During the day, visitors to the Polynesian Cultural Center take pleasant canoe rides through Polynesian villages. As the canoes float along the smooth river, visitors hear the sounds of Tongan drums and Polynesian songs while taking in the interesting sights like the Fijian temple show in the photo on the right. It’s a very safe and happy scene.
As night falls in October, canoes navigate through dramatically different sights and sounds. A haunted lagoon comes to life. Darkness evokes the creatures and ghosts of the lagoon. Along the bank of the lagoon, tortured souls scream in a struggle to escape.
The story of this haunted lagoon is that Laie Lady wanders the lagoon in search of her lost son to keep her company, but any guest will do. (Gulp!) She appears dressed in white as she skims on top of the lagoon’s water in search of a friend.
As our canoe navigated these spooky waters, we would narrowly escape creatures popping up from the water, reaching from the river bank and dropping within inches of our heads from the bridges. Each bend of the river exposed a new scene of ghosts and goblins. We were on high alert looking around us futilely trying to anticipate the next surprise.
I won’t give away any secrets or spoil your surprise when you go for this spooky fun time. I screamed. I told monsters to get away. I braced myself for a fright and I still screamed.
Even though this haunted lagoon has its scary moments, I know we laughed just many times. I’ve been to some pretty gory haunted houses in my younger years – ones where I latch onto strangers begging them to protect me. I was glad that this haunted lagoon at the Polynesian Cultural Center wasn’t nearly as disgusting and frightening as those experiences. I would describe it as family-friendly. There were two kids on our canoe ride that seemed to have a great time. At the end of the ride one of them proudly proclaimed that he didn’t get scared. His mom quickly called him out by asking him why he was closing his eyes and covering his head.
If you enjoy a good fright, sit on the side of the canoe or in the front or back. If you are a chicken like me, sit in the center of the canoe.
The Haunted Lagoon runs most nights in October. See the schedule here. I estimated that the lagoon ride lasted about 30 minutes in total. Adult tickets start at $25 for non-Hawaii residents and $20.50 for children. See this link for all ticket options, including a “fast pass” that significantly reduces your wait time. As Hawaii’s largest Halloween attraction, the Haunted Lagoon is very popular with local residents, so you should try to book your tickets early.
Mahalo to the Polynesian Cultural Center for hosting us on this spooky fun time!