Polynesian Cultural Center – History, Tickets, Where To Book, And Activities

With over 700,000 visitors annually, the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii is one of the most visited tourist attractions in this American state.

But why is it visited by so many people and what makes it so attractive?

To answer that question, we’ll take a closer look at what you can expect from a visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center, including the top attractions, shows, and activities that you won’t want to miss.

Not only that but we will also provide practical tips and advice that would help you make the most of your visit to this unique and exciting destination.

Here’s everything that you need to know about the Polynesian Cultural Center Hawaii:

The History Of The Hawaii Polynesian Cultural Center

The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the 1940s and 1950s. It all started with the Hukilau and the Luau beach gatherings that were held to raise money to rebuild a local chapel belonging to the LDS Church, which had been destroyed in a fire.

These events eventually evolved into what we know today as the Polynesian Cultural Center.

In 1962, LDS Church President David O. McKay authorized the construction of the nonprofit center as a way to provide employment and scholarships for students at BYU-Hawaii and to preserve the cultures of Polynesia.
The Polynesian Cultural Center officially opened its doors on October 12, 1963, and occupies 42 acres of land belonging to nearby Brigham Young University–Hawaii.

Throughout the years, the Polynesian Cultural Center has become one of the most frequently visited tourist destinations in Hawaii, attracting 700,000 visitors annually.

The PCC is the venue for the annual World Fire Knife Dance Competition, in which contestants display their skills with blazing swords. Since it opened its doors in 1963, over 32 million people have visited the center.

The Different Cultures at the Polynesian Cultural Center

The Polynesian Cultural Center is a unique experience that allows visitors to immerse themselves in the cultures of the Pacific Islands. The center is divided into six different Polynesian villages, each representing a different island culture. Here’s a brief overview of each village:


The Hawaii village is the largest and most visited of all the villages. It showcases the Hawaiian culture through dance, music, and food. Visitors can learn the hula, watch a fire knife dance performance, and taste traditional Hawaiian dishes like kalua pork and poi.


The Samoa village represents the island nation of Samoa and its vibrant culture. Tourists visiting this village can experience the traditional Samoan way of life, known as Fa’a Samoa, through dance performances, demonstrations of Samoan cooking and crafts, and even a simulated coconut tree climb.

Aotearoa (New Zealand)

The Aotearoa village showcases the indigenous Māori culture of New Zealand. Anyone visiting it can witness a powerful haka dance performance, which was made famous by the New Zealand Rugby team, listen to traditional songs, and learn about Māori legends and stories.


The Fiji village highlights the rich culture of the island nation of Fiji, known for its lush rainforests and pristine beaches. Visitors can enjoy a Fijian dance performance, see traditional Fijian costumes and handicrafts, and try some of the delicious Fijian cuisines.


The Tahiti village showcases the unique and exotic culture of French Polynesia, which is known for its stunning lagoons and overwater bungalows. Anyone visiting this part of the PCC can watch a Tahitian dance performance, learn about the art of making Tahitian pareos (sarongs), and taste some of the delicious Tahitian cuisines.


The last village on our list is the Tonga village. It represents the Kingdom of Tonga, the last remaining monarchy in the South Pacific. Visitors can experience the traditional Tongan way of life through dance performances, handicraft demonstrations, and a demonstration of Tongan drumming and music.

These are the 6 different cultures that are highlighted at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

7 Best Things To Do At The Polynesian Cultural Center

There are countless activities and experiences to be had at the Polynesian Culture Center in Hawaii, but make sure you don’t miss out on these must-see attractions:

Indulge in Delicious Eats at Hukilau Marketplace

Take a break from the activities and try the mouth-watering dishes at the Hukilau Marketplace. The marketplace offers a range of traditional Hawaiian dishes and other international cuisines to tantalize your taste buds. Don’t miss the chance to try some of the local favorites like kalua pork, poke, and shaved ice.

Experience the Thrilling Huki Show

Witness the excitement and thrill of the Huki Show, which is a high-energy production that showcases the diverse cultures of Polynesia. With its lively music, traditional dance performances, and fire-knife dancing, the Huki Show is a must-see attraction at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Quench Your Thirst with a Fresh Coconut

Enjoy the refreshing taste of freshly-picked coconut while exploring the center. The PCC offers its visitors to sip on the sweet water inside and scoops out the tender coconut meat. Not only is it a tasty and healthy treat, but it’s also a great way to cool down on a hot day!

Learn About Hawaii’s Fascinating Culture

You can also discover the rich history and culture of Hawaii at the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Hawaiian Village. Take a guided tour to learn about the traditions, language, and customs of the Hawaiian people. From lei-making to hula dancing, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the island’s unique heritage.
Reminder: Make sure you check out the 6 villages at the PCC!

Renew Your Vows in the Romantic Tahitian Village

Take your love to the next level and renew your vows in the romantic Tahitian Village. Surrounded by tropical foliage and the serene waters of the lagoon, it’s the perfect place to celebrate your love and commitment to one another.

Explore the Waters in a Traditional Canoe

Make sure you experience the ocean like the ancient Polynesians did by taking a ride in a traditional canoe. With an experienced guide, you can paddle along the peaceful waters of the center’s lagoon and take in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape!

Witness the Breathtaking Ha Breath of Life Show

The last one on our list! You can end your day with a spectacular night show, the Ha Breath of Life. The show highlights the legends and myths of Polynesia through dance, music, and stunning special effects. With its touching storyline and impressive performances, it’s a truly unforgettable experience.

Among the countless activities available at the PCC, these stand out as the best ones to try out!

10 Tips for Planning Your Visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center

Planning a visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center can be a bit overwhelming, with so much to see and do, especially when you’re traveling to PCC for the first time alone or with your family. To help you make the most of your visit, here are ten tips to keep in mind:

Plan Ahead And Arrive Early

The Polynesian Cultural Center is a popular tourist destination, so it’s best to plan ahead and purchase your tickets in advance. Arriving early also gives you more time to explore and take in all the different cultural experiences.

Note: You can visit the official website of the PCC to book your tickets in advance. Remember, they quickly get sold out, so book as fast as you can!

Wear Comfortable Clothing And Shoes

You’ll be doing a lot of walking and standing throughout the day, so make sure to wear comfortable clothing and shoes when visiting the PCC. Also, keep in mind that the weather in Hawaii can be unpredictable, so dress in layers and bring a rain jacket or an umbrella just in case.

Bring Sunscreen And Water

The Polynesian Cultural Center is an outdoor attraction, which is why be sure to protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen and drinking plenty of water.

Note: You should only bring or buy reef-safe sunscreen when visiting Hawaii.

Take A Guided Tour

The Polynesian Cultural Center offers guided tours throughout the day, which are a great way to learn more about the different cultures represented at the center. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who provide fascinating insights into the history and traditions of Polynesia.

Attend A Cultural Demonstration

The Polynesian Cultural Center is known for its cultural demonstrations, which include hula dancing, fire knife dancing, and coconut husking. These demonstrations are a great way to learn more about the various Polynesian cultures and traditions.

Try The Local Cuisine

The Polynesian Cultural Center has several restaurants and food vendors that offer traditional Polynesian cuisine. Be sure to try some of the local favorites, like kalua pork and poi.

Don’t Miss The “Ha

Breath of Life” show: The “Ha: Breath of Life” show is a must-see attraction at the Polynesian Cultural Center. This spectacular show tells the story of a young man’s journey to manhood and features traditional music, dance, and fire knife performance.

Take A Canoe Ride

The Polynesian Cultural Center offers canoe rides on a man-made lagoon, which is a fun and relaxing way to take in the natural beauty of the center.

Visit The Hukilau Marketplace

The Hukilau Marketplace is a shopping and dining area located just outside the Polynesian Cultural Center. It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs and try some local cuisine.

Stay For The Evening Show

The Polynesian Cultural Center offers an evening show called “Horizons: Where the Sea Meets the Sky,” which is a celebration of Polynesian music, dance, and culture. The show is a perfect way to end your day at the center and is not to be missed.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure that you have a fun and memorable visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Polynesian Cultural Center Experience?

To get the most out of your Polynesian Cultural Center experience, it’s important to plan ahead and make the most of your time there. Start by arriving early in the day to take advantage of all the activities and shows.

If possible, try to visit on a day when the center is less crowded to avoid long lines and wait times.
Be sure to take advantage of the various cultural demonstrations and activities offered throughout the day. These include things like lei making, hula lessons, and coconut husking.

Another thing, don’t be afraid to ask questions and interact with the performers to learn more about their culture and traditions.

When it comes to the evening shows, be sure to reserve your tickets in advance and arrive early to get the best seats. During the show, immerse yourself in the experience and let the music and dance transport you to another world.

Finally, don’t forget to take breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge. The PCC offers a variety of dining options, so be sure to fuel up on delicious Polynesian cuisine. And be sure to take in the stunning natural surroundings of the center, including the beautiful gardens and water features.

By keeping those things in mind, you can make the most out of your trip at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Polynesian Cultural Center Tickets – Prices And Where To Buy

You can book your Polynesian Cultural Center Hawaii discount tickets from the official website of the PCC. Here’s a breakdown of how much they charge:

Note: Ticket prices change over time, which is why we suggest everyone visit the official website of the PCC to have a better idea of how much you would have to pay.