate this, but for young kids it's really a great way to spend the day.
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Sharon A
Joined: Mar 2017
Reviews: 3
Likes Received: 0
Amazing. I learned so much. Truly an experience.
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Rhonda A
Joined: Mar 2017
Reviews: 1
Likes Received: 0
Went here as a mother's day treat, totally enjoyed my day from the very beginning to the very end the entertainment and cultural experience was truly wonderful. The staff were friendly, food was delicious. Could not stop raving about the this attraction and recommended it to many island visitors.
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Vickey W
Joined: Mar 2017
Reviews: 123
Likes Received: 45
We booked this when we decided to go to Oahu and are glad we did. We planned the whole day around here as there is so much to see and do, a lot of it hands on. Loved learning so much about the Polynesian Culture.

Loved the many demonstrations they had walking around we saw so many interesting thing. Had many places to take a break if you got tired. The shows were awesome. We also did the Luau and enjoyed it all food was good. Great way for a family to enjoy together. Would do again when we go back.
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Lisa F
Joined: Jan 2017
Reviews: 48
Likes Received: 13
Fantastic place to visit with families or tour groups. So much to learn about in regard to the Polynesian culture and history. Loved seeing the traditional dress and music and exploring the center. Went when I was a teenager and just as special to return again with my own child. You will need several hours for this. Try and choose a day/time that you can take advantage of one of the exhibits or shows being offered. We loved watching the traditional dances and learning more about some of the South Pacific islands.
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Robin K
Joined: Feb 2017
Reviews: 10
Likes Received: 0
Best day ever! Make sure to go when they open so you have a chance to take in all the shows at each island. So much culture in one location. Make sure to sign up for the Ali'i Luau and Ha Breath Of Life. Start to end worth every penny spent. Fantastic place to bring the family. Bonus is that you can return within 3 days of your initial visit to cover the rest of what The Polynesian Cultural Center has to offer!
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Larissa C
Joined: Nov 2016
Reviews: 6
Likes Received: 0
One of the best experiences. It's an all day event that takes you through the various Polynesian islands and each one has its own little show. Ha: The Breath of Life is an amazing show. I wouldn't go for the prime rib dinner though, the luau seemed to look better.
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Kim M
Joined: Nov 2016
Reviews: 3
Likes Received: 0
Absolutely fabulous place, the show at night is fantastic.
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