12/01/2011 04:39 pm ET Updated Dec 20, 2011

Amusement Parks In Hawaii: A Huffington Post Travel Guide

Amusement parks in Hawaii showcase the beauty of the Pacific island chain and Polynesian culture. The stunning rainforest is the perfect backdrop for exploring the flora and fauna of the islands. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on family-fun parks, here is our guide to all the key information visitors need to know about Hawaiian amusement parks.

Polynesian Cultural Center

The Polynesian Cultural Center is one of the most popular parks in Hawaii. The park offers an intimate view of life in many different Pacific islands. The park is split into different villages that explore the culture of Hawaii, Fiji, Samoa, New Zealand, Tahiti and Tonga.

Hula At A Luau

The Polynesian Cultural Center, or PCC, is known for its authentic Hawaiian luau. The traditional Hawaiian feast marks special achievements or milestones such as weddings, victories or coronations. At a PCC luau, visitors can participate in the celebration by learning traditional dancees and more.

Other Activities

In addition to dancing and eating, visitors have a wide range of activities to explore. They can learn the history of tikis and how to carve their own totem. Maori warriors share the haka dance. Visitors learn how to climb the native coconut palms, harvest a nut and open it to enjoy the fresh milk.

Traditional Cuisine

The Polynesian Cultural Center offers a wide range of dining experiences. In addition to the traditional luau, the park offers traditional Hawaiian, American and Japanese cuisine. Enjoy steak or prime rib with a salad and potatoes, or miso soup and sashimi. Snack booths are all over the park and offer popcorn, chips, candy and ice cream.

Safety Record

Our research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Address: 55-370 Kamehameha Highway, Laie, HI 96762
Phone: 800-367-7060
Hours: The park is open Monday through Saturday from 12:05 p.m to 9 p.m. Some villages and activities close earlier.
Price: Prices vary depending on the meal plan you choose for your luau and the programs you choose to enjoy. Tickets for the Super Ambassador package are $228.95 for adults and $178.95 for children. General admission without the luau is $49.95 for adults and $35.95 for children.

Sea Life Park

Sea Life Park, located east of Honolulu on Waimanalo Bay, gives visitors an up-close and personal experience with sea creatures. Meet dolphins, sea lions and stingrays; watch shows starring your favorite sea mammals; or play in a pirate ship.

Swim With Dolphins

At the Dolphin Royal Swim visitors can actually grab hold of the dorsal fins of a pair of trained dolphins as they are pulled around the pool, then feel the freedom of the sea as the animals push them by their feet. (This 30-minute experience has an additional charge.)

Other Attractions

Play in a Pirate's Lagoon, get lost in a maze or chat with a penguin trainer at Sea Life. If tired feet slow you down, take a break at the Hawaii Ocean Theater, which gives the audience a view above and below the water.

Sit-Down or Snack

Visitors can grab a quick snack of chips, popcorn or ice cream at the snack bar near the Ocean Theater. For a more substantial meal, the Sea Lion Cafe, located near the entrance of the park, offers families sit-down-meal options such as fish, salads or rice, as well as burgers, pizza and chicken nuggets.

Safety Record

Our research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Sea Life.

Address: 41-202 Kalanianaole Highway #7, Waimanalo, HI 96795
Phone: 808-259-2500
Hours: The park is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: General admission tickets are $29.99 for adults and $19.99 for children. Special tickets are required to swim with the dolphins or sea lions.

Other Noteworthy Parks Near Hawaii

Pana`ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens
Maui Ocean Center
Waikiki Aquarium
Honolulu Zoo
Sea Trek Snuba

What's your favorite amusement park in Hawaii?

Check out more AMUSEMENT PARKS.