The doors opened at 4:30, just as it started to cool off on the bluff overlooking the ocean. There could not be a better panoramic vista for a Luau. As you enter through the park, you catch a glimpse of tropical fish and sea turtles, and then you are greeted with leis by hula dancers, and ushered to your reserved table. From there, you can take photos with the hula and fire dancers, and the Chief, who emcees the Luau.
Pre-dinner activities include a hula lesson, weaving coconut tree leaves into headbaNds, spear throwing, and of course a visit to the bar. Your dinner ticket includes an all-you-can-eat buffet with a voucher for one drink (soda, beer, wine, or a mai tai). The buffet includes local favorites such as Kalua pork, mahi-mahi, teriyaki chicken, taro rolls, poi, sweet potatoes and more. Dessert, coffee, and fruit punch are also included in the buffet. The real focus at this luau, however, is the entertainment.
Chief Sielu Avea is famous for his fire knife dancing and comedy all over Oahu and the world. He has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tonight Show, and The Amazing Race, to name a few. The Chief keeps things light and entertaining, sharing a few personal/historical anecdotes but mostly involving the guests in dance performances representing the various Polynesian Islands. The highlight for my family was watching the fire dancers. The ages in our group ranged from one year old to mid-seventies, and everyone was entertained.
Toward the end of the luau, the Chief asked all those celebrating anniversaries and honeymoons to come to the stage. They were presented with leis and beautiful bouquets, and kicked off a dance that everyone was welcome to join. At one point they even turned off all of the lights for an incredible view of a pitch-black sky studded with bright stars.
Everyone is welcome and made comfortable at this luau, where you can watch from the sidelines or be as involved as you’d like. There is no pressure to dance and embarrass yourself unless that’s what you’re into (and believe me, you’ll be in good company either way)! All of the staff and performers at the luau are full of that world-famous Aloha Spirit, and it is an extremely well-organized event. At the end of the night, you can pick up your developed photo for $20 as a souvenir.
We decided to make the trip out to Sea Life Park an all-day event. We bought tickets to the park during the day and saw a spectacular dolphin show, as well as the rest of the animal exhibits including the shark tank and walk-in bird aviary where you can hand-feed tropical birds. And just in case the dolphins aren’t exciting enough, Sea Life Park is home to the world’s only “wholphin” (killer whale-dolphin hybrid). You can stay at the park all day until the Luau, or head over to Makapu’u Point in between activities. This is the Eastern-most point on Oahu, and less than a mile away from the park. It’s a great spot for photos, as the view includes the mountains, beach, and a wide panoramic view of the ocean.
For more information on Chief’s Luau, click here.
For more information on Sea Life Park, click here.