I have lived on Oahu my entire life. When I was in elementary school, we were all required to go to the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Unfortunately, on the day of the field trip I ended up getting sick and could not make the field trip.

Fortunately, I live on the island so I could go with my family at a different time. I went to the center several times in my childhood and the last time I went was a little over 10 years ago.

Visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center

Being a local and especially now that I am older, the thought of wanting to go to the Polynesian Cultural Center never really crossed my mind.

I had taken living in Hawaii for granted, so I never realized that I may one day not be able to visit PCC so easily again.

It was very lucky that I got the opportunity to go and visit the center. Without receiving such an amazing opportunity, I don’t think I would have ever gone back to explore the center.

The activity that I went on was the Polynesian Cultural Center Late Entry Pass (Dinner & Show) Ambassador Luau Package.

This activity includes the Alii Luau, which comes with a buffet dinner, and the HA: Breath of Life show, where I received Ambassador package seating which is in the middle seating area.

How to Get to PCC

Since I live in town I decided to get a pick up add on so that I didn’t have to drive out to the center. Since my pick up was at 2:00PM it was a little hard to do anything before the activity.

I was worried I would have to wait for a while since I got to the pick up location 20 minutes before 2:00PM. Luckily, the driver was already there and I was able to wait on the bus!

Usually it’s warm on the island so I did dress for warm weather.

What I do suggest, however, is that since the air conditioner on the bus is on very high it does get cold so I would bring a jacket. I forgot to bring one and I was freezing the whole ride there.

Our driver was a very nice local man who really knew information about local traffic well. Friday traffic is always the worst on Oahu. Our driver tried his best to avoid traffic and get us to the center as quickly as possible.

The ride took a little over an hour, which gave me more than enough time to take a short nap to recharge for the night ahead of me.

It was a very smooth ride, so smooth that I was passed out all the way until we made it to the center!

Backstage Tour of HA: Breath of Life (Ambassador Luau Package)

Once we arrived at the Polynesian Cultural Center we passed through the Hukilau Marketplace, which is a beautiful marketplace that I wish I got a picture of.

We received a short backstage tour of the HA: Breath of Life show after checking in.

I never knew so much went on backstage and it was neat to see how much effort is really put into the show!

We started the tour by taking the route a dancer would take if they were heading backstage from the center stage.

To my surprise, the walkway was fairly dark even in broad daylight. It must be difficult for the dancers to see the walkway during the night show.

The backstage tour gave us the inside secret on how the fire dancers avoid catching on fire. They even have precautions for if their skirts were to ever catch fire!

I was even able to get a glimpse of some of the wardrobe worn during the show!

The tour ended with us back on stage where they let everyone in the group take some pictures!

Alii Luau Dinner Buffet and Show

After the short tour we made our way to the entrance of the Alii Luau Dinner Buffet.

At the entrance, the greeters offered me a Plumeria Flower Leis and took my picture. These pictures were available for purchase.

My seat was a little far away and off to the side from the stage. However, it was close to the buffet, which wasn’t all too bad.

Although it was far from the stage I was still able to see everything that was happening.

The Alii Luau Show

The Alii Luau show is about the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani. Everyone who was raised on this island has learned this story in history class.

I do not remember exactly when I learned about the overthrow, but I do remember that I had only read about it in books. It was very refreshing to be able to see the story through the art of hula.

Reading about it in books and being able to visually see the story is very different.

Seeing the story of the overthrow, I could feel the emotions that everyone must have been feeling during that time, which made the show much more meaningful.

The quality of the hula dance was top notch. I am no hula expert but I could really tell that the whole show was well rehearsed! Everyone was in sync, even the children of the show did an amazing job.

The luau was definitely a family friendly show. They really allowed the audience to engage in the luau, especially the keiki.

Towards the end of the luau they called up all the children to learn one of the dance routines and in the end they got to perform it with the dancers.

The Alii Luau Dinner Buffet

The buffet dinner was so ono!

I am not a huge fan of Hawaiian food so going into the luau I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to eat much.

However, to my surprise there was a variety of foods to choose from and I was able to eat more than enough food that night.

My two favorites from the buffet were the taro bread and the ahi poke!

I thought that I hated taro bread because I am not a fan of taro. After that night, I went looking for taro bread every chance I had.

Ahi poke was always my favorite but it is hard to find good fish. The luau was definitely able to find some real good ahi though!

I was so focused on eating that I forgot to take a picture of all the delicious food at the luau.

I am a foodie and love taking pictures of my food so next time when I go I will definitely take a picture of how much food I had on my plate!

Hukilau Marketplace

After the luau had finished, I had a little time before the HA: Breath of Life show. I decided to roam around the Polynesian Cultural Center and the Hukilau Marketplace for a little bit to see all the cultural products they were selling.

I am a sucker when it comes to pretty things. It took so much in my power not to buy these pretty haku leis I had found. If I had any use for them I would have most definitely bought them on the spot.

The HA: Breath of Life Night Show

Once I had finished doing some window shopping I went to find my seat for the show.

I was sitting closer to the back of the Ambassador seating. I had a hard time seeing the main part of the stage since my seat was at the very end of the ambassador section.

Nevertheless, I was still able to see the show pretty well. The show was definitely better than how I remembered it from 10 years ago.

My favorite part of the show was the fire knife throwing/dance. I don’t know why, but watching the fire dance amazed me. I felt like I was a little kid looking at a toy they really wanted for a long time.

My eyes sparkled and I was glued to the show the entire time. I had never seen such a high quality fire show in my entire life. This felt like a completely different show from the one I had seen 10 years ago!

Before I even realized it, the show was over and the night was done. The show felt like it was very short and I was actually a little sad when it had finished. I wanted to see more!

The night show is a little bit more intense compared to the Alii Luau, so there were a few kids who were crying during the show. I suggest maybe watching this show with children who are old enough to understand that this is a harmless show.

Ending the Day at the Polynesian Cultural Center

The ride back home was with a different driver, who still made the ride back very smooth without any bumps.

The entire ride back I was on the phone with my uncle explaining to him how amazing the show was and how I wish I could go back soon!

For those of you who want to explore the Polynesian Cultural Center, I recommend doing the full day pass. This way, you can experience both the center and the night shows.

After this experience, I really believe that it is important to go visit places more than once.

I really did believe that nothing would have changed from 10 years ago and maybe nothing really has majorly changed.

But, one thing for sure is that I have changed which is probably why the show felt different from what I remember.

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