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“Theft and rape of a culture.” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Polynesian Cultural Center

Polynesian Cultural Center
55-370 Kamehameah Hwy., Laie, Oahu, HI 96762
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Top Rated
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Polynesian Cultural Center: Twilight Package
Ranked #2 of 11 things to do in Laie
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: One of the top Hawaii attractions includes the Polynesian Cultural Center, which features a 42-acre facility on the North Shore of Oahu. Founded in 1963, the nonprofit Center was created so that the students of nearby Brigham Young University Hawaii could work their way through college by sharing their island heritage with visitors. The students come from an area that covers approximately 12 million square miles of the Pacific Ocean.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Theft and rape of a culture.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2007

Under no circumstances patronize this rip-off of at least seven different Pacific Island cultures. The grounds are lovely, in a Disneyland kind of way, the luau food is worse than elementary school cafeteria food (the dinner beverage was actually blue Kool-Aid).

This facility is owned and operated by the Mormon Church. While there is no proselytizing, it is clear that these cultures are represented as the Mormons choose to see them. While the demonstrators have some skills, the shows themselves are amateurish, trite, and slick. In fact, the cultures are "portrayed" by local Brigham Young college students, and a great point is made of how the center provides these students with part-time jobs.

The worst part is that, once you agree to take that one-hour bus ride from Honolulu, you are stuck, and can't leave even if you want to, until the bus departs.

If you are truly interested in the great diversity of cultures coming together on these islands, read a good book rather than line the pockets of the Church with their exorbitant fees.

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Toowoomba, Australia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“PCC is a great day !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2007

While on Oahu we spent a day at PCC. We booked the Ambassador package in February for our May trip and we were not dissapointed.

We booked the curbside bus pickup (through PCC) from our Waikiki hotel and arrived around 12 noon. We were given our tickets on arrival and taken to a room where we were placed into groups of about 8 people with our tour guide. Our guide was Olivetti from Samoa and he made our day very enjoyable. He is studying computers at BYU.

Olivetti made sure we arrived at each village on time to participate in activities and see shows. We always had good seats at each village and the canoe padegent was great.

At the end of our day we went for dinner. The Ambassador package allows you to pick either the Ali'i Luau or the sit down buffet dinner when booking. We chose the sit down dinner, the food was exceptional with a nice quiet dining experience at tables dressed in white tablecloths & waiter service for drinks. There was an array of different foods at the buffet and the desserts were scrumptous.

After dinner we had a look around the shops and then headed to the theatre to watch the Horizons Show. This was fantastic, we had excellent seats in second front row (the earlier you book the better your seats).

The PCC is extremely well run & organised with lovely staff. I have been to Hawaii 4 times and I cant believe I waited until my 4th trip to finally go to PCC. I wish I had seen it earlier and would definately recommend a day there.

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Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Great experience, nice atmosphere...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2007

The PCC was a great experience. We arrived as soon as the gates open earlier this month. We decided not to get a tour guide, which from talking to other people, was a smart decision. We went at our own pace, and didn't miss any of the culture events as those who had a guide. The serving of dinner did take a long time, and was chaotic at first. The food was good, and were ready to watch the show. The final show was great, and our seats were even better. No flash photography please! If you are driving up from Waikiki, please allow about an hour and half to get there. Check out the LDS temple near PCC... very beautiful and manicured landscape.

Great tip... Purchase the 2007 Entertainment book for Hawaii ( I think they are on sale right now for $9.99). There is a coupon in there for $40.00 off admission to the park! Net save $30!!!, plus we used a couple buy one get one free dinner coupons on the island.

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1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“polynesian background”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2007

From the brochures, this looked like a great overall trip. We took the tour which included a guide, luau and the show at night. For a one day trip this was a good way to get an overview of everything. It was very informative and again good if you are only spending one day there. The buffet food at lunch was nothing to speak of and the food at the buffet luau for dinner was okay. The show at night was very entertaining and worth seeing. Again, overall it was a good experience.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Visiting the Polynesian Cultral Center”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2007

My husband and I and our 3 children (ages 14, 12 & 12), visited the PCC on April 4, 2007. We also took part in the Ambassador Luau. The Center itself is beautiful and there are a lot of very interesting things to see and do. The package we purchased included a guided tour. When we entered the Center we were directed to a meeting area where our guide met us and others who had arrived at the same time. He then guided us around the Center and made sure we saw the highlights before the Luau (e.g. the Canoe Pageant and as many villages as we could see in the time we had). We also really enjoyed the evening show, and were happy we purchased the package we did because the seating was excellent. We wish now we had gone earlier in the day because there were still many things we would have liked to see and do. The package we purchased allowed us to return within 5 days and receive free admission to the Center, but we didn't because of the distance of the centre from where we were staying in Waikiki.

If we were to visit Oahu again we might visit the PCC again but the price, $479.75 US/$580.04 Canadian, was quite expensive and might be prohibitive in the future.

My only negative comments about the Centre are:

1. The ice cream treats that were available at all the shows for $5. I felt pressured to purchase them by my children and at $15/show it could have been an even more costly day.

2. I also objected to the $10 smoothies at the Luau for much the same reason. I feel it pressured us to purchase them for our children when the cost of the day/evening was already high.

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