Thursday, May 19, 2011

A countdown to Hawaii: 22 days

The Polynesian Cultural Center (with luau and night show)!

It turns out; one of the most expected, touristy, places to visit is the Polynesian Cultural Center.  Typically because a grand luau is held that evening, and that’s something everyone wants to see when they visit Hawaii.

As most things are on vacations, however, it can get pretty expensive.  Especially during something like this (where they can truly get away with it)!
Before I fill you in on the pricey prices, discover the thrill of handing over so many greens…

About the PCC: Hawaiian’s Top Attraction

“One of the top Hawaii attractions includes the Polynesian Cultural Center, which features a 42-acre facility on the North Shore of O-AH-WHO.  Founded in 1963, the nonprofit Center was created so that the students 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.

Many South Pacific nations are represented at the PCC, where recreated villages, exhibits, and hands-on activities highlight eight of them.  At the heart of the PCC experience are the island villages, which offer visitors a unique opportunity to learn about – participate in! – the customs of each island.  Visitors will enjoy the Luau’s, all-you-can-eat buffets, a canoe pageant, shops, and the world’s largest evening show are all part of this O-AH-WHO attraction’s event filled experience.

With its large lagoon, waterfalls, lush tropical flora, and an “erupting” volcano, the PCC captures all the romance and excitement of the South Pacific islands.  A visit to this famous Hawaii attraction represents a chance to travel through Polynesia in a single day, and participate in the celebration of centuries of Polynesian culture – no passport required.”


The price ranges, of course, depending on the type of package you choose.
Starting at $54.95 and increasing to $228.95, you’re bound to find something in your range of happiness…not necessarily budget.  Never-the-less, it’s bound to be one of the most exciting things you’ll experience on O-AH-WHO.  Plus, it supports a good cause – college students, like me!  If only SC would embrace their heritage in that way!!

Not to mention, they have a buffet that comes with your admission ticket.  Good news – right?!…BUT, they’ve probably got other, less ‘filling’ activities within PCC that cost.  Is your pocket getting lighter a little quicker than you thought it would…see below for some fun activities or souvenirs, under $10.

Visiting the Villages: under $10

Aotearoa (New Zealand) Village, activities

1pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm
The Maori put on a demonstration that explains the symbolic significance of their beautiful meeting house, unique carvings, facial tattoos, the ancient origins and meanings of sticking out their tongues and twirling poi balls, and more.

Stirring haka dance; kids will enjoy learning to play tititorea, a stick game

Hawaiian Village, activities
12:05pm, 1:30pm, 3:05pm, 4:30pm
The Hawaiians present in-depth demonstrations on their ancient culture: Learn not only some basic hula, but also learn of the deeper commitment hula students make to their art and more.

Sample some of the poi, harvested, cooked, staple food (taro)

Observe how women craft leaves and flowers into beautiful Hawaiian lei and other useful items

Try Hawaiian bowling or checkers!

Tahitian Village, activities

12:30pm, 1:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm
Tahitians present in-depth demonstrations on their ancient culture: learn both the women’s and men’s movements in their exciting dances or just try to stop your toes from tapping to the beat of the wooden to’ere drums and more.

Sample coconut bread

Tour the gardens

Try fishing, Hawaiian style

Fijian Village, activities

12:30pm, 1:30pm, 3:30pm, 4pm
The Fijians present in-depth demonstrations on their ancient culture: learn the significance of the log drum, how important the coconut is in cooking, and more.

Review the wide array of historical weapons and implements involved in waging war

Make music, using a bamboo percussion instrument, derua

Try a game of cibi

Samoan Village, activities

12:30pm, 1:30pm, 3:05pm, 4pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm
The Samoans present one of the Center’s most popular cultural demonstrations: learn how to make fire by literally rubbing two sticks together, how to easily crack open a coconut, and more.

Watch the young men demonstrate their strength by climbing coconut trees

Tongan Village, activities

12:30pm, 1:30pm, 3:05pm, 4pm, 5:30pm
The Tongans present their very popular drumming presentation that actually starts by learning the simple yet graceful motions of a sitting dance.

Try a Hawaiian shuffleboard game

Try tolospear throwing

Shows: under $10

Rainbows of Paradise

2:30pm-3pm, two locations: on the lagoon between the islands of Samoa and the Hawaii Mission Settlement; and on the wide section of lagoon between the Islands of Fiji, Tahiti, and Hawaii

Rainbows starts with a young Polynesian woman in an outrigger canoe throwing flowers into the lagoon, a tradition reminiscent of days gone by when great steamships transported visitors to these magical islands.  It was said in those days that each blossom became a memory of visits to Hawaii; and if the blossoms returned to the shore, then so would the visitors.  A series of dances and sentiment exchanges occur.

HA Breath of Life

It’s an ancient, yet universal tale.  It’s the visually stunning story of a boy born in a distant paradise.  He’s nurtured by a village, learns the ways of his people, finds love by moonlight, and defends everything with heart-stopping bravery.  It’s “Ha: Breath of Life,” O-AH-WHO’s extraordinary new night show.  Breathe it in.

Shopping: Under $10

Apparel, Island Crafts, Souvenirs (collectibles, island inspired, key chains, magnets, more souvenirs, signature souvenirs)

Hands-on Activities: under $10


Spear Throwing
Fire Walking
Wood & Tiki Carving
Fire Pit Cooking
Tree Climbing
Fire Starting
Fire Knife Dancing
Haka Dance
Maori War Canoe
Coconut Husking

As you can see…the PCC is not very expensive once you get inside.  There are SO many activities to choose from.  I can only imagine it’s like Disney World, in the sense, that it’s SO full of excitement and adventures, one day will not be enough.
Take $10 and buy something completely frivolous that will make you happy.  Paste the receipt here. – The Happy Book

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