Is the Legends of Hawaii Luau at Hilton Waikoloa Village worth doing?

"I am not sure we should bother with the luau while we are here, not sure it's really worth it."

This is the conversation I overheard at the breakfast buffet.  Since we were waiting on our lovely omlets to be made I had time so felt I had to chime in! As someone who also wondered how a luau could possibly be worth the money and also as someone who had just attended her second one in a year I figured my opinion would be helpful.

Could there be a better setting for the evening?
We chatted about the luau and the cost and discussed if it were really worth it.  It's a fair question, I mean it is expensive but I have found luaus to be well worth it!  Now granted I was invited to the luau by the Hilton, so cost was not a factor but even if I had not been comped I would most certainly recommend it to anyone coming to Hawaii.  I told her how I experienced the same trepidation when I arrived in Hawaii.  I thought it was a tourist trap type of activity and wanted nothing to do with it.

How wrong I was!  I can admit it.  Sometimes we build up an experience so much in our heads and then it turns into a colossal failure, we've seen that first hand many times.  But in the case of  the Legends of Hawaii Luau it worked exactly the opposite way.  I wondered how good a luau would be, how authentic and poo pooed the idea.  But once we had the actual experience I was blown away at how entertaining, educational, and authentic it really was.

Uncovering the main dish!
I have been to 1 other luau in Maui but the kids had never been and before we leave the island I really wanted them to get a chance to see one.  We are all fascinated by Hawaiian culture and what better way to hold a child's interest in history than to present it in a luau?  It really brings to life the stories through ancestral song and dance!  And did I mention the fire twirling yet?  Well since I have 3 boys I knew that would hold there attention if nothing else did.

We arrived early so we could get our seats and so I could take some photos.  The pig had already been put in the ground for cooking early in the morning.  You can also experience this but you have to be an early riser, something we are not by any stretch of the imagination.  It slowly smokes for nearly 12 hours!  As soon as we arrived we felt like royalty.  The grounds were beautiful, the attendants were friendly and helpful, and the smell was divine.  A perfect combination of delicious food aromas mixed with the fragrant floral scent that Hawaii is known for.  The Luau grounds are located to the far end of the resort and were easy to find.

After some photo taking we were brought to our seats and our attendant explained the basic set up for food.  One of the concerns people may have is for children.  There is a bit of a wait for the food to come out and for some this can be very difficult.  Well the Hilton seemed to think of everything and better yet every one.  At the back end of the buffet tables was a great kiddie buffet that was open and ready as soon as we got there.  My pickier eaters were thrilled.  There was mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, fries, and all the standard "kid" foods.  It was a huge hit with all the kiddos around.

A very happy patron
There is an open bar, the food is buffet style and even before the actual show started the MC was entertaining.  There were some chip type appetizers to hold over those of us that were less enthusiastic about mac and cheese and within 1 hour the buffet was served.  It was nicely organized so not everyone was up at the tables at the same time.

The food was wonderful and I even found a few new items to put in the dinner rotation.  Chicken lau lau was the biggest hit for all of us!  It was a wonderful Hawaiian feast complete with desserts and the open bar that never ran dry.  Always a plus for the adults, and the kids loved the virgin fancy drinks.

Fully enjoying the delicious food and a lava flow
Once the show began we were all blown away.  It was an evening full of lively music, incredible dances, and captivating stories.  The kids were thrilled and every time I looked at them they had a mix of awe and happiness.  It was thoroughly enjoyed by all of us.  Check out this clip video I put together giving you a glimpse of the luau....

When I asked my youngest son what his favorite part was, he quickly said it was the part where we all got up and learned to do a hula dance ourselves.  In the beginning of the evening we got a chance to get out of our seats and learn to do the hula.  It was hysterical and such a great way to get the audience engaged and involved. 

So how could I respond any differently to the women chatting about the luau at breakfast?  They just had to check it out and you do too.  Next time you are in Hawaii be sure to see a luau.  If you are near Kona on the Big Island, be sure it is the Legends of Hawaii luau! 

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