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“Better than I expected”

Legends of Hawaii Luau
Ranked #13 of 68 Restaurants in Waikoloa
Certificate of Excellence
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Groups, Child-friendly
Dining options: Dinner, Buffet, Reservations
Reviewed 20 July 2014

Went to this Luau with a group of 10 (family). We had kids in the 4-14 range, so decided to give it a shot. Unlimited drinks from a limited menu, and the lines were all pretty reasonable. Food was much better than I expected (having been at a number of 'disneyesque' venues before). The entertainment was solid, being a sequence of legends from the big island set to song and dance. The performers were very good, and they finished it off with the mandatory Tahitian fire dancing at the end. Honestly, the only real disappointing part was the lack of audience response. Please don't get me wrong, this is no Shakespeare in the Park, but within this genre of entertainment, I'd say it was quite reasonable.

A couple of notes. After reading other comments I got the impression that if you didn't show up by 4:30 you might not eat, and would miss a lot. As a result, we showed at about 4:30, and they had barely started setting the line up. We were first in line. There were still people being seated while the arts and crafts were there, but I don't think anyone missed the show, and the seating is all pretty good.

Bug spray! The table area is fine, but the shaded path you wait in to be seated is mosquito central.

    • Value
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1  Thank Steve4241
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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282 - 286 of 523 reviews

Reviewed 17 July 2014

Your experience with this overpriced dinner show can be very different depending on when you arrive and who happens to seat you.

First off, this thing is expensive. And if you want to get a seat in the front half of the seating (closer to the stage) you must pay another $25 per person for VIP seating.

They say that the doors open at 5:30.....be there at 5 if you just get regular tickets. Be there AT LEAST at 5:30 if you get the VIP. They start playing music on stage right at 5;30 and do some crowd participation stuff at about 5:45. We, were stuck in line waiting to get in.

All VIP guests had a separate line and were taken in as they showed up, always jumping ahead of us regular folks....not something that was shared with us up front. The VIP seating is a new gimmick and not something I had considered as a possible detriment to my experience. Boy was I wrong.

About 5:50, they perform the Imu Ceremony where they unearth the pig that has been roasting in the ground all day. It is the traditional main course for a Luau. Once again, we were still in line waiting to get in (it took a half hour to get in). However, I also came to this Luau about 5 years ago and as I recall, the ceremony was pretty weak. And based on the time it took for the music to start again, I'm guessing it wasn't much more exciting this time.

I went to a Luau in Kauai about 8 years ago and the Imu Ceremony was much longer, more involved, more cultural, and a lot of more fun and interesting.

Now, when they started serving food, the VIPs went to a line on the south side of the facility. We went to the north side. The actual pig from the ground was served to the VIPs. We got some pan roasted/boiled pulled pork that was similar but was NOT off of the pig from the ground, which means we were missing out on the one dish that actually made this a Luau. The stuff we got was wet and drippy and goopy and not tasty. So I pirated the other line.....just butted in and got some of the good stuff....and it was delicious. Sorry, had to be done....it was one of the reasons I was there. To have such a difference in the food from one line to the next is a crime.....especially when we were still paying $120 for the stuff.

Now, the rest of the food was pretty good. I was quite pleased with the poke and some of the other island dishes. Oddly, many of the island dishes are either very salty or very sweet, yet the deserts were not sweet at all, and not really worth the effort.

There were a handful of drink choices...all island cocktails and that was all you could choose from. But they were plentiful, as long as you didn't mind waiting in the bar line for a few minutes, and pretty tasty,

The show was weak with the exception of the fire dancers, who I thought were the best I have seen. But the rest seemed like they had struggled to figure out what the show should be. There were many numbers performed to a music track with the four live musicians adding their sound to the track. And there was this weird 10 minute dance number where the men came out dressed as cowboys and did a sophomoric country western dance.....just awful, boring, and not at all what I cared to see. (I can get bad community theater at home).

We ended up in Honolulu at the end of our week and were walking on the beach just around dusk and happened to see the Royal Hawaiin Hotel dinner show that was going on. Since their patio is right on the beach, we could see and hear the whole thing....just kind of from the side. The show was 100% better....better singing, dancing, costuming, etc.. However, I checked....it would have been $200 a pop to attend officially, so I guess you really pay for the better show.

All in all the Legends show was a disappointment and something that we wished we had not blown so much money on.

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1  Thank HeartOGold1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2014

This was my first & only luau so I don't know how it compares to others. The show was more entertaining than expected & the food was good & never ending. If you go, get the VIP seating & stand in line by 4:45. If they tell you the VIP seating is sold out, ask them to double check, especially if there are only 2 of you as they can usually make room.

    • Value
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1  Thank Catherine C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2014

The show was very good, although maybe Auntie Tutu should get less time. The fire-dance at the end was amazing. This guy was working really hard and did some very creative stuff.

Thank CalTravelGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2014

Okay, let's talk LUAU. I seriously fretted over this. I read a poor review on this site that made me not want to attend the luau at the Hilton. I wanted my kids to have a great luau experience that they would never forget. We have gone to Paradise Cove on Oahu three times and we love it. It has all the "extras" but maybe not the greatest food.

I looked at the luau at the Royal Kona and it looked very... let's say - modest. We also considered going to the Marriott's luau next door, but then we thought better of it if we wanted to be able to take the kids back to the room early. So, we decided to just do the one at the Hilton and hope for the best.

IT. WAS. AWESOME. Please have no doubt. GO TO THIS LUAU. We paid extra for the VIP seating, and let me tell you - we could feel the HEAT from the fire dance at the end. I think my oldest son was holding his breath the whole time, because he turned to me at the end all wide-eyed and let out a woosh of breath and said, "WOW!" My youngest son got to go on stage and learn the kid's hula. He also sat on the mat up in front with all the kids so they could see.

The food was GREAT! Pork, kalbi beef, 2 kinds of fish, chicken, salads and sides galore.

When you have VIP seating you are taken in first, given snacks before the show and dessert afterwards and have a server all to yourself and free drinks throughout. Worth it. Just do it.

The "Auntie" who led the show, the main hula dancer, and the fire dancer - all three were incredible and stole our hearts.

6  Thank Carrie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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