The Polynesian Cultural Center or the PCC as it is more commonly referred, was a whole lot more than I expected. And surprisingly it reminded me most of Disney World. Crazy? Right! Think Epcot but instead of various countries of the world it’s various Polynesian islands. In each island there are presentations, hands on classes and activities and shows. So, get there early so you can have enough time to visit all the different islands: Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, Hawaii, New Zealand, Fiji, and Marquesas.
What you need to know:
There are plenty of different packages you can buy, depending on what sort of food options you want and whether or not you want to see the Ha Breath of Life show. Parking is definitely not an issue.
You’ll want to get there early enough to enjoy the activities and shows at each island. You could honestly spend the whole day there.
Bring comfortable shoes, your camera, and maybe some water. Don’t forget your souvenir money! There’s some cool stuff to buy!
The picture above is of the canoe pageant (basically a parade on the water..sound Disney familiar?). There were representatives from each island in traditional dress and doing traditional dance. It was really cool. But a little sunny and there wasn’t a lot of available seating.
I saw a lot of people there with tour guides. I think you can probably get one if you book in advance, but I’m not positive on that. I don’t know why you would need one though. It’s easy to do it self guided and there are plenty of people around to give you directions and help you with activities.
We learned to throw spears in Tonga. We learned to hula dance in Tahiti (both the boys and the girls).
We learned how to make cute little fish. Chris’ is the one that looks better. Mine is the one that looks a little…special.
In each island you’ll find cultural activities and shows unique to that island.
Chris learned to make fire by rubbing two sticks together after a hilarious show. The guy in the show made it look much easier.
There are two canoe options. We chose to row our own, but you can also ride in one where someone rows it for you.
As a part of the package we bought, we got a buffet dinner. There was a ton of food. Some of it was island-type food, but there was also just regular food. I don’t do well at buffets because my eyes are bigger than my stomach. I ate way too much food.
There was some time in between dinner and the final show that we walked around the various little gift shops. There was some beautiful jewelry from different vendors, the typical ‘Hawaii souvenirs’, clothes and PCC specific souvenirs. We decided to get a cute wooden frog, a Christmas ornament to commemorate our time in Hawaii, and Chris surprised me with a gorgeous ring I had been eyeing.
We finished the evening with the much talked about Ha, Breath of Life show. I have to say, for all the hype, I was less than impressed with the show. There was some cool dancing, and the fire part of the show was awesome, but the story line was weak and really drawn out. I was kinda bored. I wished they had the Tahitian hip shaking girls dance more…that stuff is incredible. How in the world do they move their hips that fast?! It’s unreal.
However, all in all I would consider our day at the Polynesian Cultural Center a raging success! Maybe we’ll even find time to go back during the Haunted Lagoon for Halloween.
Verdict: Do it but…
Depending on your budget, you might want to skip Ha the Breath of Life.