Polynesian Cultural Center
The Polynesian Cultural Center is incomparable to any other attraction in Hawaii. Is it a theme park? Is it a museum? The PCC is a bit of both, but the end result is an educational experience about Polynesian culture that is immersive, fun, and suitable for all ages.
The Polynesian Cultural Center attracts over one million visitors each year and is Hawaii’s most popular paid attraction. The PCC is owned and operated by the Church of Latter Day Saints. It was founded in 1963 as both a means for students attending the adjacent university to earn money for their education and to preserve and promote Polynesian culture.
Today the PPC has so many noteworthy attractions on their 42-acre property (food, exhibits, games, crafts, activities, entertainment) that it would be impossible to see it all in one day. Thankfully, you don’t have to. The Gateway Package includes a three-day pass – so you can see as much or as little of it as you like, at your own pace. This extended pass also gives you the freedom to combine a visit to the PCC with any other excursions or sightseeing that you may want to do on Hawaii’s famous North Shore. And if you are staying nearby the extended pass offers even more options to customize your visit.
PCC’s main attraction is the “Islands of Polynesia” portion of the park where guests can immerse themselves in the distinct cultures of six different Polynesian island villages. Each village, representing Hawaii, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, and Aotearoa (New Zealand) has its own collection of exhibits, cultural activities, and presentations for guests to explore and experience. In addition to the six main villages, there is also an exhibit dedicated to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) as well as the Mission Settlement which depicts the life of the early 1850’s missionaries that settled in the islands. Free lessons in Polynesian weaving and ukulele playing are available in the settlement as well.
One free digital portrait is included with your ticket, so don’t forget to stop and have your photo taken with the photographer as you enter the Islands of Polynesia. (You will also have the opportunity to purchase other souvenir photo packages).
In addition to exploring the island villages, PCC has many other attractions, including hands-on activities, games, and crafts that are available throughout the park. Learn how to cook in an imu oven, get a temporary Polynesian tattoo, or hone your spear throwing skills – there’s activities for all ages and interests at PCC.
Canoe tours across the man-made lagoon that separates the island villages are also available. Guests can take a personalized tour or just to catch a ride from one end of the park to the other. Then be sure to check out some impressive canoe craftsmanship at the Iosepa exhibit – a double hulled, hand-carved canoe modeled after the ancient Hawaiian sailing canoes.
Guests can also enjoy the 12-minute 4D immersive movie “Hawaiian Journey.” Enjoy some truly stunning cinematography of Hawaii’s natural landscapes on a jumbo screen with interactive special effects that will fully engage your senses.
The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame is also located at the Polynesian Cultural Center. The Hall of Fame honors the NFL’s greatest Polynesian players, coaches, and contributors to the sport. It’s the park’s newest attraction and a must see for any football fan.
There is also a daily tour of the LDS Temple Visitors Center, the nearby campus of Brigham Young University Hawaii, and Laie.
The Hukilau Marketplace is home to many independent shops and snack kiosks. There are also other shops, galleries, and restaurants scattered throughout the park – plenty of places to have lunch and buy souvenirs, sundries, snacks, water, etc.
Seating at the Gateway Buffet begins at 4:30 pm and continues until 6:30 pm, guests may arrive at any time during that two-hour window. Guests are treated to live Hawaiian music and a stunning 360-degree mural as they dine in this expansive open-air dining hall. The buffet itself is quite large and offers a greater selection of foods than you would normally find at a typical luau themed buffet. Gateway’s buffet offers traditional Hawaiian foods like roasted Kalua pork and poi, and many Asian and American dishes with a Polynesian twist. There’s even a full salad bar and a poke bar, plus some kid friendly options like mac & cheese and chicken strips. (Note: The Polynesian Cultural Center does not serve alcohol and does not allow it to be consumed on its premises).
Most of the park’s attractions close at 5:30 pm, so after dinner is the perfect time to do a little souvenir shopping until the seating for the evening show begins at 7:00 pm.
“HA: Breath of Life” Show:
End the day with a dramatic love story set to live Hawaiian music, along with some Polynesian dancing and an impressive fire-knife dancing. “HA: Breath of Life” is an award-winning stage production that features over 100 performers and incorporates special effects, animation, and high-tech surround sound and lighting. The Gateway Package includes silver level seating – which will give you a sweeping view of the stage below. The show runs from 7:30 pm to about 8:45 pm.
- Tossed Green Salad
- Pickled cucumber with Limu
- Orecchiette Fennel Salad
- Fruit Platter
- Lomi Lomi Salmon
- Ahi Shoyu Poke
- Spicy Local Fish Poke
- Poisson Cru with Hawaiian Cod
- Ulu Uala Poke
- Ahi Tuna Sashimi
- Hawaiian Style Sweet & Sour Chicken
- Fried Chicken Wings with Adobo Sticky Glaze
- Garlic Brown Sugar Roasted Chicken with Pineapple Relish
- Fried Calamari
- Kalua Pork
- Spicy Gochujang Pork Belly
- Culotte Steak Carving Station
- Kalbi Brisket Stir-Fry
- Char Siu Pork Ribs
- Crispy Garlic Shrimp with Sweet Chili Garlic Aioli
- Furikake Panko Crusted Local Fish of the Day
- Steamed White Rice
- Pineapple Fried Rice
- Fried Pancit Noodles
- Tri-color Roasted Potatoes
- Roasted Veggie Ratatouille
- Kabocha Squash and Broccolini Tofu Stir-fry
- Steamed Asparagus with Lilikoi Glaze
- Blanched Bok Choy with Sautéed Mushrooms
- Roasted Squash Soup
- Hawaiian Bouillabaisse
- Taro Rolls
- Pineapple Fosters
- Laie Vanilla Panna Cotta with Macerated Papaya
- Ice Cream
- Breaded Chicken Strips
- French Fries
- Macaroni & Cheese
- Alcohol is not served at the Polynesian Cultural Center and not allowed on the premises.
- Dress code is casual. Shirts and shoes are required. Bathing suits and clothing or tattoos with offensive designs are prohibited. Dress for the elements, bring proper sun and rain protection, and wear comfortable walking shoes.
- The park does not allow any food or snacks to be brought into the park unless it is medically required. The park allows guests to bring bottled water with them and there are refilling stations located throughout the park.
- Profanity and behavior that is deemed unsafe, disorderly, or disruptive is prohibited and may result in being removed from the park.
- Video recording or photography during the “Ha: Breath of Life” show is strictly prohibited but allowed elsewhere in the park. The performers are usually happy to have their pictures taken with guests when asked.
- Accessibility: The park is fully ADA compliant. All major areas of the park are accessible to wheelchair users, including all levels of the dining venues, the Villages, and the Marketplace. The auditorium where the evening show is held has a wheelchair row where one additional person from their party can join – all other seating in the auditorium requires steps.
- Electric scooters, wheelchairs, and strollers can be rented at the park
- The park has a complimentary shuttle to transport guests between the parking lot and main entrance. There is also a drop-off/pick-up zone in front of the Hukilau Marketplace for any guests who have difficulty walking.
The easiest and most convenient way to get to the Polynesian Cultural Center is to use their round-trip transportation, which can be added to your reservation during checkout. Enjoy the view and learn more about Hawaiian history and culture as you ride in a comfy, air-conditioned motorcoach and leave the Waikiki traffic to someone else!
If driving from Honolulu or Waikiki, allow at least an hour for travel time and longer if traveling during late afternoon or early evening when commuter traffic is often heavy. PCC has plenty of free parking and has charging stations available for electric vehicles.
Taxis and rideshares are not recommended for this attraction. A ride from Waikiki to the North Shore can be quite pricey and you may have a difficult time finding a ride back to Waikiki at 9 pm.
Menu items may be subject to change without prior notice.
Customers will receive credit or a full refund with 48 hours’ notice of cancellation. Customers will receive credit or a full refund for cancellations made by the Polynesian Cultural Center due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
We will not sell, share, or in any way release your personal information to any unrelated third parties.