Is Polynesian Cultural Center Worth It? An Honest Review & Tips

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The Polynesian Cultural Center, nestled on the picturesque island of Oahu, Hawaii, is a captivating destination that offers visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich and diverse heritage of the Polynesian islands.

With its vibrant villages, authentic performances, and interactive activities, this cultural center serves as a gateway to the enchanting world of Polynesia.


Located in Laie, on the northeastern coast of Oahu, the Polynesian Cultural Center spans 42 acres of tropical beauty.

It showcases the distinct cultures of six Polynesian island nations: Hawaii, Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Fiji, Tahiti, and Tonga.

Each village represents its respective culture, providing an immersive experience for visitors to explore and learn.

The Six Villages

  • Hawaiian Village: Start your journey in the Hawaiian Village, where you’ll discover the traditions, arts, and crafts of Hawaii. Engage in hula lessons, explore ancient fishing techniques, and witness the breathtaking Samoan fireknife dance.
  • Samoan Village: Experience the warmth and hospitality of Samoa in this village. Participate in coconut husking, traditional tattoo demonstrations, and the energetic Samoan slap dance.
  • Aotearoa (New Zealand) Village: Step into the fascinating Maori culture in Aotearoa Village. Learn the Haka, a powerful Maori war dance, and witness the art of wood carving and weaving.
  • Fiji Village: Explore the vibrant culture of Fiji in this village. Try your hand at firewalking, experience traditional Fijian music and dance, and marvel at the intricate craftsmanship of Fijian artifacts.
  • Tahitian Village: Transport yourself to the idyllic islands of Tahiti and indulge in the mesmerizing music, dance, and storytelling. Engage in coconut tree climbing, traditional Tahitian drumming, and the exhilarating ‘ote’a dance.
  • Tongan Village: Discover the royal heritage of Tonga in this village, known for its friendly people. Take part in traditional Tongan crafts, witness the art of mat weaving, and savor the harmonious sounds of Tongan music.

Activities and Experiences

The Polynesian Cultural Center offers a plethora of activities to engage visitors of all ages.

Enjoy canoe rides, explore tropical gardens, witness cultural demonstrations, feast on a traditional luau, and be captivated by the spectacular evening show, “Ha: Breath of Life.”

Additionally, interactive experiences like spear-throwing, Polynesian games, and village tours add to the immersive experience.

Ticket Packages

The Polynesian Cultural Center offers various ticket packages to suit individual preferences and budgets. Each package includes different experiences and benefits:

  • Super Ambassador Luau Package: Upgrade your visit with exclusive amenities, including a private guided tour throughout the six island villages, reserved seating at the village presentations, a canoe tour, a special lei greeting, access to the Ali’i luau, platinum-level seating at the evening HĀ: Breath of Life show, and more. This package is perfect if you want the ultimate VIP treatment!
  • Ali’i Luau Package: With this package, you will be part of a group-guided tour of the island villages. You will also be able to enjoy the canoe ride and delicious food at the Ali’i luau, followed by gold-level seating at the HĀ: Breath of Life show. We purchased this package on our recent trip to Oahu and absolutely recommend it if you want to experience everything the PCC has to offer with the help of an experienced guide. We spent the day with a lot of friendly fellow travelers whom we may not have met if we had done the private tour!
  • Gateway Buffet Package: This package allows you to meander about the villages and ride the canoe at your own pace. Instead of the Ali’i luau, you will be able to enjoy a leisurely buffet dinner with live music. You will also receive silver-level seating at the HĀ: Breath of Life show.
  • Islands of Polynesia & HĀ: Breath of Life Package: This package includes a self-guided tour of the island villages, a canoe ride, and bronze-level seating at the HĀ: Breath of Life show. Dinner is not included, but there are other food options available on the premises.
  • Islands of Polynesia: This package only includes a self-guided tour of the island villages and a canoe ride. It does not include dinner or the HĀ: Breath of Life show. However, as mentioned above, there are plenty of food options, kiosks, and activities to fill your day easily. This option is great if you have separate evening plans or have young kids who might be too exhausted by dinner time.

Our Visit

During our recent visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center, we opted for the Ali’i package, and it exceeded our expectations in every way. The Ali’i Luau was a culinary delight, showcasing an array of traditional Hawaiian dishes that tantalized our taste buds. The preferred seating for the evening show provided an unobstructed view, ensuring we didn’t miss a moment of the awe-inspiring performances.

Having a personal guide added immense value to our visit. They shared fascinating insights into Polynesian culture, answered our questions, and made our exploration of the villages even more meaningful. The village tours allowed us to delve deeper into the nuances of each culture, while the backstage tour gave us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the preparation of the evening show.

Overall, the Polynesian Cultural Center left an indelible impression on us. The Ali’i package, with its comprehensive offerings, provided an immersive and unforgettable experience. We left with a deeper appreciation for Polynesian heritage and a newfound respect for the rich traditions that shape these beautiful island nations.

Our Thoughts

The Polynesian Cultural Center stands as a testament to the vibrant and diverse cultures of Polynesia.

Through its six villages, engaging activities, and mesmerizing performances, it offers visitors an immersive journey into the heart and soul of the Pacific islands.

Whether you choose the General Admission or opt for a premium experience like the Ali’i package, a visit to this enchanting center is sure to leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

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