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“Absolutely hated it.”

Polynesian Cultural Center
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Polynesian Cultural Center Luau
Ranked #2 of 15 things to do in Laie
Certificate of Excellence
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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
Rotonda West, Florida
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Absolutely hated it.”
Reviewed 23 July 2014

We booked this attraction through our concierge. It had gotten very good reviews but it was a complete waste of time. If we could have figured out how to take a cab back to our hotel we would have. They dumped us off at the entrance and you have to kill hours walking around before you go to the luau. We stumbled upon a cat on the property and the poor thing was blind and skinny as a rail. We tried to purchase some food to feed it and got reprimanded by an employee. She told us we don't allow cats in here, it keeps coming back, don't feed it we are waiting for it to die. We were shocked thinking clearly she isn't serious. We aren't cat people but certainly didn't like seeing a starving blind animal. I didn't appreciate being scolded for giving a starving, sick cat food and water. Once she walked away we started to feed the cat again and yet another employee came up and pretty much told us the same thing. At this point all we wanted to do was take the cat, get it to a vet and go back to our hotel. The luau was average but we were so irritated by the time we got to it all we wanted to do was leave. After the Luau we had to kill yet another hour or so before we caught the shuttle back to our hotel. The shuttle makes several stops at different hotels. It was a bit of a drive to get there from our hotel (Moana Surfrider). We just felt we waisted a night of our vacation. We would have much rather sat at our pool bar hotel listening to the live music.

Visited June 2014
9 Thank Skippysmommy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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St. George, Utah
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Authentic and Enriching”
Reviewed 23 July 2014

If you are looking for authentic food, costume and performances, as well as informative demonstrations and fun activities, this is the luau and theme park you should choose. No coconut bras here folks (FYI--not only are coconut bras unauthentic, but they are demeaning to the cultures represented. If you want coconut bras and scantily clad women, watch an Elvis movie). Skip the ambassador package (unless you want a guided tour--but you really don't need it), but definitely choose the Luau over the Island Buffet even though it is $20 or 30 more and try EVERYTHING! Especially the taro root, taro root bread and taro root bread pudding--yummy! Get the all day pass and in the villages, make sure you catch the Samoa, Aoteoria, Tonga, and Tahiti performances. If you want to see someone climb a coconut tree, Samoa village is where you will find it. The Ha' Breath of Life show after dinner is the crowning event. We're talking fire batons whirling around people's heads and flying across the stage people. You'll laugh, you'll cry . . . you might even want to dance--but please don't--you'd ruin the show for everyone else.

Visited July 2014
Thank Calebaza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Not for us.”
Reviewed 22 July 2014

It's a personal thing, I believe, especially having read great + scathing reviews. My 22 y.o. sociologist daughter wrote the later type. I'm a bit less harsh.

Disney-esque. Phony in that Mormons profess to be ("ultimately") welcomed and appreciated by the peoples of Polynesia. Pricey. Articulate, kind BYU students (required to?) work, tour-guid, AND receive financial support for their education. Dinner.. not bad; Ha show quite beautiful, surprisingly.

Wish we had spent the day exploring beaches, walking trails... around the island.

Visited March 2014
3 Thank Martha P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A Hawaiian cultural experience”
Reviewed 22 July 2014

If this is your first visit to Hawaii or you have just never allowed yourself to be immersed in the Hawaiian culture, please don't miss out on this one.
this center is an introduction to most of the Islands in the pacific. Fiji, New Zealand, Bora Bora, and many other island cultures.

It features a night by fire show, which is wonderful, exciting and educational, a Luau of sorts, not as exciting as it used to be because of so many tourists visiting. Make sure you visit every polynesian area of the grounds because that is where the wonder is, and you learn from the Hawaiian students who act in the shows. These students attend the mormon college in Oahu which is on the cultural center acreage.

Ask for a tour of the University and the Polynesian culture center together, or separate. They are both a treat. After my first visit I have been taking people or recommending it ever since. There is a fee for the Cultural center but a tour of the college is free.

Visited August 2013
Thank Lmaggi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
135 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Great Oahu Day Trip”
Reviewed 22 July 2014

Yes it's a tourist destination, and yes, it's got a bit of Disney World feel to it; but what's amazing is an opportunity to enjoy a wide spectrum of Polynesian cultures as presented by young regional college students. Their dancing and engagement is really enjoyable. And what a lovely way to see some of the island outside Honolulu (very doable with your rental car).

Visited July 2014
Thank Hugh S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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