Today we visited the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) in Laie. This is the most visited attraction in Hawai’i and it has an interesting story. Laie is the Pacific headquarters for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There is a branch of Brigham Young University in Laie and owns/runs the PCC.
I booked tickets for us to visit the Polynesian villages with activities, the Luau dinner and the evening show, Ha: The Breath of Life. We arrived just as the Canoe Parade started. Each nation had a double-hulled canoe with people in traditional costume dancing. It was brilliant. From here we moved on to visiting some of the villages starting with Samoa. The sun was out and it was warm! We had to have a traditional Hawaiian snack, shaved ice. We continued through some of the other villages and tried some activities. We all tried weaving with coconut palm leaves, tasting coconut bread, and waited to take a canoe ride but it was taking forever.
We needed to check in for our luau dinner so the last bit of our visit was rushed. If you come to the PCC it really is a good idea to come at 12 when it opens. We didn’t think there would be enough to fill our time but there definitely was. Upon arrival to our luau dinner we had our photo taken and got souvenir necklaces. We were seated right in the middle with good views to the stage and close to the buffet. The sheer number of people in there made me wonder how they were going to manage so many people and a buffet. I was pleasantly surprised at how orderly everything went. It was set up so well that there was little waiting and no chaos.
All of us tried new foods. Taro rolls, poi, poke, bbq pork cooked in an underground pit, salad, teriyaki beef, sweet potato salad, fish….the list goes on and on. There were several dessert options as well: chocolate cake, pineapple bars, guava cake, bread pudding made with taro bread. The luau show was excellent as well. I haven’t seen Alex so serious or concentrate on anything for so long. He was mesmerised. After the kids tired of the show we took our extraneous things back to the car and pick up our light jackets before the 7:30 show in the Pacific Theatre.
We walked back over to the marketplace area near the theatre. The kids had a great time chasing bubbles and learning traditional poi twirling. At 7:20 we went to find our seats. When we checked in at the box office we changed our seats to a different area so we could sit on the end in case we needed to get out for some reason (bloody nose, toilet, etc). Our seats were ok considering we purchased mid-tier tickets.as we were settling in an employee came up to me and whispered to all get up, make our way through the portal closest to,U.S. And go back around to the next one. In a bit of confusion we did as he said. Lucky us, he moved us to front row seats. Awesome views. So grateful.
Ha: The Breath of Life blew us away. Really awesome. The dancers were spectacular and so professional from facial expressions to little nods of their heads. All in synch with each other, truly impressive! No cameras were allowed at the show so I can’t share any photos. At the end the dancers/actors all came out to shake hands with the audience and thank them for coming to the show. I would definitely go back to PCC again!