Founded in 1963, the POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER (PCC) celebrates the Aloha State’s diverse Polynesian background with award-winning performances and interactive attractions.
Over the years, more than 33 million visitors have passed through its gates. Today, as the center gets ready to embark on its 60th anniversary, it continues to be Hawai‘i’s No. 1 tourism attraction.
Here’s what you can look forward to at this destination that was voted one of the Top 10 Travelers’ Choice U.S. Experiences by Tripadvisor:
PCC’s signature attraction is a group of six villages and two exhibits highlighting islands from Fiji to Samoa, where hundreds of Polynesian islanders share their customs and traditions with visitors. Hands-on activities include playing Hawaiian games, throwing Tongan spears, paddling outrigger canoes, cooking and sampling Samoan dishes, getting temporary tattoos, twirling Maori poi balls and joining a Tahitian wedding party, among others.
The vibrant cultures come to life in the villages as Samoans share how homes are lashed together without nails using coconut fidber rope in Samoa. Maori villagers recount their history and legends captured in the intricate details in meeting houses built by master carvers using traditional logs brought in from New Zealand. Fijians invite you into the chief’s home. Tahitians help you tamure (dance). Tongans bring beautiful artistry into making bark cloth and communicating with drums. And Hawaiians teach hula in an anciently patterned setting.
As the sun sets, PCC offers up award-winning dining and show options. PCC’s most popular dining option is the ALI‘I LŪ‘AU , which won the prestigious Kāhili Award (people’s choice) for preserving Hawaiian culture. The lū‘au includes a lei greeting, royal court, imu roast pig, Hawaiian Wedding Song for newlyweds and anniversary couples, beautiful hula and more. You can get your roasted pork carved right off the pig, sample Hawaiian poke (a raw fidsh dish) and poi, and much more. Other dining options include the island buffet or prime dining in the Gateway Restaurant. Two annual events bear mentioning.
The World Fireknife Championships is held each May and showcases the planet’s most talented fidreknife competitors. With men, women and children as young as 6 participating in various divisions, this is certainly a heated competition that shouldn’t be missed.
The Moanikeala Hula Festival is in its 31st year and takes place each October. Named in honor of the center’s fidrst kumu hula (master teacher in hula), Aunty Sandy Moanikeala Wood Naluai, the annual event helps to preserve, perpetuate and educate others on this beloved form of dance.
Other not-to-be-missed offerings include the HUKILAU MARKETPLACE and POUNDERS RESTAURANT . The marketplace recalls 1950s Hawai‘i with stores offering local goods and eateries offering ‘ono local favorites. At Pounders Restaurant, located within the marketplace, you’ll find revamped dishes prepared with the best ingredients and are sourced directly from the islands.
Visitors can choose from a variety of packages to take advantage of any or all of the center’s opportunities, including the ISLANDS ADMISSION package that ESSENTIAL O‘AHU MAP CHECK
POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER
the Lā‘ie Temple Visitors’ Center Tour and a canoe ride; the EXCLUSIVE ALI‘I LŪ‘AU package includes all of that plus a flower lei greeting at the Ali‘i Lū‘au featuring Onipa‘a, A Tribute to Queen Lili‘uokalani and the evening show HĀ: Breath of Life; the EXCLUSIVE SUPER AMBASSADOR LŪ‘AU package offers guests a personal guide during their time at the center, as well as admission to all six island villages, a canoe ride, and the Lā‘ie and Lā‘ie Hawai‘i Temple Visitors’ Center Tour, as well as a flower lei greeting at the Ali‘i Lū‘au featuring ‘ Onipa‘a, A Tribute to Queen Lili‘uokalani and the evening show HĀ: Breath of Life; the EXCLUSIVE GATEWAY BUFFET package includes admission to all six island villages, plus an island buffet dinner at the center’s Gateway Restaurant and admission to HĀ: Breath of Life . Visitors can choose from a variety of packages to take advantage of any or all of the center’s opportunities. Call for reservations and specific show times. POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER 808-293-3457